On Thursday, Gov. John Hickenlooper officially signed an order for a special legislative session to consider bills that the House Republican leadership killed without debate as the clock ran out on the current legislative session earlier in the week.
The special session, beginning Monday, will include seven bills, including the high profile same-sex civil unions bill. See the full bill descriptions listed below.
“Much of this legislation had significant bipartisan support and addressed subject matter crucial to the people of Colorado and the effective, efficient operation of state government,” Hickenlooper wrote in an executive order. “The ramifications of the General Assembly’s inability to take up the business of its people will negatively impact the State of Colorado and hamper its ability to serve its people. These extraordinary circumstances require a special session of the General Assembly.”
Bills to be considered by special session:
- Funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board projects.
- Penalties for persons who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Authorization of civil unions.
- Administration of the unemployment insurance program to stabilize unemployment insurance rates, facilitating the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds and accelerating the creation of the Division of Unemployment Insurance in the Department of Labor and Employment.
- Creating “benefit corporations” in Colorado.
- Registering Special Mobile Machinery Fleets.
- Submitting to the registered electors of the State of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado Constitution repealing provisions deemed obsolete.
This special session does not come cheap. It will cost $23,500 per day and there are 15 days already budgeted for the current fiscal year, according to a press release from the governor's office. However, it's possible that the session could run longer -- it's entirely up to the amount of time it takes the lawmakers to debate and vote on these issues.
However, as Hickenlooper said in his Wednesday press conference, he can't force the lawmakers to vote. Meaning just calling the special session does not guarantee the same kind of stalling that took place on Tuesday wouldn't take place again. But, hopefully, given the scrutiny and price tag that comes with a special session, the House will at least give these bills the chance they deserve.
This will be the first special session called since 2006 when the General Assembly was called to readdress immigration bills.
For more information about special legislative sessions and how one operates, click here.
WATCH [via 9News] Analysis of bills for special legislative session