Colorado lawmakers recently headed back to the state capitol for the annual legislative session. It's the final session for term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to Brian Eason of The Denver Post and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal to get their outlook on the coming months.
On Hickenlooper's final state of state address:
Sealover: It was in some ways very aspirational and it was far reaching as well. You look at him calling for transportation solutions both from the general fund budget and from a likely tax ballot measure. You look at him really seeking to reach out to rural Colorado not just with broadband but with job training with specific educational goals.
On the challenges for public pension reform:
Eason: One of the biggest priorities this year is pension reform. You have the state treasurer running [for governor] on that platform on the Republican side. I think there's going to be a lot of consternation from the left on some of the solutions that are being proposed there.
On how the election year impacts the session:
Sealover: You look at all the meaty bills out there and almost none of them have bipartisan sponsorship so I think that tells you a lot about the election year politics that are going on.
Eason: You're seeing already a lot of statement bills from both sides that they know aren't going to pass. The House Democratic agenda is pretty similar to a lot of bills that they proposed last year that didn't go anywhere.
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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