DENVER – On Tuesday, all 40 Republican Senators and Representatives in the Colorado General Assembly submitted a brief supporting the Colorado Constitution’s limitation of the legislative session to 120 consecutive calendar days, challenging the notion that somehow after over 30 years, the Democrat majority could extend the session past its May 6th deadline, rather than calling a special session to directly deal with the matters of the public health emergency.
The brief details the constitutional and historical basis for legislative days to be counted consecutively, and the legislature to end its session “on a date certain,” as it has for over thirty years since the citizens’ passage of the constitutional provision. After that, the legislature could be called into special session as it has on five occasions since 2001.
Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert (R-Douglas County) made the following statement regarding the brief:
“The Colorado General Assembly is unique among state legislatures because the People of Colorado have repeatedly voted to amend their state constitution to limit their state legislature.”
Holbert continues, “In November 1988, the People of Colorado overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to limit their state legislature to no more than 120 general session days each year, with each session ending on a date certain. That literally means that legislative days must be counted consecutively.”
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), made the following statement:
“Extending the legislative session beyond May 6 sets a dangerous precedent for legislative action. The Colorado Constitution is meant to limit government, and the 120 day period protects the people from overreach. Those 120 days can only be read as consecutive, which means that our job as a legislature is to prioritize our work to do what is most necessary, not move goalposts to try to push through non-essential legislation.”