Hello everyone,

Only 14 days and 16 or so hours left in the 2023 legislative session. It all is required to end by 11:59 pm on Monday, May 8th.

This week was very similar to last week with several late nights, but the train kept moving. On Wednesday, the Senate worked on the floor until 10:45 pm and the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HB 1230 Prohibit Assault Weapons in Colorado that lasted from 9:55 am Wednesday until about 1:00 am Thursday. The House Judiciary Committee ended up killing HB 1230 on a vote of 8 to 5.

On Friday, both the Senate and the House again worked late. The Senate was on the floor until 8:00 pm and the House was on the floor until just after 10:00 pm. Neither the House nor the Senate worked this weekend which lately has seems like a rarity for the House. In a typical session legislators might work one or two weekend days usually in late April or May. However, this year the House started working on weekends back in March and has worked four Saturdays and one Sunday so far this year. While it is nice that legislators and everyone else who works at the Capitol was able to get some rest this weekend, I imagine that since they introduced another 25 bills this week that we will be working at least parts of the final two weekends in this session. Stay tuned!

Some of the scuttlebutt around the Capitol this week concerned how the JBC would handle a technical error in the conference committee report on the Long Bill. As I mentioned last week, both the House and the Senate adopted the conference committee report and repassed the Long Bill as amended. However, staff found a technical error in the report that resulted in an additional $10,000 being appropriated to a line item for the current fiscal year than intended. At that point, the JBC had two options. The first option would be to correct the report and have the House and Senate readopt the corrected report and repass the Long Bill. However, this would require multiple procedural motions and the approval of two-thirds of both the House and the Senate. The second option would include the error in the corrections schedule and allow the revisor of statutes to make the change to the report. This second option would leave in place the higher appropriation and require the JBC to adjust the appropriation later. To get the Long Bill enrolled and sent to the Governor on time and avoid risking a legislator asking for the Long Bill to be read at length, the JBC decided to go with the second option. As of Friday, the Long Bill had been sent to the Governor for his consideration.

So far, there have been 603 bills introduced – 307 in the House and 296 in the Senate. Only 14 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.

Bill Skewes

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