School testing compromise leads last-minute legislating at Capitol

· May 6, 2015, 8:11 pm
The 2015 legislative session has come to a close. We'll have the first of several wrap ups on Thursday morning. In the meantime, here's some of the last-minute legislating that took place.

Standardized testing

The House and Senate have both passed bills described as compromise measures to reduce statewide standardized testing. 
The bills cut some tests in the earliest grades and late in high school, but retain test in language arts and math in 9th grade. Those 9th grade tests proved a major sticking point in debate. 
Lawmakers needed to rectify small differences in HB1323 and SB257 and agree on a single bill to send to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Felony DUI bill

To a smattering of applause from members of the public watching the vote, senators passed HB1043 on a vote of 34-1. 
The vote concluded work on the measure to create felony penalties for habitual DUI offenders, a measure that has repeatedly failed in recent years because of concerns about increased costs to courts and prisons. 

State works to keep pot taxes

Lawmakers are making final adjustments to a pot tax measure that proved one of the most complicated of the year. 
HB1367 isn't controversial, but it is so complicated that it's required intense scrutiny. 
The bill proposes another state ballot measure to tax recreational pot. It's intended to correct an error in the 2013 pot tax measure that means the $58 million in pot taxes collected last year will have to be returned to voters.

Voter approval for red light cameras

Both chambers have passed bills to compel local municipalities to seek voter approval for red-light camera enforcement. 
The bills are seen as attempts to ban the unpopular cameras. But cities and counties have vigorously fought similar efforts for years.
The debate faces more than legislative approval Wednesday. The governor is on record opposing a red-light camera ban as an infringement on local control, and it's unknown whether any ban would meet a veto.

Police oversight bills

Lawmakers are finishing work on a package of bills to increase oversight of law enforcement. They’ve passed six bills, including a grant program to help departments purchase body cameras and new procedures for investigating officer-involved shootings. 

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!