(Jan. 8) – Convening the House for the second session of the 69th General Assembly, Speaker Mark Ferrandino announced a three-pronged legislative agenda focusing on enhancing the economic security of all Coloradans; strengthening our education system; and speeding the recovery from the floods and wildfires the state suffered in 2013.
Speaker Ferrandino devoted much of his opening-day speech to the floods that ravaged Northern Colorado in September, and he made five flood-relief bills brought forward by the bipartisan Flood Disaster Study Committee the first to be introduced this session.
“Nothing less than the fullest possible recovery is acceptable to me, to the other 99 lawmakers in the General Assembly, to the people of the 24 impacted counties and, indeed, to the entire state of Colorado,” he said.
He addressed the need to address Colorado’s perennial, and worsening, wildfire problem, saying, “we can do more to promote fire safety and responsible development.”
The speaker called for bipartisan support for additional funding for educational reforms like flexible student count days, professional development for teachers and expanded programs for English language learners. He also noted that “reforms will not work and our schools will not get better if they are not adequately funded.”
He also called on members to promote families’ economic security – “ensuring that Coloradans not only have a shot at climbing the ladder, but have a foundation in place to stay on those higher rungs.”