Republican stall tactics in Colorado House threaten fate of dozens of bills as 2022 lawmaking term nears Wednesday close |

Republican stall tactics in Colorado House threaten fate of dozens of bills as 2022 lawmaking term nears Wednesday close

Jesse Paul
The Colorado Sun

Democrats in the Colorado legislature are facing the prospect that dozens of bills could die on the calendar when the 2022 lawmaking term adjourns Wednesday night as Republicans in the state House deploy stall tactics in an attempt to run out the clock.

State representatives were still at their desks on the House floor when the sun came up on Tuesday morning after debating legislation for nearly 24-hours straight. The daunting situation came into view through bleary eyes: Democrats could try to work nonstop until 11:59:59 p.m. on Wednesday and jam in as much work as possible and still end with a long to-do list if the GOP doesn’t back down.

Bills stuck in the long queue include many that are bipartisan and uncontroversial, including measures that would change Colorado’s unemployment system, increase penalties for fentanyl users and dealers, and spend millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid, including as part of efforts to address climate change. The federal money must be spent by a specific deadline, adding pressure to the backlog.

Additionally, House Bill 1390, the School Finance Act, still needs one more vote in the House. The measure, which funds K-12 education in Colorado, is something lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass.

One-hundred ninety nine bills — or roughly 20% of all the bills introduced at the Capitol this year — were still pending in the legislature as of Tuesday morning, according to nonpartisan staff.

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