Colorado legislative session sees tough final days
By Anthony Cotton
The Denver Post
With three days remaining in a 120-day legislative session, two words were being bandied about Friday that strike fear into the hearts of the members of the state House — special session.
"There's no appetite for that by the majority party," said Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver.
"We don't like having a bunch of bills slammed through at the final hour," said Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, the House's assistant minority leader.
Already facing a clogged calendar, late this week the House found itself dealing with the specter of a controversial addition — a bill regarding local control of oil and gas operations — that was certain to add to the marathon sessions currently underway.
On Wednesday, the members were on the floor until about 10:30 p.m.; the final gavel didn't fall for the next day's work until about 1:45 a.m. on Friday morning. Tiptoeing to the edge of sleep-deprivation, there seemed to be, as Pabon said, little appetite on either side of the aisle for working overtime.
However, the members will likely be forced to continue going beyond the traditional workday to deal with the numerous complex bills remaining.
On Friday morning, for example, members debated for more than 90 minutes — without coming close to resolution — a bill on water efficiency that was initially introduced in January when the session began. The scene was similar to what took place on the floor the day before, when bills ranging from suicide prevention to whether money should be spent on a phone app that would help citizens find Colorado-owned businesses led to lengthy debates.