For many homeowners, their home is a tremendous source of pride. They want to protect it and their ability to use it as they see fit. However, if you live in an HOA, your ability to do with your home as you wish may be challenged. The HOA Information and Resource Center frequently hears from homeowners who express surprise and disappointment to learn that in Colorado, there is no regulatory oversight of homeowner associations or community association managers. Many express further surprise when they learn that the Division of Real Estate lacks the ability to create or even recommend regulations for HOAs. That is left to the legislators in Colorado’s General Assembly.
The process by which a bill becomes law in Colorado is rather involved, but ensures that generous consideration is given to each bill and that before it becomes law, various perspectives on the matter are examined. Once a legislator identifies an issue they wish to introduce legislation about, they must sponsor the bill for introduction. It is then given a first reading by the House or Senate Clerk, depending on which chamber it is introduced. Next, it is referred to a committee which conducts hearings and votes on the bill, usually after testimony has been given by interested parties and amendments have been made by other legislators. The Committee then drafts a report on any amendments that passed and a second reading and voice vote is conducted by the entire chamber. This may include debate and further amendments. If it receives enough votes, the bill moves on to a second reading and a vote on its final passage. This may also include some debate and more amendments. If it passes the introductory chamber, it moves on to the other chamber for consideration and follows the same process.
If a bill passes in the non-introductory chamber as introduced and has no referendum clause, it is sent to the Governor for his signature or veto. If it passes in the non-introductory chamber amended and the introductory chamber accepts the amendments, it is sent to the Governor for his signature. If it passes the non-introductory chamber with amendments that are not accepted by the introductory chamber, then the introductory chamber may reconsider via committee hearings.
For more information on the legislative process, see How a Bill Becomes Colorado Law and visit the Colorado General Assembly’s website.