Jesselina Cordova

Advocacy Coordinator

The 2024 Colorado Legislative Session is happening now! Here are a few basics to know

The Colorado General Assembly began their 74th Legislative Session on January 10, 2024 and will end May 8, 2023. This is the time where our elected leaders – the Colorado Senate and House of Representatives – will make crucial policy decisions that will affect the state. 

New to the legislative process? Here are a few basic things to know about the legislative session happening now!  


The Senate 

There are 35 Senators who serve the state of Colorado. Senators are elected to four-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Senators must be a United States citizen and be a resident of the district from which the Senator is elected for at least twelve months prior to election. The Senate is divided so that one-half of the Senators are elected biennially, as nearly as practicable. The executive leadership of the Colorado Senate is called the Senate President. The president is elected by a majority vote of the Senate. The President calls the Senate to order each day, presides over the legislative sessions, and implements the rules and protocols of the Senate. There are also majority and minority leaders who are selected by their respective caucuses.  

The House of Representatives 

The Colorado House of Representatives is comprised of 65 Representatives. Representatives are elected every two years from the district in which they live, and they are limited to serving eight consecutive years. Each Representative District consists of approximately 88,800 citizens. 

The executive leadership of the Colorado House of Representatives is called the speaker of the house. The speaker is designated by the majority party, then elected for two-year terms by all sixty-five members of the General Assembly. The Speaker calls the House to order each day, presides over the legislative sessions, and implements the rules and protocols of the House. There is also a majority leader and minority leader who are chosen by their respective caucuses. 

How bills become law 

Senators and Representatives are responsible for talking to the constituents and stakeholders in their services areas. Based on the needs and concerns they hear from the public, and their own priorities, they may introduce or collaborate on bills that they bring to either the Senate or House floor to review. All bills introduced must have bill sponsors which can be a mix of Senators and Representatives while also a mix of caucuses.  

If you don’t know who your legislators are, then click here to find out! The city and county of Denver are represented by: 

Senator Julie Gonzales, Senator Chris Hansen, Senator Jeff Bridges, Senator Robert Rodriguez, Representative Jennifer Bacon, Representative Elisabeth Epps, Representative Meg Froelich, Representative Tim Hernandez, Representative Leslie Herod, Representative Javier Mabrey, Representative Emily Sirota, Representative Alex Valdez, and Representative Steven Woodrow.  

Legislators can introduce bills on a variety of topics – from education and industry to social services and housing.  

The graphic below shows the process a bill must go through – and the approvals it must receive – to become Colorado law.  

As the 2024 legislative session progresses in Colorado, we’ll share more about the bills being introduced, and how they impact homeownership and affordability.  

Glossary of Key Terms to know! 

  • Bill is a proposed law by a member of the legislature to the General Assembly that amends or repeals an existing law, or that creates a new law.  
  • The Legislative session is a period in which a legislature is convened for lawmaking. It is usually one of two or more smaller divisions between two elections. During the legislative session, the legislature can debate and pass bills, which can then become law when the governor signs them. The length of the legislative session varies by state, with some states having full-time legislatures that are in session most of the year.  
  • The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives who is annually designated by the majority party caucus and then elected by the body. The Speaker appoints the members of all House committees and designates the chairman and vice-chairman of each; refers bills and other legislation to committees; presides over meetings of the House; recognizes those members who wish to speak; accepts motions; and designates temporary presiding officers who serve in the Speaker’s absence. 
  • Minority Leader is a member of the minority political party elected to be leader of that party. 
  • Majority Leader is a member of the majority political party elected by the legislators of that party to be a leader.  
  • The General Assembly is a legislative assembly of two legislative chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate.  
  • Chamber is the official hall for the meeting of a legislative body.  
  • Veto is an action by the Governor or disapproving of a bill. The vetoed bill, with a statement by the Governor of his objections, is returned to the legislative chamber of origin or to the Secretary of State if the General Assembly has adjourned. 
  • Caucus is an informal meeting of a group of members where a position on pending legislation may be discussed. The group is mostly based on political party affiliation, but may have other bases, such as gender, race, geographic location or specific issue.  
  • Constituent is a citizen residing within the district of a legislator.  
  • Committee is a body of members appointed by the presiding officer to consider and make recommendations concerning disposition of bills, resolutions and other related matters.  
  • Stakeholders can include members of the public such as local residents, businesses and employees or internal members such as other departments, officials, employees, contractors and regulators.  

If you want to know even more words relating to this process, then follow this link that the general assembly has provided the public.