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Mid-Session, What Are The Odds For Some Hot Topic Bills?

Jim Hill

State lawmakers are midway through the annual legislative session – but there's still a lot to be done.

House Democrats would like law enforcement to increase the use of body cameras, set up a special prosecutor to review decisions when a law enforcement official isn't charged when there are allegations of deadly force, ban choke holds, and collect demographic data on arrests. What are the chances for passage?

To find out about those chances we spoke with reporters who work regularly in the statehouse. In the roundtable is Ivan Moreno with The Associated Press and Charles Ashby with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel to discuss police reform bills and workforce development measures that will get a lot of attention in the coming weeks.

Capitol Conversation Highlights

Ivan Moreno, Associated Press: "It's hard to say at the moment. These bills haven't been introduced aside from the data collection bill, so a lot of lawmakers haven't looked at them yet."

"The Democrats in the house are working on a package of bills, aimed at both limiting the power of law enforcement and also putting more oversight on their practices. This is a response to the ongoing national debate about excessive force by police."

Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: "Getting to the second half of the session and the lawmakers are basically looking for something to say at the end of the session that [they] did."

"They're looking at things like helping college students have lower debts in going to school. They're looking at promoting programs that allow people to get vocational training rather than necessarily a four full years of college with a degree."

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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