Opening day

The Senate during the opening day of the Colorado State Legislature at the Capitol on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 in Denver.

Friday, May 3: That's the day lawmakers, lobbyists, reporters, staff -- just about everyone who makes a daily swing through the Colorado state Capitol -- is pining for. It's the last day of the 120-day 2019 General Assembly session.

But in the four weeks between now and then, there's still a lot left on the agenda.

As of early Monday, 549 bills have been introduced this year. Eighty-eight have been signed, including Senate Bill 42, committing Colorado's presidential electors to back the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Another pair of the session's most controversial bills -- Senate Bill 181, reforming the state's oil and gas regulatory system; and House Bill 1177, the "red flag" measure allowing guns to be seized from people deemed to pose a threat -- have cleared the General Assembly and await the governor's signature.

But there's plenty of work ahead for lawmakers in the last four weeks of the session.

They include:

Hundreds crowd Capitol for hearing on sex ed changes

A hearing for a sex-education bill drew a crowd that filled the Colorado Capitol's largest hearing room as well as two overflow rooms and the hall outside on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Sex education: House Bill 1032,  specifying a comprehensive curriculum for public schools teaching sex ed, has been stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee since Feb. 28. Background here.

Climate change: House Bill 1261 sets a goal of reducing 2005-level greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent in 2013 and 90 percent in 2050. It passed its first House committee hearing on April 5.

Drivers licenses: Senate Bill 139 would expand the driver's license program for immigrants in the country illegally. It is headed for House Appropriations after winning bipartisan approval from House Transportation and Energy on April 3. Background here.

Immigrant Drivers Licenses Colorado

In this 2014 file photo, an immigrant and longtime resident of the United States, left, is processed for her permanent driver's license at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Denver.

The state budget legislation is in its final stages. Senate Bill 207 was adopted by the House on Friday and now heads back to the Joint Budget Committee, which as a conference committee will work out differences between the House and Senate versions. Background here.

Family medical leave: Senate Bill 188,  known as FAMLI, has been stuck in the Senate Finance Committee since March 13, awaiting what are expected to be major amendments dealing with leave already provided by Colorado businesses. Its next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Background here.

Equal pay: Senate Bill 85 would allow workers to sue employers over alleged wage discrimination based on sex. It took the measure more than two months to get out of the Senate, but it's now awaiting a hearing in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. Background here.

TABOR refunds: Referred to by some as "Son of Ref C," legislation would ask voters to grant the state authority to retain excess revenues that would otherwise be funded to taxpayers under the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights. House Bill 1257 and its companion measure, House Bill 1258, are both sitting in House Appropriations. Background here.

012619-news-polis 002

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reads “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss to kindergartners at Trailblazer Elementary School in Colorado Springs on Jan. 26.

Free full-day kindergarten: Gov. Jared Polis' top legislative priority. House Bill 1262 wasn't introduced until March 22, and has its first hearing on Tuesday. Background here.

Imported drugs: Senate Bill 5 would allow Coloradans to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, but Big Pharma is not happy. Background here. It's scheduled for a House committee hearing on April 17.

Driving with cellphones: Senate Bill 12 would ban holding mobile phones while driving. It is scheduled for its first House committee hearing on April 16.

Vaccination: House Bill 1312 would tighten up exemptions on childhood vaccination. It will be heard on Wednesday in its first committee, House Health & Insurance.

Education funding: The annual school finance act has not yet been introduced but is expected this week.

Winter traction: House Bill 1207 would require that vehicles traveling Interstate 70 from Morrison to Dotsero be equipped with suitable tires or other traction gear for winter conditions from Sept. 1 to May 31. It is slated for Senate floor work Monday.

Brittany Pettersen equal pay

Colorado state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, leads a lunchtime rally for the proposed Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

Insurance co-ops: Senate Bill 4 would create a pilot program aimed at helping Coloradans band together to negotiate cheaper health care rates directly with providers. It is scheduled to come before House Rural Affairs & Agriculture on April 15.

What we haven't seen, but expect: A bill on sports gambling and another to change the rules on consumer-business arbitration.

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks. Coffee and pajamas are recommended.


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