First Colo. bills address gay rights, guns, unions

First bills of new Colorado session address gay rights, guns, and unions

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- Civil unions for same-sex couples, concealed firearms by school employees and proposals about unions are among the first bills introduced Wednesday, the kickoff of this year's Colorado legislative session.

The civil unions bill introduced in the Senate Wednesday is likely to pass. It has a Republican co-sponsor in the House, Rep. Cheri Gerou.

Democrats are expected to pitch gun-control measures, including a possible ban on assault weapons. But so far it's Republicans who are introducing legislation to expand gun rights. They're revisiting a failed bill from last year that would protect business owners from prosecution if they kill or wound an intruder. Another bill would also allow schools employees to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.

There will also likely be big fights over labor bills. Republicans want to prohibit employers from requiring workers to belong to a union, and Democrats want to allow firefighters to have collective bargaining without approval from local governments.

Republicans also want to require the Colorado Secretary of State's office, which oversees elections, to check voter rolls for non-citizens who are illegally registered to vote and remove them from the rolls.

Democrats control both chambers of Legislature so Republicans will have an uphill battle on many of their proposals.

Other notable bills introduced:

— House Bill 1033: Republican bill to ban abortions and makes it a felony for doctors who perform them.

— House Bill 1021: Democratic bill to addresses truancy at schools, requiring districts to monitor students who miss several days.

— Senate Bill 6: Republican bill to prohibit reductions in school funding when funding proposed Medicaid expansion.

— House Bill 1012: Continues tax deduction for homeowners who conduct wildfire mitigation. Bill has bipartisan support.

— Senate Bill 18: Democratic bill to restrict employer's use of credit information during the hiring process. Bill failed last year.

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