The Colorado General Assembly website provides extensive information about each bill that is introduced during a legislative session. Shortly after a bill has been introduced, a unique webpage will appear at the website for that bill. Then, as a bill progresses through the bicameral legislative process, additional information will accumulate on the specific page for that bill.
In addition to the General Assembly homepage, you might want to Bookmark or Add to Favorites the following link to the View all Bills page: https://leg.colorado.gov/view-all-bills
When searching for a particular bill, keep in mind that the “Session” field should default to the current session. If you are interested in a bill that was introduced during a prior session, then be sure to click on the Session field to select the correct session from the dropdown menu. Also, consider in which House (chamber) a bill was originally introduced (House Bills vs Senate bills). Finally, consider whether the measure that you’re looking for is/was a bill, memorial, or resolution.
At the top of each bill webpage, the Bill Number, Bill Title, and its roster of Prime Sponsors will be listed. You will also find notation of the Session, Subject, and a Bill Summary. Next, you’ll find a list of Committees that will conduct or have already conducted a hearing for that bill. Keep in mind that the Committees list will grow if/when a bill moves to the second chamber.
Below that information, you’ll find two clickable links titled “View Recent Bill Text” and “View Recent Fiscal Note”. The information provided by each of those links will be the most current version of that information based on whether the bill has achieved First Reading (Introduction), Second Reading, or Third Reading in a given chamber.
Next, the “Status” section of a bill webpage provides a menu of options, which grows to include additional options as a bill moves through the bi-cameral legislative process. When a bill is introduced, the first clickable menu option tabs will include: Bill Text, Fiscal, Bill History, and Sponsors.
When viewing the “Bill Text” menu, keep in mind that the most recent version of a bill will appear at the top of that list. Links to any prior versions of that bill would appear below that point in chronological order. When following a given bill through the bi-cameral legislative process, it is important to refer to the current version because prior versions no longer apply.
Likewise, when viewing the “Fiscal” menu, keep in mind that the Fiscal Note for a bill will be updated to reflect amendments made to the bill that change its fiscal aspects. Thus, it is also important to refer to the current Fiscal Note for a bill because prior versions no longer apply.
Under the Status menu tab “Bill History”, you’ll find a chronological history of when the bill was introduced in a chamber, each committee(s) of reference that conducted a hearing on that bill, and the results of any Second or Third Reading action taken on that bill in that chamber. Finally, for bills that pass through both chambers, the date that the bill was sent to the governor and the date of final action taken by the governor.
As mentioned above, when a bill moves through the legislative process, the Status menu will grow to include additional options including Committees, Votes, Amendments, and Session Laws. Keep in mind that those menu options won’t appear for a given bill until information pertaining to that topic is available for that bill.
The “Committees” tab provides a chronological list of each committee of reference that has considered the bill, along with a submenu listing motions that were considered by each of those committees. You’ll also find links to the vote outcome for each motion, which lists the members of the committee along with their respective vote on that motion.
The “Votes” tab provides a chronological history of Second and Third Reading amendments and chamber votes conducted for that bill. You can also click the “View” link for each such event, which lists the vote of each member of a chamber.
The “Session Laws” link is the last tab to be added to the Status menu for a bill and would appear only for bills that become law as a result of that session.
Finally, when following a bill through the bi-cameral Colorado legislative process, keep in mind that all of the information listed above is public information. Non-partisan staff at the Colorado Capitol work diligently to post that information to the General Assembly website quickly and efficiently. The variety and volume of that information, combined with the evolution of that information as a bill might be amended in the bi-cameral legislative process, results in a massive library of documents and data each session. Hopefully, knowing where to look and how to access that information will help you be more effective in your advocacy efforts.