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Legislative Library: April 29, 2005

The legislative library is a compilation of the day's political articles appearing in Colorado publications. The clips are compiled by state employees and have been made available to 9NEWS.com.

RMN, 4/28-OWENS SIGNS BILL BANNING BOOZE-INHALING MACHINES-LYNN BARTELS Rocky Mountain News They're called AWOL - alcohol without liquid - devices, and as far as police know, the machines haven't turned up in Colorado yet. To make sure they don't become a problem, Gov. Bill Owens approved legislation Wednesday that would prohibit possession, sale, purchase or use of the devices. "At a time when there is increasing concern regarding underage drinking, binge drinking and drunken driving, it makes no sense to condone the use of a device that has but one purpose - and that is to get drunk," Owens said. The devices, sold on the Internet, mix alcohol with oxygen, which is then inhaled. Critics say they can be lethal. "The fact that the distributor of the device calls it the 'wildest way to party' speaks for itself," Owens said. RMN, 4/28-PANEL REJECTS MEASURE FOR SCHOOL VIOLENCE STUDY-BERNY MORSON Rocky Mountain News Attorney General John Suthers failed to persuade the Senate education committee Wednesday to call for a legislative study of school violence. Sen. Ed Jones, R-El Paso County, proposed the study after reports that some school districts aren't reporting instances of violence, as required by state law. "We are not getting an accurate picture of violence in our schools and parents are left out in the dark," Suthers told the committee. Suthers cited Aurora for failing to report crimes. He also noted discrepancies between information released by Denver Public Schools and Denver police reports. RMN, 4/28-SMOKING BAN IN RESTAURANTS MOVES AHEAD-LYNN BARTELS Rocky Mountain News Smoking would be banned in Colorado restaurants - but allowed in bars, casinos and offices - under a debated measure that won initial approval Wednesday in the Senate. But questions linger on which businesses would be affected. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, had sought to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces. He said the bill now offers protection for only a small group of workers and creates "a lot of confusion" over which businesses are affected. Senate Bill 207 is expected to squeak out of the Senate this week, now that it focuses on food establishments and excludes bars, casinos, bingo parlors, office buildings and such. Without that amendment by Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, Grossman didn't have the 18 votes necessary to get his bill passed. RMN, 4/28-ACADEMIC FREEDOM BILL PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE ON TIGHT VOTE-BERNY MORSON Rocky Mountain News A bill declaring support for the academic freedom of college professors won narrow approval in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. Bill sponsor Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora, had hoped SB 85 would give faculty councils at each campus a role in deciding whether controversial remarks by a professor exceeded the bounds of academic freedom. That language was rejected last week by committee members who believed it's up to governing boards to decide how to handle complaints about professors. Hagedorn agreed just before the 4-3 vote Wednesday that he would not try to restore that language on the Senate floor and would work against it even if added in the House of Representatives. Hagedorn teaches political science at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where complaints are handled at the administrative level, not by faculty.RMN, 4/28-OWENS LAUDS CHARTER SCHOOLS AT RALLY-JULIE POPPEN Rocky Mountain News The one-room Battle Rock Charter School in Cortez gave 12-year- old Katelyn Robinson an instant family at a time when she really needed one. Ryley Juniper, a 12-year-old from Aurora, felt similarly comforted when he enrolled in the Colorado Virtual Academy after being bullied at his neighborhood school. Those were but two stories shared Wednesday at a rally on the steps of the state Capitol celebrating Colorado Charter Schools Week. Speaker Gov. Bill Owens took the opportunity to hail the recent demise of a Senate bill he said would have harmed charter schools. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sue Windels, D-Arvada, would have required the State Charter School Institute to tell local school boards how many students would enroll in new charter schools, where those students would come from, and disclose potential charter school sites. It would have also required district staff to analyze the financial impacts of charter schools. RMN, 4/28-WATER 'MITIGATION' DIES-BILL SCANLON Rocky Mountain News House kills bill for payment on transfers from basin to basinPlains lawmakers won a water battle Tuesday over their Western Slope colleagues, killing a bill that would have required compensation - "mitigation" - if water is transferred from one basin to another. Because Colorado water primarily has moved from the Western Slope to the thirsty Front Range cities and plains farms, the battle lines were clear. Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, knew he didn't have the votes to win approval for HB 1296. But he was hoping the House would vote to send it to a summer interim committee so lawmakers from the east and west could compromise on what would be fair mitigation - which could mean money, construction of a reservoir or a resource swap when one region sends water to another. Lawmakers representing the Arkansas and South Platte basins weren't interested. More water for the Front Range means more water for plains farms, and there is a saying that when a toilet flushes on the Front Range, it helps the eastern farms. RMN, 4/28-COVERING THE WORKING POOR-BILL SCANLON Rocky Mountain News Health plan to offer 're-insurer' discount for small businessesColorado's smallest businesses could get health coverage for their workers at a substantial discount - perhaps 40 percent - under a plan that won favor with key groups Wednesday. Senate Bill 237 would use $15 million to make the state the "re-insurer" of workers who earn less than $28,000 at small businesses. Healthy Business, Healthy People is based on a New York model, Healthy NY, that has been receiving rave reviews from some quarters. It would work like this: Businesses that employ 10 or fewer people would be eligible, but coverage would go only to workers who earn less than $28,000. RMN, 4/28-COURTHOUSE PROTESTORS DEFEND SENATE DEMS' USE OF FILIBUSTER-HECTOR GUTIERREZ Rocky Mountain News Supporters of Senate filibuster rules launched a counterstrike Wednesday urging Democrats not to give any ground in their battle against a Republican-led movement to eliminate the tactic for blocking judicial nominees. The demonstration, which drew about 200 protesters at the federal courthouse despite steady rain, was intended to counter Sunday's nationwide inter-faith rally and television simulcast organized by conservative Christian groups that urged federal lawmakers to get rid of filibuster rules that have held up 10 of President Bush's judicial nominees. DENVER POST, 4/28-SCHOOL-INSPECTION MEASURE KILLED-CHRIS FRATES Denver Post A push to allow local fire and building officials to inspect school buildings died in a Senate committee Wednesday. One school group opposed the legislation.The Senate state affairs committee voted 5-2 to kill the bill. Democratic Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald said she voted against it because there were too many concerns that had not been worked out.Currently, there