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Five bills for each representative

Gary Lindstrom
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I can submit five bills by Dec. 15 in my attempt to change the world or at least Colorado next year at the State Legislature, the maximum allowed for consideration. Other late bills and special leadership bills can be submitted. I am told that there are about 700 bills submitted every year.Most of them do not make it out of committee. Because of the budget crisis, any bill that has a fiscal note (costs money) will probably be killed in committee. The mantra this coming year is to find ways to reduce the budget, not increase it.So far, I have accepted three bill titles for submission.Beer keg tagging would allow law enforcement to trace who purchased the beer for minors. This has been proposed many times but this year, after four student deaths, it is even more relevant. I have been asked to support a bill to correct a fee charged for vehicle identification numbers for the Department of Regulatory Agencies.The last one is an act encouraging international education. This would create an advisory board to encourage international education in our schools.I have been asked by some constituents to consider many other titles. Keep in mind these bills have not been submitted and they are only suggestions from others:A bill to ban the use of mag chloride for deicing. There is a new study being finalized now to see if mag kills vegetation or not.A law that would not allow the University of Colorado to pay its football coach more than the highest-paid professor would receive. How about an institution of higher learning rather than an institution of football?A law that would require elected officials to leave office immediately after the election. Town officials do this now. County officials leave in January after the November election. I think this is in the constitution and would require a statewide vote.A bill that would prohibit outsourcing of jobs by the State of Colorado if there were any unemployment in the state. This would have a huge fiscal note because to not outsource would cost the state millions of dollars.A statewide ban on smoking in any public place including all bars and restaurants. Nine states have already done this. Many entire countries have now banned smoking everywhere. I am not sure that the “Marlboro Man” state of Colorado is ready for this one.A special license plate for noxious weed education. This would provide money for weed education programs.A special license plate for child car seat use. California has done this and it has raised a lot of money for awareness.Each license plate bill requires three thousand signatures from people who would buy the plate before they can be submitted.To begin improvements on I-70 immediately and to prohibit any more studies of the problem. We now have paralysis by analysis. We have spent 10 years and $20 million and not one thing has been done to fix the problem of congestion.Now that mining near Victor is the number one polluter, to ban the use of cyanide heap leach mining everywhere in the state of Colorado. This was proposed a couple of years ago and died in the legislature.A bill to allow counties to operate fire departments. This might be a good idea in smaller counties that do not want a new taxing district.A law that would prohibit the reuse of a letter for a referendum until the entire alphabet has been used (e.g. Referendum A). Lots of confusion this year over the change to the state personnel policy that was confused with the former water bill.A law that would allow any county, after a vote of the people, to have five county commissioners regardless of its population. I always liked the fact that I only needed one more vote to win something in the BOCC process. Five would move much more slowly. Four counties already have five and I am not sure it works any better.A law that would prohibit the use of “soft” money or the use of IRS tax code “527” money for any election in Colorado. I doubt if this would fly because it is a federal provision in the law and not a state law. Also, many politicians like this because it gives them more flexibility to influence elections.A mandatory return deposit on all beverage containers in Colorado. The retailers have opposed this in the past because of the problems of storage and maintenance of returned bottles.A bill to change the minimum lot size from 35 acres to 100 acres to slow down growth. I think this would be very difficult in our current environment.My Libertarian friends would say that we have too many laws now and that a good bill would be to reduce the number of laws in place now. Smaller government? What a concept. Colo. Rep. Gary Lindstrom writes a Monday column.


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