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Final Fights in Waning Legislative Session

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Over the weekend, the so-called soda-and-candy tax opposed by some business leaders went into effect, driving prices on sweets up 2.9 percent to help the state make up revenue in a tight year (via News Channel 13 in Colorado Springs). Meanwhile, teachers gathered in Denver on busy intersections to oppose a state measure they don’t want to become law—Senate Bill 191—which aims to improve teacher and principal performance by tying their evaluations to student growth (via the Denver Daily News). It has passed the Senate and is headed to the House. In other words, though some controversial measures have passed this year, with just eight days left in the 2010 state legislative session, there still is plenty to fight about. Lawmakers also have mere days to grapple with new regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries, the issue of how much payday lenders can charge, whether gambling can be expanded to help fund higher education, whether to slash a property-tax break for seniors, and more, according to The Denver Post. Then, there’s the issue of congressional redistricting. “There is still a great deal of heavy lifting left to do here at the end of session,” says Senate Majority Leader John Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat who says he was stunned to hear House leaders suggest adjourning the session early instead of going through to May 12, the constitutionally set end date. “I’m like, ‘What planet are you living on?'” says Morse.

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