When the Colorado Senate adjourned its floor work for the day Wednesday, at least two bills died with that decision.
That's because any Senate bill that didn't clear the Senate Wednesday is considered done for the year. As of Wednesday, any Senate bill still in that chamber (or House bill in the House) had to win preliminary approval, aka second reading, on Wednesday to stay alive.
Senate bills that won preliminary approval Wednesday -- and there was one on electric utility rates -- still must win a final Senate vote on Thursday. The Senate measure then has to move over to the House, be introduced and go through all committee hearings, and on to preliminary approval in the House. All that can happen, under state law, in one day.
However, under the law a bill cannot win preliminary approval and a final vote on the same calendar day. So that bill that won preliminary approval on Thursday would still have time for a final vote in the House on Friday.
The same -- in reverse -- applies to one House bill still on the House calendar on Wednesday, a bill on sales and use exemptions for farm equipment. It must get out of the House Wednesday night in order to make it all the way through the Senate before midnight Friday.
The bills that died on the calendar in the Senate Wednesday:
- Senate Bill 243, which would ban retail food establishments from using polystyrene food packaging as of Jan. 1, 2024.
- Senate Bill 67, which sets up a new rural economic development grant program for "early stage rural businesses" whose products or services that could be exported outside of that rural area.
For Thursday, any bill, House or Senate, that does not win preliminary approval in either chamber dies on the calendar at midnight.
According to the Office of Legislative Legal Services, as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, 129 bills were awaiting final action, 82 in the Senate, 47 in the House.