Last Friday, the 2019 Legislative Session came to a close with a list of accomplishments that the Denver Post said would ensure the session’s legacy as “one of the most transformative in decades.”
It’s amazing how quickly 120 days go by. As soon as we learned the results of the 2018 election, we began crafting an agenda based on the concerns we heard and the promises we made while on the campaign trail. Then there was the drafting and stakeholding and revising and moving bills through committee meetings and floor debates. And then it was over!
Here’s what I heard on the trail: Lower the cost of health care. Invest in education, transportation, and affordable housing. Accelerate the transition to clean energy. Make our schools safer. Expand mental health access. Stand up for the rights of every Coloradan – voting rights, reproductive rights, rights to self expression, and more. Protect the clean air, clean water, and beautiful open spaces that make Colorado such a special place to live.
And those are the things we put most of our energy into over the last 120 days. Check out this recap of the session to learn more. It’s also worth noting that we worked across the aisle to bring significant bipartisan support to much of our legislative agenda.
I’m also so proud of the work we’ve done over the last three sessions to wisely invest taxpayers’ dollars in the things that matter most to our state. Since I was elected in 2016, we have:
- Increased K-12 education funding by $418M on top of student population growth and inflation, reducing the annual “negative factor” by 31%. On top of that, we’ve appropriated $114M to reducing the teacher shortage, especially in rural Colorado.
- Invested $1.9 billion in transportation funding through new certificates of participation that will be largely financed through new appropriations from the general fund (because the gas fee of 22 cents/per gallon, which hasn’t been increased even for inflation since 1992, is no longer adequate to pay for our transportation needs).
- Significantly increased funding for affordable child care, affordable housing, youth mental health, rural broadband infrastructure, and water infrastructure to anticipate the states long-term water needs.
I am so proud of the work we did this session, and now I’m going to relax a little and start getting caught up on yard work before starting to make plans for the 2020 session.
Thanks again for placing your trust in me.