Two weeks, 315 bills left in 2018 legislative session

Author: Marianne Goodland - April 25, 2018 - Updated: May 10, 2018

CapitolThe gold dome of Colorado’s Capitol glistens in the sunlight. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Well, at least the count went down a little.

With 14 days left in the 2018 General Assembly session, the count for bills that are still pending some form of action has gone down, but not by much.

There are now 174 bills in the House awaiting decisions ranging from committee hearing to governor’s decision and 141 in the Senate, for a total of 315. That’s down 13 from a week ago. Thirteen.

The total number of bills introduced in both chambers is now at 689, up 32 from the previous week, meaning lawmakers are still adding more bills than subtracting.

And most of the major bills that will close out the 2018 session are all still moving, albeit slowly, through the legislature. That includes:

  • House Bill 1256, to reauthorize the Division of Civil Rights and Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 18 and the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 24. It is slated for debate in the full Senate.
  • 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. That bill is in the Senate, awaiting a decision on whether to accept House amendments as well as waiting for resolution on Senate Bill 1.
  • Senate Bill 200, to shore up the underfunded pension for the Public Employees Retirement Association. The bill cleared House Finance and House Appropriations and is now awaiting debate in the full House. The finance committee 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. 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. Both are scheduled for the House’s kill committee on Wednesday but not expected to pass.
  • 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 the Senate Education Committee, scheduled for Thursday.

One bill has now come off the list: Senate Bill 3, to reauthorize the Colorado Energy Office. The House voted 48 to 14 to approve the measure on April 19, and given that it wasn’t amended, now heads off to the governor for signing.

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.