Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper described this year’s legislative session as “tempestuous” and challenged reports of “partisanship” during the annual Politics and Pints event on May 10 at the Westin Westminster.
“This year the session was a little more tempestuous than last year,” Hickenlooper said. “But it was also not as partisan as people reported.”
The event, sponsored by the North Metro Chamber of Commerce, was an opportunity for the community to hear from the governor and ask questions about particular legislative bills and other state concerns.
Hickenlooper said one of the hardest parts of this year’s session was getting people to agree on the facts.
He noted gun safety as the most decisive issue, one that he dedicated a lot of time working on.
The governor quoted some 2012 statistics regarding universal backgrounds checks. He said a total of 2,500 violent people were stopped from buying guns including:
• 133 people accused or convicted of homicide;
• 133 people accused or convicted of sexual assault;
• 640 people accused or convicted of burglary;
• 420 people who had a judicial restraining order against them.
“I have put a lot of time and effort into universal background checks and yet could not get that into a by-partisan bill no matter how hard I worked,” he said.
Hickenlooper also touched on the future of Colorado in terms of business opportunities.
He said Colorado is the most collaborative community in the country and one way to help the state continue to grow is by making Colorado “a beacon for young entrepreneurs.” He said the state needs to focus on partnering with entrepreneurs and be the best partner businesses can have.
“If we do a good enough job at supporting everybody, businesses will tell their friends and they will bring more to Colorado,” he said. “We want to make sure these companies become the most successful business in their industry.”
Before closing his remarks, the governor also touched on education and the oil industry in Colorado.
He asked the audience for their support going forward and thanked the chamber for hosting the Politics and Pints event.