Lawmakers aim to divide 18th Judicial District

Colorado state lawmakers on Jan. 8 introduced House Bill 20-1026, which would create a 23rd Judicial District by splitting the 18th in two. The district today serves more than 1 million people and comprises Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties. The next largest, Colorado’s 4th Judicial District, serves fewer than 750,000 people.

If passed, the bill would leave Arapahoe County in the 18th Judicial District and place the remaining three counties into another, creating Colorado’s newest judicial district in decades.

The state has operated 22 judicial districts for the past five decades despite growing in population by more than 3.5 million people in that same time, the bill states. Colorado had four districts at statehood.

Creating a 23rd requires a two-thirds vote by the general assembly. State Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, considered introducing similar legislation last session and is one of the bill sponsors. It’s scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee, on which he sits, this month. State Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and state. Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, also are sponsoring the legislation.

“Grateful to have bipartisan support in both chambers,” Weissman said. “I think it’s a recognition that there’s some good sense in the bill.”,292496