Say this much for the legislative session that ended on Friday: There was rarely a dull moment. With Democrats in control of both the Colorado Senate and the House of Representatives, and with the backing of a Democrat in the governor’s office, they were able to pass most of what can be described as an ambitious agenda.
Pueblo’s legislative leaders were among those who had their share of successes. Senate President Leroy Garcia and Rep. Bri Buentello, for example, were sponsors of a bill that will expand an opioid treatment program to more counties in Colorado. Buentello also was a sponsor of legislation that will create a grant program aimed at giving ninth graders help they need to stay in school and graduate. And Rep. Daneya Esgar shepherded a bill that will prevent medical patients from being charged out-of-network insurance expenses without their knowledge or consent.
Gov. Jared Polis also had a string of legislative victories during the session. His signature effort to provide state funding for full-day kindergarten in every school district throughout Colorado won approval. So did his plans to create a “re-insurance” program that will provide funding to health insurance providers to reduce the costs of some of their most expensive claims. Polis told The Pueblo Chieftain editorial board Saturday that the re-insurance program should lower the costs of premiums for people living in the Pueblo area by about 10 percent.