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This afternoon the state House Judiciary Committee will review Sen. Pat Steadman's civil unions bill and decide whether or not to send it to the full House for debate and roll call vote. The Fort Collins Coloradoan is the home paper for two of the majority Republicans on the committee, B.J. Nikkel and Brian DelGrosso, both of Loveland, and this morning the Coloradoan joined with newspaper editorial boards across the state in endorsing the bill. It urged committee members to "shelve the debate over same-sex marriage" and think instead about "provid[ing] equal protection under the law for those who seek to form a committed, legal relationship."
Former Colorado Springs Senator Dave Schultheis is no longer holding forth on bills on the Senate floor in Denver, but he has continued to exert influence this year as the powerful force behind the conservative Republican Study Committee of Colorado. Now that influence may be waning. This week, a third of the RSCC flock quit the committee, rejecting the would-be radical-right revival.
The coming debate in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee on same-sex civil unions bill SB 172 will center on Republican arguments for and against the legislation. The debate scheduled to take place under the Dome in Denver Thursday will underline the dynamics shaping the larger national debate on gay rights-- a debate that now pits Republicans against Republicans because Democrats and Independents have already made up their minds on the matter.
Misinformation ended the life of House Bill 1256 that would have made the willful killing of a fetus up to a 2nd degree felony in Colorado statutes, according to Republican prime sponsor Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs. Waller said emails he received made it clear the bill would become the focal point for a fight over abortion, a fight neither he nor others wanted this year.
Colorado House Republicans Tuesday introduced a bill to enable Colorado to opt out of participation in the Affordable Care Act. The bill would cause Colorado to join in an interstate compact with several other states that do not want to participate in the federal health care plan.
A bill that would give Colorado voters better access to information on Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) spending is making its way through the Senate. HB11-1002 sponsored by B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland would see an almost line-item presentation of the data.
Draft legislation that would limit the power of Colorado district attorneys to charge 14- and 15-year-olds as adults was watered down this week by sponsor Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, who said that, although the bill enjoys the support of a majority of lawmakers, former D.A. now-Governor Bill Ritter, a strong proponent of D.A. discretion in these matters, said he would veto the original version of the bill.