Capitol Update: Pomp, circumstance, and new political dynamics at the Capitol

Written by: Riley Kitts
Date Posted: January 13, 2023

The 2023 legislative session is open for business! On Jan. 9, the 74th Colorado General Assembly convened for its 120-day session. The first week was filled with the typical pomp and circumstance, with opening day speeches from legislative leadership, the inauguration of Gov. Polis for his second term, and the delivery of the semi-annual state-of-the-judiciary address. In a newly established tradition, leaders of the two federally recognized Tribes in Colorado, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, both gave speeches to the legislature on issues facing their communities in southwest Colorado.

Legislative business is already underway. The Joint Budget Committee and House and Senate Committees heard from several state agencies on their legislative and budget priorities, which include school funding, health, and housing affordability. Committees will start hearing bills next week.

We will be paying attention to some overarching themes throughout the next few months. Democrats now hold a 46-19 supermajority in the House and a 23-12 majority in the Senate. How will they handle these increased majorities? How will the Republican minorities respond to this level of control and influence the legislative agenda? What will the governor try to tackle at the start of his second and final term? Finally, how will the legislature prioritize policies in a year when the state’s budget is expected to be very tight? The Children’s Campaign is eager to navigate these dynamics as we work to ensure that Colorado kids and families are a priority for the legislature.

Follow the Children’s Campaign on social media for updates from the 2023 legislative session.

Riley Kitts

About Riley Kitts

Riley Kitts serves as the Government Affairs Director for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Riley has spent several years in Colorado politics, working both inside and out of the State Capitol. Riley spent three legislative sessions with the Colorado Department of Human Services spearheading the agency’s legislative and budgetary agendas. Prior to that, he spent several years with the Colorado House Democrats serving in various roles from Executive Assistant to the Speaker to Field and Outreach Directors. He earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.