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Lawmakers want transportation reform as Colorado legislative session begins

DENVER -- State lawmakers arrived back in Denver on Wednesday to start the 71st General Assembly session.

The first order of business was the swearing in of lawmakers by the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.

“For the new lawmakers I would say take time to enjoy the ceremony and remember how important your job is,” said State Rep. Jessie Danielson, a veteran of the process.

History was also made as the first Latina speaker assumed office. Speaker Crisanta Duran represents Denver.

Duran didn’t waste much time getting down to business, focusing on transportation reform.

“Anyone who has been on I-25 at rush hour anywhere from Fort Collins to Pueblo knows that the need is real,” Duran said during her opening speech.

House Republican leader Patrick Neville seemed open to reform but emphasized “We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”

Already lawmakers in both chambers are making news.

Republican senators announced a plan to repeal the Colorado Health Care exchange, while Duran announced a bipartisan compromise had been reached on construction defect legislation. The measure would address insurance rates for developers.

“By targeting insurance rates we’re addressing the problem without reducing consumers’ right to protect the property that they spent their life’s savings to buy,” she said.

Hundreds of other issues will be discussed during the 120-day session. The governor’s State of the State address is Thursday.