Colorado returns to split-party legislative rule

Colorado Democrats emerged from the 2014 elections battered and bruised. They lost the state Senate for the first time in 10 years and have a slimmer margin of power in the House than they had two years ago.

Still, Democrats have more leverage than Republicans to dictate what happens in the legislative session that begins in January because they’ll control the House and the governor’s office with the re-election of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

But Republicans will enter the session with momentum. They made gains in the House and took an 18-17 lead in the Senate to act as a counter to Democratic policies.

Republicans are likely to have the most success in helping craft the state budget because the budget-writing Joint Budget Committee will be divided 3-3.

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