February Legislative Update

January is over and the General Assembly will take on some of the more controversial issues, especially since it is an election year. Typically, the month of January is uneventful in terms of legislative accomplishments, as each committee must hear from several different state agencies and has little time to tackle difficult issues.

This year the House and Senate have introduced over 300 bills. (The Colorado Constitution requires that each bill introduced gets one hearing in front of a committee of reference.) Of the bills introduced, only four have been killed in committee and 16 have been passed out of either chamber.

But these bills aren’t controversial. Of the bills to pass through either chamber on final vote, legislators have voted “YES” a total of 798 times and “NO” a combined 21 times. That is a “YES” percentage of 97.0%. We doubt that will continue, considering some legislators voted “NO” over 450 times last year.

January is a typically slow month, so we weren’t expecting much. We’re keeping an eye on quite a few issues this legislative session, so we’re prepared to witness quite a few controversial bills that could change Colorado for years to come.

Specifically we’re focused on four issues.

1) Protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,
2) Education,
3) Energy,
4) Health care, and
5) Surveillance, regulations, and coercive government.

We haven’t seen a lot from the legislature in terms of these issues, yet. One bill, sponsored by Rep. Coram, would have made it easier for the state of Colorado to sue the federal government and Environmental “Protection” Agency on behalf of victims of the Gold King Mine spill. That bill died on a 5-4 vote in committee last week.

We know that the General Assembly will likely make some sort of effort to remove the Hospital Provider Fee from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

This is an election year, so we expect a lot of statement bills and fireworks this year. And we’ll be here to discuss it!