(Jan. 10) – Speaker Crisanta Duran kicked off the 2018 legislative session this morning by calling on the Colorado House of Representatives to be “a barrier to the forces of division” and to maintain the momentum of a string of legislative achievements in 2017.

“Our task over the next 120 days,” she said in her opening day speech, “is to preserve and enhance our Colorado way of life, which is so different from the discord and dysfunction emanating from Washington DC.”

Recalling the significant bipartisan successes of the 2017 session, she said, “We proved that we don’t just talk about not being like Washington DC. We proved by our actions that here in Colorado, we can work together to get things done.”

Addressing recent sexual harassment allegations roiling the state government, Speaker Duran called on her fellow legislators to work to “reform the culture of the Capitol.”

“The hurdles of harassment and discrimination faced by women, people of color and people with disabilities should have been leveled a long time ago,” she said. “Let our actions show that the intolerable will be tolerated no more.”

Other highlights of Speaker Duran’s opening day speech:

  • She addressed issues surrounding Colorado’s population growth and economic expansion, calling for action to control spiraling housing costs and declaring, “Transportation funding is a priority. Our Colorado students are also a priority.”
  • She called for measures to strengthen PERA, the state pension fund, but said it would be unfair to balance PERA “solely on the backs of hard-working public servants” or by “slashing cost-of-living adjustments for retired state employees.”
  • She highlighted a package of bills to address the opioid epidemic sweeping Colorado and the nation, marshaling the expertise of lawmakers, public health officials, first responders, law enforcement and the pharmaceutical companies that developed “these wildly addictive and highly profitable drugs.”

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