Facebook Twitter

Wednesday Churn: The gavels fall


What’s churning:

What’s formally called the “First Regular Session of the Sixty-eighth General Assembly” convenes today when the House and Senate are gaveled to order at 10 a.m., starting a run that has to end by May 11.

The House, with a 33-32 Republican majority, has a new look this year, including a significantly different education committee. Democrats still hold the Senate with a 20-15 margin, and the Senate Ed member lineup is much the same as it was last year. (See this story for background on education committee members in both houses.)

School and higher education budgets will again be a key issue, but many in the education world also are hoping 2011 will be a year without major education reform legislation. (See our detailed preview of education issues in this year’s session. Or, download the PDF version.)

Today will be dominated by speechmaking, ceremonial stuff and backslapping. Thursday’s top event will be Gov. John Hickenlooper’s first State of the State speech at 11 a.m. in the House chambers.

Real legislative work gets rolling next week, after enough bills have been introduced to give committees some work to do. This year House Ed will meet Monday afternoons starting at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday mornings after floor adjournment. Senate Ed also has that Wednesday morning slot and then will meet Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m.

If you’re interested in today’s festivities but don’t want to slog downtown and sit in those uncomfortable gallery seats, you can watch the House here or the Senate here.

What’s on tap:

The State Board of Education today gets a jump on the legislature, gathering at 8:15 a.m. for the swearing in of three members for new terms, including returning member Angelika Schroeder, D-2nd District, and newcomer Republicans Paul Lundeen of the 5th District and Debora Scheffel of the 6th.

The board has a full day of work scheduled, including three rule-making hearings and a charter appeal case, Janus International Academy vs. Denver Public Schools. The board also meets Thursday. Agenda

Good reads from elsewhere: