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Hickenlooper Speaks To 2014 Legislative Agenda

Bente Birkeland
The Governor addresses the media Thursday looking ahead to the 2014 legislative session.

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

Easier said than done with lawmakers are coming off of a tumultuous off session.

Three Democrats are no longer in office over their support for stricter gun laws. The state also grappled with devastating floods and wildfires. Hickenlooper says he hopes all that turmoil will help build a sense of community.

“Those kinds of natural disasters have a tendency to bring people together,” said Hickenlooper. “Look I know it’s an election year. I’m not blind. But you need to start with big goals otherwise nothing will happen.”

The Governor doesn’t expect his party to pass new gun laws, but he also doesn’t want to repeal the gun control measure already in place. He also isn’t convinced Colorado needs new laws in the wake of the recent shooting at Arapahoe high school.

“I’m not sure we should be telling schools how to secure their buildings. Do we want armed guards in every school? Lets see what schools think,” said Hickenlooper.

The Governor does say he wants to make Colorado a more business friendly state. Another top goal is at the customer service level, reducing lines and wait times at driver’s license offices.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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