Colorado General Assembly
|73rd Colorado General Assembly|
|Houses|| Senate |
House of Representatives
|Preceded by||72nd Colorado General Assembly|
Senate Majority Leader
House Majority Leader
Senate political groups
House of Representatives political groups
Senate last election
| November 3, 2020 |
House of Representatives last election
| November 3, 2020 |
Senate next election
|November 8, 2022|
House of Representatives next election
|November 8, 2022|
|Colorado State Capitol, Denver|
|Colorado General Assembly|
The Colorado General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Colorado. It is a bicameral legislature that was created by the 1876 state constitution. Its statutes are codified in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.).The session laws are published in the Session Laws of Colorado .
Colorado's legislature is similar to those of other states, except that, unlike many states, Colorado does not give its Lieutenant Governor any legislative authority (e.g. tie-breaking vote).
The first meeting of the Colorado General Assembly took place from November 1, 1876, through March 20, 1877.Succeeding sessions met every two years until 1950, when it began to meet annually.
The lieutenant governor served as Senate President until 1974 when Article V, Section 10 of the state constitution was amended, granting the Colorado Senate the right to elect one of its own members as President.
The Colorado Constitution establishes a system of government based on the separation of powers doctrine with power divided among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Article V vests the legislative power of the state in the General Assembly, while reserving to the people the power to propose, approve, and reject both laws and amendments to the state Constitution by initiatives or referendums.
The General Assembly is bicameral, composed of the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate. The House has 65 members and the Senate 35. Members of the House are elected to two-year terms, and members of the Senate are elected to four-year terms.
General legislative elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year.The entire House is elected in each general election. Senators are elected in two classes such that, as nearly as possible, one-half of the senators are elected in each general election.
House members are limited to four consecutive terms in office, and state senators are limited to two consecutive terms. However, term-limited former members of both houses can run again after a four-year break.
The vast majority of members of the General Assembly who are ultimately elected (in excess of 90% of members ultimately elected in all recent sessions) are nominated through a major political party caucus process that places candidates on a primary ballot for the position sought in their political party, which generally requires 30% support from delegates to the relevant nominating body of the political party. It is also possible for individuals who have been registered to vote and affiliated with the political party in question for at least a year to gain access to a partisan primary ballot by petition. Minor party candidates can gain access to the general election ballot through a minor party caucus process. Unaffiliated candidates can gain access to the general election ballot by petition.
Vacancies in legislative offices are generally filled by political party vacancy committees, rather than by-elections. Vacancy appointees who fill the first half of a state senators term must stand for election at the next even year November election for the remainder of the state senate term for the seat to which the state senator was appointed.
The state auditor is appointed by the General Assembly, as are many members of independent boards and commissions.
Currently, the Colorado General Assembly is controlled by the Democratic Party. Democrats also hold the Governor's office.
The Colorado General Assembly was the first state legislature to welcome women as elected members, with Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly and Frances S. Klock all being elected to the State House of Representatives in 1894 and Helen Robinson being elected to the State Senate in 1912 (the second state upper house in the country to welcome women as members).
With the notable exceptions listed below, the Colorado General Assembly operates in a manner quite similar to the United States Congress.
Regular sessions are held annually and begin no later than the second Wednesday in January. Regular sessions last no more than 120 days. Special sessions may be called at any time by the Governor or upon written request of two-thirds of the members of each house, but are infrequent. Some committees of the General Assembly work between sessions and have limited power to take action without General Assembly approval between legislative sessions.
Joint procedural rules of the two chambers require most legislation to be introduced very early in the legislative session each year, and to meet strict deadlines for completion of each step of the legislative process. Joint procedural rules also limit each legislator to introducing five bills per year, subject to certain exceptions for non-binding resolutions, uniform acts, interim committee bills and appropriations bills. Most members of the General Assembly decide which bills they will introduce during the legislative session (or most of them) prior to its commencement, limiting the ability of members to introduce new bills at constituent request once the legislative session has begun.
Most bills adopted by the General Assembly include a "safety clause" (i.e. a legislative declaration that the bill concerns an urgent matter) and take effect on July 1 following the legislative session unless otherwise provided. Some bills are enacted without a "safety clause" which makes it possible to petition to subject those bills to a referendum before they take effect, and have an effective date in August following the legislative session unless otherwise provided.
Colorado's legislature does not have an analog to the filibuster in the United States Senate requiring a supermajority for approval of any matter. The Lieutenant Governor does not have the power to preside or break tie votes in either house of the General Assembly.All new executive branch rules are reviewed annually by the legislature and the legislature routinely invalidates some of them each year.
The General Assembly does not have a role in the appointment or retention of state judges, although it must authorize the creation of each judgeship.
Many state agencies and programs are subject to "sunset review" and are automatically abolished if the General Assembly does not reauthorize them.
The governor submits a proposed budget to the Joint Budget Committee each year in advance of the year's legislative session. Colorado's fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30.
All bills introduced in the General Assembly are evaluated by the non-partisan state legislative services body for their fiscal impact and must be provided for in appropriations legislation if there is a fiscal impact.
