DENVER (KDVR) — Lawmakers at the Colorado Capitol are working around the clock to bring this year’s session to a close. While things are moving along in one chamber, It’s been a slow go for members in the other.
It was a long night for senators and an early morning for representatives because they worked through the night. The motion for the House to stand in recess was made just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Lawmakers had arrived for work at 10 a.m. the day before. They had a couple of breaks but were in session most of that time. One reason they were up so late was that they had to listen to full readouts of most bills.
“Thank you, Madame Chair. Let’s read this at length. I make a move, a motion, that we read it at length,” said Rep. Ron Hanks of Fremont. Hanks is just one of several Republican representatives that have leaned on that move over the past couple of days.
House Republicans have raised concerns about a lack of transparency and negotiations, as well as the price tags of certain bills coming out at the final hour. So they have been seeking division votes, a head count on some bills and requesting some bills to be read in their entirety. It has resulted in a major slowdown in getting bills out of that chamber.
Across the hall, senators were able to approve big items like:
- A bill known as the towing bill of rights that requires towers to charge the same fees for tows, regardless of if the driver knows about the tow or not
- A bill that will designate grant funding to local governments to help fight wildfires
- A measure allocating $105 million in grant funding to fight homelessness
- A bill that will put a question on November ballots asking whether all public school students should get free lunch or not
Lawmakers are supposed to be done by midnight Wednesday. At this point, it is not clear whether they will meet the deadline. House members will need to pick up the pace if they want that to happen.