Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Snapshot of Notable Senate Bills Introduced This Week

Dozens of bills were introduced during the first two days of the 2008 legislative session, including 48 in the Senate and more than 100 in the House. Among them are proposals to implement some of Gov. Bill Ritter's priorities and a number of competing ideas from the General Assembly's Republican minority.

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

SB 1 (Sen. John P. Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument) - Creates a "school safety resource center" within the Department of Public Safety to help school s prevent and prepare for violent incidents.

SB 4 (Sen. Moe Keller, D-Arvada, and Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs) - Creates a state employment program for persons with developmental disabilities

SB 11 (Sen. John P. Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs) - Creates an "emergency responders and trauma care reimbursement fund" to be paid for from an increase in motor vehicle registration fees and requires all auto insurance policies issued in Colorado to include at least $15,000 in emergency care coverage

SB 13 (Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, and Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins) - Authorizes use of oil and gas severance tax revenues to fund mitigation of production impacts by the Division of Wildlife and improvements to state parks.

SB 18 (Sen. Sue Windels, D-Arvada, and Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs) - Requires Department of Higher Education approval for any new academic, career or technical education program at any state-supported institution of higher learning.

SB 21 (Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, and Rep. Edward Casso, D-Commerce City) - Creates a pilot English language competency program to help students who primarily speak another language to achieve English competency prior to high school graduation.

SB 23 (Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita, and Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Evergreen) - Requires State Board of Education to establish uniform minimum high school graduation standards, to include four years of mathematics, four years of English, three years of science, three years of social studies, two years of foreign language or American sign language, one year of physical education or health education and oneyear of visual, performance or applied fine arts.

SB 24 (Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton) - Prohibits ticket sellers, such as professional athletic teams, from limiting the resale of event tickets, requires ticket seller to guarantee ticket refund in case event is cancelled and prohibits denial of access to event to person who purchased ticket from re-seller.

SB 25 (Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, and Rep. Sara Gagliardi, D-Arvada) - Transfers regulatory authority regarding safety of retail foods to State Board of Health from Department of Public Health and Environment and requiring creation of a Uniform Code of Sanitary Rules.

SB 26 (Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora) - Requires all cigarettes sold in the state after July 31, 2009 to be tested for, and to meet, standards assuring a lower risk that lit cigarettes can ignite a fire.

SB 40 (Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver) - Allows a person qualified to vote to register to vote online if that person's signature is stored in digital form in one of several state-maintained databases.

SB 43 (Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver) - Requires each school district to adopt minimum nutritional standards for food and drinks sold "a la carte" or in vending machines or school stores on school campuses and requires compliance with the nutritional standards for accreditation of school districts; also creates "healthy school foods and drinks grant program," paid for from lottery revenues, to assist school districts in complying with the obligation to provide food and drinks that meet the nutritional standards.

SB 48 (Sen. Moe Keller, D-Arvada, and Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction) - Prohibits political telephone solicitations made by automatic dialing machines or paid political solicitors to anyone in Colorado or registered to vote in Colorado unless the person being called had a pre-existing relationship with the caller; exempts calls made by candidates, public officials and political parties made for the purpose of announcing town meetings, fundraisers, and "other events of interest to existing constituents and supporters;" also exempts calls from professional polling organizations.