Roads, schools, pensions top Colorado legislative issues

Published: Jan. 10, 2018 at 4:21 PM MST
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Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham have gaveled in the 2018 legislative session.

Lawmakers pledged on Wednesday's opening day to tackle the perennial issues of roads and schools funding.

They also hope to shore up the state public employees' pension fund, which has more than $30 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Lawmakers have started their new legislative session amid tension over unresolved sexual misconduct allegations against some of their colleagues, including a female lawmaker who maintains she felt threatened after rejecting the sexual advances of Rep. Steve Lebsock.

Democrats hold the state House, and Republicans control the Senate. So both Duran and Grantham urged lawmakers to try to set aside partisanship and 2018 election politics to find common ground.

They noted legislators agreed on most of the hundreds of bills introduced last year.

Minority Republicans in the House will fight for road funding without raising taxes, closely examine Medicaid spending and seek to cut government regulation. That's the word from Minority Leader Patrick Neville on Wednesday's first day of the 2018 Colorado Legislative session.

Democrats have hinted that nearly $1 billion in unanticipated funds expected for the new budget year will be spent on a number of issues, including education.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited, delivers his final state of the state address on Thursday.