Article V, Section 45 of the Colorado Constitution states, “The general assembly shall consist of not more than thirty-five members of the senate and not more than sixty-five members of the house of representatives, one to be elected from each senatorial and each representative district, respectively.”
Article V, Section 22 of the Colorado Constitution states, “…no bill shall become law except by a vote of the majority of all members elected to each house…”
Taken together, those two excerpts from the Colorado Constitution provide the foundation for a mathematical requirement that has become known at the Colorado Capitol as the “Rule of 33, 18 & 1”.
Those numbers refer to a simple majority of members in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office. Keep in mind that, given the odd number of members in each chamber, a “simple majority” of those members would be the next whole number greater than half.
Here’s how it works.
In the Colorado state legislature, there are 65 Representatives, 35 Senators, and one Governor.
33 is a majority of all members elected to the House.
18 is a majority of all members elected to the Senate.
1 is a majority of the one person elected as Governor.
In Colorado, if all 100 seats in the state legislature are filled, then a bill cannot become law without the support of at least 33 Representatives, 18 Senators, and 1 Governor. Conversely, a bill that receives the support of at least 33 Representatives, 18 Senators, and 1 Governor must continue through the process.
It works that way here in Colorado because that’s how the people of Colorado wanted it to work.