What a week! One of the few ways the minority party can slow down the legislative process is to request a bill be read at length. The Colorado constitution requires that each bill be read at length on two different days in each chamber (second reading and third reading). However, this reading at length can be dispensed with, and usually is, upon the unanimous consent of the members present. This past week House Republicans employed this tactic to try to slow down the majority party from passing some high-profile bills. Due to this delay tactic, the House ended up working on the floor until 11 pm on Friday and in a rare weekend session until 9:30 pm on Saturday. The current word is that leadership wants to wrap up the session by Friday, June 4th. However, with all the big bills that are still pending and the likelihood that bills will continue to be read at length that doesn’t seem very likely. The General Assembly is constitutionally required to adjourn sine die by midnight on Saturday, June 12th.
The past week started off with a big win. On Monday, the House amended HB 1250 concerning measures to address law enforcement accountability to remove the use of force section that was the most problematic part of the bill. The House later passed the bill on third reading on an almost party-line vote – 39 to 24. It was introduced in the Senate and is currently scheduled to be heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
As anticipated, the Senate took up SB 174 concerning peace officer credibility disclosures. On Tuesday, the Senate amended the bill to establish a committee to create a statewide model for peace officer credibility disclosure notifications rather than dictating what those notifications should be in the bill. The amended bill further requires each law enforcement agency and district attorney’s office to adopt and implement written policies and procedures consistent with that statewide model by January 1, 2022. With that amendment, the Senate passed the bill 35 to 0. It was introduced in the House and is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
The Senate also passed HB 1142 concerning eyewitness identification show-ups on a vote of 34 to 0 with some amendments sought by the sheriffs and District Attorneys. Later in the week, the House concurred with the Senate amendments and repassed the bill. It is now on its way to the Governor for his consideration. Only 19 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.