Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams greeted lawmakers and other dignitaries today as the 2018 legislative session got underway.
“Opening day is a great Colorado tradition, and I enjoy talking to the lawmakers,” Williams said. “It’s always good to discuss how we can work together for Colorado and its citizens.”
Williams made stops in the legislative leaders’ offices before heading to the House floor to mingle with Republicans and Democrats, meet new friends and greet old ones, including Tom Kennedy, the father of Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. Tom Kennedy and Williams practiced law at the same time in Colorado Springs.
Speaking of lawyering, at one point Williams and Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, were engaged in a lengthy conversation on the House floor.
“I never knew before, but Wayne used to practice at the law firm where I practice now,” Gray said. “We talked about how he used to practice with some of the people I still work with today.
“We have 725 days left together, and as the late, great, Muhammad Ali said, ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count,'” Hickenlooper said.
I loved covering the Colorado legislature, first for the Rocky Mountain News and then for The Denver Post (except for some of those hearings or debates that never seemed to end).
My first session was in 2000 where the hottest committee was House Finance. Every lawmaker, it seemed, had an idea of how to cut taxes to reduce that billion-dollar surplus. Yes, billion with a B. Such heady times, followed by such hard times.
Eventually the excitement of the opening days leads to exhaustion, frustration and drama.
“Often referred to as Gold Dome High School, the Capitol is a petri dish for hurt feelings, dust-ups and behavior lawmakers often regret,” I wrote in 2011, after the latest blow up.
When May finally rolls around, there’s relief and a tinge of sadness. That building really is so special, the people who work there — the lawmakers, the lobbyists, the staff, the janitors, the reporters — they all make it hum.