Highlights from the Legislature on Monday
April 27, 2009
” Rep. Gwyn Green, a Democrat from Golden, announced she is retiring June 1 for health reasons. A vacancy committee will meet to pick her replacement.
” The House approved and sent to the Senate a measure that would allow state and local government to take advantage of financing options available under the federal economic stimulus act (House Bill 1346).
” The House approved and sent to the Senate a measure (Senate Bill 75) that would allow small electric cars on state highways with speed limits of 35 mph or less. Currently the cars, which can go up to 25 mph, are allowed on roads that aren’t state highways or don’t cross one. The bill would allow the vehicles to cross state highways with speed limits above 35 mph.
” The House approved conference committee amendments to a measure (Senate Bill 148) giving more rights and protections to bicyclists. It requires drivers to give cyclists at least a 3-foot berth when passing them. The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.
” The House accepted conference committee amendments to a bill that would eliminate the ability of retail stores to keep part of the sales tax to compensate for collecting state sales taxes (Senate Bill 275). The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.
” The Senate voted to send a proposal to phase out the business personal property tax back (Senate Bill 85) to the Appropriations Committee. It narrowly survived a vote during its last visit there. The committee is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday.
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” The Senate voted 28-7 to pass a measure (Senate Bill 241) requiring anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample. Currently, only people who are convicted of crimes must submit DNA. It now heads to the House.
” The Senate voted 19-16 to pass a bill requiring private health insurers to cover treatment for autism. Senate Bill 244 now goes to the House. Opponents said it could price some people out of the market for insurance. Health insurance premiums for state employees, for example, could rise by $2.98 a month for individuals covered by Kaiser Permanente and by $40.45 a month for families covered by the San Luis Valley HMO, according to the insurers.
” The Senate backed a resolution declaring last week as Holocaust Awareness Week (Senate Joint Resolution 45).