Capitol Pulse: The "forthcoming" legislative session
🏛 Capitol Pulse is a weekly feature to catch up quick on what's happening at the Legislature.
This year's theme of the legislative session is "forthcoming."
State of play: One-third of the way through Colorado's 120-day lawmaking term, most of the major legislation is still being drafted behind the scenes at the state Capitol.
- The session's most-touted measure to ban assault weapons, along with a host of other gun regulations, is "set to be introduced."
- A measure to limit local zoning authority and create more housing, another top priority, is "forthcoming."
- An effort to provide property tax relief to homeowners and businesses — a pledge from the governor — is "a work in progress."
- Tougher regulations on "deceptive" pregnancy centers, a top issue for abortion rights advocates, is still in the works.
The big picture: The diddling Democratic majority — which is the strongest in state history — is finding it difficult to reach agreement within its own ranks, and political allies, as well as placate the fearful but powerful business community.
- Other state legislatures are moving faster to advance their agendas. New Democratic majorities in Minnesota and Michigan wasted no time passing new laws to establish abortion rights and provide money for affordable housing.
Between the lines: The delayed pace in Colorado is not unusual, but it exposes the reality that major bills are usually crafted in private with input from moneyed interests and the result is set before they are made public.
Yes, but: That's not to say lawmakers are twiddling their thumbs. Dozens of bills are moving, including a couple of high-profile ones.
- A disputed measure to allow local governments to implement caps or controls on rent prices received initial approval Wednesday in a House committee.
- An even more controversial bill to allow the users of illicit drugs, including fentanyl and heroin, to partake under the supervision of trained staff was introduced in the House and is expected to draw sharp reactions.
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