What’s On The Democrats’ Agenda For The State Legislature? Red Flag Laws And More

<p>Hart Van Denburg/CPR News</p>
<p>The Colorado State Capitol.</p>
Photo: Colorado State Capitol West Side 2 November 2018
The Colorado State Capitol.

A resurrected contentious red flag gun bill that failed last legislative session is among a number of bills Democrats hope to revive now that they hold both a statehouse majority and governor’s office for the first time in four years.

The red flag bill, which withered in a kill committee, would let family members or law enforcement petition a court to temporarily remove an individual’s guns, if they were a danger to themselves or others. Senate Republicans felt it was unconstitutional and violated Second Amendment rights.

“One of the things that really hampered us here in some of these conversations is the the inability to allow thoughts to come to the floor so you can have a robust debate,” said incoming Democratic Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo. “That’s at least what the process affords.”

Other items on the agenda include tackling climate change, paid family leave and equal pay for equal work. Incoming Democratic Speaker of the House KC Becker of Boulder hopes to “end the oil and gas wars” over regulations and drilling setback distances.

Republicans have warned Democrats of overreach and pledged to push back when they feel it’s necessary — and to work collaboratively with the new majority.

“We’ll see come May when the dust has settled, what’s made it [and] what hasn’t. The fortunate thing is the budget’s looking pretty good. There will be a surplus,” said Republican Sen. Kevin Priola.

While the next legislative session — the 72nd session will convene on Jan. 4, 2019 — will involve the usual horse trading and debate on issues, a balanced budget is the only thing state lawmakers are constitutionally required to do.