It’s hard to believe the 2023 legislative session is already over one-third over. Some of the biggest news this week was the announcement Thursday afternoon that Senate President Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) and House Speaker Julie McCluskie (D-Dillon) were forming a joint select committee to investigate the causes of rising utility bills. The committee, which will consist of three senators and three representatives, will be charged with making recommendations related to legislation or other actions the general assembly can take to prevent steep utility rate increases in the future. The committee is expected to have four Democrats and two Republicans and will meet at least three times.
This past week, a number of bills the CSPA is tracking started to move. On Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee referred HB 1059 Motorcycle Lane Splitting Study with amendments to the House Appropriations Committee. HB 1059, which the CSPA is monitoring, directs CDOT, in collaboration with the State Patrol, to study the feasibility of permitting motorcycle drivers to lane split when surrounding traffic is traveling no faster than 40 mph. The House Transportation Committee also amended HB 1123 Move Over Slow Down Stationary Vehicle, which the CSPA is supporting, to specifically identify Port of Entry vehicles and referred it to the House floor. HB 1123 expands the Move Over and Slow Down law to any vehicle with activated hazard or warning lights. Finally on Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee referred HB 1143 Federal Authorize Firearms for DACA Peace Officers, which the CSPA is monitoring, to the House Appropriations Committee. HB 1143 directs the P.O.S.T. Board to seek authorization from the U.S. Attorney General to allow DACA recipients to possess firearms for purposes of peace officer employment. The proponents believe this authorization, if approved, will increase the pool and diversity of potential peace officers in Colorado.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred SB 028 Penalty for Commercial Vehicle Offenses, which the CSPA is supporting, to the Senate floor unanimously. SB 028, as amended, fixes a drafting error in SB 21-271 that will allow law enforcement to write tickets for offenses involving the operation of a commercial vehicle. Also on Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee referred HB 1102 Alcohol & Drug Impaired Driving Enforcement, which the CSPA is supporting, to House Appropriations Committee unanimously. HB 1102 expands high visibility drunk driving enforcement programs to include both alcohol and drug impaired driving and appropriates $1.5 million from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to local governments that implement such enforcement programs.
So far, there have been 376 bills introduced – 210 in the House and 166 in the Senate. Only 77 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.