This week in the Legislature, March 27, 2017
DENVER — The Joint Budget Committee has completed its work on the budget bill for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which begins July 1. That begins a two-week journey through the rest of the Colorado Legislature that starts in the GOP-controlled Senate, where senators are hoping to start debating it on the floor by Tuesday, though Wednesday is more likely. During that time, they will try to amend it to their individual liking, but ultimately all of that will be undone when it gets sent to the Democratic-controlled House by week’s end.
• Today: The House Finance Committee is to take on HB1242, the bill that would send to the voters a proposed sales tax hike to pay for transportation projects.
• Tuesday: The House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee is to hear HB1080, a measure designed to protect in-state medical suppliers of durable medical equipment from out-of-state suppliers of such products.
• Wednesday: The House Education Committee is to debate HB1258 that would rename the Delta-Montrose Technical College to Technical College of the Rockies.
• Thursday: The House Judiciary Committee is to hear SB115 that would expand the state’s exemption on who is allowed to have sexually exploitative material beyond peace officers in the performance of an investigation. The bill adds prosecutors, defense attorneys and others who work with them in the performance of a case.
• Friday: This day is reserved for floor debate on bills that reach that stage in the House and Senate.
• Next week: By now, the Senate should be done with the budget. From here, it will head to the House, which will try to put its own stamp on the so-called Long Bill, called that because of its length. Ultimately, those changes, too, will be stripped out by the Senate at week’s end, sending the bill to a conference committee of the same six legislators who drafted the spending plan to start with, the Joint Budget Committee.
Scheduled committee hearings are subject to change. All floor action and committees can be watched or heard on the Legislature’s website, leg.colorado.gov. Check that website to see which measures are available for remote testimony, and how to register to speak.
— Charles Ashby