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Kevin Grantham opens Colorado Senate with speech urging bipartisanship

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham struck an optimistic, bipartisan chord as he kicked off the 2018 legislative session Wednesday, announcing that his Republican caucus would immediately introduce a significant bill to fund transportation.

“Our willingness to engage one another has diminished,” said Grantham, a Cañon City Republican who is term-limited, despite anxiety in the Capitol’s halls over how much can get done in an election year with a split legislature. “Today is a day of deciding for our state: Shall we fall to (the) partisanship and constant suspension that is Washington D.C. politics? … Let us work together to solve the issues that matter most to Coloradans.”

The transportation funding bill would commit roughly $300 million from the state’s forecasted revenue growth (some of which is a consequence of the recently passed GOP federal-tax overhaul) to roads and put a measure before voters in November asking them to issue bonds of up to $3.5 billion.

House Democrats, though, have stopped short of committing to a dollar amount, insisting that transportation must be balanced with other pressing needs, such as education.

That means despite the hopeful tone of Grantham’s speech, the difference of opinion on road funding alone is likely to set up early friction between the GOP and Democrats.

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