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Medical marijuana lobbyists vigorously plied their trade Monday in a furious attempt to stop an amendment to HB 1043, the medical marijuana "clean-up" bill, that struck language allowing for the creation of investment funds that proponents hoped would fund a restructuring of the industry. The amendment passed and the funds will not be allowed.
A bill to pull state funding from local communities if they choose not to participate in the federal Secure Communities program--called an immigration dragnet by some State Representatives and local community leaders--passed the House on second reading today.
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 State Rep. Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs, in committee agreed to change a key provision of his bonding bill which the ACLU of Colorado said could lead to racial discrimination and to citizens being unable to exercise their constitutional right to bail. Opponents of the bill say it is still not enough for them to end their opposition.
Lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists and reporters shuffle through the narrow hallways between committee rooms in the capitol. Not enough chairs line the walls between the doors. It's an anteroom heavy with murmuring gossip and speculation. Although showy debate flares up on occasion in the two-story-high House and Senate chambers, much of the real action takes place in these tiny committee rooms. Sitting outside one of the committee rooms, Sen. Pat Steadman told the Colorado Independent he believes the fate of SB 172, the same-sex civil unions bill he introduced Monday, will be decided by the members of the House Judiciary Committee.
A Colorado Springs school district spokesperson told the Colorado Independent this morning that the district's hands are tied by state law in terms of how it handles the case of a student with a prescription for medical marijuana.
The ACLU of Colorado says a bail bonds bill targeting illegal immigrants interferes with the constitutional rights of all Coloradans. Colorado State Rep. Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs, said his bill creates a level playing field.
If a new bill is passed, anyone arrested who is suspected of being in the country illegally may have a very hard time getting a bond. The bill would remove current exemptions that allow bail bond agents to reclaim their bond money if an immigrant is found to be illegally in the country and is deported.