In 2013, Democrats had their way

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In 2013, Democrats had their way

Bruised Republicans promise to remember lessons learned
Democrats’ legislative victories

DENVER – Democrats saw success on just about every item on a very long wish list this year.
Voting
Mail ballots: A major elections overhaul will give all voters a mail ballot and allow registration on Election Day.
Teen registration: 16-year-olds can preregister to vote, an idea rejected when Republicans held the majority.
Guns
Background checks: Private sellers now must use a licensed dealer to do a background check.
Ammunition: New magazines will be limited to 15 rounds.
Domestic violence: Certain offenders will have to surrender their guns.
Concealed weapons: Training will have to be done in person.
Marijuana
Regulation: Medical marijuana shops will get first crack at becoming recreational pot stores, thanks to a bill that also specifies packaging and growing standards for marijuana.
Taxes: Voters will be asked to OK excise and sales taxes of 15 percent, rates Republicans said are too high.
Medical tax break: Dispensary owners can write off their business expenses – something they can’t do under federal law.
Driving while stoned: After many tries, a bipartisan bill finally set a standard for when drivers are too high.
Gay rights
Civil unions: Same-sex couples gained many legal partnership rights.
Sex education: New classroom standards include recognition of gay students.
Illegal immigration
In-state tuition: Kids who crossed the border illegally with their parents can get in-state tuition. Sponsors passed the bill after 10 years of trying.
Sanctuary cities: A 2006 law against cities that don’t use police to enforce immigration laws was repealed.
Driver’s licenses: People in the country illegally can now get driver’s licenses, with a stamp showing they are not citizens.
Taxes
Schools: The first new school-finance formula in 20 years depends on voter approval of a $1 billion income-tax hike this fall.
Cigarettes: The sales-tax exemption was repealed permanently.
Enterprise zones: Tax breaks for large companies are capped at $750,000.
Internet: Democrats passed a measure simplifying tax collection in order to get future federal permission to collect taxes on Internet sales.
Earned income credit: $100 million worth of tax credits to the poor were added, although not until a future year.
Other topics
Renewable energy: The mandate for rural electric cooperatives to use wind and solar power was doubled.
Medicaid: The program was opened to tens of thousands more low-income Coloradans as part of Obamacare.
Drugs: Sentences were lowered for a number of drug crimes.
Unions: Firefighters were granted additional rights to unionize, but the bill is at risk of a veto.

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