Denver—Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, Jr. (D) has been selected as the immediate past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and legislative staff.
The position exists as one of seven officers who help steer NCSL to best serve legislators and legislative staff by guiding important policy and budgetary decisions.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve on NCSL’s officer’s team,” Garcia said. “NCSL’s research, training programs and networking opportunities are integral to the success of the Colorado Legislature, and I am looking forward to working with other leaders from around the country as NCSL’s immediate past president.”
Garcia was appointed to serve the remaining term of former Vermont Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D), who lost her election in November.
The Colorado Senate president will serve as the past president through the 2021 NCSL Legislative Summit, at which time NCSL’s current president, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) will assume the role. Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki (D), NCSL president-elect, will become NCSL’s president and Idaho Speaker Scott Bedke (R), NCSL vice president, will ascend to president-elect. NCSL’s executive officers alternate between parties annually.
Garcia was elected in 2014 to represent Colorado Senate District 3 and previously served in the Colorado House of Representatives since 2013. He was named assistant minority leader at the start of the 2017 legislative session, minority leader in 2018, and was unanimously elected Senate president by his colleagues at the start of the 2019 legislative session, making him the first Latino Senate president in Colorado.
Garcia has been an active participant in NCSL events, particularly with NCSL’s Leaders’ Center and NCSL’s Task Force on Military and Veterans’ Affairs. He is a former member of the Appropriations and Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee and current chair of the Legislative Council in Colorado.
A sixth-generation Coloradan, Senator Garcia lives in Pueblo’s south side. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq as a mortuary affairs specialist and works as an EMS instructor at Pueblo Community College. Senator Garcia holds a master’s degree in organizational management from Ashford University, a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix and an associate degree in emergency medical services from Pueblo Community College.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.