is one state employee responsible for approving and inspecting many school construction and renovation projects throughout Colorado. The legislation would have let more local officials help do the job.Kevin Klein of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs' Association had backed the legislation. Roofs have collapsed, incorrectly hung doors have opened to block fire exits and malfunctioning fire alarms have gone unnoticed for more than a year and half, Klein said, noting the consequences of a state unable to keep up with inspections."We've just been lucky we haven't had a major disaster," he said.Numbers from the state labor department, which oversees the inspector, bear out the problem.In the 2002-03 fiscal year, 224 school plans were reviewed and seven school buildings were inspected by the department. The following year, five of the 246 school plans reviewed were inspected. The state labor department has delegated building-plan review and inspections to local officials in Denver, Aurora and Mesa County, said Bill Thoennes, department spokesman.But two school groups - the Colorado Association of School Boards and the Colorado Association of School Executives - raised concerns about the legislation.George Latuda, an adviser to CASE, said he opposed the bill because it was about politics, not safety."This bill comes around every two or three years," Latuda said. "The cities and counties want to have control over school buildings. It's not a safety issue."The answer, Latuda said, is more state inspectors.Jerry Stricker, president of the Fire Marshals' Association of Colorado, said the bill meant contractors would have had to get their work inspected, "what they were supposed to be doing all along."Jane Urschel of CASB said her group was concerned that the bill was introduced toward the end of the legislative session. "It's too bad it's been kept behind a smoke screen until the last few days of the session," she said.But the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Wiens of Castle Rock, said: "This is no surprise to CASB. They've known of this issue for years, not weeks."DENVER POST, 4/28-SALAZAR SAYS HE MISSPOKE IN CALLING FOCUS "ANTI-CHRIST"-STAFF Denver Post Senator says "un-Christian" fits Springs groupWashington - Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar said Wednesday that he regretted calling Focus on the Family "the anti-Christ," saying he had misspoken. Salazar uttered the theological term, popularized in the 1970s movie "The Omen," in an interview with a Colorado Springs television station about his war of words with the conservative Christian group."From my point of view, they are the anti-Christ of the world," Salazar told the station.Salazar, a first-term Democrat, said he was intending to call the Colorado Springs group "un-Christian," a term he began applying last week after Focus attacked his stance on judicial nominations in the Senate."I spoke about Jim Dobson and his efforts and used the term 'the anti-Christ,"' Salazar said in a written statement from his office. "I regret having used that term. I meant to say this approach was un-Christian, meaning self-serving and selfish."Salazar added that his statement came after "being relentlessly attacked" in telephone calls, e-mails, newspapers and radio stations across Colorado.Focus on the Family criticized Salazar's "anti-Christ" statement as "overheated rhetoric," "suspect theology" and a smokescreen to cover up what the organization describes as his change of position on the issue of judicial nominations.Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson said Salazar's criticism of the group was intended to divert attention from allegations that he reneged on a campaign promise to support up-or-down votes on the nominations."His response in an effort to change the subject is to attack us personally," Dobson said. "There's been no such rhetoric from here."Since Bush took office, Democrats have allowed the confirmation of dozens of his judicial nominees but blocked 10 appeals- court appointments in Bush's first term. The president has renominated seven of the 10 since he won re-election, and Democrats have threatened to filibuster again.In response, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has proposed making it easier to stop filibusters. Frist has rejected a compromise offered by Democratic leaders, who said they would allow confirmation of some of Bush's nominees in exchange for leaving filibuster rules alone.Salazar has endorsed the compromise offer.Dozens rallied at the Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse in Denver to protest the conservative movement to end filibusters. The protest was sponsored by MoveOn.A group of evangelical religious leaders, including Dobson, on Sunday called on churchgoers to help bring an end to filibusters of judicial nominees.The event at a Louisville, Ky., church was linked by video to 425 churches nationwide.DENVER POST, 4/28-GROUP INTENDS TO SUE STATE OVER SCHOOL FUNDS-KAREN ROUSE Denver Post Support is building for a child-advocacy group that plans to sue Colorado over how it funds public schools. The "state is failing to meet its constitutional mandate to provide a 'thorough and uniform education to each and every child in the state,"' Boulder-based Children's Voices Inc. said in a letter Monday to Sen. Sue Windels, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. "We intend to initiate litigation challenging the constitutionality of the current system."Windels, D-Arvada, and Rep. Mike Merrifield, chairman of the House Education Committee, say they hope the group will delay a decision on litigation until after this summer, when an interim school-finance committee is expected to study school funding."I certainly think they have a legitimate complaint," Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, said Wednesday. "There's not a district in the state that's not having to make some cuts."He said Amendment 23, a ballot measure voters approved in 2000 that required the state to fund public schools through 2011 at the rate of inflation plus 1 percent, was only a temporary fix.More than a dozen school districts have thrown their support behind a lawsuit, said Alexander Halpern, an attorney for Children's Voices. And two of the state's largest education organizations - the Colorado Education Association teachers union and the Colorado Association of School Executives - also support litigation.The lawsuit's plaintiffs would include parents and students from eight or nine school districts, including the Aurora, Boulder, Adams 50 and Adams 14 districts, said Halpern.Under the state constitution, "the General Assembly is required to provide all students in the state with an equal opportunity for a quality education," he said.Instead, "due to lack of funding, schools are unable to provide" a proper education, Halpern said. "Teacher salaries are substandard. ... Schools are unable to provide curriculum and materials."School funding in Colorado is based on the Public School Finance Act, last updated in 1994. Backers of the litigation say the act has not kept up with today's education demands, inflation or the needs of special education, English-learners and other groups.But Rep. Keith King, who would serve on this summer's interim finance committee, said state funding has jumped from $7,300 per student in 2000 to about $9,000 this year, thanks to Amendment 23.In addition, the Colorado Springs Republican said, "federal funding is up dramatically" for education.DENVER POST, 4/28-BILL PADS HATE-CRIMES LIST-MARK P. COUCH Denver Post Protection specified for sexual orientation, disabilitiesAttacks on gays and lesbians would be classified as hate crimes under a bill approved Wednesday by a Senate committee. Democrats added the hate-crime provision as a last-minute amendment to a criminal-law bill that has been months in the making.Attacks against gays, lesbians and the mentally and physically handicapped would be added to the state's "bias-motivated crimes."Republicans protested that a crime is a crime, regardless of the motivation."Why do you single out one hate more than another?" said Sen. Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood. "That's my objection."The bias-motivated-crimes section of the law already applies to attacks on people based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin.Bob Grant, executive director of the Colorado District Attorneys Council, told lawmakers that any amendment could jeopardize the carefully crafted bill.Grant said he could not remember a time in the past 28 years that lawmakers added such controversial amendments to the criminal-law bill, an annual update sought by law enforcement. The council helps draft the bill.House Bill 1014 would allow law enforcement to collect cleanup fees from operators of methamphetamine labs and would make it a crime to make credible death threats to students, teachers or other school officials.The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 to add "sexual orientation" and "physical and mental disability" to the list of specifically protected groups.Democrats said efforts to add gays and lesbians to the hate-crime law have been proposed in previous years, so this amendment was not a way to pay back a key group of supporters who helped them win power last fall.Also, Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, said the bill was not political maneuvering to embarrass Gov. Bill Owens."This wasn't part of a strategy to put the governor in a box," Gordon said.DENVER POST, 4/28-LAWMAKERS ROLL EYES AT SCHOOL CHOICE-DAVID HARSANYI Denver Post It was a delightful shocker: A rally that really mattered. Dozens of elementary school kids, parents and teachers assembled on the west steps of the Capitol building Wednesday. The gathering was organized by the Coalition for Public School Choice, which consists of 13 diverse groups such as the Denver Arts and Technology Academy and the Latino Coalition for Choice in Education.All in attendance believed Colorado is a leader in education reform. And all were determined to keep it that way.But choice? There are always legislators who will find the idea extreme and intolerable. What other explanation can there be for the concerted effort launched in Colorado to erode the progress the state has made?The chief adversaries to any and all choice in Colorado education are the chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, Democrat Sue Windels, and the House Education Committee chairman, Democrat Mike Merrifield.One Capitol insider explains: "Windels and Merrifield believe they are virtuous. Well, more virtuous than you.""You" means Colorado parents and children, particularly those of you who challenge the entrenched bureaucracy of the teachers unions.That condescending attitude leads legislators to heights of inspiring hubris. (Eye-rolling and dismissive questions toward witnesses at a recent House hearing with parents of challenged children, for instance.)While parents may be easy prey, it's a bit harder to dismiss the accomplishments of Lawrence Hernandez, director of the successful Cesar Chavez Academy in Pueblo.Hernandez, the rally's first speaker, highlighted the extraordinary gains of the charter-school movement.When Hernandez introduced the rally's next speaker, Gov. Bill Owens, a legislative victory for parents was announced to cheers. The egregious Senate Bill 71, which would have permitted hostile local school boards to deny charter applications, was struck down."You know what really puzzles me? The Democratic Party, the one that is supposed to be for the disenfranchised, has it completely backward," Hernandez explains. "The demand for charter schools has come from mostly poor and minority parents. In Pueblo, we have 2,000 kids on our waiting list."The Colorado Education Association sends around 92 percent of its contributions to Democratic Party candidates, so it's not exactly a mystery.(Windels and Merrifield have benefited generously from thousands of these special-interest dollars.)But still, why would any Democrat oppose public-school choice?Hernandez says Cesar Chavez Academy is a perfect example of an opportunity to change the system, and "that's what they're afraid of."His school is composed of 80 percent minority students, and reading and math levels are off the charts. Hernandez believes we have an educational establishment "that is not pro-children.""It's pro-employment," he says. "And that's not really the purpose of public education."Coming from a traditional public- school background and having worked in that environment his entire life, Hernandez says he never thought he would become an advocate for charter schools."I said, 'You know what? I've worked in public schools so long, and nothing is changing. Every time we make a reform, we take a couple of steps backward,"' he says.Hernandez believes that unions and many local school boards feel that because they are the experts on public education, they should be the only ones that have the right to educate children.But if they're doing such a great job, why are massive numbers of parents begging to flee the system?"What they should be looking at is how they can improve," Hernandez says, "not at how they can crush the charter-school movement."Judging from the rally Wednesday, they don't have a chance.DENVER POST, 4/28-SMOKING LIMITS SINGED-MARK P. COUCH Denver Post Senate change restricts ban to restaurantsColorado lawmakers gutted a proposed statewide smoking ban Wednesday by making the restriction apply only to restaurants. Smokers could still puff in bars and bowling alleys, bingo parlors and casinos under the limited ban initially approved by the Colorado Senate on a voice vote.Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, watched in dismay as a majority of senators approved the far-reaching change to his bill, dubbed the Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act."I wish I could say that I am now asking enthusiastically for your adoption," Grossman said. "I can't be enthusiastic, but I think this bill needs to go forward. I think the discussion needs to continue."For six weeks, the discussion has hinged on whether Grossman could persuade his fellow Democrats to join him in supporting the bill because Senate Republicans refused to budge on the issue.Senate Minority Leader Mark Hillman, R-Burlington, said his 17-member caucus would not support the ban, citing the property rights of business owners.But Grossman couldn't persuade some Democrats, notably Sens. Bob Hagedorn of Aurora and Lois Tochtrop of Thornton, to sign on to his version of the bill.Tochtrop was worried about bingo parlors; Hagedorn preferred letting voters decide on a ban. Democrats hold a one-vote lead in the Senate.Already, backers of the smoking ban say they will ask state representatives to roll back the Senate amendment if the bill wins final approval in the Senate. A final vote is scheduled today, and the bill must then get through the House."We'll keep fighting on when this goes to the House to get it re-amended," said R.J. Ours, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society. "The health of workers in Colorado should not be compromised just because they work in a bar, a bingo hall or a casino."Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, the house sponsor, said he will attempt to return the bill to its original form. Failing that, he said it might include a provision allowing smoking in bars."What we're trying to do is return the focus to a health issue, not special interests" Larson said.During Wednesday's Senate debate, Senate Bill 207 ignited several huffy exchanges.Grossman, who hopes to run for state attorney general, and Hillman traded jabs over legal rights."Bills like this and so many others we have seen this year are transforming the land of the free and the home of the brave into the land of the overregulated and the home of the hypersensitive," said Hillman.Grossman retorted: "Sen. Hillman, I certainly don't want to trammel upon your God-given and constitutional right to use your property to kill patrons and employees."Hillman blasted back: "Sen. Grossman, don't put words in my mouth when I talk about what people's rights are. If you're not familiar with the 5th and 14th Amendments, both of them say you shall not be deprived of your right to life, liberty or property."DENVER POST, 4/28-FOR RELIEF FROM SANCTIMONY, THANK GOD FOR ROCK N' ROLL-DIANE CARMAN Denver Post When holiness becomes political instead of personal, it always ends badly. And even though I'll be the first to admit that I'm among the super-duper supermajority of Americans that seldom cracks a Bible, I'm pretty sure there's a warning against exploiting God for partisan political advantage in there somewhere.Let he who is without sin cast the first press release ... or something like that.It's the old Christian karmic warning: Keep your sanctimony to yourself or you'll end up looking like a Pharisee with a self-serving political agenda and a bunch of evil money-changers disgracing your, um, temple.Anyway, despite all the applicable Scriptural admonishments, his holiness, Focus on the Family vice president of government and public policy Tom Minnery chastised U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar on Wednesday in a press release. "It seems as though the senator could benefit from studying his Bible a little more thoroughly," he said.This was in response to a statement the former seminarian and first-term Democrat made on radio Tuesday referring to the Focus on the Family political juggernaut as "the Antichrist of the world."For the Focus crowd, that was a public-relations miracle, a glorious, holy- mackerel gotcha moment.Salazar may have prayed for forbearance over the weekend after enduring days of attack ads paid for by the political arms of the religious right, but the church people who picketed his wife's Dairy Queen on Sunday had him on his absolute last nerve.He didn't like having his faith questioned, for sure - but having his wife picketed made him furious.So he made the mistake of slipping into an unholy war of words when he should have risen above the stone- throwing and concentrated on the real issues, such as:Whom would Jesus filibuster?How many authentic people of faith really spent the Sabbath worshiping Bill Frist and James Dobson?And if the majority votes for the nuclear option, will they have a prayer in the next election, especially the way the polls are going to hell for them right now?I mean, the Beatitudes aside, the meek may never inherit the U.S. Congress - ever - even after the reign of Rep. Tom "The Hammer" DeLay is blessedly over.But it's a shame they have to live with knowing that Salazar gave Minnery the public-relations advantage - if only for a moment.On Wednesday, Salazar's office was furiously beseeching the faithful to forgive his sin of hyperbole."As he has said before, and what he meant to say yesterday (Tuesday) is that Focus on the Family's attack ads and tactics against him and other senators are un-Christian and do not reflect Christian values," said spokesman Cody Wertz in a curt press release.Nobody on either side of this sanctimonious blood sport would talk Wednesday. I think they were waiting for grace from focus groups.But for those of us who prefer to live under a democracy where all are created equal regardless of their faith or lack of it, the whole unholy episode is apocalyptic in its awfulness.Fortunately, we have been blessed with a new release from Bruce Springsteen to get us through as we walk through the valley of the shadow of the Family Research Council's relentless negative advertising campaign.On the CD is a hymn to peace and justice and the danger of killing people or attacking people's faith in the name of God."Well I've got God on my sideAnd I'm just trying to surviveWhat if what you do to surviveKills the things you loveFear's a dangerous thingIt can turn your heart black you can trustIt'll take your God filled soulFill it with devils and dust."Leave it to Bruce to deliver us from evil. Hallelujah.DENVER POST, 4/28-DEMS PUSH GOP TO IDENTIFY BOUNCER AT BUSH EVENT-SUSAN GREENE Denver Post Colorado's Democratic Party is calling on Republicans and the Bush administration to identify the man who ousted three Denverites from a presidential event in March. "You've got to wonder what they're hiding," said Pat Waak, the state Democratic chairwoman. "They need to come clean with the name."Colorado's Republican chairman - who took office the week of President Bush's publicly funded Social Security meeting in Denver on March 21 - said Wednesday he knows nothing about the man's identity. Bob Martinez at once admonished the White House for its lack of transparency and defended it for protecting the president."The appearances appear to be questionable," Martinez said of the administration's refusal to out the man responsible. "However, I can understand that at a presidential event you need to be leery about the safety of the president and those around him."For its part, the Bush administration refused to respond to the Democrats' challenge Wednesday. In a White House briefing, press secretary Scott McClellan would not reveal the identity of the man in question."I don't think that really serves any purpose to get into that publicly, other than to help advance the political agenda of these three individuals," he said.The controversy stems from Bush's heavily scripted forum on Social Security last month at Denver's Wings Over the Rockies museum.Karen Bauer, Leslie Weise and Alex Young - three Bush critics who obtained tickets to the event through Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez's office - were booted from the meeting before it started by a man they believed was a Secret Service agent. They have launched an intense public- relations campaign complaining about the incident, prompting the Secret Service to investigate the man's identity.The White House says the man was a volunteer and that he rightly booted the three to avoid disruption.Not so, said David Miller, a lawyer for the "Denver Three" who says the Secret Service confirmed the man was a "host-committee staff person.""The White House press secretary has an obligation to state truthful and accurate information ...," he said. "His assertions at the press briefing are directly disputed by the Secret Service."DENVER POST, 4/28-CU OFFICE MOVE MEETS RESISTANCE-ARTHUR KANE Denver Post A proposal to move the offices of the University of Colorado president and regents from Boulder to Denver faced stiff opposition Wednesday from some regents who questioned the need for the change. Regent Michael Carrigan distributed a resolution calling for the move to be studied. Carrigan said a move would reinforce that the CU president represents all of the university's four campuses.But Regent Cindy Carlisle said a move was unnecessary and would be expensive."What objective does it serve? What objective is met by moving?" she asked, adding that a similar proposal in 1996 had a cost estimate of $600,000.Regent Pete Steinhauer said a lot