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2023 legislative session begins at the Colorado State Capitol

Lucas Brady Woods
Lawmakers assembled for the 74th General Assembly at the Colorado State Capitol on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol on Monday for the start of the 2023 legislative session with Democrats holding strong majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Democratic House Speaker Julie McCluskie said her party wants to use this session to protect marginalized communities.

“I want us all to recognize,” she said in her opening statement, “not only the historic diversity of the body, but also the importance of centering policies that are anti-racist, and which combat anti-semitism and hatred targeted at Colorado’s LGBTQ community.”

McCluskie is also the first female speaker of the house from the Western Slope, and for the first time, lawmakers at the statehouse are majority women. She also said Democrats will work to reduce housing and healthcare costs, reduce gun violence and protect reproductive rights.

Republican minority leader Mike Lynch urged Democrats to listen to all Coloradans, even those that didn’t vote for them.

“The voices you may not agree with, but are still there to be heard in each one of your districts,” said Lynch. “I ask only one thing from you, the supermajority, let those voices be heard.”

He said Republican priorities include limited government, lower taxes and school choice. Both parties also want better management of the state’s water.

I’m the Statehouse Reporter at KUNC, which means I help make sense of the latest developments at the Colorado State Capitol. I cover the legislature, the governor, and government agencies.