Hello everyone,

The 2022 legislative session is over two-thirds complete and things are moving fast and furious. Even though there have been a couple of high-profile bills introduced recently (e.g., bills addressing fentanyl deaths and climate change), our big news concerns the budget.

As I mentioned last week, this was budget week in the House during which legislators try to amend the Long Bill. Due to the hard work of our amendment sponsors – Representative Shannon Bird (D-Westminster) and Minority Leader Hugh McKean (R-Loveland) – we were able to amend the Long Bill to provide an additional 3% salary increase for all troopers for FY 2022-23. This will be an addition to the 3% increase all state employees receive. While it is a huge success to get the amendment on in the House, we still have a long road to go before it is final. The next step is to get the Senate to approve the same amendment when it debates the Long Bill this week. Assistant Minority Leader John Cooke (R-Greeley) and Senator Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) have agreed to carry our amendment in the Senate. I started lobbying senators for their support last week. However, if we are successful in the Senate, it’s still not the end of the road. Once the Long Bill passes both chambers it is sent back to the Joint Budget Committee that acts as the conference committee to iron out the differences between the version passed by the House and the version passed by the Senate. Just because an amendment passes both chambers it is not guaranteed to be included in the conference committee report. Therefore, if we are successful in getting the Senate to approve the amendment, we will still need to convince the Joint Budget Committee to include it as part of the conference committee report.

As of Friday, there have been 551 bills introduced – 358 in the House and 193 in the Senate. Only 38 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.

Bill Skewes

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