Colo House Speaker has families in mind as 2018 session nears - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Colo House Speaker has families in mind as 2018 session nears

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Colorado Speaker of the House Rep. Crisanta Duran (D) Denver Colorado Speaker of the House Rep. Crisanta Duran (D) Denver

Colorado lawmakers head back to work next week. The 2018 General Assembly will formally begin on Wednesday, and Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran stopped by the News 5 studios today to talk about her priorities heading into the new session.

"We are working to make sure that hardworking families in Colorado have the opportunity to get ahead," Duran said.

She thinks the way lawmakers can do that help those families is by introducing bills intended to make housing and childcare more affordable, as well as legislation that would increase state spending on public schools.

"We want to reinstate a tax credit that will lead to the development of more attainable housing throughout the State of Colorado," Duran explained. "We're hoping this will be a bipartisan solution that we'll be able to get through both chambers."

The state's childcare tax credit is up for renewal this year and Duran said continuing the program will help parents with rising daycare costs.

"We have a lot of people who are very responsible, dedicated to their community and are trying to do everything they can to provide for themselves and their families and I think we have to do more to be able to address some of those issues."

As for education funding, Duran points out that some studies show Colorado schools are under-funded by as much as $830 million. Lawmakers have held a series of committee meetings during their break since last May to study the issue.

"When we think about the future of our state and young boys and girls across Colorado who need to be able to get ahead, we need to invest more in our schools."

Another interim committee studied the opioid addiction crisis and has prepared a half-dozen bills that are aimed at reducing the public health threat.

"We are going to see several bills this upcoming legislative session that I hope we'll be able to get through both chambers and were off to a very good start."

Lawmakers are unlikely to reintroduce a sales tax question for the November ballot seeking to raise money for long-term transportation funding. However, Duran said a citizens initiative may try an petition a measure onto the ballot.

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