In the News - 2019

Steve Henson: Things to be ‘thankful for’

Pueblo Chieftain - December 1, 2019

"Those brave patriots who tried to recall Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat. It’s easy to see why some would have concerns with a politician who does a fantastic job representing us in Denver. Surely there must be many things wrong with someone who is so respectful, bright, responsible, dedicated, passionate about Pueblo and Southern Colorado — and a looker at that who even plays the organ at church."

Garcia joins El Pomar council; local grants awarded
Pueblo Chieftain - November 15, 2019

“The El Pomar Foundation has played a pivotal role in developing and enriching communities across Southern Colorado for decades. From helping small businesses, to supporting youth programs, and broadening access to health care, the foundation tackles many of the issues I’ve spent my career working to address at the legislature. I’m honored to join the El Pomar Foundation’s Council and look forward to working with the foundation to continue making lasting impacts in communities across Colorado.”

Grants to help people with opioid use disorder find treatment to improve their lives

Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention - November 15, 2019


The success of this pilot attracted the attention of Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, who introduced as a top legislative priority Senate Bill 1 of the 2019 legislative session for continuation and expansion of MAT services. The bill, which Gov. Jared Polis signed in May, allocated $5 million for a two-year period to the Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to work in association with the College of Nursing to expand access to MAT in the San Luis Valley and in two additional counties with high rates of opioid overdose.


Leroy Garcia Lays Out Democrats' Legislative Goals After The Recall Effort Against Him Dies

Colorado Public Radio - October 24, 2019


Garcia said he wants to start the new session with bipartisanship support. “I feel that’s important before you today calling for this renewed commitment to work together,” Garcia said. His main two goals this session are school safety and mental health. Garcia said he thinks that the two are linked. 


Only four signatures filed; Garcia recall effort flops

Pueblo Chieftain - October 18, 2019


“I look forward to getting back to the legislative work we’ve been doing. For us in this region, it’s super important. I’m in a great role where we haven’t had someone elected as (Senate) president in many, many years.”


Senator Garcia works tirelessly for Southern Colorado

Pueblo Chieftain - October 5, 2019

If you know anything about Sen. Garcia, he is man who takes his responsibility seriously. I have developed the utmost respect for him as a legislator, a colleague, a fellow Puebloan and a friend. He has looked out for Pueblo and Southern Colorado since he’s been elected and I know that he will continue to do so, whether it’s as the Senate president, an instructor at Pueblo Community College or a paramedic. Sen. Garcia has truly put Pueblo first and I am proud to serve alongside him.

Senate President Leroy Garcia Was Governor For A Day — In Pueblo

Colorado Public Radio - June 25, 2019

Sen. Leroy Garcia served as acting governor for a day while Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera were away. As acting governor, he signed two important proclamations, one demanding the return of the USS Pueblo and the second designating a Colorado State Fair Week. 

Pueblo legislators accomplish much through teamwork

Pueblo Chieftain - June 3, 2019

They dug in, worked together and kept their eye on the big picture. Southeastern Colorado legislators can look back on the 2018-19 session with pride.They counted many successes last week in a meeting with The Chieftain’s editorial board in the bills they helped steer to the governor’s desk. Significantly, they emphasized the partnerships they formed across the aisle to get the job done.

New law reopens Canon City area maximum-security prison

Pueblo Chieftain -May 29, 2019


Taxpayers are likely to see the state start using the closed Colorado State Penitentiary II again — at least 126 beds in it.

Gov. Jared Polis signed the bipartisan Senate Bill 259 on Tuesday. It authorizes the state to reopen and use a portion of the maximum security prison near Canon City if the total number of vacant beds in the Department of Corrections falls below 1 percent.

Democrats Win Big in Legislature

Pueblo Chieftain - May 6, 2019


With Democrats in control of both the Colorado Senate and the House of Representatives, and with the backing of a Democrat in the governor’s office, they were able to pass most of what can be described as an ambitious agenda. Pueblo's legislative leaders were among those who had their share of successes.

Colorado Senate unanimously passes bill to support pregnant women with substance use disorders

Greeley Tribune - April 29, 2019 Colorado Public Radio - June 25, 2019

The Colorado Senate on Saturday unanimously passed a bill to increase access to treatment for pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders.

Renewable energy sources needed to combat climate change

La Junta Tribune-Democrat - April 25, 2019

Last week, The Pueblo Chieftain covered Sen. Leroy Garcia’s desire to protect electricity ratepayers as the legislator looks to pass Senate Bill 236, the bill to reauthorize the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.


