Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu
Issue Briefs

Certificates of Participation (18-09)

Capital Construction
State Government

In lieu of issuing bonds, or using another form of long-term debt, the state often uses a form of lease-purchase agreement called certificates of participation (COPs) to finance the construction of its new facilities. A certificate refers to an investor's proportionate interest in the state's lease payments. COPs give the state the flexibility to build capital facilities even when funds are not available to pay for projects on a pay-as-you-go basis. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled on two occasions in the last few decades that COPs are not considered a form of long-term debt and thus do not require prior voter approval before issuance. This issue brief explains how COPs work, discusses the historic use of COPs, summarizes the required legislative review, and outlines outstanding issuances.

Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2020. 

COVID-19 Resources

Temporary Guidelines for Review and Comment Meetings

The legislature will meet in limited session on Monday, March 30th. The Capitol will be open for the duration of the session for those with essential business related to the session. The building will not be available for public tours. People without essential business are encouraged to access the session through the General Assembly website and Colorado Channel.  Anybody with essential business related to the session will be required to practice appropriate social distancing measures.