DENVER The first bill of the year by Sen. Ellen Roberts would protect funding for local governments in gas-drilling regions.
It also would leave a $42 million hole in the budget proposed by former Gov. Bill Ritter.
Local governments get payments and grants from savings accounts filled by gas and oil taxes. Colleges get construction money from similar accounts.
But the last two years, Ritter and the Legislature balanced the budget in part by draining the accounts. Ritters 2011 budget, which the Legislature is working on now, takes $42 million from the accounts.
Roberts aims to put a stop to the practice. Her Senate Bill 35 would protect five savings accounts from raids by the Legislature.
Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, will be the House sponsor if the bill survives the Senate. Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio, is a co-sponsor.
The bill was one of nearly 100 introduced Wednesday, the first day of the Legislatures yearly session.
Republicans, who control the House for the first time in six years, have two bills that aim to repeal some of Ritters initiatives.
House Bill 1025 would repeal a fee the state charges hospitals. The fee is matched with federal money and is used to give health insurance to low-income families. Ritter regards it as a major part of his legacy.
Freshman Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, is the sponsor of the bill.
Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg wants to repeal a bill that charges sales taxes on products used for agricultural production. His HB 1005 is the only one so far to target one of the so-called dirty dozen tax bills that Republicans fought last year.
Other notable bills from the first day:
b Senate Bill 4, by Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, treats a crime against a homeless person as a crime against an at-risk person, increasing the penalties.
b SB 12 allows students to possess and take prescription drugs at school, if they have a prescription. Currently, they need further approval from the school. The sponsor is Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray.
b Brophy also is sponsoring SB 22, which would put Colorado on Daylight Saving Time year-round.
b Two Republican bills seek to prevent voter fraud. SB 18 would require proof of citizenship to register to vote. The sponsor is Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch. HB 1003 would require a government-issued photo ID to vote. The sponsors are Reps. Ken Summers and Libby Szabo.
b HB 1012 would let unaffiliated voters participate in party primaries. The sponsor is Rep. Ed Casso, D-Thornton.
b HB 1023 would extend the states foreclosure deferment program, which expires this year, until 2016. The sponsor is Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.
b HB 1048 would create an income tax credit for private school tuition and home schools. The sponsor is Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial.
b Finally, the Legislature will revisit the battle over medical marijuana. HB 1043 makes a number of changes to last years law that created a license for medical marijuana shops. The sponsor is Rep. Tom Massey, who carried last years bill. Supporters predicted when the 2010 bill passed that they would have to run a follow-up bill this year.