I've had the pleasure of attending a number of signing ceremonies for bills I've sponsored, but the April 13 signing ceremony for HB-1130 was my first with Gov. John Hickenlooper holding the pen.

HB-1130, in short, strengthened regulations designed to deter the practice of stealing and selling "commodity metals," such as brass or copper. Metal theft is already illegal, but it's been a real problem at construction sites and other locations in recent years, and I believe this bill will make it more difficult for people to make money off of this dishonest practice.

The bill will require purchasers of commodity metals to sign up with the "Scrap Metal Theft Alert System," which lets purchasers know about metal thefts in their areas. Purchasers will be required to maintain documentation showing that they educate their employees about metal theft. They will be required to pay sellers with a check, not cash, for transactions of $300 or more, unless a picture of the seller is taken and kept on file.

HB-1130 also creates a "Commodity Metals Task Force." to be made up of members from law enforcement, contracting, commodity metals purchasing companies, and groups such as Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties, Inc. The task force will discuss the issue of metal theft and search for ways to minimize or prevent it. Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Brighton, is the House sponsor.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signs HB-1130 into law, with Rep. Kevin Priola pictured at right

Gov. Hickenlooper also signed HB-1169 into law on April 20. This bill will allow police departments of Colorado institutions of higher education, such as CU-Boulder, to share information about behavior that could lead to campus security risks with key campus administrators. Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, was the House sponsor of the bill, and I was the Senate sponsor.

The bill allows the campus officials and police to share information about issues such as threats of violence, sexual assault, emergency mental health holds or drug/alcohol detoxification. Unfortunately, we've all heard about a number of horrific campus tragedies in recent years, and this bill was carried with preventing or  minimizing similar incidents of the future in mind.

As of April 21, my SB-037, which would allow special license plates for World War II veterans, has been signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House, and it's awaiting Gov. Hickenlooper's signature. (UPDATE: SB-037 was signed into law on April 22). Also, SB-047, which would create a new funding stream for clean technology grants, has passed a Senate third reading and will soon be introduced in the House.

The 2011 regular session is required to end on or before May 11, and bills must pass both the House and Senate by then to potentially become law. I'll continue to update this Web site as the bills continue to progress.

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