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5 Things To Know in the Colorado Legislature

10:15 AM, Feb 9, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER (AP) - Your weekly look at what's coming up at the Colorado Legislature:

GUN DEBATE SHIFTS TO AMMO

Democrats so far this session have methodically rejected every Republican attempt to expand gun rights or chip away at the gun-control measures passed last year. Republicans get another attempt Monday, when a House committee reviews a bill to repeal the 15-round ammunition magazine limit. A similar GOP magazine bill is heard in the Senate. There's little reason to think the measures stand a chance in Democrat-controlled committees.

GUN TRANSFERS UP FOR DEBATE, TOO

Colorado's new law requiring background checks on private gun transfers exempts immediate relatives - but not step-relations. A Republican attempt to give step-relations the same exemption is up for its first review Friday. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who insists the new gun laws won't be repealed, said last week that he had no problem with changing the transfer statute to exempt step-relations.

OBAMACARE

Republicans aren't just trying to attack the new gun laws. They're also taking aim at the new federal health care law. A bill facing its first hearing Monday would direct the state to reimburse people fined for failing to get health insurance, a certain non-starter in the Democratic Legislature. Another GOP bill getting a hearing Thursday in the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee would order a performance audit of Colorado's state-run insurance exchange.

ELECTIONS BILL CONTINUES RAPID PACE

The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on an elections bill to make eligibility requirements uniform across the state. The bill has sharp opposition from Republicans, who don't like same-day registration and the requirement that all voters get mailed ballots. But the measure has already cleared the House and is on track to be one of the first bills to the governor's desk this year.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

The use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons has been under the microscope in recent years, and the practice came under even more scrutiny last year when a man who'd been in solitary confinement became the lone suspect in the assassination of the head of the Department of Corrections. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to start work Thursday on a Democratic bill to require prisons to review the mental health of offenders in long-term isolated confinement every 90 days.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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