Gov. Jared Polis celebrated the final day he had to sign bills approved during this year's session of the Colorado Legislature by signing no bills on Tuesday.
That's because he had already dealt with all of them in a marathon of bill signings over the past week.
In that time, the new governor signed 119 bills into law, and issued five vetoes.
"Ninety-five percent of the bills that reached my desk were bipartisan," Polis said. "We signed a total of 454 bills, five vetoes and one bill that didn't need signing. We also had 42 bill-signing events across the state. We really got to celebrate a lot of the bipartisan legislative achievements of this session with the Republican and Democratic sponsors."
Polis said his administration achieved much of the goals it had set when it comes to dealing with health care, adding that much more needs to be done.
One of those measures, which Polis signed on Friday, would create one of several new panels aimed at looking at various ways to lower the cost of medical care. That measure, HB1176, calls for a special task force to compare the existing medical insurance system with two others, including a universal system.
"We were very focused on saving people money on health care and full-day kindergarten and expanding early childhood education," Polis said. "It's really all a work in progress. We want to save people money on their living costs, health care being a big one. We have a lot more work to accomplish. The legislative piece might be done, but our work has just begun."
Two of the bills that Polis signed place measures before voters on this year's fall ballot.
One, HB1257, asks voters to allow the state to permanently retain all revenues above what the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights allows. Under a companion bill also signed by the governor, HB1258, that money would be evenly divided between transportation, public schools and higher education.
While the Democratic sponsors of the measure — House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder, Rep. Julie McCluskie of Dillon and Sen. Lois Court of Denver — touted the ballot measure, to be known as Proposition CC, as having bipartisan support, it really only had one Republican, Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson.
All argued, however, that the average taxpayer wouldn't see much in the way of refunds anyway. According to the state's last revenue forecast issued in March, state revenues are only expected to exceed the cap by about $64.8 million, money that under current law goes to fund the homestead property tax exemption.
"When times are good, we have a responsibility to invest in the things we care about most: public schools, higher education and transportation," McCluskie said. "These bills give voters a say and sends the money to the systems that are crucial to Colorado's future economic success."
The other measure that is to be on the fall ballot did have wide bipartisan support. It would legalize sports betting in the state, but has already drawn opposition.
Under the proposal, which will appear on the ballot as Proposition DD, a limited number of licenses would be issued, going only to the owners of casinos in the state's three gambling towns of Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek. Those owners would receive "master licenses," and could contract with license sports betting operators, including those operating online.
"(The measure) particularly targets the poor, is rooted in the sin of greed and it leads to the breakdown of the family," said Jeff Hunt, director of the right-leaning Centennial Institute. "As we have seen with legal marijuana and other vices, the expected revenues never match the social costs. Our state will be much worse off. We can stop this problem before it does damage."
The measure also would impose a 10 percent tax on all profits.