68th Colorado General Assembly

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Colorado General Assembly
68th Colorado General Assembly
House of Representatives
Preceded by67th Colorado General Assembly
Succeeded by69th Colorado General Assembly
Political groups
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Meeting place
ColoradoStateCapitol01 gobeirne.jpg
Colorado State Capitol, Denver

The Sixty-eighth Colorado General Assembly was the meeting of the legislative branch of the State of Colorado, from January 12, 2011 until January 9, 2013.[1][2] In the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party won a slim majority in the Colorado House of Representatives, while the Democratic Party kept their majority in the Colorado Senate.[3]

Major events and legislation[edit]

Change in partisan balance[edit]

Republican victories in the 2010 midterm elections resulted in a one-seat majority in the Colorado House.[4] Three centrist Democrats from swing districts, Joe Rice, Sara Gagliardi, and Dianne Primavera who had brokered bipartisan agreements in the 67th Colorado General Assembly were replaced by Republican challengers, leading to early fears of partisan gridlock.[5][6][7] However, the two-year-long 33-34 partisan division also resulted in numerous temporary coalitions which blocked some bills and advanced others, prompting the Denver Post to editorialize in 2012, "on balance, this year's regular session of the legislature was a success."[8]

Budgetary measures[edit]

The primary constitutional duty of the General Assembly is to pass an annual appropriations measure. Frequently called "the budget" by the press or "the long bill" by legislative staffers (owing to its enormous number of pages and considerable complexity), the annual appropriation is one of the most-watched measures in any given session. The bill is drafted by the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), which is a bipartisan committee made up of House and Senate members and advised by staffers and economists.[9]

SB11-209 was the 2011-2012 budget, which was passed by the 68th General Assembly in April 2011. It made an appropriation of $18 billion, of which $7 billion was from the state's General Fund.[10] The state's governor, John Hickenlooper, vetoed several sections of the budget measure, arguing that the legislature had overstepped its constitutional authority by making staffing decisions in the bill.[11] The House and Senate overrode the partial vetoes on May 11, 2011.[12]

HB12-1335 was the 2012-2013 budget passed by the 68th General Assembly in late April 2012. The bill made a total appropriation of $20 billion, of which $7.7 billion was from the state's General Fund.[13] Because of ongoing bipartisan agreements in the legislature, the measure achieved the broadest support and highest number of "yes" votes of any Colorado budget since 1995.[14][15][16]

2012 Special session[edit]

The 68th Colorado General Assembly was also noteworthy for having a Special Session, the first since 2006.[17]

On the second-to-last day of the 2012 legislative session, Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and a group of Republican legislators engaged in a parliamentary filibuster intended to prevent an up-or-down vote on a civil unions bill. At the time, it was reported that a majority of the House, including five Republicans, supported the measure. Delaying the civil union bill until adjournment resulted in the bill's expiration.[18] However, this action also resulted in 30 unrelated bills dying without a floor vote.[19][20] The delay resulted in nationwide media attention and triggered a special legislative session which cost taxpayers an estimated $23,500 per day.[21][22]

In the first special session of the 68th General Assembly, Speaker McNulty assigned the civil unions bill to the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee which functioned as a "kill committee," permanently avoiding a vote by the House.[23][24][25] Most remaining measures followed normal procedures, however.[26]

Composition of Senate during 68th Colorado General Assembly[edit]


Position Senator Party District
President Brandon Shaffer Democratic 17
President pro Tempore Betty Boyd Democratic 21
Majority Leader John P. Morse Democratic 11
Assistant Majority Leader Lois Tochtrop Democratic 24
Majority Caucus Chair Morgan Carroll Democratic 29
Minority Leader Mike Kopp Republican 22
Assistant Minority Leader Bill Cadman Republican 10
Minority Caucus Chair Mark Scheffel Republican 4
Minority Whip Scott Renfroe Republican 13

Members of the Colorado Senate[edit]

