Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Hickenlooper set to deliver State of the State

IVAN MORENO Updated: January 10, 2013 at 12:00 am

DENVER — Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to talk about gun laws, the Aurora theater shootings, and the summer wildfires when he addresses lawmakers Thursday during his third State of the State speech.

The governor's office said he's also expected to talk about health care initiatives and the progress the state has made on economic development when he outlines his legislative priorities to lawmakers.

Hickenlooper unveiled a plan with lawmakers this week aimed at growing Colorado's high-tech industries through government grants, and last week he proposed expanding Medicaid coverage to about 160,000 adults with low incomes, saying it can be done by finding savings in the program. Republicans are skeptical of that claim.

Lawmakers will be listening to what he has to say on gun control. He said last month that it's time to have a debate on the issue, and he's outlined plans to expand mental health services in Colorado.

Hickenlooper's spokesman Eric Brown said the governor will also touch on lighter topics, like the Denver Broncos, who have playoff game coming up Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, and Aurora Fire Chief Mike Garcia will be among the guests. The theater shooting in the city this summer left 12 people dead and many others wounded.

Colorado also experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons in state history. Fires in near Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and near Evergreen destroyed hundreds of homes.

Lawmakers began the year's 120-day session on Wednesday, with party leaders delivering speeches outlining their priorities. This will be the first time during Hickenlooper's term that his party controls both legislative chambers.

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Find Ivan Moreno on Twitter: http://twitter.com/IvanJourno

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