Colorado House of Representatives
|Colorado House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Mark Ferrandino, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Dickey Hullinghorst, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Mark Waller, (R)|
| Democratic Party (37) |
Republican Party (28)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art V, Colorado Constitution|
|Salary:||$30,000/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (65 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (65 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Colorado Reapportionment Commission|
As of December 2013, Colorado is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article V of the Colorado Constitution establishes when the Colorado General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Section 7 of Article V states that the Assembly is to convene its regular session no later than the second Wednesday of January of each year. Regular sessions are not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days.
Section 7 also states that the Governor of Colorado can convene special sessions of the General Assembly. Special sessions can also be convened by a two-thirds vote of the members of both legislative houses.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 8 to May 7.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 through May 9.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included gun control, immigration reform, election reform and the enactment of laws to regulate and tax legal marijuana.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 11 to May 9. A special session began May 14.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from January 12 through May 11.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from January 13th to May 12th.
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Colorado was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Colorado House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 59||Michael McLachlan||2.2%||42,347||J. Paul Brown|
|District 47||Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff||3.5%||35,208||Chuck Rodosevich|
|District 33||Dianne Primavera||5.2%||42,970||David J. Pigott|
|District 3||Daniel Kagan||6.3%||38,629||Brian Watson|
|District 23||Max Tyler||6.6%||40,584||Rick Enstrom|
|District 29||Tracy Kraft-Tharp||8.2%||37,778||Robert Ramirez|
|District 37||Spencer Swalm||8.5%||40,691||Jan Spooner|
|District 22||Justin Everett||8.7%||44,187||Mark Parker|
|District 28||Amy Attwood||9.8%||37,189||Brittany Pettersen|
|District 27||Libbi Szabo||10.2%||44,393||Tim Allport|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 27, 2010, and the primary election day was August 10, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates running for the house raised a total of $5,062,910 in campaign funds. Their top 10 contributors were: 
|2010 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$100,500|
|House Majority Project State Democratic Campaign Fund||$97,509|
|Colorado Education Association||$85,025|
|Copic Insurance Small Donor Committee||$63,440|
|Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers Small Donor Committee (CSCEW)||$58,775|
|Colorado Association of Realtors Small Donor Committee||$57,700|
|Service Employees International Local 105||$50,075|
|Colorado Medical Society||$43,800|
|American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees||$38,900|
Elections for the office of Colorado House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 12, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008. All 65 seats were up for election.
During the 2008 elections, the total contributions to House candidates was $2,735,632. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado Democratic Party House Majority Project||$152,679|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$126,000|
|Food & Commercial Workers Local 7||$110,000|
|Colorado Education Association||$109,600|
|Colorado Association Of Realtors||$100,500|
|Service Employees Local 105||$60,789|
|American Federation Of State County & Municipal Employees||$60,625|
Elections for the office of Colorado House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006. All 65 seats were up for election.
During the 2006 elections, the total contributions to House candidates was $5,204,618. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado House Majority Project||$128,665|
|Food & Commercial Workers Local 7||$104,000|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$102,500|
|Colorado State Conference Of Electrical Workers||$76,100|
|Colorado Education Association||$71,331|
Elections for the office of Colorado House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 10, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004. All 65 seats were up for election.
During the 2004 elections, the total contributions to House candidates was $3,743,809. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$101,200|
|Colorado Democratic Party||$92,062|
|Colorado Education Association||$63,900|
|Colorado Association Of Realtors||$50,350|
|Food & Commercial Workers Local 7||$37,938|
|Colorado Rural Electric Association||$31,500|
Elections for the office of Colorado House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 10, 2002 and a general election on November 2, 2002. All 65 seats were up for election.
During the 2002 elections, the total contributions to House candidates was $5,389,097. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado Republican Party||$367,671|
|Democratic House Majority Fund Of Colorado||$210,208|
|Colorado Democratic Party||$96,078|
|Colorado Association Of Realtors||$55,200|
|Colorado Chiropractic Association||$50,700|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$45,500|
|Colorado Concern State PAC||$43,100|
Elections for the office of Colorado House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000. All 65 seats were up for election.
