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General Assembly adding bills more than subtracting in waning weeks

Author: Marianne Goodland - April 18, 2018 - Updated: April 26, 2018

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The Colorado Capitol building in Denver. (knowlesgallery, istockphoto)

Wednesday marks the start of the last three weeks of Colorado’s 2018 General Assembly session.

As of a week ago, the General Assembly still had 295 bills — out of a total of 615 — awaiting final action. You’d think a week later that number would be lower.

You’d be wrong.

As of Wednesday morning, the Senate has now introduced 260 bills — 23 more than a week ago. The House is now at 397, up 21 from last Wednesday.

Out of those 657 measures, 328 still await action ranging from an initial hearing to the governor’s signature (at last count, 22).

Among the bills still in play, virtually unchanged from a week ago:

  • House Bill 1256, to reauthorize the Division of Civil Rights and Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
  • Senate Bill 3, to reauthorize the Colorado Energy Office. The House approved that measure on a preliminary vote Wednesday.
  • Senate Bill 1 and a related measure, House Bill 1340. Senate Bill 1 cleared the Senate on March 28 with a unanimous vote, but still isn’t on the schedule for its first House hearing. The bill directs $500 million toward transportation projects, half in 2018 and the other half the following year. House Bill 1340 would put those transfers into effect. Senate Republican leaders said Monday they’re holding final action on the House bill, part of the budget package, while they await House action on the Senate transportation bill.
  • Senate Bill 200, to shore up the underfunded pension for the Public Employees Retirement Association. The bill went through a House committee Monday that stripped out a defined contribution plan long-sought by Republicans, changed the retirement age to a minimum of 60 years old, and reduced the cost-of-living-adjustment to 1.25 percent.
  • The last of the gun rights bill that originated in the Senate now awaits action from the House’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on April 25. Senate Bill 52 would repeal the 2013 law that limited ammunition magazines to 15 rounds; Senate Bill 185 would allow deadly force against an intruder at a business. Neither are expected to clear the House’s “kill” committee.
  • House Bill 1232 and House Bill 1379, both dealing with school finance. House Bill 1232 would reconfigure the state’s school finance formula; the latter bill is the annual School Finance Act, which sets per-pupil spending for 2018-19. House Bill 1232 is set for a vote from the House Education Committee Wednesday afternoon; the school finance act is awaiting action from House Appropriations.

The 2018 General Assembly session adjourns for the year on Wednesday, May 9.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.