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Legislative Watch

It's a big couple of weeks coming up for the State House of Representatives, with some very good bills, and some very bad bills coming up for consideration in committee.

Here, then, are the six bills that caught my eye, along with their committee assignments, and when they're scheduled for hearing, and what room, in case you want to listen online to what your elected reps have to say:

The Good:

1256 - Interstate Purchase of Health Care

2/18 PM Session Room 112 (Business Affairs & Labor)

This bill would set up a structure for permitting Colorado residents to buy health insurance from out-of-state insurers. Sponsored by Cinsy Acree, it's the kind of free-market, trust-people-to-make-their-own-decisions legislation we should all be looking for. If for that reason alone, we can be sure it'll fail on a party-line vote. But it's good to get the Dems on record as believing that Coloradoans are dumber than other citizens when it comes to making insurance decisions.

1258 - Limit Extraterritorial Municipal Condemnation

2/19 AM Session Room 112 (State, Veterans, & Military Affairs)

Finally. After last year's grease fire of a State Supreme Court decision permitting the extra-territorial condemnation of property, the legislature is set to take up a bill putting a straight-jacket on this kind of behavior. Sure, it's one thing when Telluride goes after a developer out in the middle of nowhere, but sooner or later Jefferson and Adams Counties are going to getting into a spitting match over this kind of thing, and someone's going to get hurt.

1264 - Higher Ed Costs for State Inmates

2/16 PM Session Room 112 (Education)

At least, I think it's a good bill. Basically, it would keep prison from becoming a scholarship program for higher ed here in the state. I'm not certain how many inmates are studying Kierkegaard in the slammer (prison sentences must be lived forward, but understood backward), but this seems like a good idea. Just make sure that when the Dems inevitably call for shutting down prisons because they're not reforming inmates, you remind them whose fault that is.

The Bad:

1226 - No-Fault Insurance (Personal Injury Protection)

2/18 AM Session Room 112 (Business Affairs & Labor)

Wow. We're continually being told that we're in the worst economy since the Great Depression. We're about to see Congress pass a spending bill that'll make things even worse. And Anne McGihon wants to return Colorado to the bad old days of high-priced insurance and even higher rates of uninsured drivers. Can't anybody here play this game?

1267 - Higher Ed Pervasively Sectarian

2/23 PM Session Room 112 (Education)

The current law on money going to students revolves around what kind of institution they're attending. So if you're going to a "pervasively secular" institution, but studying for the seminary, you can still get help with interpreters, books, seeing-eye dogs, that kind of thing. This is apparently too much for some folks to bear, so they want to restrict state aid based on what you're studying. Just remember that this one came from the legislature, not from the courts.

1273 - Single-Payer Health Care

2/25 AM Session Room OSC (Business Affairs & Labor)

This is the Big One. It sets up a commission to start working out the details of health care rationing right here in River City. If you don't like your health plan choices now, you may have to change jobs. If you don't like your health care choices in a few years, you may have to leave the state.

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