The concurrent resolution creates 2 different types of regular legislative sessions during the 2-year cycle of each general assembly, each of which has limits on the types of bills that may be introduced. The first regular session after a general election is a budget session and the second is a general session. During a budget session, the only bills that may be introduced are:
- The biennial general appropriation bill (biennial long bill), which includes 2 state fiscal years of appropriations;
- Supplemental appropriation bills, which must be unanimously approved by the joint budget committee (JBC) prior to introduction;
- Bills that are part of the biennial long bill package, which were unanimously approved by the JBC;
- Bills to enact the Colorado Revised Statutes and to postpone the expiration of rules; and
- Bills to respond to an emergency, which, to be introduced, require for each proposed bill at least a 2/3rds vote in the house of introduction that the proposed bill is necessary to address an actual emergency.
The concurrent resolution also establishes procedures related to the biennial long bill. The executive and judicial branches are required to submit 2 budget requests to the general assembly. One budget request must identify the least critical 10% in the budget and the other must be at least 5% less than the department's appropriations for the current year. Once every 4 budget cycles, a department is required to use a zero-based budget method to create the budget, based on a schedule developed by the general assembly, and the zero-based budget will replace the 2 versions of the budget request.
Once received, the following process applies to the bill:
- A joint committee of reference (joint committee) will thoroughly review a department's functions and budget request and prepare a proposed budget for the department; and
- The joint committee will refer the bill to the JBC on or before the 70th day of the budget session, and the JBC will reconcile the department budgets to prepare the final biennial long bill for introduction, which must be no later than 30 days after the JBC receives the last departmental budget.
The concurrent resolution also limits the number of bills that may be introduced during a general session. Each senator or representative may only introduce up to 5 bills, which may be on any topic, provided that 90 days prior to the session, the bill is identified by subject on the general assembly's website and, 30 days prior to the session, the first or most recent draft of the bill is published on the website. Interim committee bills are excluded from the 5-bill limit.
Supplemental appropriation bills and emergency bills, which are each subject to the same standards previously described, are not subject to the bill introduction limit in a general session.
(Note: This summary applies to this concurrent resolution as introduced.)