Frequently Asked Questions

What time does each chamber meet during the week?

Both the Senate and the House begin their meetings at 9:00am Tuesday-Friday. On Mondays, they begin their meetings at 10:00am.

What can I view on the Colorado Channel?

The Colorado Channel televises both the Colorado House of Representatives and State Senate proceedings (as of January 2010). Additional educational programming is available as well.

Where can I find the Colorado Channel on my TV?

The Colorado Channel has been shown on Comcast channel 165 since January 21, 2008. (You must have digital cable to access this station.) To view the area of distribution for Comcast channel 165, please click here.

Who do I contact to get the Colorado Channel?

Visit www.xfinity.com or call 1-800-934-6489 to speak with a Comcast representative about getting cable TV.

Will I be able to access previous meetings on the web?

The Colorado Channel is archived and indexed on this site; just go to the Watch Meetings page. An archive of each session will be guaranteed for at least 18 months.

How do I obtain a copy of a video recording?

To request a copy of a particular session, you may send us a message through our Contact Form. Some fees may apply.

How can I edit the clips for use on an external website (e.g. YouTube)?

By following these simple instructions, you can export video clips and post them on YouTube or a personal website.

Are the sessions available on Comcast's On-Demand service?

Comcast’s On-Demand service is not available at this time. You can access archived video of the House and Senate floor proceedings (indexed by bill number) via the Colorado Channel website.

How do I view live web casts of the Colorado Channel?

In order to view the House and/or Senate proceedings live, go to the Watch Meetings page.

Are the files subject to copyright restrictions?

The Colorado State House of Representatives and Senate meetings are released under a Creative Commons license, specifically called Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. Any content created using Colorado Channel footage must be released under a Creative Commons license or to the public domain.

Who can submit content to the Colorado Channel?

Additional content may be submitted only by State Policy-Making entities, including all three branches of state government and their respective offices, departments, divisions, commissions, and agencies.

Content created by a third-party organization will only be considered if it is submitted in partnership with a Colorado State Policy-Making entity. More information about this can be found on the Colorado Channel – Submission Policy page.

How can I financially support the channel?

Simply visit our Donate page. Your support allows us to maintain coverage of the Colorado House of Representatives and State Senate and explore opportunities to expand our services. We appreciate any contribution you are able to make, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Why aren't legislative days like business days? The Colorado General Assembly is supposedly in session for 120 days, but they aren't there for 120 days.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Legislative session length may be unrestricted, or it may be limited. Session length limitations are set in a variety of ways. The limits may be found in constitution, statute or chamber rule. They also may set indirectly by restricting the number of days for which a legislator receives compensation, per diem or mileage reimbursement.”

In Colorado, state legislators meet for 120 calendar days (as opposed to legislative days, or days on which a floor session is held.) So the 120 days do include weekends, a time when lawmakers have the ability to hold meetings in their districts to discuss legislation. To view how other states manage their legislative schedules, click here.

When will the Colorado Channel begin to record and broadcast committee meetings as other states do?

The video recording and broadcast of the Colorado State committee meetings is definitely part of the overall vision for the Colorado Channel, however it does require additional funding, which we do not currently have. It is hard to predict when this will be possible, but it definitely is a priority for the channel.

When legislators get "fined" on the floor of the House or Senate, what is that money used for?

When legislators are fined (for instance, if they make an introduction that is not sanctioned by the House or Senate rules), the fine money goes into a fund that helps purchase the legislative pins and frames for tributes. It also helps purchase some of the snacks (trail mix, pretzels, and M&Ms) that are in the back of the chamber.

What is the significance of the little goat that sits on the front desk of the House?

According to a front desk staff member, the story of the goat is as follows:

Once upon a time many, many years ago, the staff of the House of Representatives was not in such a happy place. There was much unpleasantness and dissension. The staff felt trapped in the middle of all the tension and soon became very unhappy. No longer did they support one another, but instead took sides as the tension mounted.

In an effort to change the mounting unhappiness, a front desk staffer put a miniature goat on the desk of a staff member of the front desk who was being especially besieged. The message from that inspired staffer to the suffering staffer was to not let them “get your goat.”

From that day forward, the goat symbolized that no matter what happens, you have the support of the rest of the staff. Getting the goat on your desk after a mistake, even if you had to endure the embarrassment and criticism that it occasioned, seemed to soften the blow. This tradition has endured for a number of years now.

 

I occasionally hear Colorado legislators reference a "safety clause". What does this mean exactly?

According to the Office of Legislative Legal Services, a bill with a safety clause:

  • Is not subject to the citizens’ right to file a referendum petition against all or any part of the bill. (The right is recognized in Section 1 (3) of Article V of the Colorado State constitution.)
  • Can take effect immediately after the Governor signs it or allows it to become law. This may be necessary for any bill that addresses a matter that constitutes an emergency, that requires an immediate change in the law, or that must take effect prior to or on the first day of a fiscal year (July 1).

A bill without a safety clause:

  • Is subject to the citizens’ right to file a referendum petition against all or any part of the bill. The earliest date that this bill can take effect is the day after the expiration of the 90-day period following adjournment of the General Assembly. If a referendum petition is filed during that 90-day period, the bill or part of the bill cannot take effect until approved by the voters at an even-year, state-wide election.
  • Should contain a special effective date clause that indicates that the act is subject to petition and explains the alternative effective dates that will apply.

Why does the reader (or clerk) read so fast on the floor of the House and Senate?

The Colorado Constitution requires that all bills be read 3 times before they potentially become law.

Colorado Constitution Article V Section 22 – Every bill shall be read by title when introduced, and at length on two different days in each House; provided, however, any reading at length may be dispensed with upon unanimous consent of the members present.

This goes back to early English and early American democratic traditions of reading the entire wording of all bills aloud, because there were a significant number of people that could not read. The length of bills was also a lot shorter, and the number of bills acted upon each session was very small. Today there are around 650 bills, resolutions, memorials, etc. introduced in Colorado every year, and their length and complexity has increased.

Due to the increasing number of bills, the increased literacy rate, and the increased length of bills today, the need to read each bill in its entirety is a lot lower. However, to maintain the tradition, meet the requirements of the state constitution, and meet the need for expediency, the way bills are read has changed with time.

Each legislator has a copy of every bill and amendment they act on, so the need to read the bill is reduced. The speed with which the reader reads is regarded as a time saver in each chamber and the reading is done primarily as part of the legislative process. Unfortunately, it is not done for audio or video viewers (a very recent phenomena). However, the House and Senate calendars provide the public with the bill number, short title, and sponsors for each bill, plus they can read each bill in its entirety online. The Colorado Channel also tries to provide information to the viewer within the lower-third during each meeting.

What happens on the House and Senate floor is a limited look at what the legislature does. The longer they are in the chamber, the less they can meet in the standing committees where citizens have a chance to testify and where legislators can make proper adjustments to bills based on this feedback.