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2020 legislative session underway

Posted at 5:38 PM, Jan 08, 2020

COLORADO — After an eventful 2019 session, Colorado lawmakers are back to work for 2020.

With full Democratic control from the 2018 election, last year's session included tense moments between parties.

This year, Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) is hoping to change the course and work efficiently with his Republican counterparts.

"Will it take a lot of work? yes. Will it take collaboration? absolutely." Garcia said.

Collaboration is likely going to be key as Democrats hope to pass some big items including a public option for health care and paid family and medical leave.

Paid leave came up last session, and ultimately became a study. It's something lawmakers on both sides say they're going to be looking at comprises on how to fund any kind of program that comes out of this session.

"I'm curious to see what compromises our sponsors come up with," said Senator Dennis Hisey (R-El Paso County).

With Proposition CC failing in November, lawmakers are also going to be looking at where the money comes from for some of the big items on the agenda. The ballot initative would have allowed lawmakers to permanently retain tax refunds under the Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR) and use the money for schools and transportation.

The failure of Prop CC was considered a win for many Republicans who supported an opposition effort.

Democrats are now looking at how they fund high priorities such as roads and education without the additional money they had hoped voters would approve.