Lawmakers finished the 2014 Colorado legislative session lauding the same achievements: More money for schools and colleges, funding for an aerial firefighting fleet, and providing aid for victims of floods and wildfires.

That harmonious tone is a contrast to the acrimony of last year, when Democrats rankled Republicans by passing gun-control laws, civil unions, and setting renewable energy standards on rural electricity cooperatives.
An improving economy helped this year. With more tax revenue, state lawmakers fought but were able to agree on restoring part of the money schools lost during the recession. They also budgeted nearly $20 million to buy two fire-spotting planes and contracting helicopters and single-engine tankers.
They also agreed to forgive property taxes for residents who lost their homes in last year's disasters.