A special session of the Colorado Legislature begins today, July 6. The session was called primarily to deal with the issue of illegal immigration, but some other issues will be covered as well. Colorado has not had a special session of the legislature since August 2002, when the the “hot” issue was wildfire and drought. That was the summer of the Hayman Fire and other disastrous fires that prompted Governor Owens to remark, “All of Colorado is burning.” This year, the extra session on illegal immigration was spurred by reaction to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision on initiative 55, a ballot proposal that, if approved, would deny non-emergency taxpayer services to illegals. The court ruled that it could not be placed on the ballot, reasoning that the measure had more than one subject; but this decision drew many critics, including the governor. The 2006 special session will also deal with efforts to strengthen requirements that only U.S. citizens be allowed to register to vote. And, according to Governor Owens, other topics besides illegal immigration that will most likely be brought up this session include human trafficking and common law marriage.
For legislative calendars, bills, status of bills, and other information, see the Colorado Legislature’s hompage. These items are also available from CoSPL.