of CU employees live in Boulder and that the move would lengthen their commutes."This is going to disrupt a lot of lives," he added. "We need a lot of discussion on this. Maybe a whole day."Both regents opposing the idea are from Boulder. Carrigan is from Denver.CU president Betsy Hoffman said a move was discussed even before she arrived at the campus and that she supports it."We need to move as close as possible to the Capitol," she said. "It will emphasize the role of the president as fundraiser."Incoming interim president Hank Brown, who lives in Denver, endorsed the move Tuesday.Carrigan said he would consider changes to the resolution if other regents submit them overnight, but he still wants regents to vote on it at today's meeting.Hoffman said many members of her staff live in Denver or its suburbs and would welcome the move.Hoffman, who leaves her job at the end of June, said some of the costs would be offset by selling the current buildings to the Boulder campus for an expansion there.The current president's office would likely be remodeled into a community center, she said.She added that she would like to see the move completed sometime in the 2006 fiscal year, which starts in July, if regents approve the proposal to research the issue.9NEWS, 4/28-SENATE TENTATIVELY APPROVES STATEWIDE SMOKING BAN FOR RESTAURANTS-PAOLA FARER AND CHRIS VANDERVEENDENVER - A statewide smoking ban got preliminary approval in the state Senate Wednesday but the measure still faces some stiff opposition before it becomes law. It is also less restrictive than its proponents might like. The proposal would ban smoking in most restaurants. But when it was originally proposed it would have banned smoking in bars and office buildings as well. Supporters like Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, say the measure that passed is a step in the right direction. He said he wants all restaurants in the state to compete under the same rules, pointing out that smoking is already banned in public places by at least 13 local governments. "What we have today in Colorado is a patchwork of regulation. Businesses that are affected by this, whether it be a county ordinance or a municipal ordinance, are crying foul. They say they were put at a competitive disadvantage because the county next door or the city next door does not have the same regulation," Grossman said. Opponents say the measure is too much regulation "Bills like these and so many others we have seen this year are turning the land of the free and the home of the brave into the land of the overregulated and the home of the hypersensitive," said Sen. Mark Hillman, R-Burlington.Opponents say under current law individual business owners can always ban smoking at their own establishment if they care to.The measure still faces another Senate vote before it goes to the House, where supporters said they will try to restore the ban to include bars and casinos.Grossman said government needs to be "heavy-handed" in some areas, including public health. "This bill represents active government," he said. If the measure doesn't get enough votes to pass the Legislature, it could end up on the ballot. But the soonest that would happen would be November 2006.DAILY CAMERA, 4/28-REVISING REDISTRICTING-STEVEN K. PAULSON Boulder Daily Camera Plan seeks to avoid battle that followed the 2000 Census DENVER - State lawmakers on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping plan that would reshape the Legislature by simplifying political boundaries and taking the once-a-decade job of redistricting away from elected politicians and giving it to an 11-member commission. Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 would ask voters to set up a commission consisting of eight members appointed by leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, who would choose three unaffiliated voters or minor party members. The commission would have responsibility for drawing the lines for the state's seven congressional districts and the state Legislature, instead of a commission redrawing legislative boundaries and the Legislature redrawing congressional districts. The measure would reduce the number of Senate districts from 35 to 33 and add a House seat to the current 65 districts, requiring two House districts to share the same boundaries as each Senate district. Lawmakers want to avoid a bitter battle that followed the 2000 Census that ended up in the courts. Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, co-sponsor of the plan, said Republicans want to get rid of the courts and Democrats want to get rid of the Legislature in the process of drawing political boundaries. It also would guarantee representation for the Western Slope and Eastern Plains. The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee delayed action on the plan Wednesday. Sponsors said they expect it to be killed this year to avoid putting too many referred measures on the ballot in November. They said they plan to bring it up again next year and have plenty of time before the 2010 Census forces the state to redraw congressional and legislative districts. House Minority Leader Joe Stengel, R-Littleton, said the plan would allow Democratic power brokers to choose and groom candidates for advancement from the state House to the Senate. He said Republicans also could abuse the new system. "If this is approved, you'll build a dynasty. I'm not sure it's good for the process," Stengel said. Under current law, the Supreme Court appoints members to the Reapportionment Commission, which proposes new state Senate and House district boundaries, while the Legislature draws up congressional districts. The commission that redrew boundaries based on the 2000 Census included six Democrats and five Republicans. GOP Gov. Bill Owens appointed three Republicans, two members of each party were appointed from both houses of the Legislature, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, a registered Democrat, appointed four Democrats. The commission drew up a plan that ended up in the Colorado Supreme Court. When the Legislature deadlocked on congressional districts, a Denver District Court judge chose a plan that gave Democrats the potential to pick up a U.S. House seat in the 2002 election. That case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the map chosen by the judge would stand. Bob Loevy, a political science professor at Colorado College, said Republicans want to eliminate court participation in redrawing state legislative districts. He said Democrats benefited from court intervention. "The Republicans definitely get something out of this, and the Democrats lose ground," Loevy said. John Straayer, a political science professor at Colorado State University, said depoliticizing congressional redistricting by putting it in the hands of a commission makes sense, but he questioned the wisdom of having an even number of members in the House, which could result in deadlocks on important legislation.PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, 4/28-LAKE POWELL FLOW CUTBACKS SEEN AS BOON-CHRIS WOODKA Pueblo Chieftan Balancing storage in Lake Mead and Lake Powell has benefits to both Upper and Lower Basin states under the 1922 Colorado River Compact, the head of the Colorado Water Conservation Board said Wednesday.But because the seven states in the compact are at an impasse, the decision on how much water to release from Lake Powell this year rests with Interior Secretary Gale Norton.Norton is expected to rule on the releases by the end of this week. Last fall, she directed the seven states to come up with a conservation plan by this month, but that effort ended in a stalemate Tuesday in Las Vegas.Rod