We’ve Crossed the Finish Line!

by Jery Payne

We did it! We just passed the finish line and concluded the Second Regular Session of the 74th General Assembly. The marathon was fun while it lasted, but we’re happy to be sitting down, rubbing our feet, and drinking some water. Around mile 20, our legs felt like rubber, but “Gonna Fly Now” came up on the playlist, and remembering the scene of Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, we caught our second wind. When we crossed the finish line, we jumped up and down like the Italian Stallion. We’re tired, but it’s the satisfied kind of tired you feel when you rest after a hard day’s work.

We hope you feel the same!

If this year’s legislative session felt a bit busier, that’s because it was. There was a total of 705 bills introduced, with 233 bills introduced in the Senate and 472 bills introduced in the House. Last session, in 2023, 617 bills were introduced. In 2022, 657 bills were introduced. In 2021, 623 bills were introduced. So the General Assembly was a bit more active than usual this legislative session.

The regular session is done, but the Office of Legislative Legal Services staff is still getting bills signed by legislative leadership, writing digests, indexing, publishing the statutes, and getting bills ready for the governor, who has to decide what to do with each bill. After sine die, the governor has 30 days to sign, veto, or ignore a bill. If the governor signs or ignores a bill, it becomes law. If the governor vetoes a bill, it does not become law and the governor must send it back to the House and the Senate with a letter explaining the reason for vetoing the bill. The General Assembly can override a veto but not if the General Assembly has adjourned sine die.

The General Assembly could call itself back for a special session to repass the vetoed bill and override the veto, if it is vetoed again. But for now, the legislative votes have been taken and we await the decisions of the governor.

The next race begins on January 8, 2025. So we have about eight months to do all the work that leads to drafting legislation for the next legislative session. Make that seven months, as we all need a rest!

Before you know it, interim committees will begin. The General Assembly will be forming two letter interim committees: The American Indian Affairs Interim Study Committee and the Cell Phone Connectivity Interim Study Committee. Plus, HB24-1368 creates the Language Access Advisory Board. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to bring together stakeholders and experts to study and make recommendations on improving meaningful access to the legislative process for populations with limited English proficiency

Here are the returning interim committees:

Please enjoy your interim (we will be also enjoying ours). For now, Colorado LegiSource is going on hiatus for the summer. See you in the fall!