Mesa State name bill advances; health insurance exchange OK’d in House

DENVER — Lawmakers plodded through a number of bills Wednesday, including a measure that would rename Mesa State College to Colorado Mesa University.

The name change bill, which already cleared the Senate, unanimously passed the House Education Committee.

Meanwhile, the House gave final approval to measures to create health insurance exchanges and opt Colorado out of the controversial federal health care reform law approved by Congress last year.

Thirteen Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in approving the insurance exchange, but not the three Republicans who represent Mesa and Garfield counties: Reps. Laura Bradford, Ray Scott and Randy Baumgardner.

Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, voted for the measure along with Rep. Roger Wilson, D-Glenwood Springs.

The exchanges are designed to encourage insurers to offer cheaper health care plans and to extend that care to numerous Coloradans who have no coverage.

The House also gave final approval to a bill that started out as an Arizona-style illegal immigration measure, one that would have placed hefty fines on anyone who employs or transports undocumented workers anywhere in the state. That measure, introduced by Baumgardner, was watered down to give employers more time to verify the residency status of new workers, which they would do only if asked by the Colorado Department of Labor.

Lawmakers are trying to finish up work on a number of other measures before the 2011 session ends May 11.



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