The pomp and circumstance of the first full week of session comes to a close today with the State of the Judiciary speech being the last in a long list of addresses to government officials and the public. On Tuesday, the new governor was sworn in and his “Blue Sneaker Inauguration” ball was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Cyndi Lauper and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats performed while Governor Jared Polis (D) and the state’s First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, thanked supporters who were celebrating Polis’s election victory and his vision of a “Colorado for All.” How his vision will gain traction is a question that many political observers want the answer to and many are asking, “How will these priorities be funded?”
In his State of the State speech Thursday, Gov. Polis embraced Democratic priorities that were carried over from his campaign: creating a government-run health care system, finding a way for the state to import drugs from Canada, moving towards 100 percent renewable energy over the next twenty years, and funding full day kindergarten for all Coloradans.
Specifics on those priorities were not shared, but legislators in the House and Senate are picking up the gauntlet and trying to drill down into how these big picture ideas may take form through legislation. Sen. Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver) is one of those members who has already introduced a bill to allow the state to apply for a waiver from the federal government and import some drugs from Canadian pharmacies.
After the next introduction deadline, which is today, we can also expect to see more bills regulating oil and gas and addressing business mandates and workforce needs. Now that the governor has released his last round of picks for department heads, committees will begin to meet more frequently in order to confirm those individuals and begin committee hearings for bills.
Governor Polis (center) addresses the General Assembly in his first State of the State speech this week