A selection of comments on the 73rd session of the Colorado General Assembly:
Secretary of State Jena Griswold:
"As states across the country erect barriers to voting, I am proud that Colorado remains dedicated to voting access and security. From making it easier for all Coloradans to understand their ballot through the establishment of a multilingual election hotline to ranked choice voting and election security grants, the bills passed this session help further ensure that Colorado elections remain the nation’s gold standard."
Colorado Republican Party chair Kristi Burton Brown:
"People across our state are transforming their frustration and anger at Jared Polis and his Boulder elites into effective action. Our people are already working on reaching voters at the precinct level, recruiting great local candidates, and forming teams that — together — will talk early to voters about the issues and ideas they care about. The Republican plan for Colorado is a plan for a better future."
Morgan Carroll, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party:
“In the face of a global pandemic, Democrats in the state legislature stepped up to lead Colorado’s recovery. While Republicans seemed more interested in obstruction tactics and stunts, Democrats took the lead on historic investments into Colorado’s present and future, passing consequential legislation that will support working families and small businesses all across the state.”
Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder:
"After a touch-and-go start to the year (a pandemic and a few riots will do that), we had the great joy of working under the new federal leadership of President Biden. With determination, relief and great hope, we got to work to pull Colorado out of the pandemic, and we set our sights on recovery.
"Recovery meant getting vaccines in arms, loosening public health measures as it became safe to do so, and building Colorado back stronger than it was before the pandemic. Because we knew that returning to 'normal' wasn't an option. We needed to come out of the pandemic more just and more equitable than before."
Gov. Jared Polis:
“I want to congratulate the Colorado General Assembly on this historic legislative session. Together, we are powering the Colorado comeback by jump starting our local economies, revitalizing main streets across the state, modernizing our transportation system, saving Coloradans money on health care, expanding our parks and beautiful outdoor spaces, tackling climate change, expanding access to preschool for all Colorado kids, improving mental and behavioral health services, and opening up affordable housing opportunities, just to name a few.
"These last few months have been some of the most productive on record, all while responding to a global pandemic and getting vaccines into arms across our state. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working to implement these landmark pieces of legislation, helping Colorado recover faster and stronger than ever before.”
Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute:
"I have nearly 30 years of political activism under my belt, fighting on the state and local level to keep Colorado, well, Colorado.
"Because of this experience, I feel qualified to make the following statement: The 2021 legislative session has been by far the most damaging to our personal freedom and economic prosperity of any legislative session."
Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association:
“This year, the 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association really stepped up and fought for public education like we’ve never fought before. Our advocacy elevated educator voice, which reverberated throughout the halls of the state Capitol and the Governor’s office, pushing legislators and the Governor to make policy and fiscal decisions that truly benefit students and educators and public education is in better shape now than it was on Jan. 12 because of it.”
Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon:
"The Colorado Option will do a lot of good for Coloradans —struggling hospitals will be reimbursed at higher rates, insurance premiums will be lowered, issues of health equity will be addressed, and affordable, quality health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses in every county across the state.
"Every Coloradan deserves access to affordable health care. While HB21-1232, the Colorado Option, isn't a cure-all for the problems in our state's health care system, we can't wait any longer to address the crisis. Affordability, the key determinant of uninsured rates, must be addressed and this bill and soon-to-be law is a major step forward for our state."
Healthier Colorado executive director Jake Williams:
"Colorado is about to deliver one of the most transformational health care reforms in the country. From lower premiums for families and small businesses to access for people regardless of documentation status, Colorado is leading the nation to deliver on the promise that everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care.”
Jesse Mallory, state director of Americans for Prosperity:
"The #coleg loves them some fees. Lost count of how many they passed this year."
"The end of the statewide eviction moratorium is right around the corner and has yet to be extended. On the bright side – CO has made history with housing legislation this year including the passing of SB21-173."
Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative:
“We hear daily from many Coloradans who are struggling to afford health care and coverage. This bill will help them afford and access the care they need. By implementing a standardized plan structure with lower out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and copays, more Coloradans will be able to get the care they need through the more affordable Colorado Option plan. HB1232 controls the underlying costs of care, holds the health care industry accountable, and makes fundamental advances to address racial health disparities that persist.”
Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail and congressional challenger:
"I will gladly compare my record of getting things done for Colorado as a State Senator with my opponent Lauren Boebert’s record of hyping up conspiracy theories and obstructing economic relief for her constituents. Believe me — that’s a conversation I’m more than ready to have."
Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton
"Teacher pay in CO is disturbingly low. Was an amazing privilege to work with educators to get this bill passed. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a sure thing and I want to thank all that worked on this to pull this back from the brink and get it passed."
Steamboat Springs Chief Cory Christensen, president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police:
“Colorado law enforcement shares the goal of addressing racial and social disparities in our criminal justice system. As we work to ensure equity, these changes cannot come at the cost of community safety. We commend lawmakers who prioritized public safety as they considered some well-intended but dangerous legislation.”
Kristi Brown of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States:
“Cocktails to-go have proved to be a vital economic lifeline for hospitality businesses across the state, and now, Coloradans are one step closer to enjoying cocktails to-go for four more years. Colorado businesses have been hit particularly hard, and extending cocktails to-go will provide increased stability for the state’s restaurants and bars while increasing convenience for consumers. We thank the legislature for passing this bill and urge Governor Polis to sign this measure and extend cocktails to-go in Colorado.”
Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising State Action:
"Thank you @Dlesgar for admitting SB 293 is to preempt our ballot issue. That really helps our legal case!"
Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association:
“Alcohol to go is win-win for the people of Colorado, who overwhelmingly approve of it, and for restaurants, who need it as they work to recover following more than a year of pandemic-driven disruptions to business. Passing this measure was a political no-brainer. Being able to sell alcohol beverages for takeout and delivery has been a lifeline for the Colorado restaurant industry, which lost $3 billion in revenue in 2020 alone. Allowing alcohol to go will be instrumental to alleviating the gravest economic crisis the restaurant industry has faced in living memory.”
Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition:
"Let's hope the police radio encryption provision in HB 21-1250 leads to agreements between agencies and news organizations so that journalists can once again hear about crimes and hazardous situations in real time."
Water for Colorado Coalition:
“We are thrilled by the unanimous approval of $20 million to support critical state water priorities, and applaud the Colorado General Assembly for their continued prioritization of water conservation needs. These funds will bolster ongoing water projects and programs and pave the way for new grants, allowing the state to increase resilience to climate change, safeguard flowing rivers, and support thriving communities. We look forward to working with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Basin Roundtables, and local communities as these funds are distributed to ensure that our rivers and water continue to meet the needs of all who rely on them.”
Jason Hopfer, lobbyist for JLH Public Affairs:
"After a very long session, cheers to being done."