Kuharich, CWCB director, said the Upper Basin States want to release less than the required minimum amount this year in an attempt to bring the levels of the two lakes closer together.Prolonged drought has reduced Lake Powell, located behind Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona-Utah border, to about one-third capacity, while Lake Mead, located behind Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border, is at two-thirds capacity.Kuharich said by releasing less water this year from Powell, the two lakes will reach equal levels more quickly."I don't know if we can reach it this year," Kuharich said.Under what's called the minimum optimal release, the Upper Basin states - Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming - are required to release 8.23 million acre-feet. The compact provides for 7.5 million acre-feet to the lower basin states, plus half of the 1.5 million the United States is required to provide Mexico. The Paria River provides 20,000 acre-feet at Lee's Ferry, the compact measuring point.The Lower Basin states - Arizona, California and Nevada - have argued for higher levels in Lake Mead, which has also dropped significantly in recent years.Even with the 8.23 million acre-feet release, Lake Mead would finish the year 55 percent full because of releases to the Lower Basin states. Lake Powell would be 45 percent full.Kuharich said the drought in the Lower Basin states has been relieved somewhat by a wet winter that left behind an estimated 2.1 million acre-feet above average flows."The Lower Basin is getting all the water it needs, but it still wants 8.23 million acre-feet," Kuharich said.The Upper Basin states want to release a minimum of 7.48 million acre-feet, which probably would be enough to ensure a 10-year rolling average delivery of 75 million acre-feet is met, but which would add up to 750,000 acre-feet to Lake Powell. Because of wet years in the 1990s, the 10-year average is now close to 100 million acre-feet.Kuharich said the lower delivery would help conserve water because of lower evaporation rates - Lake Powell is about 2,500 feet higher in elevation than Lake Mead."If you keep the water in Powell, you have a higher head for hydroelectric power generation as well," Kuharich said.Lower Basin states would benefit because the lakes would reach equalization more quickly. Put another way, Lake Powell is filling faster than Lake Mead."The Lower Basin benefits by accelerating Powell to the equalization level. In the long run, the Lower Basin could see Mead filling sooner if we hold it in Powell," Kuharich said.Las Vegas, which takes its water from Lake Mead, is concerned about lower levels in Lake Mead making it physically impossible to take water through its intake. Kuharich said Mead's level still is about 50 feet above the intake. The city is building an intake at a lower elevation.Under the 1922 compact, the Upper Basin states are entitled to 7.5 million acre-feet as well, with Colorado receiving 51 percent under a 1929 compact among Upper Basin states. However, the hydrology of the basin was overestimated during the wet years leading up to the 1922 compact, and the Upper Basin receives on average about 6 million acre-feet a year.The Upper Basin states are not making full use of their compact entitlements, using only about 4.4 million acre-feet. Meanwhile, growth in California, Arizona and Nevada has created full consumption of compact entitlements. In fact, California was ordered to scale back its use of Colorado River water from 5.2 million acre-feet to 4.4 million acre-feet in recent years.WHY IT MATTERSThe Colorado River may be on the other side of the Continental Divide, but the Arkansas River Basin depends heavily on diversions from the Western Slope.- Jim Lochhead, a lawyer who has worked on the Colorado River Compact for years in various capacities, advised local water leaders in January that a call on Lake Powell by downstream states could reduce transmountain diversions with appropriation dates after 1922. The only transmountain transfers that predate the compact are rights owned by the Pueblo Board of Water Works.- The Arkansas River Basin imported an average of 102,200 acre-feet per year of water from the Colorado River Basin from 1980-2004, said Water Division 2 Engineer Steve Witte. That amounted to almost 20 percent of the flow of the Arkansas at Canon City, which is about 526,000 acre-feet annually. The largest diversions are made by the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, Twin Lakes and the Pueblo Board of Water Works system (Ewing, Wurtz, Columbine and Busk-Ivanhoe).- The Homestake Project, which provides water to Colorado Springs and Aurora, diverted another 24,770 acre-feet per year into the Arkansas and South Platte basins. Witte said those diversions have an impact on Arkansas River operations upstream of the Otero Pumping Station and through exchanges as Colorado Springs reuses the water.- Aurora plans to divert about 22,500 acre-feet of water from the Arkansas to the South Platte. Its water comes from agricultural transfers in the Lower Arkansas Valley made over the last 20 years.Note: An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, 4/28-STATE SMOKING LEGISLATION CHANGES-CHARLES ASHBY Pueblo Chieftan DENVER - A smoking area in a restaurant is like a peeing section in a swimming pool.That, at least, was the rationale one state lawmaker gave Wednesday in watering down a proposed statewide smoking ban that was expected to be snuffed out into one that only prohibits smoking in restaurants.Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, said that while he didn't like the idea of telling everyone in the state that they can't smoke everywhere, as SB207 introduced by Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, would have done, banning smoking in restaurants seemed reasonable."I think it is important to make this distinction for restaurants," Johnson said. "Some restaurants can have a no-smoking section, and many of them do, but we've all been to restaurants and we know that doesn't work. Somebody once said that having a smoking section in a restaurant is equivalent to having a peeing section in a swimming pool."Grossman argued against the change, saying it didn't go far enough to protect workers' health from the effects of second-hand smoking.As it is now, the measure would have no effect on Pueblo's smoking ban, but it would require restaurants in the county and elsewhere to ban smoking entirely.The ban covers restaurants that don't have liquor licenses, and some restaurants that do sell alcohol, but make more than 25 percent of their sales from food.The change in the bill drew immediate criticism from supporters of the so-called Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.Local officials with the American Lung Association, The Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance and GASP Colorado said the bill doesn't go far enough."We are extremely disappointed with the exemptions placed on the bill," said R.J Ours, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society. "In its current form, this bill does very little to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke. Bar and casino workers are exposed to far more second-hand smoke than all other employees in Colorado, and they deserve the same protection as everyone else."The groups said that the bill, as introduced, had wide support from Colorado voters and business owners. They said a poll paid for by the American Cancer Society earlier this month showed that 66 percent of voters supported the measure.The bill still required a formal vote in the Senate, which could come as early as today. If approved, it will