Lawmakers kick off start of 2020 legislative session

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DENVER — Lawmakers convened at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday to signifying the beginning of the 2020 legislative session.

The legislative session officially began at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with time set aside right away to introduce new bills.

For the second year in a row, Democrats control both the house and the senate. Last year, democrats took the opportunity to make major changes, including passing the controversial Red Flag Law. Lawmakers voted to fund full-day kindergarten across Colorado.

This year, political experts are expecting Democrats to push forward with work that didn’t get done last year — paid family leave will likely be a top priority. Democrats didn’t get it done last session, but Governor Polis included paid family leave for state employees in his 2020 budget. If passed statewide, employers and employees would be taxed or charged a fee and in exchange, workers would be eligible to take paid time off for a family medical emergency like a sick parent or the birth of a child.

Another topic will likely be issues with RTD. It’s currently in crisis as it battles an operator shortage, declining ridership and increasing fares. Lawmakers may try to address changes to RTD this session.

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