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DENVER— The political battle in Colorado over abortion, women’s healthcare and family planning heated up Monday when lawmakers, activist groups and supporters on opposite sides of the issues took turns rallying on the west steps of the capitol here.
Election-year gun-rights debate visited the capitol again Monday when the Senate Veteran and Military Affairs Committee considered two bills aimed at firming up citizen rights to use guns at the workplace for defense and in times of state-declared emergencies. After two hours or so of testimony, the bills were killed on party-line votes in the Democrat-controlled committee.
It's not exactly a tidal wave. But the three Republican members of the House who have gone on record as supportive of state Senator Pat Steadman's civil unions bill suggests Democratic House sponsor Mark Ferrandino is right to be confident that the bill will pass if it could somehow climb over likely House committee hurdles.
Forty-one women were sworn into the state legislature in Denver this week, strengthening Colorado's long standing as the women-lawmaker capital of the nation. The state gained five women in the Senate and lost one in the House. There are 17 women in the 35-member Senate. There are 24 women serving in the 65-member House. That's the largest percentage of women serving at any state capitol across the country and it's also the largest number of women ever to serve at the Colorado capitol. The Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus is proud of these facts. It's also not sure exactly what these facts mean on the ground for constituents.