Remembering Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, an Advocate for Colorado’s Life Sciences Ecosystem
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 11/06/2022
Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) sends our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Representative Hugh McKean, the Colorado House Minority Leader. Our team and board are deeply saddened by the news of his passing. Minority Leader McKean was a champion of Colorado’s life sciences community. We are grateful for his service and commitment to Colorado.
Minority Leader McKean’s Support for our Community
In 2021, CBSA presented Minority Leader McKean with the Legislator of the Year Award at our Annual Awards Celebration and thanked him for collaborating with CBSA to build a pro-business environment for life sciences innovation. Minority Leader McKean worked to understand the needs of Colorado’s life sciences community and supported policies that would contribute to the growth and health of life sciences in our state. This was evident during his time at the State Capitol, specifically through his efforts on legislation that impacts our industry, such as SB22-186: Create CO Rare Disease Advisory Council. Additionally, he worked on amendments to modify legislation unfavorable to life sciences, SB21-175, Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board, which CBSA opposed. More information on Minority Leader McKean’s work on both bills below:
- SB21-175:Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board:
In 2021, CBSA opposed legislation, SB21- 175 (Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board) and Minority Leader McKean was integral in making meaningful changes to this unfavorable legislation for the life sciences industry. CBSA lobbyists and partners, all worked incredibly hard to negotiate twelve amendments. Five of them passed, representing important policy wins for our life sciences community. Many of these amendment wins were gained with the support of Minority Leader McKean.
In 2022, CBSA supported legislation that Minority Leader McKean sponsored SB22-186: Create Colorado Rare Disease Advisory Council. Minority Leader Hugh McKean was influential and integral sponsor. The new council is part of the Department of Public Health and Environment. It informs state agencies, the public, and the legislature about rare diseases and makes recommendations concerning the needs of Coloradans living with rare diseases and their medical providers and caregivers. This bill is important to CBSA because it helps ensure that the industry has a voice on a range of policy decisions made within the state that are impactful to manufacturers of therapies developed to treat rare diseases.
Colorado General Assembly – What’s Next for House Republican Leadership?
With the passing of Minority Leader McKean, the Republican caucus needs to select a new Minority Leader when the caucus meets on November 10.
Before his death, Minority Leader McKean was set to remain minority leader, with Reps. Mike Lynch and Richard Holtorf slated to join him in leadership as assistant minority leader and minority whip, respectively. According to the Denver Post, “Larson and Lynch are likeliest to replace McKean as minority leader. Because he was running unopposed, McKean will be considered a member-elect to the House, and a vacancy committee convened by the Larimer County Republican Party will select his replacement, the Secretary of State’s Office said Sunday. It’s unclear when that will happen, though officials said it will likely be relatively soon.”
Minority Leader McKean understood how health innovations from Colorado save and change lives around the world. He supported the growth and health of our life sciences community to provide good, high paying jobs to Coloradans and encourage the development of life-saving innovations for patients. We are grateful to Minority Leader McKean for his commitment to our ecosystem.