Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post article: ASSET bill might get GOP support

The measure that would allow students who are undocumented residents of the Colorado community to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities and colleges might get some Republican support this year.

Tim Hoover of the Denver Post explains.

The ASSET bill cleared a Senate committee last week and has not yet come up for debate on the floor of that chamber. SB 33 is expected to pass both the Senate and the House, now that both are under Democratic control, and Gov. John Hickenlooper has indicated he will sign it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Arm the Teachers" bill dies in committee

A bill that would have given school boards the authority to permit administrators and teachers to carry concealed weapons on the state's public school campuses was defeated in a Senate committee Monday.

SB 9 lost on a party-line, 3-2 vote.

Sen. John P. Morse, D-Colorado Springs, was quoted by the Colorado Springs Gazette as saying that the bill would not only be of no help in reducing violence, but contribute to the problem.

The sponsor of the measure, Republican Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, had said he believed the measure is needed so that those who work in schools can protect children and themselves.

The defeat of the measure does not mean that schoolkids, teachers, support employees, and administrators have no protection against a firearm-toting intruder intent on doing harm. Current law permits armed police officers to patrol public school buildings in Colorado.

The presence of an armed guard or other people with guns in a building attacked by a shooter is not a guarantee that no one would be hurt. Some advocates of eliminating laws that set up schools as gun-free areas argue that the presence of an armed security guard at Columbine High School during a mass shooting incident in April 1999 prevented the deaths of some individuals. However, thirteen people, including 12 children, died in that massacre despite his presence.

SB 9 was co-sponsored in the Senate by Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rep. Fischer's graywater recycling bill set for debate

A bill that would revolutionize one aspect of Colorado water law, allowing re-use of water circulated through showers and appliances, may make into the law books this year.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan has a detailed story about the odyssey and impacts of HB 13-1044, sponsored by Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, in today's paper.

The measure gets its first hearing on Monday before the committee Fischer chairs.

Senate committee clears bill requiring mandatory collective bargaining agreements with firefighters

A Senate committee has green-lighted a bill that would force Colorado municipalities to engage in collective bargaining with firefighters.

Similar legislation was vetoed by former Gov. Bill Ritter in 2009.

This year, with Democrats again in control of both chambers of the legislature, the issue looks likely to again wind up on the governor's desk.

One interesting note on the debate is that the mayors of two of Colorado's most politically diametrical communities - Boulder and Colorado Springs - both spoke against it during a hearing last week.

Peter Marcus of the Colorado Statesman has coverage of this year's proposal.