FILE - Gov. Polis signs education bills

CO Gov. Jared Polis signs education bills into law.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is putting down the pen after signing the last set of bills following the end of the legislative session one month ago.

Polis signed a total of 454 bills into law, according to his office.

Democrats in the state, with control of both chambers, were able to broadly achieve most of their key policy goals during the legislative session.

Polis’s crowning achievement was signing a $175 million full-day kindergarten plan into law. The issue was a key campaign promise for the governor and garnered bipartisan support. 

Democrats also passed broad and mostly bipartisan criminal justice reforms signed into law by Polis.

Other issues proved more partisan for Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats pushed through a new local government minimum wage bill, aggressive green energy goals for the state and public utilities, oil and gas industry regulations, a controversial “red flag” gun control bill, and national popular vote legislation. All those bills were signed by Polis.

Several of those laws are being challenged by grassroots groups, in court, or potentially the ballot box.

The “red flag” law is being challenged in court, while petitions are being collected to put national popular vote on the ballot.

A new equal pay law, which small business groups say could be detrimental, and a law barring local law enforcement from complying with federal immigration detainer requests, which was criticized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are now on the books.

Democratic lawmakers were also successful in getting a question on the ballot asking voters to allow state government to keep tax refunds typically granted by Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Despite the successes, Democratic lawmakers hit several legislative bumps in the road on key issues. A late-session tobacco and nicotine tax proposal went belly-up thanks in part to Democrats, while a contentious inter-party debate over the death penalty led to legislation banning the practice from failing to pass.

Democrats also failed to pass rent control, and were forced to water-down bills regarding paid family leave and comprehensive sex education.

Polis vetoed five bills this year, three of which would have created more red tape for some occupations in the state.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.