Highlights on Legislatures top issues
BUDGET REFORM: Two House committees approved a plan by Democrats to fix the states economic woes, but they killed the only Republican plan. The lone surviving plan, House Bill 1194 by House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, would cut the state tax rate in return for asking voters to permanently give up part of their tax refunds.EDUCATION: Members of the House and Senate education committees met with a commission looking into why minority students lag behind white students. The commission plans to discuss later this month whether to back any of the legislation introduced this year aimed at helping such students graduate from high school and go to college.HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A bill aimed at helping fight obesity in children was endorsed by the Senate Education Committee and is headed to the full Senate for debate. The measure requires schools to make healthy meals available in cafeterias and provide daily physical activity for students.JOBS AND THE ECONOMY: The House Business Affairs & Labor Committee approved House Bill 1115, granting employees and former employees the right to see their personnel files and giving employees the right to write a formal rebuttal. Witnesses told lawmakers a lot of time and money could be saved in court cases if people knew the facts in personnel files and had a chance to get them corrected.TRANSPORTATION: The House Transportation Committee approved a plan (House Bill 1130) that would allow a 210-mile toll road running from Wellington in the north to Pueblo on the eastern plains as lawmakers look for ways to build highways that will not cost taxpayers a lot of money. The measure goes to the full House for debate.WATER: The House gave final approval and sent to the Senate House Bill 1039, allowing loans of water rights even if the governor hasnt declared an emergency, as currently required. Legislators said some water providers would like to loan water to fill streams depleted by upstream users, but the loans do not meet current requirements.
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