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How do I Find Colorado Revised Statutes?: The Contents of a Statute

Past Versions of Colorado Statutes

These are the abbreviations used to identify old versions of Colorado statutes in the history notes section.

  • R.S. - Revised Statutes of Colorado (1868)
  • G.L. - General Laws of Colorado (1877)
  • G.S. - General Statutes of Colorado (1883)
  • R.S. 08 - Revised Statues of Colorado (1908)
  • C.L. - Compiled Laws of Colorado (1921)
  • CSA - Colorado Statutes Annotated (1935)
  • CRS 53 - Colorado Revised Statutes (1953)
  • C.R.S. 1963 - Colorado Revised Statues (1963)
  • C.R.S. - Colorado Revised Statutes (the current version, begun in 1973)

If you need help locating one of these older sets of Colorado statutes please contact the Research Assistance desk.

Sections of a Statute

In addition to the full name and full text of a statute, there will often be statutory notes that can direct you to additional information.


Important events in the history of a law, including where is appears in past versions of the Colorado codes or statutes. There is information on when the statute was originally enacted, and whether it has been amended, repealed, or replaced. To understand this section, you'll need to know the abbreviations used in this area. The "Understanding Colorado Statutory Source Notes" document linked on the left of this screen has a full explanation.

Some very common and important abbreviations include:

  • L. - Session Law (This is where you will find the text of the bill that created, amended, or repealed the statute. The number following L. indicate what year, page and section of the Session Law has the bill.)
  • HB ____ or S ____ - If a statute was adopted or amended after 2009 the history includes the number of the House or Senate bill which caused the action.
  • Abbreviations that designate where the statute appeared in earlier versions of the Colorado code/statutes - see a full list on the left hand side of the page


Other information that could be of interest, sometimes comparisons between different states' laws and regulations on similar issues.


Court cases, law review articles, or other sources that discuss the statute in more depth. In LexisNexis you usually get a direct link to court rulings, but not always to law review article. Use the citation to search for the article. Citations for articles that appear in law reviews are a little different from typical journal articles.

In the statute pictured, the annotation says there is a law review: "The Emerging Relationship Between Environmental Regulations and Colorado Water Law", see 53 U. Colo. L. Rev. 597 (1982). That article appeared in volume 53 of the University of Colorado Law Review, on page 597. It was published in 1982.