In the closing weeks of the Colorado General Assembly, we found the face of real leadership emerge in the most unlikely form. It was a team of disparate legislators who came together to solve some of the state’s most vexing problems. They weren’t a group that sought this role nor the attention that accompanied it. Rather it was a role that they felt compelled to take on because of their concern for the state, if they failed to act.

They were an odd mix, something like the old television show, “The Mod Squad.” That show brought together three very diverse young people from different walks of life in a police series (with the catchphrase “one white, one black, one blonde”). While no one would confuse this legislative group with that stylish, young set from the TV show, there is a common thread between the two. Like “The Mod Squad,” this group is dissimilar in many ways with different political philosophies, backgrounds and legislative districts, but as with the characters in the show, they shared a common sense of purpose and concern for the public.

This improbable group helped to pass one of the most sweeping measures, SB 267, to come through the Legislature for many years. The breadth of this measure and the various groups involved in the process was amazing and made “herding cats” look easy.

SB 267 represents a blend of the principles of both political parties. For Republicans the measure has provisions aimed at smaller government (having state agencies look at a 2 percent reduction next year), a business personal property tax break for small businesses, an increase in Medicaid co-pays, and a reduction in the overall spending cap. For Democrats, a primary focus was having the funds from the Hospital Provider Fee, constituting $670 million, be reclassified as an enterprise fund and remove those funds from calculations of any spending cap. That will allow the state to retain funds in the future for various other key needs such as education, health care, social services, and others. Of common purpose though was an overriding desire to ensure that our hospitals not face serious cuts or closure, improved funding for our rural school districts, and a significant investment in our neglected roadways in rural Colorado.

The negotiations on SB 267 were difficult not only between the different parties but also among members of their own parties, There was little to gain from their thankless job and a lot of criticism along the way. Many in and out of the Legislature viewed it as a “fool’s errand” that was doomed to failure. Rather than listen to the naysayers, the group forged ahead, despite setbacks that sometimes occurred daily.

While there may be critics on both sides regarding this measure, the fact that a bipartisan solution of this nature occurred in this highly charged political environment, is in itself astonishing. Measures like SB 267 are important in helping to restore our faith in government and the ability of our Legislature to address the critical issues facing our state. It also helps to remind us that there are still many fine elected officials who choose to take risks and boldly lead on important issues.

Greg Fulton is the President of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association which represents over 600 companies directly involved or affiliated with trucking in Colorado.