Highlights from the Legislature on Tuesday
February 19, 2008
– The House Finance Committee backed a proposal (House Bill 1225) to exempt about 30,000 small businesses from paying the business personal property tax on their equipment. Currently, businesses with less than $2,500 in equipment are exempt. The bill would gradually raise the exemption to $7,000 by 2011. The full House will vote on the bill next.- Counties, cities and special districts would be able to use Lottery proceeds they receive to cover the operational costs of new conservation sites under a bill (Senate Bill 67) given initial backing by the Senate. Currently they can only use the money to buy, develop or maintain new sites or to maintain existing parks.- The House unanimously approved a resolution to be civil. The annual pledge (House Joint Resolution 1006) took on added import this year after the House voted to censure Republican Rep. Douglas Bruce of Colorado Springs for kicking a newspaper photographer during the morning prayer. Bruce also voted for the resolution.- The House approved and sent to the Senate on a 57-5 vote a measure (House Bill 1185) that would give adoptive pet owners 90 days to get their pet spayed or neutered over objections that many animal shelters already provide the service for free. Lawmakers said it could cost $200 or more to spay or neuter a pet and they are concerned fewer people will adopt pets because of the expense.- The House approved and sent to the Senate a bill (House Bill 1200) that would bar participation in computer-assisted remote hunting, which allow people to use computers to fire weapons and hunt animals.- The House approved a proposal (House Bill 1304) that would increase state protection for the bald eagle after the federal government removed it from a list of threatened species. The bill now goes to the Senate.