The general assembly shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say; for granting divorces; laying out, opening, altering or working roads or highways; vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys and public grounds; locating or changing county seats; regulating county or township affairs; regulating the practice in courts of justice; regulating the jurisdiction and duties of police magistrates; changing the rules of evidence in any trial or inquiry; providing for changes of venue in civil or criminal cases; declaring any person of age; for limitation of civil actions or giving effect to informal or invalid deeds; summoning or impaneling grand or petit juries; providing for the management of common schools; regulating the rate of interest on money; the opening or conducting of any election, or designating the place of voting; the sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors or others under disability; the protection of game or fish; chartering or licensing ferries or toll bridges; remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures; creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentage or allowances of public officers; changing the law of descent; granting to any corporation, association or individual the right to lay down railroad tracks; granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive privilege, immunity or franchise whatever. In all other cases, where a general law can be made applicable no special law shall be enacted.
Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 2775, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.
ANNOTATION Am. Jur.2d. See 73 Am. Jur.2d, Statutes, §§ 3-7. C.J.S. See 82 C.J.S., Statutes, § 151. Law reviews. For note, "Are Colorado Game Preserve Laws Local Legislation?", see 1 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 136 (1929). For article, "The Moffat Tunnel", see 8 Dicta 3 (Feb. 1931). For article, "Has The Doctrine of Stare Decisis Been Abandoned in Colorado?", see 25 Dicta 91 (1948). For article, "Legislative Procedure in Colorado", see 26 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 386 (1954). For article, "One Year Review of Constitutional and Administrative Law", see 34 Dicta 79 (1957). For comment on Mosko v. Dunbar, 135 Colo. 172, 309 P.2d 581 (1957), appearing below, see 34 Dicta 182 (1957). For article, "One Year Review of Real Property", see 36 Dicta 57 (1959). For article, "Medical Malpractice in Colorado", see 36 Dicta 339 (1959). For article, "The Case for Billboard Control: Precedent and Prediction", see 36 Dicta 461 (1959). For article, "One Year Review of Civil Procedure and Appeals", see 37 Dicta 21 (1960). For article, "A Review of the 1959 Constitutional and Administrative Law Decisions", see 37 Dicta 81 (1960). For article, "Annexation in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 259 (1960). For note, "Ownership of Streets and Rights of Abutting Landowners in Colorado", see 40 Den. L. Ctr. J. 26 (1963). For note, "One Year Review of Constitutional Law", see 41 Den. L. Ctr. J. 77 (1964). For note, "Purged Voter Lists", see 44 Den. L. J. 279 (1967). For note, "Referendum and Rezoning. Margolis v. District Court", see 53 U. Colo. L. Rev. 745 (1982). Equal treatment under law is right constitutionally afforded citizens. Vanderhoof v. People, 152 Colo. 147, 380 P.2d 903 (1963). The provision against special legislation was intended to curb favoritism on the part of the general assembly, prevent state government from interfering with local affairs, and preclude the legislature from passing unnecessary laws to fit limited circumstances. People v. Canister, 110 P.3d 380 (Colo. 2005); People v. Hagos, 110 P. 3d 1290 (Colo. 2005). Purpose of section to prevent class legislation. It was for the purpose of preventing class legislation that the people of this state, by this section, declared that the general assembly shall not pass local or special laws in particular enumerated cases and in no case where a general law can be made applicable. City of Denver v. Bach, 26 Colo. 530, 58 P. 1089 (1899). But not to prohibit all special legislation. While the prevailing spirit of the constitution is opposed to special legislation, it is not, however, prohibitory of all special legislation, but only such as relates to certain specified subjects, and to such other cases where general laws are applicable. Brown v. City of Denver, 7 Colo. 305, 3 P. 455 (1884). Constitutional prohibition against special legislation does not require that the legislature include within a law every item that could be made the subject of legislation, but, rather, prohibits the legislature from exempting classes or members of a class from coverage of a particular statute without a reasonable basis. City of Montrose v. Pub. Utils. Comm'n, 732 P.2d 1181 (Colo. 1987); Bloomer v. Boulder County Bd. of Comm'rs, 799 P.2d 942 (Colo. 1990). General assembly cannot grant power to pass special legislation to any other body. The charter of the city and the powers which it may exercise thereunder are derived from the general assembly; and as the latter cannot pass a special or local law, where a general one may be made applicable, it cannot grant such power to any other body. City of Denver v. Bach, 26 Colo. 530, 58 P. 1089 (1899). Need for special act legislative question. The question whether a general law can be made applicable, or whether a special law is authorized for a purpose not falling within the enumerated or prohibited cases, is peculiarly a legislative question. Carpenter v. People ex rel. Tilford, 8 Colo. 116, 5 P. 828 (1884); Coulter v. Bd. of County Comm'rs, 9 Colo. 258, 11 P. 199 (1886); McClain v. People, 111 Colo. 271, 141 P.2d 685 (1943); Morgan County Junior College Dist. v. Jolly, 168 Colo. 466, 452 P.2d 34, appeal dismissed, 396 U.S. 24, 90 S. Ct. 198, 24 L. Ed.2d 144 (1969).
This section imposes upon the general assembly the duty of looking into the facts of every case for which a special act is proposed; and it is only when the legislative mind becomes convinced, from a due investigation, and mature consideration of the facts and circumstances that a necessity exists for a special law, that such a law is authorized. Brown v. City of Denver, 7 Colo. 305, 3 P. 455 (1884); Carpenter v. People ex rel. Tilford, 8 Colo. 116, 5 P. 828 (1884).
If the new conditions affect the members of a class, the correcting statute must apply to all alike. If the new conditions affect one only or a few, the correcting statute may be as narrow as the mischief. The problem is one of legislative policy, with a wide margin of discretion conceded to the lawmakers. Morgan County Junior College Dist. v. Jolly, 168 Colo. 466, 452 P.2d 34, appeal dismissed, 396 U.S. 24, 90 S. Ct. 198, 24 L. Ed.2d 144 (1969).
And if general law applicable, special legislation prohibited. Where the general assembly has determined that a general law can be made applicable to the organization and classification of cities and towns, special legislation upon the subject is prohibited. In re Constitutionality of Senate Bill No. 293, 21 Colo. 38, 39 P. 522 (1895).