Politics seems to trump governance at the national level. The new year will bring only a brief respite before attention once again turns to the midterm congressional elections and — dare we say it — the presidential campaign of 2016.
So here are some of the problems we would like to see local, state and federal leaders address in the months ahead:
Federal deficits. Both political parties would rather posture than compromise, but we truly need a “grand bargain,” one far in excess of the $4 trillion number floated last year. Let’s see a real effort to address revenues and spending that would lead the nation to a balanced budget in 10 years.
Marijuana. Federal lawmakers should resolve the uncertainty that exists for those states that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal uses.
Health care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but its implementation still raises many questions, especially regarding the pending expansion of Medicaid in 2014.
Municipalization. The city of Boulder should move rapidly to determine whether it should municipalize its electrical utility or re-engage with Xcel Energy. This is an issue hugely important to the business community.
Fracking. State regulators crafted new rules for hydraulic fracturing, but much uncertainty remains about municipalities that choose to ban the practice. Regulators — or the courts — will provide the requisite clarity.
FasTracks. Let’s see a real solution to the lack of funding for light rail in the northwest corridor.
Resolving these issues won’t be easy, but we’ll be disappointed not to see real progress in 2013.