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State Lawmakers Consider Teacher Tenure, Pot Taxes This Week

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Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

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

TEACHER SHOWDOWN

It’s Democrats vs. Democrats Monday when the House Education Committee hears a bill to undo part of a teacher-tenure law that divided Democrats four years ago. Some Democrats say the law needs an update to prevent school districts from using it to improperly fire some teachers, while other Democrats say the law is working fine.

MARIJUANA MONEY

The budget-writing Joint Budget Committee has a highly anticipated meeting Tuesday, when lawmakers consider a proposal by Gov. John Hickenlooper on how to spend marijuana tax money. Because Colorado’s pot industry is so new, budgeters are considering marijuana spending separately from the overall state budget.

KEY VOTE FOR INTERNET RIDESHARING

Colorado lawmakers debating regulation for companies like Uber and Lyft, which use apps to connect riders to drivers in their personal cars, will take a crucial vote Wednesday on a bill in the House Transportation Committee. The legislation seeks to put the companies under the oversight of the state’s public utilities commission, and also add clarity to when drivers are covered under their personal car insurance versus company insurance. The bill has already cleared the Senate, but it’s drawn strong opposition from taxi companies that feel like they’re being unfairly undercut by the new players in the market.

CELL PHONE RESTRICTIONS

A bill to require drivers to use hands-free devices to use their cell phones is getting a second wind. Weeks after lawmakers stopped the bill from advancing its first House committee, legislators will consider the bill again on Thursday after the measure’s sponsors worked on some amendments. Colorado would join 12 states and the District of Columbia in requiring drivers to use a hands-free device while talking on the phone.

VOTING DEBATE

Democrats in the Senate have voted to update arcane elections rules, despite complaints from minority Republicans that Democrats want to change the rules after two of their own were defeated in recall elections last year. The recall proposal is up Monday before the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, where partisan sniping is likely to erupt.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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