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New state lawmaker from Grand Junction offers entrepreneurial view

Ray Scott

Ray Scott, a Grand Junction businessman who operates three companies, brings his entrepreneurial perspective to the Colorado Legislature as the new state representative in District 54. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

As an entrepreneur, Ray Scott knows businesses must adapt to changing market conditions.

Scott has substantially changed the operations of his own Grand Junction companies over the years. A firm that initially provided equipment to the energy industry now sells natural gas fireplaces for hotels and high-end homes. When business for his warehousing company fell off by half, Scott converted part of the facility to an indoor sports complex with a soccer field and batting cages. “If you don’t change, you die,” Scott says.

As a new state representative, Scott believes government faces the same situation. Given budget shortfalls brought on by the recession and declining tax revenues, state government must downsize, a move that could include reducing staffing and even selling assets, he says. “It’s going to be a very difficult process. Everything is going to be in play.”

Scott, a Republican, is the newly elected representative from House District 54. He fills the seat vacated by Steve King, another Republican who now represents District 7 in the Colorado Senate.
Scott runs three businesses: Gas Products, Skyline Warehouse and Cool water Homes. He says he ran for election to the State Legislature to bring his entrepreneurial perspective to the process. “It was time to get more business people in those seats and teach legislators what business is about.”
With the budget shortfall, the economy and jobs at the top of his list of priorities, Scott believes less could be more when it comes to state government. “We’ve got to get the government off the backs of business owners.”

To what end, Scott hopes to join in efforts to reduce government spending as well as fees and regulations that affect businesses.

As for specific legislation, Scott said he’s interested in enacting measures that don’t cost money — including a measure that would make it easier for homeowners to to offer financing when they sell their properties.

Scott will serve on the House transportation as well as the agriculture, natural resources and energy committees. “With my background, I think that’s a good fit.”

Phil Castle is editor of the Grand Valley Business Times, a twice-monthly business journal published in Grand Junction. Castle brings to his duties nearly 30 years of experience in editorial management positions with Western Colorado newspapers. In addition, his free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University.
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