District Senator Party Residence
1 Greg Brophy Republican Wray
2 Kevin Grantham Republican Canon City
3 Angela Giron Democratic Pueblo
4 Mark Scheffel Republican Sedalia
5 Gail Schwartz Democratic Snowmass Village
6 Ellen Roberts Republican Durango
7 Steve King Republican Grand Junction
8 Jean White Republican Steamboat Springs
9 Kent Lambert Republican Colorado Springs
10 Bill Cadman Republican Colorado Springs
11 John Morse Democratic Colorado Springs
12 Keith King Republican Colorado Springs
13 Scott Renfroe Republican Greeley
14 Bob Bacon Democratic Fort Collins
15 Kevin Lundberg Republican Fort Collins
16 Jeanne Nicholson Democratic Golden
17 Brandon Shaffer Democratic Longmont
18 Rollie Heath Democratic Boulder
19 Evie Hudak Democratic Westminster
20 Cheri Jahn Democratic Wheat Ridge
21 Betty Boyd Democratic Lakewood
22 Tim Neville Republican Littleton
23 Shawn Mitchell Republican Broomfield
24 Lois Tochtrop Democratic Thornton
25 Mary Hodge Democratic Aurora
26 Linda Newell Democratic Littleton
27 Nancy Spence Republican Centennial
28 Suzanne Williams Democratic Aurora
29 Morgan Carroll Democratic Aurora
30 Ted Harvey Republican Parker
31 Pat Steadman Democratic Denver
32 Irene Aguilar Democratic Denver
33 Michael Johnston Democratic Denver
34 Lucía Guzmán Democratic Denver
35 Joyce Foster Democratic Denver

Composition of the House during 68th Colorado General Assembly[edit]


Position Name Party Residence District
Speaker of the House Frank McNulty Republican Highlands Ranch 43
Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Priola Republican Brighton 30
Majority Leader Amy Stephens Republican Colorado Springs 20
Assistant Majority Leader Mark Waller Republican Colorado Springs 15
Majority Caucus Chair Carole Murray Republican Castle Rock 45
Majority Whip B.J. Nikkel Republican Loveland 49
Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino Democratic Denver 2
Assistant Minority Leader Nancy Todd Democratic Aurora 41
Minority Caucus Chair Lois Court Democratic Denver 6
Minority Whip vacant Democratic n/a n/a


District Representative Party Residence
1 Jeanne Labuda Democratic Denver
2 Mark Ferrandino Democratic Denver
3 Daniel Kagan Democratic Denver
4 Dan Pabon Democratic Denver
5 Crisanta Duran Democratic Denver
6 Lois Court Democratic Denver
7 Angela Williams Democratic Denver
8 Beth McCann Democratic Denver
9 Joe Miklosi Democratic Denver
10 Dickey Lee Hullinghorst Democratic Boulder
11 Jonathan Singer Democratic Longmont
12 Matt Jones Democratic Louisville
13 Claire Levy Democratic Boulder
14 Janak Joshi Republican Colorado Springs
15 Mark Waller Republican Colorado Springs
16 Larry Liston Republican Colorado Springs
17 Mark Barker Republican Colorado Springs
18 Pete Lee Democratic Colorado Springs
19 Marsha Looper Republican Calhan
20 Amy Stephens Republican Colorado Springs
21 Bob Gardner Republican Colorado Springs
22 Kenneth Summers Republican Lakewood
23 Max Tyler Democratic Golden
24 Sue Schafer Democratic Wheat Ridge
25 Cheri Gerou Republican Evergreen
26 Andrew Kerr Democratic Lakewood
27 Libby Szabo Republican Arvada
28 Jim Kerr Republican Littleton
29 Robert Ramirez Republican Arvada
30 Kevin Priola Republican Brighton
31 Judy Solano Democratic Brighton
32 Edward Casso Democratic Thornton
33 Donald Beezley Republican Broomfield
34 John Soper Democratic Westminster
35 Cherylin Peniston Democratic Westminster
36 Su Ryden Democratic Aurora
37 Spencer Swalm Republican Centennial
38 Kathleen Conti Republican Littleton
39 David Balmer Republican Centennial
40 Cindy Acree Republican Aurora
41 Nancy Todd Democratic Aurora
42 Rhonda Fields Democratic Aurora
43 Frank McNulty Republican Highlands Ranch
44 Chris Holbert Republican Parker
45 Carole Murray Republican Castle Rock
46 Salvatore Pace Democratic Pueblo
47 Keith Swerdfeger Republican Pueblo West
48 Glenn Vaad Republican Mead
49 B.J. Nikkel Republican Loveland
50 James Riesberg Democratic Greeley
51 Brian DelGrosso Republican Loveland
52 John Kefalas Democratic Fort Collins
53 Randy Fischer Democratic Fort Collins
54 Ray Scott Republican Grand Junction
55 Laura Bradford Republican Grand Junction
56 Christine Scanlan Democratic Dillon
57 Randy Baumgardner Republican Winter Park
58 Don Coram Republican Montrose
59 Paul Brown Republican Durango
60 Tom Massey Republican Poncha Springs
61 Roger Wilson Democratic Glenwood Springs
62 Edward Vigil Democratic
63 Jon Becker Republican Yuma
64 Wes McKinley Democratic Walsh
65 Jerry Sonnenberg Republican Sterling

