200+ bills remain in last week of Colo. legislative session
Author: Marianne Goodland - May 2, 2018 - Updated: May 2, 2018
Finally, some serious progress has been made on the number of bills awaiting the final up or down vote in the Colorado General Assembly!
The legislature is finally whittling down the looooong list of bills left to work through the 2018 session, which ends exactly in one week, no later than midnight, Wednesday, May 9.
As of the beginning of the Wednesday session, May 2, there are still 244 bills (not counting resolutions or anything else) remaining on the House and Senate calendars. That’s 105 in the House and 139 in the Senate, down from 315 a week ago.
In the intervening week, however, another 27 bills were introduced, bringing the grand total to 716. So better than a third of the bills introduced are still facing lawmakers.
Can you say “Saturday session?” Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran of Denver is holding the prospect of a very rare Saturday workday over House lawmakers’ heads, and that’s a serious threat since Saturday is also Cinco de Mayo.
The Senate has more bills to work on because most of their remaining bills came over from the House.
And there’s been progress, more or less, on some of the major bills still waiting on the docket:
- Senate Bill 1, introduced on the first day of the 2018 session (boy, that seems like that was a long time ago. Wait, it was). The bill, which deals with transportation funding, was scheduled for its first House hearing on Wednesday, the 113th day of the session. It’s been waiting for that hearing since it cleared the Senate on March 28. Tuesday, a coalition of trade associations, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and House Democrats announced they’d reached a deal on how much existing state revenues would be pledged to road and bridge projects. That’s likely to show up in the form of amendments in Wednesday’s hearing.
- Senate Bill 200, reforms and a funding fix to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association. This one’s likely going to the wire, folks, as the House on Tuesday finished its final work on the bill and sent it back to the Senate, which is unlikely to accept the House amendments. House Majority Leader KC Becker of Boulder, one of the House sponsors, told reporters Tuesday that there are two items off the table in negotiations, in her opinion: putting back in a defined contribution plan that would allow current PERA members to move out of the pension plan’s main defined benefit plan, and a $225 million annual contribution to help shore up the plan’s $32 billion shortfall.
- House Bill 1001, the FAMLI medical leave bill and House Democrats’ top priority bill, died in a Senate committee on Monday.
- House Bill 1256, the bill reauthorizing the Division of Civil Rights and Colorado Civil Rights Commission, is another that’s likely to go to the last day, or close to it. The measure won unanimous approval in the Senate on Monday, April 30, which included a compromise crafted between Senate Democrats and Republicans. But both Gov. John Hickenlooper and the measure’s House sponsors have thrown cold water on that compromise, so negotiations over a final version are in the works.
- While the last of the gun rights bills are now gone, another bill, on the opposite side of the issue, is now on the list: House Bill 1436, which would create a “red flag” law in Colorado that allows law enforcement or family members to seek a court order that would allow a sheriff to remove firearms from a person deemed at risk to him/herself or others. The bill won approval Tuesday night from a House committee and is now awaiting debate in the full House.
- The School Finance Act, House Bill 1379, is awaiting debate from the Senate. A separate measure that would reconfigure the school financing formula, House Bill 1232, was killed by its House sponsor on April 26.
Seven days to go, folks. Putting on my Carnac hat (yeah, I know, it dates me something awful), I foresee late nights in the week to come.