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Election gives Democrats veto-proof majority in Colorado State House

Election gives Democrats veto-proof majority in State House
Election gives Democrats veto-proof majority in State House 03:36

The state legislative landscape looks very different after Tuesday's election.

Democrats will not only keep control of both chambers at the state capitol after Tuesday's election, but they will also have a veto-proof majority in the House and will be close to a veto-proof majority in the Senate.  

From education policy affecting your kids to tax policy affecting your budget, the legislature has a big impact on our everyday lives and Democrats have their biggest and most liberal majority in Colorado decades.

"I think this is very empowering to the Democratic left and Governor Polis should be very nervous about this," says CBS News Colorado Republican analyst Dick Wadhams.

He says just as the far left has influenced the Democratic agenda in congress, it will do the same in the legislature: "I could see these people telling the Democratic Speaker of the House, 'you're not going to get anything done without us.'"

CBS News Colorado Democratic analyst Mike Dino says the left wing of the party won't be in control: "Let's just be clear, those 46 Democrats in the House and 23 in the Senate are not uber liberals. There are some very moderate folks and they will be the majority voting on the Democratic side."

Dino says Polis will also temper the more liberal elements in the Democratic party: "He's certainly shown in the last few years that he determines his own path and I'll keep keep repeating it, but his policies have been good politics and I think he's going to stay on the path of moderation."

Governor Polis has vetoed 16 bills since he took office. His spokesperson says, "Coloradans can count on Governor Polis and Democrats to continue to govern with common sense and to deliver results to lower the cost of healthcare and housing and to make communities safer."

But Wadhams says progressives could make it difficult for Polis, especially if he runs for president: "I can see anti-police, anti-law enforcement legislation going through putting criminals back on streets." 

Dino disagrees, "I certainly see people in the legislature that have just gotten elected that may try to move some things to the left. I don't think they're going to succeed. The governor has $42 million in his budget to crack down harder on crime and he's going to be very intent on trying to make sure that stays in the budget." 

Money, Dino says, will also moderate legislation: "We're going to see almost 700,000 people fall off Medicaid when the health emergency ends in January and we've already seen rental assistance stop. So no matter how progressive an agenda somebody wants to push, there's not the money there to pay for it."  

As the dust settles from Tuesday's election, some are already speculating on what the results mean for next year's mayoral elections, "We might be looking back on glory days of Michael Hancock as the last conservative mayor of Denver compared to what getting."

Already, 14 people are running for Denver mayor and six more are expected to jump in. Aurora and Colorado Springs also have mayoral elections next year. Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the House will elect leaders for the upcoming session, including the Speaker of the House. That will yield insight on what kind of Democratic agenda to expect next year.

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