Colorado Legislature

Colorado House Speaker KC Becker choked up Friday as she announced that a sweeping set of police reforms had passed with strong bipartisan support.

Then the sound of thunderous applause erupted in the House chamber as lawmakers advanced their response to several days of protests against police brutality.

DENVER -- A coalition of 135 Colorado organizations is urging state lawmakers to use all tools in their toolbox to blunt the most serious economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the biggest and most consequential battles of the 2020 legislative session is expected to start this week, once Democrats unveil their latest plan to create a statewide paid family leave program.

The bill's sponsors had to make some big concessions to try and get the measure passed this time around. A year ago, their last effort failed due to opposition from the business community and Gov. Jared Polis.

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Jesse Varner

After 13 hours of testimony, state lawmakers have rejected six bills from Republicans that were heavily criticized by members of the LGBTQ community. KDNK's Scott Franz has more.

One rural community in Colorado was so frustrated with high health insurance costs and government inaction that a few years ago, residents took matters into their own hands.

And their plan worked.

Locals in Summit County found a way around traditional insurance processes to lower local health care costs and save consumers an average of 20 percent on their monthly premiums.

Colorado's legislative session is just over two weeks old, and lawmakers have already introduced more than 270 bills and counting. With hundreds more bills expected to land in the coming weeks, here are some of the ones we are starting to watch at the state Capitol.

When Blondie's Diner closes around 9 p.m. and a table of hunters finish their green chili cheeseburgers and head back to their hotel, the town of Naturita feels a bit like a ghost town.

There are two new marijuana dispensaries still open late with green neon signs, but on a November night at the start of hunting season, not many customers are partaking.

The only sound punctuating through the cold evening is a semi-truck idling in the parking lot of the Rimrocker Hotel, its driver trying to stay warm.

Gov. Jared Polis recently outlined an ambitious agenda for lawmakers in 2020. He vowed to reduce health care costs, find a solution to the state's road funding woes and get more children into preschool. But some of the governor's priorities will prove to be contentious.

Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz sat down with the governor after his State of the State address to talk about some of the hot-button issues that are on the table this legislative session.

The opening days of Colorado's legislative session are typically jovial and largely free of partisan politics. The governor capitalized on that mood during his roughly hour-long speech. After an interruption from a heckler in the gallery shouting, "Ban fracking now!" Polis started with a recap of his first year in office.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

In the final days of Colorado’s legislative session, lawmakers are poised to move forward with changes to how workplace harassment complaints are handled at the Capitol.

After years of tension over expanded oil and gas drilling, including a deadly explosion that galvanized critics, Colorado is moving to tighten regulations on the booming industry. In a sweeping overhaul the governor is expected to sign, regulators will now have to consider public health, safety and the environment in decisions about permitting and local land use.

The state must still hammer out the details of how to implement the new law over the next year. But the impending changes are already fueling hope for some, and fear for others.

Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK

Perry Will is leaving Colorado Parks and Wildlife after 43 years to assume Bob Rankin's seat as representative for Colorado's 57th District, which includes Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Carbondale. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Will recently. Listen to the interview in three parts.

The highlights from Jared Polis' decade in the U.S. House of Representatives were downloaded onto a 120-gigabyte flash drive this month and delivered to the University of Colorado Boulder.

Archivists at the school are very excited about the gift.


Colorado’s Speaker of the House is calling on Democratic Representative Steve Lebsock to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. As Bente Birkeland reports, Lebsock’s chairmanship of the House Local Government Committee has temporarily been removed.