Legislative Session

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Colorado lawmakers will call a rare opening-day joint session of the state House and Senate tomorrow to tackle the state's budget crisis.

The joint session will begin after opening ceremonies, when Democrats take control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 42 years.

The joint session will be largely symbolic, with no significant action likely, but the new Democratic leaders say they want to focus attention on the budget and set the tone for the session.

For the third straight year, lawmakers are caught between constitutional amendments that limit state revenue and spending while requiring increased outlays for public education. Changing the amendments requires voter approval.

Democrats want to ask voters in November to give up a portion of their tax refunds over the next two years in return for a permanent reduction in the state tax rate.

But House Minority Joe Stengel says it's too early to call a joint session on the complex problem.