DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) — As Colorado wraps up its legislative session this week, Republicans and Democrats disagree on what made it historic.
In the West Foyer of the Colorado State Capitol Thursday, leaders were proud of the progress Colorado has made recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year's history definitely made us. We did the best we could with a once in a 100-year pandemic,” said Colorado House Speaker Alec Garnett. “Looking back on this session, we definitely made history.”
Gov. Jared Polis went on to commend several specific bills passed through the legislature by Democrats.
“The other big issue I applaud the legislature on is saving people money…in so many ways and so many different bills,” said Gov. Polis. “Whether it’s in healthcare, with the Colorado Option, a prescription drug affordability board, and prescription drug importation from other countries than just Canada.”
Because of the Democrat majority, many of the major bills this session passed with little to no Republican support. Republican Sen. Paul Lundeen represents District 9 in El Paso County.
He opposed both the Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board bill and the Standardized Health Benefit Plan bill, better known as the Colorado Option. Both passed through the General Assembly and will likely become law.
“This session was historic in the fact that Democrats are going through a process of reinventing Colorado in a number of ways instead of supporting Coloradans who are asking them to do things,” said Lundeen.
The Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board bill creates a prescription drug affordability board that will set a maximum price for prescriptions. The other bill is a cost-cutting health insurance plan. Amended from its original form, Sen. Lundeen says it will require health insurance providers to drop plan prices by 15% within the coming years.
“This is the first step on a bad path," said Lundeen. "This is the first step that will lead us ultimately toward government-run healthcare.”
Both parties can agree on one thing. These past few months working around the clock were much needed in order. to move a backlog of bills that had piled up after the 2020 session was cut short.
“This really was one of the most productive and consequential legislative sessions in state history," said Majority Leader Sen. Stephen Fenberg.