During the 2000 elections, the total contributions to House candidates was $3,743,809. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Colorado House of Representatives|
|Colorado Democratic Party||$67,505|
|Colorado Republican Party||$57,706|
|Colorado Association Of Realtors||$34,850|
|Colorado Republican Committee House Leadership Trust||$31,450|
|Construction Coop Council||$27,700|
|Colorado Professional Fire Fighters||$27,600|
|Colorado Concern State PAC||$27,500|
|Colorado State Conference Of Electrical Workers||$23,750|
|Colorado Rural Electric Association||$23,500|
Article 5, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution states: No person shall be a representative or senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not be a citizen of the United States, who shall not for at least twelve months next preceding his election, have resided within the territory included in the limits of the county or district in which he shall be chosen; provided, that any person who at the time of the adoption of this constitution, was a qualified elector under the territorial laws, shall be eligible to the first general assembly.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, the political party that last held the seat is responsible for selecting a replacement. A vacancy committee consisting of members representing the political party holding the vacant seat must conduct an election to appoint a replacement. The person selected to fill the vacant seat must be approved by a majority of the members in the vacancy committee. The person who is selected to fill the vacancy remains in the seat until the next scheduled general election.
- See also: Redistricting in Colorado
Although the state legislature is responsible for drawing Congressional districts, the Colorado Reapportionment Commission is responsible for drawing state legislative districts. The Commission is comprised of four members appointed by the General Assembly, three appointed by the governor, and four appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Colorado's population increased from 4.30 million to 5.03 million between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Much of the state's 16.9 percent growth occurred in the I-25 corridor, on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Roughly half of the state's population increase was a result of Hispanic population growth. The Colorado Springs area and the southern Denver suburbs experienced the highest rates of population increase. Despite the fast rate of growth, Colorado did not gain another Congressional seat as a result of the new U.S. Census numbers.
The Colorado Reapportionment Commission, which review plans drafted by both Republicans and Democrats, selected a Democratic plan for the new state legislative districts. Both parties filed lawsuits, and the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the plan. Subsequently, the Commission submitted a new reapportionment plan, also drawn by Democrats. This plan received the Supreme Court's approval.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of December 2013|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Colorado legislature are paid $30,000 per year. They are also given per diem of $183 for members who live more than 50 miles from capitol and $45 for members who live 50 or fewer miles from capitol.
When sworn in
Colorado legislators assume office on first day of the first legislative session following the election (example January 12 of next year for the upcoming elections.)
The Colorado House of Representatives has 11 standing committees:
- Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee
- Appropriations Committee
- Business, Labor, Economic, and Workforce Development Committee
- Education Committee
- Finance Committee
- Health, Insurance and Environment Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Local Government Committee
- Public Health Care and Human Services Committee
- State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee
- Transportation and Energy Committee
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Colorado State House of Representatives for 15 years and the Democrats were the majority for the other seven years. During the final year (2013), Colorado was under a Democratic trifecta.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
Colorado was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period. Colorado has shifted dramatically from Republican to Democratic control.
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Colorado state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Colorado has consistently ranked in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking during the period of the study, and also ranked in the top-5 for thirteen of the twenty years studied. The state has ranked 1st for two separate years (1997 and 2007), once under divided government and once under a Democratic trifecta. Colorado experienced its most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking between 2009 and 2010, while still remaining in the top-10 of states. Republican trifectas occurred during the periods between 1999 and 2000 and again between 2003 and 2004, while Democratic trifectas occurred between 2007 and 2011 and again beginning in 2013 to the present. The state experienced a disruption in the Democratic trifectas between those periods when Republicans controlled the state house for two years, between 2010 and 2013.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 3.25
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 5.50
- SQLI average with divided government: 4.69
- Official website of the Colorado House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Colorado House of Representatives
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
- ↑ kdvr.com, "Colorado’s historic 2013 legislative session in review," May 10, 2013
- ↑ Pueblo Chieftain, "Civil Union supporters rally prior to special session," May 14, 2012
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Colorado House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Follow the Money, 2008 Colorado candidates.
- ↑ Follow the Money, 2008 Colorado candidates.
- ↑ Follow the Money, 2004 Colorado candidates.
- ↑ Follow the Money, 2002 Colorado candidates.
- ↑ Follow the Money, 2000 Colorado candidates.
- ↑ Michie "Colorado Constitution"(Referenced Section Article V, Section II, Subsection 3)
- ↑ Michie "Colorado Revised Statutes"(Referenced Statute 1-12-203, (1)-(3))
- ↑ Clear the Bench Colorado, "Redistricting versus Reapportionment - the confusion continues", April 20, 2011
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Colorado Profile," 2011
- ↑ National Journal, "Census Quick Cuts: Colorado, Washington, Oregon," February 24, 2011
- ↑ [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/colorado-redistricting_n_1097001.html The Huffington Post, " Colorado Redistricting: Supreme Court Rejects New House, Senate District Maps (UPDATE)," November 29, 2011]
- ↑ The Denver Post, "Colorado Supreme Court sides with Democrats, picks their maps for new legislative districts," December 12, 2011
- ↑ Colorado House Leadership Positions
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of Colorado
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