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Hello everyone,

Ten weeks down with a little more than six weeks to go in the 2024 legislative session. Things are moving and committees are working late into the night.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee heard HB 1292, the Assault Weapons Ban. HB 1292 prohibits the manufacture, import, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon (as defined in the bill) in Colorado. (HB 1292 includes an exemption for peace officers.) Just after midnight, after more than 13 hours and hundreds of witnesses, the House Judiciary Committee referred HB 1292 to the House floor on a party-line vote. HB 1292 is likely to pass the House but is expected to have a much tougher time in the Senate.

On Thursday, the CSPA held a legislative breakfast on the second floor of the Capitol. We had a very good turnout with more than 20 legislators stopping by to visit with members of the CSPA Board. The legislators were very appreciative of the work you all do for the State of Colorado. Later Thursday morning, the CSPA Board held its monthly board meeting. During the meeting, the Board took positions on two new bills. The Board took an amend position on HB 1372 Regulating Law Enforcement Use of Prone Restraint. HB 1372 prohibits peace officers from using prone restraint to subdue a subject, except in cases in which the use of deadly force is justified. The CSPA, together with most if not all of Colorado’s law enforcement community, will try to amend HB 1372 to remove any prohibition on the use of prone restraint and instead require each law enforcement agency to adopt a policy concerning the use of prone restraint by its officers. The Board took a monitor position on SB 169 State Firefighter PERA Job Classification. SB 169 grants state firefighters the same PERA benefits as state troopers (i.e., earlier retirement eligibility and higher employee and employer contribution rates).

The winner for working late into the night this week goes to the JBC. You may recall that last week I mentioned the JBC needed to cut between $165 and $224 million depending on which forecast they chose to balance the FY 2024-25 budget. After several late nights, the JBC finally closed out the FY 2024-25 Long Bill at 1:52 am Friday morning. The State Patrol budget was not impacted by the eleventh-hour balancing actions. Typically, the JBC staff needs about a week to draft the Long Bill which is usually around 350 pages long – hence the name – so I don’t know if the Long Bill will be introduced today, the deadline for introduction, or later this week.

So far, there have been 569 bills introduced – 381 in the House and 188 in the Senate. Only 44 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.

Bill Skewes

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