Hickenlooper delivers final State of the State address

DENVER — Term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper will deliver his final State of the State address to the Legislature.

Hickenlooper is expected Thursday to urge lawmakers to take advantage of a better-than-usual budget outlook to make down payments on schools, public employee pensions, rural broadband and roads.

The Democrat’s address comes one week after he vigorously defended Colorado’s marijuana experiment after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new pot guidance to federal law enforcement.

Hickenlooper reluctantly accepted voters’ decision in 2012 to create the nation’s first recreational pot industry.

But he has insisted it be tightly regulated. That regulatory framework has become a highlight of his administration.

The former Denver mayor was elected in 2010 and narrowly defeated former Rep. Bob Beauprez in 2014’s GOP-dominant election.