May 14, 2021 - News

Colorado General Assembly advances slew of bills in final weeks

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The General Assembly is entering its final weeks, and legislation is moving quickly.

What's happening: The major bills this week involved …

Health insurance costs: House Bill 1232 passed the chamber Monday after Democratic sponsors stripped a public option from the measure.

  • The legislation, touted by Democrats, calls on insurers and providers to lower premiums 18% over three years but only applies to the 8% of residents who have individual plans or coverage from small employers.

Threatening public officials: Senate Bill 64 is nearing the governor's desk.

  • Harassing or retaliating against an elected official or their family would become a misdemeanor crime and a credible threat would be a felony.

Use of ketamine in arrests: In response to Elijah McClain's death, the House gave initial approval to House Bill 1251, which limits the ability to use ketamine as a sedative to subdue a person in a law enforcement setting.

  • The new rules would qualify ketamine as excessive use of force when used by an officer.

A quick rundown on other action:

  • The governor signed a bill to require most businesses to accept cash.
  • In the first steps toward Front Range passenger rail, the Senate supported a bill to create a commission to lead the effort.
  • The final vote is near on a bill to boost the availability of multilingual ballots and create a hotline with translators.

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