Office of Legislative Legal Services - Dan L. Cartin, Director
 
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Duties and Responsibilities

  • Drafting Services, including Review of Bills and Enrolling

  • Publication Services
  • Review of Bills and Enrolling

  • Legislative Records

  • Coordination of Litigation

  • Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations

  • Review of Initiatives

  • Other Services

Drafting Services

The Office of Legislative Legal Services prepares the bills, resolutions, and memorials introduced in the General Assembly. Under Joint Rule 21 (d) of the Senate and House of Representatives, no bill may be introduced in either house unless first approved as to form by the Office of Legislative Legal Services. In addition, most amendments and all conference committee reports are prepared by the Office of Legislative Legal Services.

A bill draft request may be made only by a member of the General Assembly or the Governor. Prior to introduction, all requests received by the Office are held in confidence and not discussed or released without the prior permission or instruction of the individual making the request.

Each bill is drafted by a staff attorney (or legislative assistant in some cases) and is reviewed by other staff members for format, grammar, and legality before introduction.

Review of Bills and Enrolling

Pursuant to Joint Rule 3 of the Senate and House of Representatives, the Office of Legislative Legal Services is responsible for a review of all bills and amendments after they are passed by either house. This review is conducted to identify conflicting bills and any technical or substantive defects in bills or amendments and is performed by the Office of Legislative Legal Services attorneys and technical staff. The Office of Legislative Legal Services also assists the House and Senate in proofing and preparing the final enrolled acts.

Publication Services

The Office of Legislative Legal Services prepares the Digest of Bills, Session Laws of Colorado, Red Book, and Colorado Revised Statutes for publication. 

Pursuant to section 2-3-504, C.R.S., the Office of Legislative Legal Services prepares a digest of laws enacted by the General Assembly, whether approved or vetoed by the Governor, immediately upon adjournment of each legislative session.

Pursuant to section 24-70-223, C.R.S., the Revisor of Statutes, upon approval by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, prepares for publication, after adjournment of each legislative session, a copy of all the laws approved by the Governor, resolutions and memorials selected by the Chief Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate, and all initiated and referred measures passed by a vote of the people.

Pursuant to section 2-5-101, C.R.S., the Revisor of Statutes, under the supervision of the Committee on Legal Services, compiles, edits, arranges, and prepares for publication all the laws of the state of a general and permanent nature. In compiling the statutes, the Revisor has adopted a uniform system of punctuation, capitalization, and wording; corrects errors; and clarifies existing law. The Revisor includes historical source notes, editor's notes, cross references, and annotations of court decisions applying the law, as appropriate.

Legislative Records

The Office of Legislative Legal Services maintains complete legislative records on bills, resolutions, and memorials drafted by the office and considered and enacted by the General Assembly. Some portions of these files may not be available to the public without permission of the legislator (see 2-3-505 (2), C.R.S.).

Coordination of Litigation

The Office of Legislative Legal Services, acting under the direction of the Committee on Legal Services, coordinates litigation involving the General Assembly. The Office of Legislative Legal Services is the conduit through which legal counsel retained by the Committee may communicate with members of the Committee. Staff attorneys may assist such retained counsel in the preparation of briefs and in other legal research and writing.

Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations

The Office of Legislative Legal Services has responsibility for implementing the statutory provisions for legislative review of administrative rules and regulations. Every rule adopted or amended by an executive agency is first reviewed by an Office of Legislative Legal Services attorney or legislative assistant to determine if the rule is within the power delegated to the agency and consistent with law. If the staff determines there is a problem with a rule, the rule is then reviewed by the Committee on Legal Services at a public hearing. By statute, all rules adopted or amended during any one-year period that begins November 1 and ends the following October 31 expire on the May 15th that follows such one-year period unless the General Assembly adopts a bill that postpones their expiration. Each session, members of the Committee on Legal Services sponsor a bill to postpone the expiration of the rules scheduled to expire May 15 of that year; except that those rules that the legislature finds to exceed the rule-making authority of the agency or to be inconsistent with law are designated to expire as scheduled on May 15. After each session of the General Assembly, the Office of Legislative Legal Services reviews existing rules to determine if they are in conflict with laws enacted during that session.

For more information, please see the Rule Review FAQ.

Review of Initiatives

Anyone who wishes to initiate an amendment to the state constitution or state statutes is required to submit a rough draft of the measure to the Office of Legislative Legal Services and the Legislative Council staff. The staffs prepare written comments on the draft that are then delivered to the proponents of the measure at a public hearing conducted by the directors of the two offices or their designees.

In addition, the director of the Office of Legislative Legal Services or the director's designee sits on the Ballot Title Board, which drafts and adopts the title for each measure to appear on circulated petitions and official ballots.

Other Services

In addition to the above services, the Office of Legislative Legal Services:

  • Gives assistance to Legislative Council committees and other legislative committees not working directly under the Council.

  • Performs legal research for members of the General Assembly.

  • May provide legal assistance in connection with contracts or other business done by the General Assembly.

  • Participates in numerous special projects for the General Assembly. Examples of past projects include:

    • Staffing a special committee appointed to examine lobbying practices and helping to present proposed rule changes;

    • Making recommendations to the legislative leadership on legislative management issues such as methods to streamline the process;

    • Assisting a legislative task force in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act; and

    • Researching and compiling information on issues relating to section 20 of article X of the state constitution (Taxpayer's Bill of Rights - TABOR).


Office of Legislative Legal Services, State Capitol Building, 200 E Colfax Ave Ste 091, Denver, Colorado 80203-1716
Telephone: 303-866-2045 | Facsimile: 303-866-4157
Send comments about this web page to: olls.ga@state.co.us
 


The information on this page is presented as an informational service only and should not be relied upon as an official record of action or legal position of the State of Colorado, the Colorado General Assembly, or the Office of Legislative Legal Services.