Mar 14, 2010 7:14 PM by Matt Stafford

Plenty of work to go in Denver

The legislative session is halfway through, but lawmakers say a lot of work is still ahead. Today lawmakers in Colorado Springs are talking about how to move forward.

Springs' Democrats are saying the budget and education funding will be the big topics over the second half of the legislative session.

"The same old tried and true solutions aren't enough," Rep. Michael Merrifield, (D) - Colorado Springs. "We're going to have to find new ways to save and new ways to invest."

Democratic lawmakers speaking out in Colorado Springs on Sunday say they get the feeling everyone at the capitol thinks we need to cut, they just at times disagree with the other side as to where to cut from.

"You do it across the aisle when and if you can, and when you can't, you don't," explains Senate Majority Leader John Morse, a Democrat from Colorado Springs.

"We haven't been able to come to the table, quite frankly, on most of these issues," says a Republican Senator, Dave Schultheis, of Colorado Springs.

Work at this session has been difficult for senator Schultheis and his colleagues. They're having trouble with the strong Democratic numbers in both chambers.

"It's basically either their way or the highway," Schultheis says. "This has been the most difficult session of my 10 years, without question."

So, even though the two parties look to put extra focus on the same issues, education and the budget, different ideas are saving them a lot of work for the second half of this session, possibly a lot of frustration as well.

"Its especially aggravating in a political year, because while people want us to cut, they don't want us to cut them," Morse says.

For now though, both sides agree that they do need to cut, so that's a start.

"The budget issue is the elephant in the room," Schultheis explains. "I mean that is the big issue that everybody is struggling with."

The struggle will likely continue.

The legislature will run into the middle of May. Party caucuses for this election cycle are Tuesday, March 14th.



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