Transportation, PERA among five huge issues Colorado lawmakers face in session’s final 10 days |

Transportation, PERA among five huge issues Colorado lawmakers face in session’s final 10 days

Colorado state capitol.
Denver Post file photo

This session, more so than most years, Colorado lawmakers saved the best for last.

With 10 days left in the 2018 session when lawmakers return Monday, the most significant pieces of legislation remain unresolved because of partisan differences — and the decisions to come will affect everyone in the state.

The General Assembly’s to-do list includes: a measure to stabilize the crippled state pension system that covers 1 in 10 Coloradans; an effort to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into improving the state’s roads and highways; the renewal of a commission tasked with defending civil rights; two ballot measures that revamp how political districts are drawn; and more.

At the same time, Democrats in the state Senate are again pushing to expel a Republican lawmaker for harassment after new credible allegations surface. The Democrats’ action amplifies the partisan tension in the Capitol.

House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, downplayed concerns that lawmakers won’t finish their work, but she acknowledged that the “legislative session has been pretty intense from the beginning, … and it will be intense until the end.”

Often, lawmakers punt the toughest decisions to the end, but legislative leaders and lobbyists suggest the stakes for the final sprint this year are greater than usual.

The House and Senate filed more than 700 bills through Friday and more than 300 bills remain in play ahead of the May 9 adjournment, according to Colorado Capitol Watch, an independent bill-tracking service. Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed 178 so far.

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