It’s that time of year.
The state Senate and House of Representatives are getting together formally for the first time at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, and will work for the next 120 days on potential new laws for Colorado. State lawmakers will tackle a host of issues this year (as always), including recreational marijuana industry sales, gun control, the economy, education, and the slightly-growing state budget.
Wednesday is, however, almost completely ceremonial. New lawmakers will be sworn into office, and the morning will be full of speeches from party leaders. Those will include the new state Senate president, John Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat, as well as Colorado Springs Republicans Bill Cadman, the Senate minority leader, and Mark Waller, the new House minority leader.
The only legislative leader not from Colorado Springs, the newly-anointed Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, will also make a speech of his own. Ferrandino is a Denver Democrat.
The Joint Budget Committee is the only committee that will meet Wednesday afternoon, though, and the real work won’t begin until after Gov. John Hickenlooper delivers his state of the state speech Thursday morning at 11 a.m. And even on Thursday and Friday, just a small minority of legislative committees will begin meeting.
On Thursday, the Joint House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee, the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will meet. On Friday, the Joint House and Senate Judiciary Committee will meet. The JBC will also meet Thursday and Friday afternoons.
I’ll be tweeting from the Senate this morning, and probably for a while afterwards, once I talk to the El Paso County delegation. Follow me at @Johnschroyer.
And for any information on the Legislature, check out their official site here. If anybody has questions on how to navigate the site (which can be really confusing and complex), just shoot me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll help as best I can.