In Colorado’s upper legislative chamber everything is different and everything has stayed the same.
For years, Democrats have held the reins of power at the Capitol, and Republicans have exerted what influence they could by acting as the loyal opposition — mainly by blocking bills and offering alternative policy narratives. Most observers expect that arrangement to continue, including many members of the Senate, which this year, same as last year, remains the lone center of legislative power controlled by Republicans.
But November’s surprise national election results, which gave Republicans full control in Washington, have shaken expectations in Colorado. Sources on the right and the left at the Capitol, still reeling from the the wild 2016 election season, avoided making anything but the most general predictions about the coming legislative session — except to say that the jolt delivered by voters might just work to shake up battle lines, start conversations, focus lawmakers on solutions and result in productive lawmaking.