From an e-mail from Firearms for Colorado (.org), the following list of items to keep in mind is helpful for any time to visit the capitol and the various committee hearings:
While the instructions are specific to legislation currently impacting Second Amendment issues, there is a good deal that is relevant for any issue before the legislature or even municipal or county committees.
In the video section of this web site, there is an entry that the link is now broken on a 9-12 group and how to testify; however, you will find in the comments section below that several links that will offer similar information. Please check those out:
It is every citizen's right and obligation to speak up and address their representatives of all levels of government when that representative is infringing on the individual's rights or admirably representing the citizens, i.e. "speak up now or forever hold your peace." Telephone calls and e-mails and other correspondence are helpful but the greatest impact can be had with your presence. The governments of the states and the federal government were all designed as a republic, not a democracy! The elected officials are supposed to function as representatives of all of their constituents.
Some very good ways to stay informed about legislation:
1. Colorado legislature web site with links to audio/video, the bills, the committees, and more:
2. Principles of Liberty analysis of many bills; criteria can be found on the site:
If anyone knows of other sites reviewing bills, please post them.
Note: The bullet list above was provided in an e-mail alert from Firearms for Colorado. You can sign up for alerts at their web site: http://firearmsforcolorado.org/
Representative Chris Holbert of Parker, Colorado, has written the following message regarding voice votes from the floor of the house. Each bill is read three times (introduction then moves to committees, second reading, and then final (third) reading). If you have questions about the process and the procedures, be sure to ask someone.
H/T Rep. Chris Holbert:
"*** Repeat ***
Voice votes are used during Second Reading in the House. A bill that passes Second Reading has NOT yet passed the House, just the debate step that is referred to as "Second Reading."
There is nothing fishy about the voice vote on Second Reading, it is the process that is used in our State House. The bill has NOT PASSED the full process, just that debate step.
The final, Third Reading vote, will be a recorded vote. That vote cannot occur on the same day and must take place at least the next day. We will all push the Red "No" button or the Green "Yes" button. The public will see the name board, the vote of each member, and the total vote Yes/No. 33 votes are required to pass a bill through the House.
Please avoid disgust or outrage over the Second Reading voice vote. I'm happy to answer questions - as always - but getting upset about the Second Reading voice vote is akin to being upset that a coin toss is used at the start of a football game rather than drawing straws. It is not a big problem or a little problem. It isn't a problem at all."
H/T Rep. Chris Holbert again:
"First Reading is when the bill title is read "over the desk" in the House chamber by the Reader and is then assigned to one or more Committees of Reference by the Speaker of the House. The bill then goes to one or more committees for at least one hearing with public testimony. A bill can be routed to multiple committees based on the Speaker's direction. Any bill that have a fiscal impact would be make a stop in the Appropriations Committee, which is the final committee stop before the bill could come to the floor for Second Reading. A bill dies if it fails to garner a majority vote by any committee to which it is assigned.
A bill that garners a majority vote from the committee(s) to which it is assigned then moves to the House floor for Second Reading. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole (a member of the majority party) will ask the Reader to read the title (second time it has been read in the House chamber) debate by the Committee of the Whole, which is all 65 members of the House. Voice votes are used at this stage and the outcome is entirely at the discretion of the Chairman. It doesn't matter who yells the loudest.
A "division" can be called on a Second Reading vote. A division vote requires each member to stand and be counted for the "Yes" and "No" votes. Staff count those standing and notify the chairman of the count. A division vote is helpful when you have 33 or more votes, which is the minimum number to pass or kill a bill before the Committee of the Whole. A division serves little purpose if you have 32 or fewer votes.
The final Third Reading vote occurs on at least the next day. The Speaker of the House will instruct the Reader to read the title of the bill for the third time before the House. Members then push the red "No" button or the green "Yes" button. There is no "present" vote in the Colorado House. A member can be Absent (unexcused) or Excused and those are both recorded and publicly available via the General Assembly web site.
A bill that receives 33 or more "Yes" votes on Third Reading has THEN AND ONLY THEN passed the House. A House bill would then move to the Senate where the process would start over. A Senate bill would have passed both chambers.
Hope this helps."
H/T J Paul Brown via Laurie Bratten for posting this list of the members of the 2013 House of Representatives in Colorado:
"The final vote on the 4 anti-gun, anti-second amendment bills in the Colorado House of Representatives is scheduled for Monday. Please let the Reps know how wrong these bills are. I have included phone numbers below. Call the Democrats. The Republicans still respect the Constitution of the United States!
