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Colorado lawmakers convened Jan. 4, and hit the ground running as Democrats prepared to wield their trifecta of power in the state House, Senate and governor's mansion.
Legislators introduced dozens of bills on topics such as health care, voting rights and education. Among the attention-grabbers so far: A Democrat-led Senate bill to create a public health care option, a bipartisan House bill to provide an income tax credit for qualifying early childhood educators, and a Senate bill that would require state electoral votes to go to the winner of the national popular election, part of a nationwide effort across state legislatures.
Gov. Jared Polis was sworn in Jan. 8, along with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and the other statewide elected officials, all Democrats. Advocates for various causes were determined to get a word in early in the process — including an anti-fracking coalition that delivered a petition to Polis' office the day before his inauguration demanding increased protections from oil and gas development. It was signed by 180 organizations and businesses and 5,000 individuals. A nonprofit led by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Arizona, aimed to pressure legislators on gun safety, announcing that its survey results in Colorado showed 72 percent of voters were more likely to back a state lawmaker if they supported certain firearm safety measures, including extreme risk protection orders.