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Legislative Q&A

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Colorado State Legislature

Legislators are elected to represent all the residents of Colorado.  The opinions of individual citizens are very important to your legislators.  For instance, a group of elemen-tary students contacted their Legislators and, through the students' research and promotion, legislation was adopted and the Colorado Hairstreak butterfly was designated as the official state insect.  Realizing that they can have some influence with the legislature, more citizens have gotten involved and have worked with Legislators on issues.

If you have an issue that you feel is important to the state, call or write your legislator.   It is possible that your idea or suggestions could become law in Colorado.

Legislators may be contacted in person, by telephone, or by mail in order to express an opinion on proposed legislation or to suggest future legislation. Obtain your legislator's name and address from your county clerk or by visiting the legislative website.

Correspondence may be sent to any Senator or Representative.

When communicating by mail with your legislator,  please use the following format:
The Honorable (name of Representative/Senator)
State Capitol (room 307/room 346)
200 East Colfax
Denver CO  80203

Dear Representative or Senator (name)

Capitol telephone numbers:

Senate    303-866-2316
House of Representatives    303-866-2904

Legislature Overview

There are three branches of government:  Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  The legislative branch is the lawmaking power of the state and consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly, which is the Senate and House combined, meets annually, beginning in January and continuing for 120 days.  State legislators pass laws that affect Colorado.

Colorado House of Representatives
  • 65 state Representatives - elected for two-year terms - limited to four consecutive terms
  • Presiding officer, the Speaker of the House, is elected by the members
  • Chief administrative officer is the Chief Clerk of the House
Colorado Senate
  • 35 state Senators - elected for four-year terms - limited to two consecutive terms
  • Presiding officer, the President of the Senate, is elected by the members
  • Chief administrative officer is the Secretary of the Senate

Who can be a legislator?

To be eligible to run for the office of state Representative or Senator a person must be:
• A citizen of the United States
• At least 25 years of age
• A resident of the district for at least 12 months before the election
• Selected by the registered voters who live within the district.

Are Legislators paid?

Legislators receive an annual salary of $30,000.00 along with a daily expense allowance and travel expenses during the 120 days of session.

For whom does a State Legislator work?

After being elected, Legislators are a voice for the constituents in their districts, but they work for all the citizens of the state of Colorado.

What is a Legislator’s job?

Representatives and Senators take an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Colorado. Some of their main responsibilities are to approve a budget for the management of the state of Colorado and to enact (write) laws to make our state a safer and better place to live.

What does my Legislator do for me?

Representatives and Senators meet with the citizens (constituents) from the district where they live to discuss laws, budget, taxes, or anything else of interest. The Legislators consider ideas and decide whether new laws need to be enacted to protect the citizens of Colorado.

How may I contact my Legislator?

For district numbers and the names of your Senator and Representative, visit the legislative website. You can write or call the Legislators to make them aware of your concerns.

What do Legislators do when they’re not in the Chamber?

Representatives and Senators are appointed to committees of reference that hear testimony on bills that have been introduced. Each Legislator is assigned to a number of committees that meet throughout the day when the General Assembly is in session. The Legislators may also be working in their Capitol area offices.

What do the Legislators do after the General Assembly adjourns?

Representatives and Senators continue to meet with citizens to discuss proposed legislation for the next year’s General Assembly. Some committees continue to meet during the interim to study issues important to the state. Colorado's legislature is a citizen legislature, which means that it meets only part of the year and that most Legislators have other jobs.

What are our state symbols?

In order for a symbol to become official, both the House and Senate must pass a bill or a resolution of declaration.

State Amphibian - Western Tiger Salamander
State Animal - Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
State Bird - Lark Bunting
State Cactus - Claret Cup
State Fish - Greenback Cutthroat Trout
State Flower - Columbine
State Folk Dance - Square Dance
State Fossil - Stegosaurus
State Gemstone - Aquamarine
State Grass - Blue Grama
State Insect - Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
State Mineral - Rhodochrosite
State Motto - Nil Sine Numine (Nothing Without the Deity)
State Nickname - Centennial State
State Pet - Dogs and Cats adopted from Shelters
State Reptile - Western Painted Turtle
State Rock - Yule Marble
State Song - "Where the Columbines Grow"
                   "Rocky Mountain High"
State Summer Heritage Sport - Pack Burro Racing
State Tartan - Plaid cloth with colors symbolic to Colorado - July 1, Tartan Day
State Tree - Blue Spruce
State Winter Sports - Skiing, Snowboarding