Highlights from the Legislature on Tuesday
The House Transportation & Energy Committee approved a bill that would bar adults from talking on cell phones without handsfree devices while driving. The bill (House Bill 1094) would also impose a total ban on cell phone use for drivers younger than 18. It now goes to the Appropriations Committee to review the estimated $613,000 cost of enforcing the measure, which will be offset by $430,000 in revenue the first year. The House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee approved a bill (House Bill 1112) that would require state agencies to submit accurate financial estimates after Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, said he and other lawmakers voted for a bill without knowing the true cost. The bill now goes to the full House for debate. The House approved and sent to the Senate a bill requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed on residential properties. The measure (House Bill 1091) would require all new homes and apartments to install CO detectors. The Senate Appropriations Committee backed a proposal to raise vehicle registration fees to pay for road and bridge repairs. Owners of passenger cars and many SUVs would pay an extra $32 this year and $41 the following year. After that, the fee would automatically increase with inflation. The measure (Senate Bill 108) now heads to the full Senate for a vote.New bills: Extend health insurance coverage for an unmarried child from age 25 to 30 (Senate Bill 159). Make criminal justice records public unless authorities determine it would be contrary to the public interest (House Bill 1251). Allow residents to purchase out-of-state health insurance (House Bill 1256). Require disclosure of an existing homes energy usage if the home is for sale (House Bill 1247). Create an office of dropout prevention in the state Department of Education (House Bill 1293). Order the Department of Revenue to immediately suspend the drivers license of a person who fails to appear for a license suspension hearing (House Bill 1234). Allow neighbors to remove weeds, brush and trash from unoccupied residential property (House Bill 1235).
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