Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Snapshot of Notable House Bills Introduced This Week

Here are some of the notable bills introduced in the House this week:

HB 1001 (Rep. Jim Riesberg, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins) - Authorizes "early stage bioscience companies" to receive funding from the Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program.

HB 1003 (Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, and Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder) - Requires "special Congressional vacancy election" to be held if speaker of U.S. House of Representatives declares that more than 100 vacancies exist in that body of Congress and at least one of those vacancies is in a Colorado district.

HB 1004 (Rep. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora, and Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita) - Authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest truant children subject to mandatory school attendance laws for purpose of returning children to school; bans transport of child arrested for truancy to juvenile detention facility or jail.

HB 1006 (Rep. Cheri Jahn, D-Golden) - Requires county social services departments to arrange visits between children in foster care and their siblings if such visit is requested by foster child or siblings and if department does not conclude visit would not be in best interests of child or sibling.

HB 1010 (Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, and Sen. Stephanie Takis, D-Aurora) - Raises minimum fines from class 2 traffic misdemeanors from $10 to $150, for class 1 traffic misdemeanors from $100 to $300, doubles minimum fine for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with excessive alcohol content, and driving while impaired, and doubles minimum fine for vehicular eluding of a law enforcement officer; also reduces portion of fine local government can collect from citation for driving without required restraint on state or federal highway if local law enforcement officer writes citation.

HB 1011 (Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden) - Eliminates statute of limitations applicable to civil lawsuits based on sexual assault of a child if lawsuit is against perpetrator or third party who had control over the perpetrator, knew perpetrator had previously committed unlawful sexual misconduct and failed to prevent additional incidents; creates two-year window for filing civil actions based on childhood sexual assault in cases where existing limitations period has expired; repeals language in current law limiting damages plaintiff may collect in civil action based on sexual assault of a child.

HB 1012 (Rep. Glenn Vaad, R-Mead, and Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial) - Requires state Transportation Commission to evaluate state highway system and remove roads from that system if it determines it is appropriate and feasible to do so; road to be determined eligible for removal from list of state highways if it meets only local or regional transportation demands or provides minimal statewide or multi-regional benefits.

HB 1017 (Rep. Cherilyn Peniston, D-Westminster, and Sen. Jennifer Viega, D-Denver) - Designates western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) as Colorado's state reptile.

HB 1021 (Rep. Cherilyn Peniston, D-Westminster) - Specifies that four-year olds can be considered "gifted children" and allows school districts to permit gifted four-year olds to attend kindergarten or first grade; requires school districts to extend services to gifted five-year old children.

HB 1035 (Reps. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, and Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, and Sen. John P. Morse, D-Colorado Springs) - Extends period in which taxpayers may make voluntary contribution to military family relief fund to 2011.

HB 1039 (Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, and Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley) - Requires identification used for election-related purposes to contain photograph of eligible elector.