- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

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


The biggest news to hit the Legislature this week won’t come from the Capitol but from the Department of Revenue, which is expected to report Colorado’s first statewide recreational marijuana tax numbers. The reporting of the January sales tax reports will give legislative budget writers their first glimpse at how much pot taxes could produce and will intensify jockeying to determine how the money should be spent.


The Senate is expected to debate a bill aimed at shutting down stand-alone emergency departments that are licensed like hospitals without having to accept indigent, Medicare or Medicaid patients. The bill would affect only two clinics, but expect sharp debate over SB16 because it relates to health care and the private market.


Speaking of health, several bills aimed at taking carcinogens away from minors face votes this week. The Senate Health & Human Services Committee hears HB1054, to ban people under 18 at commercial tanning salons, on Thursday. A bill to raise the tobacco age to 21 (HB1263) awaits a vote in House Finance on Thursday, while the House Health & Human Services Committee votes Tuesday on a bill to expand the ban on tobacco-delivery devices to people under 18 (SB18).


The Senate is scheduled to take a final vote on a bill to designate ridesharing firms as “transportation networks,” separate from taxi and limo services. SB125 is an attempt to add regulation to app-driven transportation companies like Uber and Lyft.


The House Transportation Committee starts work Wednesday on a bill to prohibit cell phone use by drivers without a hands-free device. Colorado already bans texting while driving, but HB1225 would make Colorado the 13th state to completely ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

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