NewsCapitol Watch


Final days of legislative session, discussion over special session

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 30, 2019

COLORADO- Four days left in the legislative session, as lawmakers work through the night and into the early hours of the morning to get bills passed.

“No session is perfect, sessions have their stress points,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D- Pueblo).

Garcia says while the Senate has gotten attention over the tension between Democrats and Republicans, he believes there’s been a lot of bipartisan success this session.

In the final days of the session, Garcia says some of the top priorities in those final days include the capitol’s workplace harassment policy.

Currently, a resolution is in the works to make those changes to the policy.

As lawmakers approach the final days, there’s discussion over a possible special session being called after the session ends.

“I’ve been here 11 sessions now, I think everyone of them there’s been talk of a special session,” said Senator Bob Gardner (R- Colorado Springs).

Republicans are getting attention in the final days of the session as they ask for bills to be read at length, in some cases starting debate that lasts for hours.

“You know it’s easy to blame the minority party, we don’t control, we don’t control the agenda, 116 days of bad calendar management has placed the majority in this situation,” said Gardner.

“Some of these bills have a vote of 35-0 yet they’re debating them for 2 and 3 hours, it’s just not very senatorial like, it’s not the custom of the Colorado Senate,” said Garcia.

In the House, Speaker KC Becker (D- Boulder) and Majority Leader Alec Garnett (D- Boulder) say they’re working across the aisle to get last minute legislation through.

Some of the top priorities include a bill that would ask voters to increase taxes on nicotine products, as well as bills that focus on reviewing and renewing different state agencies- which they are required to do.

“They are a few things still out there that could bring us back in the next few months if we don’t get them done,” said Becker.

“We’re here to solve problems for the people of Colorado, if we need to come back in special session to do that, then that’s what our job is to do, “said Garnett.

A special session can happen one of two ways: either by the Governor declaring one or if both the House and Senate agree to it with two-thirds approval.