Colorado Lawmakers Scramble To Hear Bills Before Session Ends

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Colorado state lawmakers are in the frenzied final days of the 2014 legislative session, but there may not be time to hear all the bills still piled up on their dockets.

Officially, the session ends on Wednesday, but some legislators are already talking about the possibility of calling for a special session to ensure that the remaining bills get the attention they deserve.

The Denver Post listed a number of important items that are still to be decided, including bills about water efficiency, the potency of marijuana products, a $30 million expenditure on a fleet of firefighting aircraft, bills about construction defects and many other matters.

Lawmakers are girding for all-night sessions to plow through as much of the work as possible, for the dual purposes of clearing the docket and avoiding a costly special session.

The last time Colorado called a special session of the legislature was in 2012. It cost taxpayers $23,500 per day.

“There’s no appetite for that by the majority party,” Democratic state Rep. Dan Pabon told the Denver Post.

But others are worried that the frenzied pace shortchanges the type of deliberation some of the issues deserve.

“We owe it to the people of Colorado to have the ability to fully vet all the bills that are coming through,” Republican Rep. Libby Szabo told the Post. “There are some highly complicated issues in play here, and we’re getting less than 24 hours to read and understand them and get our questions answered, and I’m not sure that’s the best way to do policy.”

“We don’t like having a bunch of bills slammed through at the final hour.”

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