Colorado lawmakers to consider marijuana rules, taxes, drilling and picking a state pet this week

DENVER - At the Colorado Capitol this week lawmakers will consider bills on marijuana, taxes, drilling and picking a state pet.

Stoned driving

A measure to set a marijuana blood limit for drivers faces a big test Monday in the chamber where's it's failed three times before. The Senate Judiciary Committee starts work on this year's stoned-driving bill, which has already cleared the House. Marijuana activists aren't giving up hope they'll defeat this year's version, so expect a big crowd.

Pot taxes

Another marijuana measure up for debate this week could generate some opposition. A pending measure in the House Finance Committee asks voters to approve new pot taxes up to 30 percent. Some fear the tax is too high, and that voters will reject the idea and leave Colorado with a minimal tax boost from approving pot.

Property taxes to fund education

The full House starts work this week on a school-financing overhaul aimed at rectifying years of underfunded K-12 schools. The measure relies on voters approving some $1 billion worth of new property taxes, and Republicans have argued the measure needs to make bigger changes to how schools are run.

Drilling debate continues

The Legislature continues to mull Democratic bills to clamp down on oil and gas producers. On Monday, a Senate committee hears a bill to hike daily limits on drilling fines for the first time since 1955. And on Wednesday, a House committee considers a bill to study the possibility of more thorough well inspections.

Picking a state pet

Not everything at the Legislature this week promises partisan wrangling. A bill to make shelter animals the official state pet faces a hearing Monday in a House committee. The bill brought smiles to Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, especially when backers brought four-legged lobbyists to encourage the designation.


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