Grand Junction, Colorado , United States
|| February 01, 1976
Mar 10, 2019 09:33pm
|Info||Josh Penry (born 1976) is the minority leader of the Colorado Senate. Elected in 2006, Josh Penry is the youngest member of the Colorado state Senate.According to The Denver Post, Penry played a leadership role in opposing regulation for the oil and gas industry and a labor bill. Penry has been identified by several newspapers as a "rising star" in Colorado politics. |
Prior to serving in the state Senate, Penry served in the state House of Representatives for one term.
Penry is a native of Colorado and a long-time resident of Western Colorado. Penry graduated from Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College, where he quarterbacked the Mesa State Mavericks football team and served as student body President. In 1998, Penry was named the National Scholar Athlete of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and the Burger King Corporation, an award given to Peyton Manning the previous year. Penry graduated summa cum laude from Mesa State in 1998.
Penry moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Congressman Scott McInnis. First as an aide and then as Press Secretary, Penry helped McInnis formulate and negotiate natural resources legislation. Penry was appointed staff director of the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, where he played a lead role in negotiation the Healthy Forests Restoration Act with the White House and Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
After returning to Grand Junction, Penry was elected to the state House in 2004. In his first term, Penry sponsored and won passage for the "Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act," legislation designed to minimize water-resource fights. Penry's bill, signed into law in June 2005, created roundtables for each river basin to assess and address regional water needs.
In 2008, Penry was part of a bi-partisan effort involving Gov. Bill Ritter, Rep. Frank McNulty, and the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) Board to divest public pension funds from companies with ties to Iran. Penry also sponsored legislation to strengthen Colorado's education standards to better equip students to compete in a highly competitive global economic environment, and he initiated and negotiated a bi-partisan bill to invest growing federal mineral lease revenues into Colorado's colleges and universities.
Penry was a principal supporter of 2008's failed Amendment 52, which would have directed mineral severance tax revenue away from water conservation projects to road building.
Penry has also been at the center of a multitude of other policy debates, including road and bridge funding initiatives, efforts to pass Jessica's Law and other tough penalties against sexual predators, the debate about natural gas drilling in Colorado, and a range of tax, fiscal and budget issues. While working closely on education issues with Colorado's Democratic Governor Bill Ritter, Penry has been a frequent critic of the Ritter Administration's tax, budget, jobs and union policies.
Josh Penry is married to Jamie Penry, also a graduate of Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College. The Penrys have two children, a seven year-old son named Chase and a three year-old daughter named Emme.