The First Regular Session of the 71st General Assembly of Colorado begins today. In Colorado regular sessions are 120 days, so this year’s session will adjourn on May 10, 2017. A full schedule is available here.
There are many new legislators this session. To find your Senator or Representative, go to the “Find My Legislator” map feature on the General Assembly homepage. You can also browse the legislative directory, which lists each member’s district, party affiliation, Capitol phone number, committee assignments, occupation, sponsored bills, photo, and email address.
Once introduced, bills will be available at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills. Here you can browse by subject, search by sponsor or keyword, find the most frequently accessed bills, and connect to a database of all bills. As the bills move through the legislative process, each version will be added to the website in order to trace the bill’s history. For an overview of the legislative process in Colorado, see the diagram below (click to download a larger PDF):
Citizen participation in the legislative process is encouraged. You can watch the proceedings in person in the House/Senate galleries at the Capitol, or on the Colorado Channel, which offers both live-stream and archived recordings of the House and Senate floors. Coloradans are also welcome to write, call, or email their legislator, and may also testify on bills. For logistical information go to Capitol Information. As you watch the proceedings, you may be curious about some of the terminology or procedures. To learn about these go to the House & Senate Rules page. You can also learn more at the Office of Legislative Legal Services’ Colorado LegiSource blog.
Researchers can find previously enacted laws at http://leg.colorado.gov/colorado-laws. For bills from prior sessions, see the annual Digest of Bills or go to Prior Session Information to view all bills from the 1997 through 2015 sessions. (Bills from 2016 and after are at this link). At the State Publications Library, we have numerous resources from prior sessions of the General Assembly, including:
- House and Senate Journals
- Colorado Session Laws
- Status sheets (listing the history of each bill)
- The “Long Bill” (annual budget bill)
- Legislative Council research reports
- Statutorily-required reports
- Appropriations Reports and other reports of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC)
- Colorado Revised Statutes
- Reports from the Office of the State Auditor
- State agency budgets
- Issue Briefs
- Sunrise and sunset reviews
…and much more. Search our library’s online catalog or call us at 303-866-6725. We are happy to assist you in your research.