Three weeks in the books. I am sure a lot of you saw the news that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act this week. I know many of you have questions about how this act may impact you if passed by the Senate. However, since it’s a federal bill in Washington, DC and not a state bill in Denver, all the information I have is from the media. It looks to be a federal version of SB 20-217.
As for what’s going on in Denver, this week the Colorado House passed the supplemental bills that adjust the current year’s budget. The House passed Senate Bill 049, the supplemental bill for the Department of Public Safety, on a vote of 61 to 2. As I mentioned last week, SB 049 increases the budget for the Executive and Capitol Complex Security Program by $520,380 to help pay for the additional troopers who have been at the Capitol this year.
Another bill I mentioned last week, SB 062, the Jail Populations Management Tools bill, was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon and evening. After more than six hours of testimony, the Committee passed the bill 3 to 2 with three amendments. The amendments addressed concerns about being able to arrest drunk drivers for felony DUI or when a detoxification facility, sober party or hospital is unavailable and the officer has reasonable suspicion to conclude that the person poses a substantial risk to the safety of another, absent custodial arrest. SB 062 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
So far, legislators have introduced 391 bills – 217 in the House and 174 in the Senate. We have passed the deadlines for each legislator to introduce his or her five bills. However, that does not mean there will be not be more bills introduced. There are “late bills” that can be introduced after the deadlines with the permission of leadership. I would not be surprised to see another 100 to 200 bills introduced before the session ends. Only 97 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.