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Better than Saturday morning cartoons? Colorado Senate is likely to work this weekend

I was supposed to have a spa day Saturday. You know, a little treat to get me through the last week of the session.

However, lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists and your humble correspondent have begun to cancel their personal plans because for the first time during a regular session since 1990, at least one chamber of the General Assembly is expected to meet this weekend to catch up on work.

(Lawmakers did work one weekend in 2006 during a special session on immigration. However, lobbyist Mike Beasley told me to tell you that doesn’t count.)

Legislative leadership has threatened such a move in the past in the hopes of getting lawmakers to focus during semi-normal working hours. You know, like at 11 p.m. or 1 a.m. weeknights. And it’s still possible they could get cold feet. But this time it appears Senate leadership is serious.

There are just eight calendar days before the clock runs out on lawmakers to accomplish everything they set out to do. Despite fewer bills making their way through the system, as of the start of the week, lawmakers were further behind compared to last year, according to an analysis by legislative legal services.

The holdup has generally been in the state Senate, where Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg wanted to get into the weeds of how recycling plants operate during a hearing on the polystyrene bill, according to colleague Anna Staver. “It just baffles my mind how it works,” he said at 7:39 p.m., as people waited to speak on four other bills on the committee’s agenda. “I guess I’ve kind of drifted off here because it’s fascinating to me.” And on Wednesday the gifted orator Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican, talked about doggie lifeguards.

To be fair, the Senate was able to clear more than three dozen bills off its floor calendar earlier this week, including 26 bills getting a floor debate on Tuesday. But it’s nowhere near the pace necessary to get through the backlog of Senate bills and the never-ending avalanche of House bills.

For what it’s worth, no one is floating the possibility of a special session — something you often hear this time of year. Several lawmakers, aides and lobbyists have confirmed my suspicion that the reason no one is talking about it is because everyone is over it and ready to get out.


Welcome to The Spot, The Denver Post’s weekly political newsletter. I’m Nic Garcia, a politics reporter with The Denver Post. Keep the conversation going by joining our Facebook group today! Forward this newsletter to your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe. And please support the journalism that matters to you and become a Denver Post subscriber here. Send tips, comments and questions to ngarcia@denverpost.com.

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