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Gun bills, property tax reform, construction defects and new economic forecasts in the Colorado legislature this week

This week will bring a major mid-March milestone in the Colorado legislature’s quickening sprint toward the end of the 120-day session.

The Joint Budget Committee, which is in the process of writing the budget for the next fiscal year, which starts in July, will hear the final economic forecasts before lawmakers debate and vote on the budget. Predictions of economic conditions, tax collections and the overall budget picture will dictate how much money the lawmakers feel comfortable spending this coming year.

The committee will hear forecasts from both the legislature’s chief economist and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, which falls under the executive branch, at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Also Friday afternoon, the state’s Commission on Property Tax will vote on its recommendations to the legislature for reform measures that might prevent future cases of sticker shock on bills. Lawmakers on the committee expect the recommendations to result in legislation that will be debated in the closing weeks of the session.

Here are some the bills coming up in committees this week.

Gun bills continue journey through legislature

A half-dozen bills concerning firearms are scheduled for votes this week, including two that are on the brink of passing their first chamber.

A bill that would increase training requirements for concealed-carry applicants is scheduled for a third and final vote in the House on Monday. HB24-1174 would then go to the Senate for consideration. The Senate, meanwhile, is scheduled to debate SB24-003, which would boost funding for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to investigate crimes involving the illegal use of firearms. If that passes, it will go to the House.

Other notable gun bills on the calendar:

HB24-1348, which would require secure firearm storage in vehicles, is before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
The House’s Business Affairs and Labor Committee will hear HB24-1353, which would require state-issued firearms dealer permits for gun sellers, and HB24-1270, which would require gun owners to carry liability insurance.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon is set to hear SB24-131, which would further restrict where people can carry firearms in public.

What else is on the calendar

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday will vote on SB24-106, a proposal to rework the state’s construction defects law. Lawmakers heard hours of testimony on the proposal last week before it was tabled for further work.

The committee vote is likely the toughest hurdle the measure will face in the Senate, where it enjoys bipartisan sponsorship otherwise.

Also Tuesday, the Senate’s Business, Labor and Technology Committee will hear SB24-081, a bill that would further regulate products containing the so-called forever chemicals known as PFAS, which contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

The House’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will hear SB24-035, which would increase sentencing for people convicted of human trafficking.

On Thursday, the House’s Finance Committee will hear HB24-1051, which would further regulate towing companies, the latest in a multi-year effort by lawmakers to rein in the industry.

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