Highlights from the Legislature on Friday
April 18, 2008
” The House gave initial approval to a measure (House Bill 1344) that would require teachers convicted of child abuse or unlawful sexual behavior to agree never to teach again anywhere in the country.
” The Senate gave initial backing to expanding anti-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians. The measure (Senate Bill 200) would make it illegal to deny gays and lesbians everything from apartment rentals and a seat in a restaurant to a burial plot.
” The Senate gave initial backing to a proposal that would make it more difficult for voters to propose a constitutional amendment but easier to send a statute change to the ballot (Senate Concurrent Resolution 3). Backers of constitutional amendments would have to gather at least 10 percent of their petition signatures in each of the state’s Congressional districts.
” Some Democrats joined with Republicans to defeat a proposal (Senate Bill 187) requiring owners of all single-family homes install carbon monoxide detectors. Sponsor Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora, said nine people died of carbon monoxide poisoning last year. Sen. Steve Ward, R-Littleton, nominated the measure for “nanny state bill of the year.”
” Art galleries would be able to continue to serve alcohol to the public under a measure (House Bill 1105) backed by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Galleries would have to get temporary licenses and pay about $175 in fees in order offer free drinks no more than 15 days a year.
” Wholesale food manufacturers and storage facilities would have to pay higher fees to help cover the cost of inspections due to recalls under a measure (House Bill 1054) backed the Senate Appropriations Committee. Fiscal analysts say recalls have increased because of improved technology and increased food sampling. There were more food recalls in the first half of 2007 than in all of 2006.
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The measure is being co-sponsored by Sen. Paula Sandoval, D-Denver, whose family owns a tamale factory and will have to pay the increased fees. Sandoval acknowledged she had mixed feelings about the bill since her operation is already inspected daily by federal regulators. Fees for large manufacturers would rise by $85 to $390 a year and by $40 to $185 for small manufacturers.
” The Senate backed a resolution (House Joint Resolution 1016) supporting pending federal legislation to allow Denver television stations to broadcast in southwestern Colorado. The area now is only able to get news and sports programming from Albuquerque stations and Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, said every fall he gets lots of phone calls from constituents upset they can’t watch the Denver Broncos. “You’re not missing much,” President Peter Groff, D-Denver, said.
” Ask voters to change the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and reject Gov. Bill Ritter’s mill levy freeze to bring in more money for public schools (House Concurrent Resolution 1006).
” Send a voter information card to every eligible voter except those whose previous mailings were returned as undeliverable (House Bill 1401).
” Ask voters to require that lawmakers not spend the principal of an energy revenue fund set aside for state colleges and universities (Senate Concurrent Resolution 7).
” Transfer responsibility for one-stop career centers from the Department of Local Affairs to the Department of Labor and Employment (Senate Bill 231).