DENVER — Colorado’s state Legislature isn’t changing hands between parties, but both the House and Senate have elected new bosses because of term limits.
House Democrats chose Rep. Crisanta Duran of Denver to be speaker on Thursday, and Senate Republicans chose Sen. Kevin Grantham of Canon City to serve as president.
Duran is the first Latina to serve as speaker.
Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and Democrats control the House. The Democrats expanded their majority in the House, most likely adding three new seats to the three they already had.
In the Senate, where Republicans have a one-seat majority, Republican Sen. Laura Woods lost her re-election bid to former Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, a Democrat. However, Republicans made up for that by electing Kevin Priola over Democrat Jenise May in an Adams County Senate district currently held by Democrat Mary Hodge, who didn’t seek re-election.
The ruling parties needed to choose new leaders because the previous president and speaker are retiring because of term limits.
Both of the new leaders have previously served on Colorado’s budget-writing committee, the Joint Budget Committee. That means they have specialized knowledge of how Colorado manages its pocketbook.
Budget issues are likely to take up a lot of time this session, as the governor’s budget envisions cuts across several areas.