Colorado lawmakers return to the Capitol on Jan. 10 to begin the annual legislative session. For term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper, he’ll soon be delivering his final state of the state address.
Here are highlights from statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland’s interview with him.
On his feelings going into his final legislative session as governor:
Gov. John Hickenlooper: “I’m kind of excited in a sense that I understand how the system works better than I used to and I see with more clarity some of the opportunities that are out there. And I also — I think I understand the legislators and appreciate the jobs they do a little better.”
On what the top priorities will be:
Hickenlooper: “I think we’ll see transportation and PERA. I hope we see a discussion on affordable housing. I think when you have a state that’s growing as rapidly as Colorado you can’t keep up on your affordable housing anywhere. And the local municipalities need some help. They’ve got to do a big chuck of it themselves. But I think transportation will be a big deal.”
On how the state should deal with recent sexual harassment allegations at the Capitol:
Hickenlooper: “There’s a cloud over the building in a way. But I think it’s resolvable. I think the General Assembly’s going to come together and they’re going to look at what is the right way to make sure that women — that all people — feel safe to speak out when they feel uncomfortable in their workplace.”
Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.