DENVER — Thursday, May 10, 2012 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today called the General Assembly to meet in special session beginning Monday to consider seven legislative issues the Colorado House of Representatives failed to act on earlier this week.
“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.”
The governor’s Executive Order, by law, does not prescribe the specific form that the legislation should take; rather, it defines the appropriate subject matter for legislative consideration.
“There was good legislation that did not pass out of the General Assembly for one reason or another during the recently-concluded session,” Hickenlooper wrote. “We are limiting the agenda for this special session, however, to the subject matters of legislation that died on the Colorado House calendar on May 8, 2012, for lack of a full debate and vote on second reading, clearly had bipartisan support in the legislature, and advance good government and economic development, public safety, or other important policy objectives.”
The seven specific subjects that should be considered in the special session are:
• 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.
The General Assembly determines how long the special session will last. The cost to taxpayers is $23,500 per day; there are 15 days already budgeted in the current fiscal year.