Legislator Phone Bank
Buck, Perry (House Republicans) 303-866-2907
Buckner, John (House Democrats) 303-866-2944
Conti, Kathleen (House Republicans) 303-866-2953
Coram, Don (House Republicans) 303-866-2955
Court, Lois (House Democrats) 303-866-2967
DelGrosso, Brian (House Republicans) 303-866-2947
Dore, Timothy (House Republicans) 303-866-2398
Duran, Crisanta (House Democrats) 303-866-2925
Everett, Justin (House Republicans) 303-866-2927
Exum, Thomas (House Democrats) 303-866-3069
Ferrandino, Mark (House Democrats) 303-866-2346
Fields, Rhonda (House Democrats) 303-866-3911
Fischer, Randy (House Democrats) 303-866-2917
Foote, Mike (House Democrats) 303-866-2920
Garcia, Leroy (House Democrats) 303-866-2968
Gardner, Bob (House Republicans) 303-866-2191
Gerou, Cheri (House Republicans) 303-866-2582
Ginal, Joann (House Democrats) 303-866-4569
Hamner, Millie (House Democrats) 303-866-2952
Holbert, Chris (House Republicans) 303-866-2933
Hullinghorst, Dickey Lee (House Democrats) 303-866-2348
Humphrey, Stephen (House Republicans) 303-866-2943
Joshi, Janak (House Republicans) 303-866-2937
Kagan, Daniel (House Democrats) 303-866-2921
Kraft-Tharp, Tracy (House Democrats) 303-866-2950
Labuda, Jeanne (House Democrats) 303-866-2966
Landgraf, Lois (House Republicans) 303-866-2946
Lawrence, Polly (House Republicans) 303-866-2935
Lebsock, Steve (House Democrats) 303-866-2931
Lee, Sanford "Pete" (House Democrats) 303-866-2932
Levy, Claire (House Democrats) 303-866-2578
May, Jenise (House Democrats) 303-866-2945
McCann, Beth (House Democrats) 303-866-2959
McLachlan, Mike (House Democrats) 303-866-2914
McNulty, Frank (House Republicans) 303-866-2936
Melton, Jovan (House Democrats) 303-866-2919
Mitsch Bush, Diane (House Democrats) 303-866-2923
Moreno, Domonick (House Democrats) 303-866-2964
Murray, Carole (House Republicans) 303-866-2948
Navarro, Clarice (House Republicans) 303-866-2905
Nordberg, Dan (House Republicans) 303-866-2965
Pabon, Dan (House Democrats) 303-866-2954
Peniston, Cherylin (House Democrats) 303-866-2843
Pettersen, Brittany (House Democrats) 303-866-2939
Primavera, Dianne (House Democrats) 303-866-4667
Priola, Kevin (House Republicans) 303-866-2912
Rankin, Bob (House Republicans) 303-866-2949
Ray, Scott (House Republicans) 303-866-3068
Rosenthal, Paul (House Democrats) 303-866-2910
Ryden, Su (House Democrats) 303-866-2942
Saine, Lori (House Republicans) 303-866-2906
Salazar, Joseph (House Democrats) 303-866-2918
Schafer, Sue (House Democrats) 303-866-5522
Singer, Jonathan (House Democrats) 303-866-2780
Sonnenberg, Jerry (House Republicans) 303-866-3706
Stephens, Amy (House Republicans) 303-866-2924
Swalm, Spencer (House Republicans) 303-866-5510
Szabo, Libby (House Republicans) 303-866-2962
Tyler, Max (House Democrats) 303-866-2951
Vigil, Edward (House Democrats) 303-866-2916
Waller, Mark (House Republicans) 303-866-5523
Williams, Angela (House Democrats) 303-866-2909
Wilson, James (House Republicans) 303-866-2747
Wright, Jared (House Republicans) 303-866-2583
Young, Dave (House Democrats) 303-866-2929
Representative Chris Holbert has asked that we include this comment as well with his other informative posts. A disclaimer to his qualifications may or may not be appropriate, but please note:
"From Chris Holbert: Please note that I am not an attorney. Thus, I cannot provide legal advice or advise anyone as to his or her rights or responsibilities under the law. As a layperson legislator, I am privileged to participate in the legislative process, but once a bill passes both chambers and the Governor signs it into law, I lack the legal credential to tell you what the words mean. If you have questions or concerns of a legal nature, please seek legal advice from an attorney"
Rep. Holbert has also noted this link to a diagram of the process for the bills through the Colorado legislature. The diagram may be helpful: