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ADVOCATE

Your actions make a difference! Learn how to advocate for sensible gun laws

UPCOMING

Our 2020 Legislative Agenda

Over the summer and fall, we’ve been working in coalition and with legislators to educate about important bills that should be introduced in the next legislative session, which begins January 8.

The bills will focus on protecting youth from gun violence, and may include bills on safe storage or raising the minimum age for gun purchases.  Sign up for our enews to keep apprised of progress.

VOLUNTEER

Learn how to lobby and educate about common sense gun legislation.

TAKE ACTION

Contact your legislators by phone call or email .  Your message can ensure that legislators who may only be listening to the NRA  know that their voters have a different opinion. 

DONATE

Your donation is an important form of activism.  Please support our work in the legislature with a gift today.

LEGISLATE

How a bill becomes a law

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Can only submit 5 bills each session, unless granted permission by leadership.

Must submit bills by a specified date, unless granted permission by leadership for a late bill.

Finds a supportive legislator in the other chamber as a sponsor and lines up co-sponsors.

Works with legislative services to draft language consistent with state statute.

Legislators are anxious to pass bills under their own names to demonstrate to their constituents their commitment to working for the good of Colorado and their district.

In Colorado the title of a bill is extremely important and legislators are careful in how they craft the title. Under the Colorado constitution, a measure cannot cover more than one issue. Additionally, the bill cannot be amended unless the amendment conforms with the title. Unfriendly amendments have even occurred which erased the bill entirely and replaced it with new language. Sometimes amendments are applied which have strategic intent for election purposes.

First reading is when the bill is read across by the clerk in the first chamber of reference (house or senate).

The bill is then assigned to a committee of reference by the majority leadership of the chamber. Sometimes the leadership will assign the bill to several committees. State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee is often used by the leadership for bills they do not want to see continue.

All bills with a fiscal note must be approved by the Appropriations Committee before going to the “committee of the whole” (the house or senate chamber). Appropriations can defeat the bill for any reason, not just monetary. No testimony is taken at Appropriations.

The committee of reference takes public testimony and discusses the bill. It will consider amendments and then vote whether or not to approve the bill.

Bills that are approved by a majority of the committee then go on to the next committee of reference, which could be another committee or the committee of the whole.

Bills that fail to receive a majority of votes in committee are usually considered for postponing indefinitely (PI). Bills that are PI’ed are dead for the session.

Committee hearings (except Appropriations) generally occur in the afternoons or after adjournment of the Committee of the Whole. They also have a set meeting weekly schedule, although this may all change towards the end of the session.

Only rarely will a committee meet on Friday.

A bill hearing must appear on the calendar at least 48-hours before it is to be considered.

Occurs with the Committee of the Whole (entire House or Senate).

Bills, as amended by committee(s), are presented to the entire chamber and are debated.

Citizens may observe from the gallery, but no public testimony is taken.

Bills can be amended at 2nd reading.

When a vote is taken, if the bill is defeated, it is considered dead (although occasionally there is a parliamentary move to reconsider).

The votes on second reading are not recorded, unless someone does a parliamentary maneuver to ensure recording of the votes.

In order to obtain approval of a chamber, the bill must be approved on a 3rd reading.

Therefore, every legislator has an opportunity to rethink his or her vote on a bill (and sometimes get an earful from the citizenry).

It is generally considered bad form to offer amendments to a third reading of a bill, and legislators have to receive permission of the chamber to offer one.

3rd reading votes are final and are recorded. Votes appear in the journal of the chamber.

After the bill passes 3rd reading, it then proceeds to the other chamber for the same 3 readings. The successful amendments from the first chamber are incorporated into an “engrossed” bill.

After a bill passes 3rd reading in the second chamber, it heads to the Governor for his signature or veto, unless the 2nd chamber or committees amended the bill. Those Amended bills are sent back to the first chamber, where a concurrence vote is sought.

If the first chamber does not concur with the changes applied by the second chamber, a conference committee is appointed to work out the differences. The bill that emerges from the conference committee must be approved by both chambers before heading to the Governor.

Governor may choose to sign, veto, or take no action on a bill.

A bill becomes law if:

  • Governor signs
  • 2/3 of each chamber overrides the Governor’s veto
  • Governor fails to sign after 10 days during session or 30 days after legislature adjourns.

In mid-March legislative attention turns to the state budget and the Long bill (because it is very long). This bill funds the entire state government. The Long bill is a product of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), a powerful bipartisan committee that works closely all session focused on the state budget.

Colorado U.S. Senate Race: Candidates' positions on gun laws

Republican
Democrat

Cory Gardner — incumbent U.S. Senator and former U.S. Representative for 4th Congressional District
Web site: https://www.gardner.senate.gov/about-cory/biography
Actions: As a Colorado House member, was the sponsor of the first “Stand Your Ground –
business bill, which would have granted immunity for use of lethal force in business location.
Similar bills have been defeated for 14 years.

Selected Votes:
2016 – S. amdt 4720 Voted NO on prohibited firearms to terrorists
2016 – S. amdt 4750 Voted NO on Fix Gun Checks Act
2014 – H. amdt 1098 Voted YES on prohibiting DC from implementing firearms laws
2011 – HR 822 – Voted YES on Concealed Carry Reciprocity
2007 – Voted NO on Colorado SB07-34 CCW residency restrictions

Senator Cory Gardner is a fervent opponent of gun violence prevention, and would likely oppose virtually all of the following list. His website is silent on all of the following proposals, but does say the following “I am proud to support and protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.” He refers to misguided attempts to limit that right, which he would likely categorize these as.

Diana Bray – psychologist and climate activist
Web site: https://dianaforcolorado.com/

Lorena Garcia – community organizer
Web site: https://lorenaforsenate.com/who-is-lorena/

John Hickenlooper — former Colorado Governor, Denver Mayor and business owner
Web site:  https://www.hickenlooper.com/
While governor, signed into law key gun violence protection measures of 2013, including universal background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines. 

Andrew Romanoff – former speaker of the Colorado House, candidate for US Senate in 2010 and nominee for US House CD 6 in 2014.
Web site: https://andrewromanoff.com/
Brought Democrats into control of Colorado House after 28 years in minority. Only
Speaker to serve 2 terms in the last 20+ years.
Brought the mental health community into support of ERPO, worked to get bill
Introduced in 2018, and was speaker at the introductory press conference.

Stephany Rose Spaulding – University of Colorado, Colorado Springs professor and nominee for US House CD 5 in 2018.
Web site: https://stephanyforco.com/

Angela Williams — state senator
Web site: not up yet.
2013 – Voted for all GVP bills, including Universal Background Checks,
High Capacity Magazine ban and Domestic Violence Relinquishment.
After vote, agreed to cosponsor UBC and High Capacity Magazine Ban. She
did not cosponsor DV relinquishment.

Trish Zornio — biomedical scientist
Web site: https://zornio2020.com/

This is just a sampling of what Democratic candidates have on their web/Facebook sites. We suspect there is little difference between candidates on gun violence prevention philosophies. Some have not chosen to comment on specific gun violence prevention issues even though we understand they have expressed support elsewhere. This will be updated, and eventually Ceasefire will do a questionnaire.