Legislative Policy: Why It Matters and How We Work, 0120 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 1 Pg. 4

PositionVol. 49, 1 [Page 4]

49 Colo.Law. 4

Legislative Policy: Why It Matters and How We Work

Why It Matters and How We Work

Vol. 49, No. 1 [Page 4]

Colorado Lawyer

January, 2020



As we enter the 2020 legislative session, my thoughts return to a theme from my summertime President's Message: the profession of practicing law is where one can do so much good while also addressing serious issues. This sentiment rings especially true for me as a participant on the CBA Legislative Policy Committee (LPC), which I'm chairing this year in my capacity as CBA president. Each week of the legislative session brings an intellectual feast of legal concepts, policy, purpose, and action as the LPC diligently works to honor its charge of determining CBA positions on state legislation.

During the 2019 legislative session, as vice chair, I witnessed the exceptional leadership, political acumen, and team approach the committee brought to the decision-making process on over 47 pieces of legislation. At weekly meetings, I watched as section recommendations, examination, debate, and intellectual wrestling yielded positions by which we measured success through legislative influence and outcome. Seeing firsthand the LPC's dedication to the law, the courts, and the constitution gave me a deep appreciation for our membership and great pride in the work we do. The CBA is what it is because of its members and professional staff.

Every few years, the LPC refreshes and refines its guidelines and its guidance to the sections and committees. This year, the LPC undertook summertime work to again revise its procedures. To that end, the start of the new legislative session seems like the perfect time to update members on the inner workings of the LPC. Many thanks to Amy Larson, CBA interim executive director and COO, for her assistance with this month's message.

Roles and Responsibilities

Acting on a grant of authority from the CBA Board of Governors, the LPC is charged with determining CBA positions on state legislation during the legislative session. The LPC reviews legislation to ensure it is narrowly crafted to solve an actual problem best resolved statutorily, seeks to ensure clarity and consistency in legislation that fits within existing frameworks and avoids unintended consequences, and determines whether the CBA will take a position on a bill and what that position will be. The groups and individuals below play a crucial role in furthering these objectives.

The Legislative Policy Committee

The LPC comprises 13 voting members: the three members of the triumvirate (CBA president, incoming president, and immediate past president); seven...

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