Mark Ferrandino is wrapping up his two-year term as Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and his seven years as the state representative for House District 2 in Denver
The 2013 session, his first as Speaker, is generally regarded as one of the busiest and most momentous in Colorado history, with groundbreaking action to connect Coloradans to good jobs and boost the state’s economy, bolster the K-12 education system and get more high school graduates into college, protect communities from wildfires and gun violence, increase the state’s commitment to renewable energy, enhance child welfare, protect pregnant women and modernize the elections system.
Speaker Ferrandino personally sponsored the Civil Unions Act, extending to same-sex couples many of the rights and responsibilities accorded to other loving couples, and the expansion of Medicaid in Colorado, extending coverage to a quarter of a million more individuals while cutting state spending on uncompensated care, creating 22,000 new jobs and making Colorado’s workforce healthier.
The 2014 legislative session delivered on all three of the policy goals Speaker Ferrandino set at the beginning of the session: helping Colorado make the fullest possible recovery from the floods and wildfires that ravaged the state in 2013; increasing support for K-12 and college students; and making sure the state’s economic recovery improves the economic security of the greatest number of Colorado families.
Speaker Ferrandino personally sponsored a major overhaul of the state’s funding formula for its public colleges and universities.
Before becoming speaker Rep. Ferrandino spent a year as minority leader, and before that he was the ranking Democrat on the Joint Budget Committee, which writes the state’s annual budget and had the unenviable task of trimming more than $5 billion from state expenditures during the Great Recession.
Speaker Ferrandino leaves a sterling record of standing up for Colorado consumers. He sponsored legislation cracking down on payday lenders, reducing their exorbitant 300 percent interest rates, and granting needy homeowners threatened with foreclosure 90 extra days to work with their lenders to come to a good solution.
Rep. Ferrandino was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives through a vacancy committee in 2007 to complete the term of Rep. Mike Cerbo. He was treasurer of the Colorado Democratic Party from 2005 through 2007 and has served as a co-captain for House District 2A and co-chair of the Colorado Stonewall Democrats. In 2010, he was named Rising Star by the Colorado Democratic Party, and in 2007, he was named Colorado Young Democrat of the Year. As a college student, he spent a semester in Washington D.C. interning for U.S. Rep. Charles Schumer, now New York’s senior U.S. senator.
Rep. Ferrandino served as a senior budget analyst for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing under Gov. Bill Owens; as a program analyst for the United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General; and as a policy analyst for the White House Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has also been an adjunct professor at Metro State University in Denver.
Following the 2014 session, Rep. Ferrandino became the chief financial officer of the Denver Public Schools.
Speaker Ferrandino was born in Nyack, N.Y., with his twin sister Nicole, who also lives in Colorado with her family. He has an older brother, Michael, a surgeon at Duke University. His parents are lifelong educators who worked in the New York City public school system. He has a B.A. in political science and economics and a master’s in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester. He was a pole vaulter in college and recently ran a 5:54 mile.
Speaker Ferrandino lives in the Baker neighborhood of Denver with his partner, Greg, and their adopted daughter, Lila.