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Colorado lawmakers reflect as 2019 legislative sessions ends

Posted: 10:52 PM, May 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-04 01:02:30-04

DENVER – After four months of debating on everything from guns, vaccinations, to sex education, Colorado’s 2019 legislative session has officially come to a close.

Lawmakers had until midnight on Friday to debate those last-minute bills, but they actually wrapped up early.

When News 5 spoke with lawmakers on Friday afternoon there were only about 11 bills still up for debate.

The Senate adjourned around 6 p.m., the House shortly after that.

Republican Senator Paul Lundeen said, “The biggest thing that happened today was the culmination of Republicans being able to slow down, amend dramatically, stop or kill any number of those big initiatives.”

A win for him – amending a comprehensive sex education bill.

“It provides a school or a district to simply say no, we just choose not to provide sex education and they can completely opt-out in that way.”

For Democratic State Representative Daneya Esgar, she’s excited about passing the out of network healthcare bill.

“We’ve tried to run this bill a number of times and it’s died in committee. This year it went through with lots of bi-partisan support.”

Another win for her – transportation funding.

“I was excited to bring forward and get passed a bill that brought an additional $100 million to transportation.”

For Governor Jared Polis, a big topic for him was education accomplishments. One of them – funding for free full-day kindergarten starting this fall.

“We also have 5,100 additional preschool slots for low-income families in Colorado…we froze our tuitions at our institutions of higher education so CU and CSU. Tuition will be flat.”

Also on his agenda – victories for Colorado’s healthcare.

“Lowering the cost of prescription drugs – we are very excited that the prescription drug importation bill that you probably heard us talk about before made it across the finish line…we are very excited by republicans and democrats in the legislature stepping up to accomplish a lot of these priorities that I ran on.”

As far as the 2020 session, some lawmakers say they’ll continue to work on things like education initiatives and bring those to the table next year.