The Colorado State Archives services a variety of records useful as resources for legislative
information and intent, especially since 1973. Effective January 1, 1973, the Colorado State Legislature passed the Colorado Sunshine Law. As a result of this law, all subsequent Legislative Committee Hearings and Floor Sessions were supposed to be tape recorded and made available to the public. Because of technical difficulties and the deterioration of the tapes over the years, some of the sessions were not recorded or are inaudible.
Furthermore, because of the rapid deterioration of both the tapes and
machines to play them on hearings before 1991 are not available for
listening. If a copy of the hearings is needed our specialist can make a
cd for you. The charge is $75.00 for the first hour and $65.00 for each
additional hour. Certifications are available for $25.00.
These audio recordings are located for research purposes at the Colorado State Archives. It is necessary to make an appointment to use the audio listening devices. Appointments are made in one-half day blocks, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., Monday,
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, except holidays. We are closed Wednesdays. You may call (303)866-2390 to schedule an appointment time. No appointment is necessary to view written material.
We are unable to interpret legislative material, compile legislative histories, or offer legal advice; however, we will make every effort to supply the information necessary for you to do so.
Address all inquiries to the Colorado State Archives. We have fees associated with listening to the tapes, handling records, professional assistance and
copy work. Please contact us for specific rates.
Brief descriptions of each record category are provided below for your convenience. Inclusive
dates give a general indication of the range of materials serviced; however, due to gaps in some
of the material, it is recommended that you inquire about years of particular interest so that we
can provide specific information on the existence and type of record available.
- Proceedings of the Colorado Constitutional Convention (December 20, 1875 -
March 15, 1876) Minute book of the Constitutional Convention of Colorado with records of the
meetings and proceedings.
- Colorado State Constitution Includes the Jefferson and Colorado Territorial
Constitutions of 1859, 1864, 1865 and 1875 as well as the State Constitution of 1876 and
subsequent revisions. The 1876 Constitution is available on this website in
"pdf" format at:
- Colorado House and Senate Journals (1861- Present) Proceedings of the Colorado
House of Representatives and Senate legislative sessions. Sample of Page from 1984 House Journal
- Colorado Session Laws (1861 - Present) Laws passed in each Colorado legislative
session. Sample of a Page from the 1960 Session Laws
- Colorado Revised Statutes (1868 - Present) Compiled laws passed by the Colorado
Legislature. Sample of a Page from the 1935 Colorado Statutes
- Colorado House and Senate Bills, Resolutions and Memorials (1867 - Present)
Original bills as they were introduced; final bills as they were passed; "engrossed" bills which
document the changes made by each house to the bills as they went through the legislative
process; and resolutions and memorials. Sample of a 1977 Original Bill
- Legislative Status Sheets (1973 - Present) Arranged by bill number for each year, the status sheets show the dates on which action was taken by the Legislature for each bill. Information included is the date that the bill was introduced into each house, dates the bill was in committee and committee to which the bill was assigned, dates of 2nd and 3rd reading of each house, conference committee dates, and dates of final action on the bill (i.e., signed by governor, postponed indefinitely, etc.). Sample of a 1987 Status Sheet
- House and Senate Calendars (1973 - Present) The schedule of bills to be heard in committee and on the floor.
- Legislative Audio Tapes (1973 - Present) Audio recordings of the proceedings of all
Colorado House and Senate committees of reference, and full House and Senate floor debates.
Proceedings prior to 1973 are documented in the House and Senate journals mentioned above.
Researchers interested in listening to these tapes must schedule an appointment by contacting the
Colorado State Archives.
- Legislative Summaries (1973 - Present) These are brief written minutes prepared by Legislative Council staff of the business conducted at committee of reference meetings including information on date; time; place; committee
members and others in attendance; bills considered; general nature of discussion; roll call votes;
and attachments. The summaries are most useful as companion resources to the legislative tapes
mentioned above. Sample of a 1997 Senate Judiciary Committee Summary
- Conference Committee Summaries (1973 - Present) These summaries of business conducted by Conference Committees are also prepared by the Legislative Council staff. A Conference Committee is called when the House and Senate cannot agree on an amendment to a bill. The Conference Committee discusses and resolves the differences.
Procedures for Researching Legislative Tapes
Please click here for important information
about accessing legislative recordings.
The information necessary to research the legislative tapes are the bill number assigned to the bill, and the year it was enacted upon by the Legislature. It is important to note that bills are discussed as an entity and that specific statutory sections may not be referred to in legislative hearings. The following is a description of the basic procedures we use in referencing Legislative tapes.
Committees of Reference - Bills are assigned to a Committee of Reference in each house. Examples of Committees of Reference are the Committee on Judicial Affairs and the Committee on Health Environment Welfare and Institutions (HEWI). To obtain a tape for a committee hearing on a particular bill, locate the committee to which the bill was assigned and the dates the bill was in committee from the Legislative Status Sheet. The Legislative Summaries are arranged chronologically by committee. Research the summaries of the committee to which the bill was assigned in order to locate the hearings on the bill of interest. Once the summary (ies) for the bill is located, the following information is needed to listen to the tapes:
- Date the bill was discussed
- Time of the discussion
- Place (room number) where the meeting was held
Floor Debates - Obtain the dates that the bill was heard on 2nd and 3rd reading for each house from the Legislative Status Sheets. Locate those dates in the House and Senate Journals. Since the time of the floor discussion on a bill is not given, it is necessary to refer to the order in which the bills were discussed in the Journals in order to locate the floor discussion on the tape. Because of the detailed discussion given to a bill in committee, floor debates are usually shorter in length than the committee hearings.
Conference Committees - Locate the date, time and place of the Conference Committee in the Conference Committee Summaries. These summaries are arranged by bill number.