Mark Ferrandino is the state representative for House District 2 in Denver. On Nov. 8, 2012, he was designated by his colleagues in the resurgent Democratic House majority as Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.
For the previous year Rep. Ferrandino was 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 has a sterling record of standing up for Colorado consumers and civil rights. He sponsored legislation granting needy homeowners threatened with foreclosure 90 extra days to work with their lenders to come to a good solution. He led the fight to crack down on payday lenders, reducing their exorbitant 300 percent interest rates.
He has championed civil unions for gay and lesbian couples and will be the co-prime House sponsor of a civil unions bill in 2013, when it will pass. Earlier, Rep. Ferrandino sponsored legislation allowing state employees to designate their unmarried partners as insurance beneficiaries.
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 for his work on behalf of the party and Democratic candidates across the state. 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 is an adjunct professor at Metro State University in Denver.
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.
Rep. Ferrandino lives in the Baker neighborhood of Denver with his partner, Greg, and their foster daughter, Lila.