A state budget, called the "Long Bill" is prepared each year by the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly. Unlike many legislative initiatives, the Long Bill is neither an acronym nor named after an individual with significant influence. The Long Bill is simply a lengthy bill that contains many appropriations. The House and the Senate alternate the job of introducing the long bill and making a first committee review of it. Colorado's state legislature is required to obtain voter approval in order to incur significant debt, to raise taxes, or to increase state constitutional spending limitations. It is also required to comply with a state constitutional spending mandate for K-12 education. The Governor has line item veto power over appropriations.
The Colorado General Assembly is staffed by approximately 230-year-round staff and 115 session-only staff. Staffing levels and expenditures have decreased since 2003.Similarly to Congressional staffers, legislative staff in Colorado fall into five broad categories: member staff, administrative staff, committee staff, communications and leadership staff, and legal service staff. With the exception of those working in communications and leadership, employees of the General Assembly are non-partisan staffers.
Based on the 2010 census, each House member represents about 77,372 constituents and each Senator 143,691. The 2018 Colorado elections resulted in Democrats extending their control in the House (41 Democrats; 24 Republicans) and capturing the Senate majority.The current Senate makeup is 20 Democrats and 15 Republicans. There are 65 House Members and 35 Senate Members making up the 100 seats in Colorado General Assembly.
The California State Legislature is a bicameral state legislature consisting of a lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members; and an upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members. Both houses of the Legislature convene at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The California state legislature is one of just ten full-time state legislatures in the United States.
The Vermont General Assembly is the legislative body of the state of Vermont, in the United States. The Legislature is formally known as the "General Assembly," but the style of "Legislature" is commonly used, including by the body itself. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the 150-member Vermont House of Representatives and the 30-member Vermont Senate. Members of the House are elected by single and two-member districts. 58 districts choose one member, and 46 choose two, with the term of service being two years. The Senate includes 30 Senators, elected by 3 single-member and 10 multi-member districts with two, three, or six members each. It is the only state legislative body in the United States in which a third-party has had continuous representation and been consecutively elected alongside Democrats and Republicans.
The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member House of Representatives and the 36-member Senate. It meets in the state capital, Hartford. There are no term limits for either chamber.
The New Jersey Legislature is the legislative branch of the government of the U.S. state of New Jersey. In its current form, as defined by the New Jersey Constitution of 1947, the Legislature consists of two houses: the General Assembly and the Senate. The Legislature meets in the New Jersey State House, in the state capital of Trenton. Democrats currently hold veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.
The New York State Legislature consists of the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of New York: The New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. The New York Constitution does not designate an official term for the two houses together; it says only that the state's legislative power "shall be vested in the senate and assembly". Session laws passed by the Legislature are published in the official Laws of New York. Permanent New York laws of a general nature are codified in the Consolidated Laws of New York. As of January 2021, the Democratic Party holds a majority in each house of the New York State Legislature, which is the highest paid state legislature in the country.
The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature, the lower house being the California State Assembly. The State Senate convenes, along with the State Assembly, at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida Senate being the upper house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The House is composed of 120 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 157,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Representatives' terms begin immediately upon their election. As of 2020, Republicans hold the majority in the State House with 78 seats; Democrats are in the minority with 42 seats.
The Colorado Senate is the upper house of the Colorado General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Colorado. It is composed of 35 members elected from single-member districts, with each district having a population of about 123,000 as of the 2000 census. Senators are elected to four-year terms, and are limited to two consecutive terms in office.
The Tennessee General Assembly (TNGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is a part-time bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Senate carries the additional title and office of Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee. In addition to passing a budget for state government plus other legislation, the General Assembly appoints three state officers specified by the state constitution. It is also the initiating body in any process to amend the state's constitution.
The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives being the lower house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 470,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.
The West Virginia Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of West Virginia. A bicameral legislative body, the legislature is split between the upper Senate and the lower House of Delegates. It was established under Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution following the state's split from Virginia during the American Civil War in 1863. As with its neighbor and former constituent Virginia General Assembly, the legislature's lower house is also referred to as a "House of Delegates."
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky. It comprises the Kentucky Senate and the Kentucky House of Representatives.
The government of Alabama is organized under the provisions of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama, the lengthiest constitution of any political entity in the world. Like other states within the United States, Alabama's government is divided into executive, judicial, and legislative branches.
The Arkansas Senate is the upper branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. The Senate consists of 35 members, each representing a district with about 83,000 people. Service in the state legislature is part-time, and many state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. During the current term, the Senate contains twenty-eight Republicans, and seven Democrats.
The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the House of Representatives and Senate. It is one of the few state legislatures in which members of both chambers serve four-year terms and in which all are elected in the same cycle. The most recent election was on November 6, 2018. The new legislature assumes office immediately following the certification of the election results by the Alabama Secretary of State which occurs within a few days following the election.
The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election cycle. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The Utah State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Utah. It is a bicameral body, comprising the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators. There are no term limits for either chamber.
The Arkansas General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Arkansas Senate with 35 members, and the lower Arkansas House of Representatives with 100 members. All 135 representatives and state senators represent an equal number of constituent districts. The General Assembly convenes on the second Monday of every other year. A session lasts for 60 days unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Governor of Arkansas can issue a "call" for a special session during the interims between regular sessions. The General Assembly meets at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.