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Less than two weeks left in legislative session

Posted: 5:36 PM, Apr 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-29 15:04:22-04

COLORADO- State lawmakers are entering the final days of the session, and while Governor Jared Polis has already signed some major bills into law- there’s still plenty on the agenda.

“If you’re a Democrat overall, you’re pretty happy with how the legislative session has gone,” said Joshua Dunn, Professor of Political Science at University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

“Now obviously if you’re a Republican you aren’t terribly happy with it but they’ve accomplished a lot of their legislative priorities,” said Dunn.

Among some of the priorities in the final days- a bill to create a paid family and medical leave program.

The bill has received criticism from business leaders across the state.

Monday morning, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers issued a statement in opposition of the bill.

“I urge the General Assembly to vote no on Senate Bill 19-188, and instead, conduct a thorough actuarial study of the program’s true costs, and propose a more defined, reasonable and affordable proposal that protects, rather than harms, our economy,” said Suthers in the statement.

Dunn says Democrats have faced some challenges this session by taking a good look at the budget.

“We have constraints obviously on the legislature’s ability to increase revenue, we can’t increase taxes because of TABOR, I think that those are the things that are really frustrating Polis and the Democratic party right now,” said Dunn.

Democrats have introduced legislation to go the voters over keeping TABOR refunds to fund schools and transportation projects.

Additionally, one of Governor Jared Polis’ biggest promises on the campaign trail related to universal and affordable health care.

Lawmakers are considering a few bills related to his plans, including a bill sponsored by Southern Colorado lawmakers- Pueblo representative Daneya Esgar (D) and Senator Bob Gardner (R- Colorado Springs), which would require more transparency with out of network health care costs.

Another bill getting a lot of attention this session would allow importing of prescription drugs from Canada, something the Governor is outlined as a way to lower health care costs.