Posted by Sue Bolton
Today’s program was presented by one of our own members, Tracey Burnett, who also serves as a Representative in the Colorado State Legislature.  Tracey informed us about the many types of training one goes through after being elected:  Legal processes, rules for legislators, budget, ethics, computer systems, and security at the capitol, to name a few.  She learned a lot in several all-day training sessions.             
Next she explained the steps involved in passing a bill. Each legislator can introduce 5 bills during the session.  First, one would “Pull a Title,” discussing the idea or problem with a non-partisan lawyer.  Second is the “Stakeholding” phase, where the bill is discussed with supporters, opponents, lobbyists, and those who are neutral.  At this stage, the bill can be tweaked, to make it better, or more acceptable to all.  Then the bill is read in the House, and gets assigned to a committee, for further discussion.  If it passes, it goes to the House Floor.  If it passes there, it goes to the Senate, and after more working over, it goes to the Governor to be signed (or not.)
                Lastly, Tracey gave us a glimpse into the busy life of a legislator, which has not slowed down even when they are Out of Session.  She has already started work on new bills to be presented, and has been attending events, committee meetings, calling constituents, and filing to run again.  During the 120-day session, she has one fulltime paid assistant, (whom she pays out of her salary), and several volunteer aides, including teens.  Her main focus areas are:  Energy, Environment, Technology, and Homelessness.