Lawmakers turn attention to guns in schools, judges
More judges for Garfield County, no need to join a union to get a job and concealed guns on school grounds were only some of the bills introduced the first week of the 2013 legislative session.
While lawmakers are expected to debate numerous measures designed to boost jobs and the economy, a number of bills that have little to do with the economy have been introduced, with many others expected to come.
They range from pro-union measures to anti-gun bills, and because Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature, it’s not hard to tell which will advance and which are destined for the round file.
Here is a listing of some of the measures already introduced:
■ Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, has returned with a measure to allow firefighters the right to collectively bargain wages, benefits and other job-related issues.
The measure, SB 25, will start in the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee, which Tochtrop chairs.
■ Freshman Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, has introduced SB 24, which would ban all-union shops by prohibiting employers from being required to participate in a union as a condition of employment.
The measure has two committees to go through. First, Tochtrop’s business committee. If it survives that panel, it also would have to clear the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.
■ Another freshman lawmaker, this one a Democrat, wants to prohibit the use of prospective employees’ credit history in determining employment.
SB18, introduced by Sen. Jessie Ulibari, D-Commerce City, will start in Tochtrop’s business committee.
■ Newly elected Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, will be the lawmaker to carry the annual GOP measure to expand the state’s so-called Make My Day law, which allows homeowners to use deadly force against intruders.
HB1248 expands that law to businesses. The idea has come before the Legislature more than half a dozen times in about as many years, getting torpedoed each time. It heads to the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, where it is expected to face a tough shoot-out.
■ Sens. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, and Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, have jointly introduced a bill to allow school boards to adopt rules that allow teachers to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.
The two veteran lawmakers will argue a case for SB9 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
■ Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, will begin Round 2 in his battle to do away with the state’s public trustees, the government officials appointed by the governor to oversee foreclosures.
This year, Scott is teaming up with Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, a member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee.
To do the job, the pair have introduced two companion bills, HB1049 and SB22, both aimed at eliminating the post and turning the public trustee duties over to county treasurers.
■ The first bill of his young legislative career that Rep. Jared Wright, R-Fruita, introduced would bar all law enforcement officials in the state from working with any federal law enforcement agency in doing anything that violates the state or federal constitutions.
HB1045, which heads to the House State Affairs Committee, is part of an effort to do away with language in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows federal officials to detain terrorists indefinitely without trial.
■ Similarly, Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, has SB13, which would limit the peace officer powers that members of the U.S. Secret Service have while operating in Colorado.
That measure will be debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which King is a member.
■ Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Frisco, and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, have a measure to increase the number of judges in the 9th Judicial District, which includes Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.
HB1035, which heads to the House Judiciary Committee, would increase from four to five the number of judges in the district. That increase will include more courtroom workers to assist the new judge.