Research Colorado Statutes

Research Colorado Statutes

This guide goes over how to find Colorado state statutes in the Kraemer Family Library and on the web. Contact information for several sources of Colorado state government information is also provided.

Locating statutes

Find statute by statute title/article/section

If you have a statute citation, like Colo. Rev. Stat. § 19-1-111 (1997), use the following sources:

Note: Numbers on spine are vol. # (CRS) or title # (West's)

Find statute by Code title name

If you have a code title name, such as Children's Code or Criminal Code, use the following:

  • Both CRS and West's have title subjects on volume spines.
  • Tables of the 43 titles are listed in front of each volume.

Subject matter

If you have a topic or subject matter, such as child abuse, use the following:

  • CRS: Look in Vol. 13 for an A to Z Index.
  • West's: Look in General Index volumes--A to L; M to Z.
  • LexisNexis Academic: do a keyword search

Popular name

If you have a popular name of a code, such as the Infant Used Crib Safety Act, use the following:

  • CRS: Check Vol. 13 Index for the Short Titles and Popular Names section.
  • West's: Check the General Index M-Z volume. This contains a Popular Name Table and the year's legislative highlights
  • Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Names
    Location: Reference Collection | Call Number: KF 90.S52

Older statute citation

If you are looking for an older statute citation, such as the 1963 compilation, use the following source:

  • CRS: Vol. 13 Index-- Comparative Tables.


Colorado statutes: A Publications Guide

Publication Types Official Unofficial
SLIP LAWS-new laws or acts published individually

by house or senate bill

number:

Capitol Bill Room furnishes official slip laws daily to bill box subscribers during the current session.

Located in state documents area under year of bill and bill number

Ex. 99/1001

Not available at UCCS
ADVANCE MATERIALS:  

West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated: Interim Annotation Service
KFC 1830 A4W4 (Reference Collection)
Paperbound pamphlets of annotations supplementing pocket parts; published during current session.

West's Colorado Legislative Service
KFC 1831 W47 (Reference Collection)
Paperbound pamphlets that provide full text of current session legislation; lists statutes affected during session by bill number and code citation; available during legislative session.

LexisNexis Academic
Search under the Legal section.

SESSION LAWS--

Collective slip laws published by date:

Session Laws of Colorado
KFC 1825 A226 (Reference Collection)
Released annually, this text includes the full-text of pass laws. Available after session concludes.
Session Laws of Colorado are available online from 1993 - present.
CODES—43 titles arranged by subject. Colorado Revised statutes (CRS) West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated (West's)
UPDATES-published annually. Colorado Revised statutes(CRS)

Entire set revised each year.

West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated(West's)

Pocket parts and paper bound pamphlets.

Colorado Legislative History

Colorado does not publish comprehensive written legislative history. Each state may vary in the materials available for legislative history research, but few, if any, are as thorough as the resources for federal legislative history research. Most are seriously lacking in published information.

Try to find an already-compiled history for your statute. As you proceed through the steps below, look for the resources. References to earlier compilations may be found in law review articles, cases, and treatises. See also LexisNexis Academic.

Near the end of every subject or statute search, the history of the statute is given. Amendments and repealing are noted.

Finding Statutory Annotations

Check a statute in the CRS (Colorado Revised Statutes) and West sets of annotated codes. They cite different secondary resources (encyclopedias, law review articles, treatises, topics and key numbers) and case law.

  • Codes are updated differently so their contents may vary slightly. (For example, superseded statutes may appear in one but not the other.) Check the pocket part of the West set for updates. Look at all the secondary resources mentioned for indications that legislative sources were consulted.
  • Check all cases as well. This may also be done on LexisNexis Academic.

Finding Session Laws

The session laws generally give a brief statement of the purpose of an Act and a section-by-section break down. The session laws indicate new text (caps) and deleted text (dashes through words). Bill sponsors are also listed here. Consider contacting individual sponsors as they may be valuable resources.

Use either the bill number or the C.R.S. title and section number to locate all changes to Colorado statutes and constitution. There is a table of enacted House bills in numeric order for each year in the final volume and also a subject index of bills.

Finding Colorado Legislative Council Reports

These in-depth reports may give substantial information on the background of a statute. The Commission takes up major statute revisions, such as the Children's Code, and publishes task force reports on subjects as diverse as the highway authority and school finance. These are available by searching on the Kraemer Library Catalog by subject as well as by author, using the terms like Colorado Legislative Council. There is no single index to these volumes.

An even more substantial listing of Colorado Legislative Council publications may be found by doing an author search Colorado Legislative Council on WorldCat, an international library catalog.

Databases

Colorado General Assembly
Current bill information may be found using the Colorado Legislative Website. Journals, calendars and status sheets are available as well as the full text of current bills.

Colorado State Documents Index
Searches the Colorado State Publications Library.

LexisNexis Academic
Current Colorado legislative information may be searched in the legal section of this database.

See more recommended Government and Legal Databases

Newspapers

Sometimes, newspaper listings or accounts are the only source of legislative background information. The Kraemer Family Library holdings include The Denver Post (on microfilm from 1985-). Archives of the Rocky Mountain News (1859-) and the Denver Post (1894-) are available on microfiche at the Denver Public Library. More recent newspapers are available in LexisNexis Academic.

Useful Websites

Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS)
OLLS keeps track of statutes and their changes and can assist with problems in tracing statutes. If you have any questions about Colorado statutes, see OLLS' Contact Information.

Colorado State Archives As of January 1973, tapes of the Colorado House and Senate debates/floor proceedings, House and Senate committee hearings, and House and Senate standing and interim committee meetings are available to the public.