Speaker Duran reflects on 2018 legislative session - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Speaker Duran reflects on 2018 legislative session

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'One of the most productive sessions I've ever seen,' that's what Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) is calling this legislative session, which ended on Wednesday last week. 

During the session, lawmakers agreed on bi-partisan bill dealing with transportation and education- both coming out of the legislature with proposals of unprecedented funding levels. 

Still, Duran admits there is more work to be done when it comes to some of the work they accomplished during the session. 

When it comes to education, Speaker Duran says there's more to do- she suggests moving to a ballot initiative for voters to approve some sort of funding mechanism for Colorado's schools. 

'I think we did everything in our power to invest an unprecedented amount of funding to go towards out schools, to make sure that students have the opportunity to be able to reach their full potential,' said Speaker Duran, 'that said, I think we do need to engage the people on a ballot initiative so there is adequate funding going towards education.'

One of the biggest conversations this session- sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Amid the #MeToo movement, Colorado lawmakers experienced their own challenges of disciplining members of the General Assembly. 

This resulted in the first expulsion in nearly a century of a Colorado lawmaker, Representative Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton). 

'I think that we have to make sure that politics never gets in the way of a just outcome and we took the issues head on in the house we also worked to hire an HR person and an outside expert to give us advice about some of the changes that are necessary,' said Speaker Duran.

Finding policies to create a safe work environment, is something the term-limited speaker believes can happen at the capitol. 

Still, there is one major disappointment from this session for the speaker: the failure of a bill that would hold state colleges and universities more accountable in enforcing Title IX policies. 

It would've established minimum requirements for policies, including reporting options, and procedures for investigations. 

Ultimately, the bill would have given more protections for victims of sexual misconduct. 

The bill had bi-partisan support, but still failed to make it in the Republican- controlled Senate. 

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