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► The 2022 legislative session in Colorado is down to its final days. Lawmakers have until Midnight on Wednesday to wrap up a number of important bills.
Axios Denver runs down a list of the most high-profile pieces of legislation still to be finalized. In a separate story, Axios looks at where things stand on perhaps the biggest issue yet to be decided: a change in the law regarding fentanyl possession:
The House is slated for a final vote Monday on the controversial legislation before advancing it to the state Senate, where sponsors Sens. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) and John Cooke (R-Greeley) will attempt to take it to the finish line.
Why it matters: Fentanyl deaths are soaring in Colorado, outpacing most other states — and many overdoses are occurring as users unknowingly ingest the synthetic opioid laced with other drugs.
What’s new: A GOP-sponsored, zero-tolerance amendment that would make any possession of fentanyl a felony failed on Friday with an unanimous down vote from House Democrats.
The current draft bill now makes it a felony to possess more than 1 gram of fentanyl in any form, while tightening criminal penalties for distributing the drug.
The editorial board of The Denver Post encourages lawmakers NOT to “criminalize addiction” in Colorado.
► The Colorado Sun breaks down the latest on a Capitol battle over property taxes:
Colorado’s property tax arms race ended Friday morning after conservative and liberal groups moved to withdraw the ballot measures they were pursuing for the November ballot that would have dramatically altered the tax code.
Democratic leaders in the legislature, meanwhile, vowed not to pursue an opposing ballot initiative that would have prevented property tax changes from being made through the statewide ballot.
In exchange, the legislature will move forward with Senate Bill 238 without changes, a measure that, if it is signed into law in the coming days as expected, will reduce projected property tax increases by $700 million over the next two years. The legislation was aimed at heading off an even bigger reduction being pushed by business interests.
The decision by all sides to back down ends a high-stakes game of chicken that threatened to grip the Capitol in the final days of the 2022 legislative session. In jeopardy were billions of dollars in funding for schools and local governments.
► Why stop with outlawing abortion when you can ban contraception as well? The Washington Post reports on yet another reason to never, ever visit Mississippi:
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility that his state would ban certain forms of contraception, sidestepping questions about what would happen next if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Reeves confirmed that, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, a trigger law passed in Mississippi in 2007 would go into effect that essentially outlaws abortions in the state, although it makes exceptions for rape and for the life of the mother.
When asked if Mississippi might next target the use of contraceptives such as the Plan B pill or intrauterine devices, Reeves demurred, saying that was not what the state was focused on “at this time.”
Some Republicans are even going so far as to call for a ban on condoms. No, seriously.
► Legislation to allow collective bargaining rights for municipal employees is struggling to stay afloat in the legislature’s final day.
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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman talks to political strategists around Colorado about the likely impact on 2022 elections if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
► Colorado Newsline looks at where the candidates for Governor in Colorado stand on abortion rights. You can probably guess where everyone not named Jared Polis is positioned on the issue.
► The Colorado Times Recorder examines efforts by Republicans to oust incumbent Democratic Rep. Mark Snyder in Colorado Springs (HD-18). The Republican candidates fighting it out in the June Primary are using cool phrases like “leftist Marxist” to describe Snyder.
► The Aurora Sentinel tries to prepare readers for the 2022 election cycle.
► The Colorado Times Recorder looks back at a marathon hearing last week on the bipartisan Election Security Act that was delayed for hours so that Republican lawmakers could spout off about all manner of nutty conspiracy theories.
► Flavored tobacco and menthol cigarettes could be on the way out in Colorado.
►Legislation intended to protect mobile home residents from outlandish rent increases passed in the State Senate…but without the main provision it sought to enact.
►Denver7 reports on legislative efforts to address health risks related to oil and gas production, including efforts to cap “orphan wells.”
► The Washington Post digs deeper into efforts by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to keep Donald Trump in power despite losing the 2020 election:
Meadows, 62, had taken the job as chief of staff on the principle that his most important task would be “to tell the most powerful man in the world when you believed he was wrong,” he wrote in his memoir, “The Chief’s Chief.”
But instead of echoing the administration’s own Justice Department to tell Trump that his claims of a stolen election were wrong, Meadows went to extraordinary lengths to push Trump’s false assertions — particularly during a crucial three-week period starting with his trip to Atlanta and culminating in the violent insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
A review of Meadows’s actions in that period by The Washington Post — based on interviews, depositions, text messages, emails, congressional documents, recently published memoirs by key players and other material — shows how Meadows played a pivotal role in advancing Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. In doing so, Meadows “repeatedly violated” legal guidance against trying to influence the Justice Department, according to a majority staff report of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a related story, POLITICO examines how the Jan. 6 committee charged with investigating the insurrection managed to maneuver around stonewalling from Trump allies.
►Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a “Victory Day” speech to Russians that didn’t include much information about a possible end to the war in Ukraine.
► President Biden is touting a new program that will provide discounted internet service to lower-income communities.
Say What, Now?
Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert found ANOTHER person to impeach:
This Ministry of Disinformation is trying to destroy free speech.
This is where we fight back. Pass my bill, impeach Mayorkas, protect free speech! pic.twitter.com/6rKvk8Rfjz
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) May 9, 2022
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he spent a good amount of time under President Trump trying to squash idiotic and dangerous ideas.
► Let’s hope this story from The Onion never advances beyond the “satire” stage.
► Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters is living it up…while she still can.
► If you can’t listen to all of this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, at least make sure you catch Christy Powell’s amazing rant on abortion rights:
Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter.
I'm not really on the whole "Jokic doesn't get enough respect" train, but a picture of him with Shrub's head? Today? What, Alito's image wasn't available? Why, why, why? Why?
Pols' idea of a joke that has totally bombed.
I'm with 2Jung on this one. I realize that Shrub's visage is a staple of Get More Smarter, but damn, what did The Joker do to warrant such shabby treatment? And today, of all days!
Would you rather see Dubya's body in a tank top?
If that's the only alternative, please forget I said anything.
Dubya in a tank top? No big deal.
Fat Boy with Orange Hair in a tank top? That would be good for heavy duty belly laughs.