Session Schedule, Chamber Calendars & Session Deadlines

The Colorado General Assembly website provides public access to the activities and work product of the state legislature. For example, if you’re looking for information about a particular bill, then it is very likely that information is – or will be – available at that website. It’s probably just a matter of knowing where and when to look for it.

When visiting the website, you’ll find a menu of topics that organize that massive and growing library of information into general topics. Where that menu will appear on your screen and how you might go about selecting a category depends on whether you are using a desktop or laptop computer versus a mobile device such as tablet or phone. From a computer, the menu will likely appear horizontally along the top of your browser window. From a mobile device, look for three horizontal bars and then press that icon to open the menu.

The first category in that menu is titled “Session Schedule”, which provides links to the following information:

  • Full Schedule – provides a combined list of House and Senate meetings to be held within the Colorado Capitol Complex
  • House Schedule – provides a list of House meetings to be held by any Joint Committee or House Committee of Reference
  • Senate Schedule – provides a list of Senate meetings to be held by any Joint Committee or Senate Committee of Reference
  • Deadline Schedule – provides a PDF list of deadlines for the current or prior session

The Full Schedule, House Schedule, and Senate Schedule pages provide rolling, one-week, schedules of relevant activities. Each schedule defaults to the current day/date. Simply click on a future day/date to view the meeting schedule for that day/date. You’ll also find links to information about the various committees that are listed on those schedules, along with the agenda or calendar for each event.

The Deadline Schedule for each general session is necessary, important, and helpful because the people of Colorado voted in 1988 to limit their state legislature to no more than 120 days of general session law-making authority each year. Thus, it is critical for legislative leadership to plan ahead and remain on schedule during that finite period of time. While the six-member Executive Committee of the Legislative Council can extend those deadlines, there is no way to extend a general session beyond the 120-day limit. Thus, extending any one deadline inevitably increases pressure on all remaining deadlines.

Links to the House and Senate Calendars are provided throughout the Session Schedule section of the website. During a session, those calendars are updated each evening of each legislative day. Generally, Monday calendars are uploaded to the website by Friday afternoon or early evening. For those visiting the Colorado Capitol, printed versions of the daily House and Senate Calendars are available in Room 307 of the Capitol, which is located on the Third Floor, north of the rotunda, on the east side of the building.

It can be helpful to keep in mind that actual law-making activities can occur at the Colorado Capitol only when the legislature is convened in session. During the annual eight-month interim period, the daily House and Senate Calendars are not published because neither chamber is convened, which means that neither chamber can conduct actual law-making business. However, certain legislative committees are allowed to meet during an interim period. Such meetings will be posted at the General Assembly website under the Full Schedule, House Schedule, and/or Senate Schedule webpages.

While various legislative committees can hold meetings during an interim period, there is limited opportunity for public testimony at such meetings. Public testimony is required by the state constitution for each bill that is introduced. During an interim period, a committee might discuss one or more proposed bills for a future session, but bills cannot be introduced during an interim.

It works that way here in Colorado because that’s how the people of Colorado wanted it to work when voters approved the 120-day session limitation and the extensive GAVEL Amendment in November 1988. Both of those measures where amendments to the Colorado Constitution, which brought significant, lasting, and unique change to how the Colorado General Assembly operates. 

** The information provided herein is intended for general educational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you have questions of a legal nature, please consult with an attorney.

** Civics Corner content was written with the help of former Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert.

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