The Colorado Legislature is back! On Monday, the first regular session of Colorado’s 74th General Assembly convened. Like previous sessions, the first week of this session was mostly speeches and pomp and circumstance. However, there were some fireworks in the House when two brand-new Republican representatives challenged Rep. Julie McCluskie’s (D-Dillion) election as Speaker of the House. Typically, the majority party elects the Speaker soon after the November election and the full House votes unanimously for that person on the first day of the session. However, this year was the second time in recent memory that there was a contested election for Speaker – the first being two years ago. Like two years ago, the individual chosen by the majority soon after the election (Rep. Julie McCluskie) was eventually elected Speaker. The rest of Monday included opening day speeches from the four caucus leaders and the introduction of bills.
Tuesday saw Governor Jared Polis inaugurated into his second term with speeches, cannon fire and a flyover on the west steps of the Capitol. Wednesday brought a first for the State of Colorado when the chairmen of Colorado’s two Native American tribes (the Ute Mountain Ute and the Southern Ute) addressed a joint session of the legislature. On Friday, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright gave his biennial State of the Judiciary address to the legislature. Interspersed among the speeches committees met for presentations and briefings, but no bills were heard. So far, there have been 107 bills introduced – 58 in the House and 49 in the Senate.
On Thursday, the CSPA Board met and took positions on four bills. The Board voted to monitor SB 012 Commercial Motor Carrier Enforcement Safety Laws, SB 018 Ongoing Funding for 911 Resource Center, and SB 034 Definition of Serious Bodily Injury. The Board also voted to support SB 028 Penalty for Commercial Vehicle Offenses.
I anticipate next week will also be slow with both the House and the Senate taking Monday off for Martin Luther King Day and the Governor’s State of the State on Tuesday. Committees will start hearing bills during the week of January 23rd. Only 112 more days until the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 9th.