Three Themes From Colorado Legislators’ First Wave Of Bills

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Originally published on January 20, 2017 3:59 pm

Lawmakers have introduced the first set of bills of the legislative session-over 200 so far. As part of our capitol conversation series, Kristen Wyatt with the Associated Press and Joey Bunch with talk about what proposals stood out to them.

Here are three takeaways:

1. President Donald Trump is impacting legislation.

Wyatt: There’s one big theme in our state and every state, which is a big question mark over our new president and how states are going to have to respond. So one of the first priorities for Senate Republicans is to repeal the health care exchange. This is how people shop for insurance under Obamacare. Republicans want to undo it. They’re going to run into a big brick wall on the other side.

2. Lawmakers in both parties are coalescing around transportation policy changes.

Bunch: This is the session that they have to find solutions on how to fund transportation. How we get there though is still a big question mark. [...] If they’re going to take a lot out of money out of the state budget, then we’re going to have [to] hear those things in March. If they’re going to refer a ballot measure to voters in November, which I think we will, I think we’ll see a combination of those two things that may fall on the last day of the session.

3. Familiar issues, such as arming school personnel, will be debated again.

Wyatt: Republicans say this is a new thing, that it would not really allow more guns in schools. What it really aims to do is better train security guards and people that can have guns now on campus. But of course there is a caveat in there that also your staff, teachers, crossing guards, even the cafeteria ladies could be some of the people that get the additional training.

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

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