Guv calls for debate on gun control

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Guv calls for debate on gun control

Water plan, mental-health system overhaul also on list
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, left, greets guests Thursday as he enters to deliver the annual State of the State speech before a joint session of the Colorado General Assembly in the State Capitol in Denver. Looking on at right, from back to front, is the contingent from the city of Aurora – Mayor Steve Hogan, Police Chief Dan Oates and Fire Chief Mike Garcia.
State of the State highlights

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper’s third State of the State address contained his most detailed policy agenda yet. Some of the highlights:



Wildfires



“We need to re-examine the way homeowners are insured in the wildland-urban interface, and do a better job of encouraging and supporting fire-mitigation practices,” Hickenlooper said.

He will ask for funding to remove trees and create healthier forests in high-risk areas, he said.



Marijuana



Hickenlooper briefly mentioned one of the toughest issues facing the Legislature – passing laws to implement Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana for adults. He called on the Legislature to create a standard for police to tell when people are too high to drive, and he said laws must be designed to keep pot away from kids.



State constitution



Legislators have tried for several years – without success – to make it harder to amend the constitution. Hickenlooper pledged his clout to the effort Thursday.

“We want to work with you to explore creative ideas on how best to reform the way our constitution is so easily amended. There are a number of ideas already circulating,” he said.



Enterprise zones



The system of tax credits for businesses in supposedly downtrodden areas needs reform, Hickenlooper said.

“I know from my own days of opening businesses that enterprise zones help, especially when you are trying to grow. But it is time to update the rules,” he said.



Gas and oil



In the one section of the speech that drew louder applause from the Republican side of the room, Hickenlooper touted the benefits of natural-gas drilling.

The state oil and gas commission works with local communities to address their concerns, he said.

“What doesn’t work is a patchwork of rules and regulations,” he said.

This week, the commission passed a rule on water-quality testing and is on the cusp of setting a 500-foot buffer zone between homes and new wells.



jhanel@durangoherald.com

Related Story
Full text of Gov. Hickenlooper’s State of the State speech

Guv calls for debate on gun control

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, left, greets guests Thursday as he enters to deliver the annual State of the State speech before a joint session of the Colorado General Assembly in the State Capitol in Denver. Looking on at right, from back to front, is the contingent from the city of Aurora – Mayor Steve Hogan, Police Chief Dan Oates and Fire Chief Mike Garcia.
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