DENVER - Cats and coyotes, beware: The Legislature is back in session.
State legislators introduced more than 120 new bills on the first day of their session, including Senate Bill 27, which would require state wildlife authorities to place a high priority on protecting people from coyotes.
Smaller critters are the target of House Bill 1019. It would require cat owners to get microchips for their cats or make them wear ID tags.
Senate Bill 24 would require the Division of Wildlife to respond to game-damage complaints from landowners within 48 hours.
But legislators aren't limiting themselves to bills about furry animals.
The first House Bill, number 1001, would give an income-tax credit to companies that bring at least 20 new jobs with above-average wages to Colorado. Unlike many other states, Colorado has not offered major incentives to businesses that move here.
Several other bills would offer tax credits or tax cuts:
- A tax credit for filming movies in Colorado (HB1010).
- An income-tax credit for water-rights owners who donate their rights to the state's in-stream flow program (HB1067).
- A cut in the business personal property tax if the state has enough money (HB1068). Republicans are placing a high priority on the bill.
Mountain-district lawmakers are pushing wildfire prevention bills:
- A five-year exemption from the business personal property tax for companies that help remove beetle-killed trees (SB16).
- A grant program of $10 million annually for wildfire-prone communities (SB18).
Other miscellaneous bills:
- School districts would have to put seat belts on school buses bought after June 30, 2010, and to retrofit older buses by 2014 (SB29).
- Republicans want to delay new gas and oil rules for a year (SB4).
- Graduates of two-year colleges would have to take no more than 60 additional credit hours to get a four-year degree from a public college (SB45).
- Lottery tickets could be sold for less than $1 (HB1002).
- Plea bargains for illegal immigrants that let them avoid deportation would be disallowed (HB1049). The issue was used against Bill Ritter in his 2006 campaign for governor.