Helpful Info to Know when Visiting the Capitol (Denver) for Hearings

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:

 

  • Entrances to the Capitol are on the north and south sides.
  • Do not wear a political t-shirt, no political buttons, etc. You will be expected to take your hat off. Dress business casual or better.
  • You must go through a metal detector;there are no gun boxes.
  • We will have at least two activists meeting you around 8:00 a.m. in the Capitol cafeteria each day.The cafeteria is in the northern portion of the Capitol.(Bill will be in a tan suit. There will be a FirearmsForColorado.org' sign on the table.)
  • We will head to the Old Supreme Court Chamber at 8:45 a.m. on the second floor of the Capitol.
  • There are bathrooms on the north end of the Capitol, adjacent to the cafeteria.
  • Folks from the Colorado Firearm Coalition will be there, so if you have contacts with them, you should arrange to meet them in the morning.
  • If you are going tomorrow or Wednesday, and you need to connect with your contact first, please emailmedia at firearmsforcolorado dot org
  • Sign-in if you want to testify on the 'against list.'(There will be two lists--for and against, make sure you sign-up on the correct one.

 

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:

 

https://arapahoeteaparty.ning.com/video/912-testifying-class-part-i

 

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:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2013A/cslFrontPages.nsf/HomeS... 

 

2.  Principles of Liberty analysis of many bills; criteria can be found on the site:

http://www.principlesofliberty.org/

 

If anyone knows of other sites reviewing bills, please post them.

 

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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/

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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:

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader...

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