head to the House, where its sponsor there, Rep. Mark Larson, may try to change it back into its original form.Larson, a Republican from Cortez, is a well-known anti-smoking advocate in the Legislature. When he first came to the House in 1998, he lead a successful effort to close one of two smoking sections in the Capitol Building. The second one was closed last year because of fire safety renovations.PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, 4/28-SUPER SLAB OPPONENTS WATCHFUL OF LEGISLATION-MARGIE WOOD Pueblo Chieftan Opponents of the proposed Front Range toll road dubbed "Super Slab" heard confusing news from the waning days of the Legislature at a meeting Wednesday night at Pueblo County High School.Joe Pantaleo and Scott Brazil, local heads of the Eastern Plains Citizens Coalition, said they were heartened Tuesday when a late Senate bill eliminating eminent domain powers for private toll road companies passed the Senate Transportation Committee. But then the bill was "called back for some sort of amendment," Brazil said, before it could advance to another committee and the full Senate."Things are changing from day to day, hour to hour, especially at the state Capitol," Pantaleo said. He reported that lawyers and lobbyists along the Front Range are volunteering the services for free or small fees, and one of the volunteers is former Congressman Ray Kogovsek of Pueblo."But we're going to hit you up for some money," he told the crowd of about 60 people.Even though the Legislature is expected to adjourn next week, there are other bills waiting in the wings, Brazil said. One would allow a regional transportation district to buy condemned land at half-price if it's associated with a light railroad. The Super Slab has a railroad in its plan.Another potential bill would allow the state to partner with a private company to build a toll road until the road becomes profitable. "E-470 has never turned a profit," Brazil added.Pantaleo said Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, has said she favors the toll road because of the congestion and traffic fatalities in the Castle Rock-Denver area.But he predicted the toll road wouldn't reduce traffic on Interstate 25, because each trip would cost a trucker $73.50 in tolls and additional fuel costs because the toll road would add about 15 miles to the route.The group will meet again at 7 p.m. next Wednesday at County High.PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, 4/28-A WORTHWHILE BILL-EDITORIAL Pueblo Chieftan COLORADO HAS a dirty little secret: It had the lowest childhood immunization rate among the 50 states in 2004.Less than two-thirds of the youngsters are being inoculated against contagious - and sometimes deadly - diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis and meningitis. Alarmingly low rates of childhood immunization are common in Pueblo, too.The Legislature has approved a bill allowing parents to be notified when their children are due for immunizations. One of the bill's sponsors was Rep. John Witwer, a Jefferson County Republican who is also a physician.Dr. Witwer said that notification would be voluntary for parents who want it - it's not another Nanny State measure. As such, we urge Gov. Bill Owens to sign the bill.Such notifications could help alleviate Medicaid costs incurred by the state when poor youngsters come down with otherwise preventable diseases.GJ SENTINEL, 4/27-SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL FAVORING COLROADO-GROWN PRODUCTS-DANIE HARRELSON Grand Junction Sentinel Colorado growers would get a slight edge over out-of-state agricultural and livestock producers under a proposal that lawmakers approved Wednesday.House Bill 1307, sponsored by Rep. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, cleared the Senate Finance Committee and now moves to the Senate floor.The measure would give the state some leeway to purchase Colorado-made products if the cost was slightly higher than the price of the same goods in another state.The state must purchase the cheaper alternative under existing law.The bill prompted a temporary about-face from supporters when a provision that raised concerns about free trade agreements was included."We want to keep our borders open as much as possible, not impose measures that have the potential to close our borders," said Ray Christensen, executive vice president for the Colorado Farm Bureau.Committee members removed the provision Wednesday and voted 6-1 to pass the bill along.GJ SENTINEL, 4/27-LEGISLATIVE SLUDGE ENTOMBS BASIN PROTECTION-EDITORIAL Grand Junction Sentinel It doesn't seem to matter who sponsors the legislation, or whether Democrats or Republicans are in the majority. The result is the same.So it was that the Colorado Legislature on Tuesday killed a bill aimed at protecting river basins when water from one basin is diverted to another part of the state.This year's bill was introduced by state Rep. Bernie Buescher, a Grand Junction Democrat, cosponsored by Grand Junction Republican Rep. Josh Penry and other Western Slope lawmakers.As with similar bills dating back to the mid-1980s, there was hope that this year's version would garner enough support to win legislative approval. And, like all of its predecessors, House Bill 1296 was shot down, this time on a 33-30 vote in the House.That means that Front Range legislators, pressured no doubt by cities and water organizations they represent, continue to reject river-basin protection similar to that written into federal law in the 1930s, when Green Mountain Reservoir was authorized to mitigate the impacts of taking water from the Colorado River Basin, across the Continental Divide to northeastern Colorado.It means they reject as state law the sorts of agreements reached between the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Denver Water that produced the Wolford Mountain Project to provide additional water for both sides of the Divide.And it suggests that water interests on the Front Range learned little from 2003's Referendum A debacle, when concern about the lack of protection for river basins was a key reason that opposition to the measure hardened throughout the state.To be sure, the amended version of Buescher's bill that was killed this week was substantially watered down from the legislation as he introduced it. In its final incarnation, it would not have actually required mitigation when water is transferred from one river basin to another. It would only have authorized a study to develop recommendations for future legislation. But even that limited legislation was too much for a majority of lawmakers from the Front Range.Buescher said he plans to be back next year with new legislation to protect basins of origin. We sincerely hope he and his colleagues from the Western Slope will have better luck then. But, given the history of such efforts, no one should be surprised to read sometime in 2006 that the Colorado Legislature has once again killed a bill to protect basins of origin.FT. COLLINS, 4/28-WEAKENED BILL TO BAN SMOKING PROCEEDS-MATTHEW BENSON Fort Collins Coloradoan Bill excludes bars, bowling and bingoDENVER - Fort Collins Sen. Steve Johnson stepped forward Wednesday to help save a smoke-free proposal that appeared headed for defeat.As originally written, Senate Bill 207 would have applied to virtually all workplaces, including the traditionally smoky environs of bars, bowling alleys and bingo parlors.But Republicans had banded together against the proposal, which they considered too far-reaching, and at least two Democrats also had objections.Enter Johnson.The Republican, who has found common cause with Democrats on several occasions this session, played peacemaker