Mark Ferrandino is the state representative for House District 2 in Denver and, since November 2012, the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.
After being elected to the leadership position by his House colleagues, Rep. Ferrandino resigned his post as the ranking Democrat on the Joint Budget Committee, which writes the state’s annual budget and has had the unenviable task of trimming more than $5 billion from state expenditures since the Great Recession struck in 2008. Rep. Ferrandino had served on the JBC since 2009.
Rep. 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 sponsored legislation allowing state employees to designate their unmarried partners as insurance beneficiaries, and he has championed civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
The 2013 session was Rep. Ferrandino's first as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Colorado. During this session, Speaker Ferrandino was proud to have several of the bills he sponsored become state law. The Speaker is proud to have sponsored legislation to improve Colorado's renewable energy standard across the state. He also sponsored Medicaid expansion to ensure that more Coloradan's have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Speaker Ferrandino was especially proud to be a prime sponsor for the Colorado Civil Unions Act. Now, all Coloradans, regardless of sexual orientation, may enter into a civil union and have access to many of the same benefits as heterosexual couples. Speaker Ferrandino will continue to support legislation that helps citizens of the state and progresses Colorado forward in the 2014 session.
Speaker 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.
Speaker 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 currently 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 he can still run a mile in under six minutes.
Speaker Ferrandino lives in the Baker neighborhood of Denver with his husband, Greg, their daughter, Lila, and their dog, Dagny.