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|
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 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through May 8.
With Democrats gaining control of both legislative chambers and the governorship, major issues might be addressed at a fast pace. Democrats are expected to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and lower the tuition rate for illegal immigrants who graduate from state high schools. Lawmakers will also address gun control, marijuana, education funding, and health care.
- 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.
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|
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 May 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.
- 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
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ Daily Camera, "Controversial issues will keep Colorado legislature busy for 2013 session," January 6, 2013
- ↑ Pueblo Chieftain, "Civil Union supporters rally prior to special session," May 14, 2012
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Colorado House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ 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
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