5 Things To Know in the Colorado Legislature


DENVER  | Your weekly look at what’s coming up at the Colorado Legislature:


Juveniles detained for crimes would be guaranteed legal counsel at their initial hearings under a bill that also seeks to educate them and their families about their rights. The bill, which already cleared the House, will get its first hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday. The proposal is prompted by concerns that about 45 percent of juveniles with cases in state courts didn’t get an attorney in 2012, according to a report from the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition.


Lawmakers want to make clear that, when it comes to designer drugs, the Division of Liquor Enforcement within the Department of Revenue have the authority to enforce criminal provisions governing their use, possession, and sale in the state of Colorado. A bill that clarifies that language is making its way through the Senate after passing the House. Designer drugs are synthetic drugs designed to try to skirt laws. They usually mimic the effects of other illicit drugs.


One of the first bills introduced this year is finally close to clearing its first chamber. The proposal up for a final vote in the House is another legislative response to the killing Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements last year. The former inmate suspected of the murder had slipped out of his electronic monitoring device, and it was days before authorities found out. Lawmakers are proposing a bill that would make parolees subject to immediate warrantless arrest if they tamper with or remove their electronic monitoring devices.


On Monday, the Joint Budget Committee is expected to finish work on a bill on how to spend marijuana taxes. Also this week, votes loom on marijuana edibles and concentrates, while a proposal to designate Post-Traumatic Street Disorder as a qualifying condition for medical pot awaits a hearing in the House.


The House Judiciary Committee starts work Thursday on a second attempt this year to crack down on so-called “revenge porn,” the posting of intimate photos or videos to embarrass or blackmail. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for adults to publish explicit pictures or videos of someone without their consent to cause them “serious emotional distress.”