- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

DENVER (AP) - This week’s Bill To Watch in the Colorado Legislature

THE BILL:

House Bill 1260, to increase penalties for sex offenses against a child under 12.

WHAT IT DOES:

The bill is an attempt to increase penalties for child predators - and stave off complaints from minority Republicans that ruling Democrats are soft on crime because Colorado is among just a few states without some version of “Jessica’s Law.”

WHO WANTS IT?

Democrats had long argued that “Jessica’s Law” is unnecessary and duplicates existing policies. Withered by GOP criticism, though, Democrats are advancing a version of increased penalties they are calling “Jessica’s Law.”

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

Legislative analysts say the bill could mean that 35 people per year would be sentenced to serve longer sentences. However, analysts said those costs would come in future years and did not assign an immediate cost for the increased penalties.

WHERE IT STANDS:

The bill has passed the House and awaits consideration in the Senate.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:

“Last year, Democrats did not see the value of increasing the sentences of child sex offenders. This year they did, but unfortunately with weaker sentences for child predators and the audacity to simply use a political stunt to rename their legislation Jessica’s Law.” -Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, who says the Democrats’ version isn’t adequate.

READ THE BILL AND FOLLOW IT:

https://bit.ly/1fGgm6m

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