Duties and Responsibilities
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.
The Office of Legislative Legal Services prepares
the Digest of Bills, Session Laws of Colorado, Red Book, and Colorado
Revised Statutes for publication.
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.
In addition to the above services, the Office of Legislative Legal Services:
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.