The Legislative Process in Colorado
- Tracking the Colorado Legislature
- Legislative Status Reports
- Bell Opportunity Notes
- Bell Testimony
The Bell's Legislative Status Report is generally updated weekdays during the legislative session.
To check the most current status of legislation and to find more information on a bill, visit the General Assembly's web page. Click on the "Bills" link under the House or Senate, then use the button at the top center of the new page to narrow your search by bill number.
Online audio coverage of testimony and proceedings is also broadcast live on broadband Internet.
How a bill becomes law in Colorado:
Proposals discussed by the Colorado General Assembly during the legislative session are presented in the form of a written document called a bill. A bill can create new law, amend existing law or repeal existing law. Bills are numbered in the order they are introduced and usually have a House and Senate sponsor. Legislators are limited to five bills each.
Bills are assigned to one or more committees for detailed review. Committee meetings are open to the public and people may express their views on the proposed legislation during these meetings. Meeting schedules are posted online on the General Assembly web pages.
After study, hearings, research and discussion in committee, bills may be amended, recommended for passage, referred to another committee or tabled for consideration later in the session. Committees may also kill bills by a majority vote, and at times, a committee will "postpone indefinitely" a bill, essentially killing it.
Bills that are passed out of committee return to the House or Senate floor for a second reading. This is a key point in the legislative process when legislators may make substantial amendments. Bills can be either passed, amended and passed, defeated, laid over until another day or referred back to committee for more work.
The final and official recorded vote occurs on the third reading. After a bill is passed by the Legislature, it is sent to the governor, who may sign it into law, let it take effect without hissignature or veto the bill. For more information on the legislative process, visit the Legislative Council's General Resources web page.
How to testify on a bill:
The formation of public policy is public business, and public participation in committee hearings is welcomed. Information on committee assignments and scheduling of bills is available by calling the Legislature's Information Center at (303 )866-3055 or by visiting the Legislative Council home page.
To strengthen the health of democracy in Colorado, the Bell Policy Center encourages everyone to contact their state representative or senator and help shape state policy.
Legislative Status Reports:
2005 session | 2005 interim committees