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Gazette Premium Content 5 Things To Know in the Colorado Legislature

Associated Press Published: May 4, 2014

DENVER — Your weekly look at what's coming up at the Colorado Legislature:

THE FINAL PUSH

Lawmakers have only three more days to get things done during their 120-day session. And, like the perpetual slacker college student before finals, they have a lot of things to finish before the final gavel hits before midnight Wednesday. Take a look ...

SCHOOL FINANCES

Before they wrap up for the year, lawmakers still have to pass one of the most crucial pieces of legislation they decide annually: How to fund public schools. This year, with extra tax revenue on hand, lawmakers are not only passing the yearly School Finance Act, they're also voting on a piecemeal attempt to implement reforms that failed as a result of voters rejected a $1 billion tax increase last year. That includes a measure to require more transparency in how districts spend their money, more funds for English-language learners, and dollars for charter schools.

ALL ABOUT THE GREEN

It's safe to say marijuana is an issue Colorado lawmakers will be dealing with routinely for the foreseeable future — and this year is a perfect example of that. Before they go home, lawmakers still have to decide on whether to allow a banking co-op for recreational marijuana businesses, and if there should be a study on new regulations for pot edibles and purchasing limits on the drug in its concentrated form. They also are debating how to spend new recreational marijuana tax revenues. A $23 million spending plan has been proposed by the Joint Budget Committee and is making its way through both chambers of the Legislature.

WILDFIRES AND FLOODS

Last year's destructive wildfires and historic flooding meant lawmakers had to come up with ways to address the consequences. Two big-ticket items include a nearly $20 million proposal to fund a state-owned firefighting fleet to spot and attack fires faster, and a measure to forgive the property taxes of people who lost their homes because of floods and wildfires.

REVENGE PORN

Several states this year are trying to address the issue of revenge porn — when people post pictures or videos of their former lovers online to humiliate them. Colorado is considering a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to publish that material without a person's consent to hast them emotional distress, and offenders would be fined at least $10,000. A final vote in the Senate is expected this week.

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