once again, this time tempering the bill by offering an amendment to have it apply only to restaurants."The bill wasn't going to pass without it," he said following the Senate's approval on a voice vote.Under the revamped proposal, smoking would be prohibited in establishments that:? Sell food but not alcohol, or? Have a hotel/restaurant liquor license. Such a license is available for establishments that make at least 25 percent of their gross annual income from food sales.The measure still faces a final vote, which could come as early as today.If signed into law, the proposal would have little effect on Fort Collins. That's because the bill wouldn't preempt more stringent regulations such as the city's, which prohibits smoking in virtually all workplaces."We're OK with it," said Mark Radtke, Fort Collins legislative affairs coordinator. "This won't have an effect on the city and our ordinance."Advocates of the statewide smoke-free measure - known as the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act - say it would limit exposure to the cancer-causing effects of secondhand smoke. Employees in smoky workplaces are especially at risk, they say.But critics question the science behind the threat and argue the state should leave the decision to go smoke-free to individual businesses.Johnson called secondhand smoke a "significant public health issue" but said patrons in establishments such as bars have an expectation they'll be faced with smoke. Restaurants are different, he reasoned.The change to a restaurant-only measure was grudgingly accepted by bill sponsor Sen. Dan Grossman, a Denver Democrat."I can't be enthusiastic," he said moments after his measure was scaled back. "I think this bill needs to go forward. The discussion needs to continue."Sen. Bob Bacon said the measure represents a first step."Something as far-reaching as this needs to come in increments," said the Fort Collins Democrat.Others were less enthusiastic.Johnson amendment or not, Senate Minority Leader Mark Hillman said the bill still goes too far.The smoking issue should be left to the free market, said the Burlington Republican, who noted that nearly 1,000 restaurants have already gone smoke-free in Denver."Each of us can vote with our feet," Hillman said. "No businessman can stand out on the street and force us to come into a place where we're exposed to secondhand smoke."Conversely, antismoking advocates said the bill no longer goes far enough."We are extremely disappointed with the exemptions placed on the bill today," RJ Ours of the American Cancer Society said in a statement. "In its current form, this bill does very little to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke." FT. MORGAN, 4/28-WATER MITIGATION BILL DROPPED-K.C. MASON Fort Morgan Times DENVER -- Western Slope Democrat Bernie Buescher threw in the towel Tuesday on his attempt to get the Colorado Legislature to pass a bill that would require mitigating the adverse effects of water transfers between river basins or conservancy districts.However, even his attempt to reduce his bill to an interim committee study was rejected by the House of Representatives. Instead, House Bill 1296 died on a 33-30 vote with Rep. Diane Hoppe, R-Sterling, and other Front Range Republicans leading the opposition."Everyone told me that there is no fight up here (at the Capitol) like a water fight," said Buescher, a freshman legislator from Grand Junction. "It's particularly difficult for a rookie because there are layers and layers of issues when talking about water, but I'm convinced we have to keep pushing this issue." Buescher said mitigation language has been sought in water bills for 18 years and rejected every time. He noted a similar bill last year from former San Luis Valley Rep. John Salazar, now a U.S. congressman, failed on an identical 33-30 vote.Buescher's bill had been on the House calendar for floor debate for five weeks while he attempted to round up enough votes to get it passed. He said he decided to go for an interim committee study when it became clear he had fallen short by three or four votes.Hoppe argued the bill wasn't needed to have the issue discussed by the interim Water Resources Review Committee, which is made up of 10 House and Senate members from both sides of the Continental Divide."The chair sets the agenda and takes advice from others about current topics in water," said Hoppe, who has chaired the interim committee for five of the six years she's been on it. Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, who will be the vice chair of this summer's interim committee now that Democrats are in the majority, supported Buescher's request. "We need direction to that committee to work off the framework in HB1296 and narrow down the issue," said Curry, also a first-term lawmaker. "This sends a clear message from this (legislative) body that you want this issue addressed."Republican Rep. Josh Penry of Grand Junction agreed."If we are serious about building new storage and meeting the needs of this state when it comes to water we are going to need to talk about mitigation," Penry said. "In fact, we're past the time for talking about it."Hoppe warned putting mitigation language into the statutes would stop the movement of water in Colorado."Mitigation needs to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, and we've successfully done so in some areas," she said. "My fear is that we are going to tie down mitigation language in the statutes and not have the flexibility we need to move water from basin to basin or from (one) area to another within a basin."Rep. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, said mitigation is so strongly opposed by Front Range communities because it involves "perspective beneficial use" of water.The bill "is about how to determine the cost of water based on perspective beneficial use." Harvey said. "It will shut down the movement of water anywhere in the state, no matter where you live, if we have to mitigate for perspective beneficial use."Penry called Hoppe's and Harvey's warnings "hyperbole." He noted that the two largest trans-mountain water diversion projects in Colorado's history -- the Big Thompson and Fryingpan-Arkansas -- depended on mitigation."Mitigation is on the books on the main stem of the Colorado River," said Penry. "To describe it as the end of movement of water in Colorado is hyperbolic and excessive."Buescher said he's confident mitigation will be addressed by the interim water committee since Curry and another Western Slope Democrat, Sen. Jim Isgar of Hesperus, alternate as chairs."The bill wasn't needed, but I wanted to give emphasis to the work of the committee," he said. "I was hoping for a mandate."DURANGO HERALD, 4/28-SENATE KEEPS NO-SMOKING BILL IN PLAY-STEVEN K. PAULSON Durango Herald DENVER - The Colorado Senate tentatively approved a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants Wednesday, despite arguments from opponents who said businesses already have the right to impose a ban on their own. Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, said he wants all restaurants in the state to compete under the same rules, pointing out that smoking is already banned in public places by at least 13 local governments. "What we have today in Colorado is a patchwork of regulation. Businesses that are affected by this, whether it be a county ordinance or a municipal ordinance, are crying foul. They say they were put at a competitive disadvantage because the county next door or the city next door does not have the same regulation," Grossman said. Sen. Jim Dyer, R-Littleton, said smoking is repulsive, but it's not a matter of statewide interest. "Why are they coming, hat i