Garcia wants PUC to focus on ratepayers

Pueblo Chieftain - April 11, 2019

Giving the Colorado Public Utilities Commission more direction in protecting ratepayers would be Senate President Leroy Garcia’s focus as he sponsors legislation to renew the commission for another seven years.


Healthcare takes front and center

Fowler Tribune - April 7, 2019

There’s probably a temptation among some recently elected officials to go after the low-hanging fruit, to accomplish their easier goals first to show voters that they’re able to get results and build political capital needed to tackle more difficult issues in the future.

Opioid treatment program bill advances

Pueblo Chieftain - March 16, 2019

Senate President Leroy Garcia’s bill to expand the medication-assisted treatment pilot program that’s currently offered in Pueblo and Routt counties was passed unanimously by the Senate this week.

Colorado legislature passes half way mark

KOAA News 5 - March 6, 2019 

COLORADO- The Colorado legislature is passing the halfway mark for this legislative session, and there’s still plenty of bills making their way through the house and the Senate.


Senate President Garcia to introduce bill creating competitive utility market

KOAA News 5 - March 2, 2019 

COLORADO-  The Colorado Senate’s top leader plans to introduce legislation taking away power from investor-owned utility companies such as Black Hills Energy and Xcel.

Garcia: State needs to reopen Canon City area prison

Pueblo Chieftain - February 28, 2019

Senate President Leroy Garcia hopes to persuade his fellow lawmakers that this is the year to reopen the closed Colorado State Penitentiary 2 near Canon City.

Polis to attend Pueblo town hall Saturday

Pueblo Chieftain - February 14, 2019

New Gov. Jared Polis will take part in a town hall meeting hosted by Senate President Leroy Garcia and state Rep. Daneya Esgar at Pueblo Community College at noon Saturday. [...] Garcia is the new leader of the Democratic majority in the state Senate.

2019-2020 Legislative Session Will Have the Largest Number of Latinos in Colorado History

Latin Life Denver 

The 2019-2020 session will have the largest number of Latinos in Colorado history serving at the same time with 10 Latinos in the State House and 4 Latinos in the State Senate. A total of 154 Latinos have served in Colorado’s legislative bodies including the territorial legislature.

‘Kill Committees’ Aren’t Expected To Be Their Usual Graveyards Under New Dem Majority

Colorado Public Radio - January 30, 2019

With Colorado Democrats in solid control of the House and the Senate, it’s on party leaders to manage all of the different bills coming through their chambers – both from Republicans and their own members. Unlike Congress, where a bill can be introduced and then languish without a hearing, every piece of legislation at the Colorado statehouse requires a public hearing and at least one recorded vote.

State looks to expand opioid treatment centers, but not in Southwest Colorado

The Journal - January 29, 2019 

Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, wants to expand a network of centers dedicated to treating opioid addiction in southern Colorado as the state’s overdose deaths have risen to an all-time high. [...] Garcia hopes to put millions of dollars into several outpatient treatment centers that offer medication and therapy in the San Luis Valley, an 8,000-square-mile region that spans six central counties – Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache. Some of the funds will also go to centers in two additional counties yet to be determined.

Garcia aims to expand opioid treatment program

Pueblo Chieftain - January 26, 2019 

Nearly 700 Pueblo County residents dealing with opioid addiction got help last year through a pilot-program that state lawmakers authorized here and intend to share with 10 more counties this year. Senate President Leroy Garcia and state Rep. Daneya Esgar, both Pueblo Democrats, were original sponsors of the 2017 legislation that authorized pilot treatment programs for Pueblo and Routt counties.

Co. Senate President Leroy Garcia says bipartisanship is his goal

Fox 21 News - January 21, 2019 

As Colorado lawmakers begin the week when bills for the house and senate are due, Colorado State Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) says bipartisanship is one of his goals, even as his party controls both chambers and the governor's office. "Our goal is always to work across the aisle," said Garcia, a Democrat. "You'll find that at the end of this session many, many that we work on are together." Garcia represents areas of Pueblo and is the first-ever Latino president of the chamber. He says his appointment to lead the Senate speaks to the bridging of another divide. 

Health care, environment, gun control on Colorado legislative agenda

Pueblo Chieftain - January 4, 2019 

It’s become a buzz phrase of American politics — “Elections have consequences.” The Colorado Legislature gets down to business on Monday and the Democratic surge that won so many offices on Nov. 6 will start to make its power felt as Democrats use their new majorities in the House, Senate and governor’s office to write new laws. [...] After the new senators were sworn in Friday, new Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said he was not looking for a partisan struggle this session, but for results.