By Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Your weekly look at what’s coming up at the Colorado Legislature:


The House spent last week debating the only bill lawmakers are required to pass - an annual budget. The $23 billion budget now heads to the Senate, where the spending plan will be debated and voted on Thursday and Friday.


The House isn’t done talking about money just because they’ve finished the overall budget. Legislative leaders say the House may start work on two school-funding measures that could determine how much of Colorado’s budget surplus goes to K-12 education to backfill recession-era budget cuts.


A year ago, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed bills that limited the size of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, and required new background checks for firearms sold online and between private sellers. On Monday, gun rights groups and sheriffs suing to overturn those laws will begin making their arguments in federal court with the start of a two-week trial. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is representing the state. The laws, which took effect July 1, were responses to mass shootings in a suburban Denver movie theater and Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.


The Legislature doesn’t directly control Colorado’s state-run health insurance exchange. But state lawmakers will be watching closely this week for a final tally for the opening of an exchange created in 2010. Colorado is expected to among a handful of states to meet White House goals for getting uninsured folks to get insurance coverage by the end of open enrollment Monday.


Marijuana was a major point of debate in the Legislature last year. The drug has played a small role so far this term, but that could change this week if long-awaited proposals to crack down on medical marijuana caregivers and limits for edible pot are introduced.

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