© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KUNC is a member of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Breaking Down The Gov's State Of The State

Jim Hill

Governor John Hickenlooper has given his annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly. What were some of the highlights of his annual report on Colorado's prospects? What should we expect in the year ahead?

We asked some of the reporters that work daily in the capitol building for their thoughts.

In his own words, Governor Hickenlooper is describing his second term as a "pivot point." That's a nod to what has been frequently talked about in both chambers now that there is split legislative control. In his State of the State Address Hickenlooper intoned that "collaboration has been the not-so-secret sauce of our state's success." As the 120 day session rolls on, and bills are just starting to get introduced, it has yet to be seen if that spirit of collaboration will be able to take hold.

In the roundtable is Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal and Ivan Moreno of The Associated Press.

What Stood Out In The Governor's Address?

Ed Sealover, Denver Business Journal

"The caution that he took in the way he delivered the speech. Hickenlooper has delivered some of the boldest state of the state's I've ever heard before. Back in 2012, he even called for the end of homelessness in Colorado. This year [2015], he really didn't put forward a lot of specific policy plans."

Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press

"His state of the state speech did not really have many controversial things in it. He talked about how the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent compared to just over 9 percent when he took office."

On Fiscal Constitutional Conflicts Between TABOR, Amendment 23 And Gallagher

Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press

"He really just referenced it briefly. You know, we're going to have to deal with this, but didn't really call for any legislative action on it"

"Going back to TABOR. Maybe he is looking at the long view of things. Maybe he realizes that the refunds that are expected to happen this year; that there's really no way to go to the voters and ask to keep the money this year. But he has another four years in office and so he has a while to, again, if he wants to, form this campaign to try to tackle these constitutional restraints the state faces."

Ed Sealover, Denver Business Journal

"He made this speech with an eye toward the fact that he's dealing with a split legislature, that if you look at the bills that were introduced in the first week, clearly have very different ideas of what they want they want to do with government."

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.
Related Content