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Colorado General Assembly Session Calendar, January 12, 2011" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Colorado General Assembly Session Calendar, January 9, 2013" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Colorado General Assembly Session Calendar, January 12, 2011. Roll call section" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Denver Post - Colorado State House 2010 Election Results".
  5. ^ "The Colorado Statesman: InnerView with Pat Waak - Dem party chairwoman reflects on 'sobering' election results".
  6. ^ "Denver Post - Colorado State House 2010 Election Results".
  7. ^ "The Colorado Statesman: Leadership changes at Legislature".
  8. ^ "Denver Post: Highs and lows under the Colorado Capitol dome". May 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "Legislative documentation: Role of the Joint Budget Committee".
  10. ^ "JBC documentation - Long Bill Overview and Narrative" (PDF).
  11. ^ "The Colorado Statesman: Gov. Hickenlooper signs first budget; vetoes eight footnotes".
  12. ^ "House Journal - Summarized History for Bill Number SB11-209".
  14. ^ "Gov. Hickenlooper signs budget bill for next fiscal year".
  15. ^ "Summarized History for Bill Number HB12-1335".
  16. ^ Hoover, Tim (April 29, 2012). "Colorado legislators cheer budget, but some parts still draw critics". Denver Post.
  17. ^ "State of Colorado: Prior Session Information".
  18. ^ "Colorado Civil Unions: House Republicans Block Bill From Going To Vote; Bill Dies In House". Huffington Post. May 8, 2012.
  19. ^ "USA Today - Republicans kill civil unions in Colorado". May 14, 2012.
  20. ^ "Associated Press - Colorado civil union bill dies - lawmakers reach impasse after Republican filibuster".
  21. ^ Bartels, Lynn; Hoover, Tim (May 9, 2012). "Denver Post - Hickenlooper calls for special session in fallout over failed Colorado civil-union bill".
  22. ^ "Colorado Civil Unions: House Republicans Block Bill From Going To Vote; Bill Dies In House". Huffington Post. May 8, 2012.
  23. ^ Hoover, Tim; Ingold, John (May 14, 2012). "Denver Post - Colorado civil unions bill dies in "kill committee"". Archived from the original on February 4, 2013.
  24. ^ "Bloomberg News - Colorado Civil Unions Legislation Assigned to 'Kill' Committee".
  25. ^ "L.A. Times - Same-sex unions: Fate of Colorado measure may be sealed". Archived from the original on May 15, 2012.
  26. ^ "2012 House Special Session Bill Tracker".

External links[edit]

See also[edit]