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Governor Lays Down the Laws

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Governor Bill Ritter was extremely busy yesterday, signing a slew of bills in a day that must have left him exhausted and cracking his knuckles. Ritter signed off a law to fix the Capitol’s weather-damaged golden dome. The law launches a campaign to raise $12 million via a public-private financing and fundraising campaign over the next two years, according to The Associated Press.

The governor also enacted legislation requiring corporations that spend $1,000 on political campaigns to register with the Colorado secretary of state, reports the Denver Business Journal.

Ritter signed a bill that limits payday lenders’ annual interest rates to 45 percent. The industry says the measure could put it out of business, but sponsoring Representative Mark Ferrandino says the law will “end the cycle of debt for Colorado families.”

A bill creating a permanent Pay Equity Commission, which will educate and encourage employers to offer equal salaries to men and women, also crossed the governor’s desk and became law.

At some point during the day, Ritter even traveled to Lakewood and the National Enforcement Training Institute to sign 10 bills dealing with Colorado’s criminal justice system, according to Fox 31. Repeat DUI offenders, among others, now face harsher penalties–10 days behind bars for a second DUI offense and 60 days for a third. And judges will have more flexibility when sentencing offenders in drug cases under yet another new law.

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