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State Sen. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican, spoke to Colorado Politics Friday evening about the ethics complaint filed against him by Chris Forsyth of the Judicial Integrity Project.

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The 2021 session is finally over, and in this episode of Colorado Politicking legislative reporter Pat Poblete, chief legislative reporter Marianne Goodland and senior reporter Joey Bunch sum up the highs and lows from the session, and how they could affect the upcoming election year.

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The House of Representatives signed off on a proposal to push the dates of certain criminal trials three or six months into the future on Friday, setting the speedy trial bill on a speedy run through the Senate in the final days of the legislative session.

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In the waning days of the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers under the Gold Dome are putting the finishing touches on the $800 million Colorado Recovery Plan stimulus package.

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An amendment on a hemp agent Delta-8 brought controversy to Thursday's third reading of House Bill 1317, a wide-ranging measure seeking to study the effects of high-potency THC products on the developing brain and keep those products out of the hands of teenagers.

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The Senate introduced five bills Friday afternoon and ran them so fast through committees that it was a race to see whether anyone would get to see what was in those bills before they were reviewed by the committees. 

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House Bill 1304 faced only minor opposition in the Senate, with a unanimous vote from Senate Education and only two "no" votes in Senate Appropriations. There was no debate on the bill in the Senate Friday.

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For the second straight day, Republicans in the state House of Representatives slammed the brakes on the chamber’s agenda, drawing out debate through the first weekend workday of the legislative session and well into the evening.

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Senate Bill 273 drew strong pushback from law enforcement and bail bondsmen. It also was opposed by both judges who provided testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and divided the opinions of three district attorneys who appeared to testify.

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Rep. Marc Catlin's first time in the chair was not for a couple of minor bills, either: The second bill on the calendar has a mix of support and requests to amend from the marijuana industry and Colorado Farm Bureau.

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"We're continuing to do the important work that needs to be done when it comes to stakeholding such a big policy," she said. "We were hopeful that we'd get to that point of introducing it this session, [but] I don't know that we've been able to reach all corners of the stakeholder table."

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Colorado’s highest court on Monday heard arguments over whether state legislators have the authority to enact a law that would adjust the voter-approved state redistricting process, with several justices skeptical of the legality or prudence of lawmakers’ proposal.

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The Colorado Department of Transportation began funding Revitalizing Main Streets grants last summer to stimulate the economy, as the pandemic took hold. In March the General Assembly put another $30 million into the program. The state announced more projects receiving funding on Monday afternoon.

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After three months of fighting with law enforcement over a bill that would limit their ability to arrest those accused of low-level offenses, Sen. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, is trying a do-over that he hopes will tone down the heat.

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The holiday, championed then and now by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, encourages Coloradans to learn about and appreciate the abundance of outdoor opportunities and stewardship responsibilities.

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The conversation was driven by Senate Bill 260, the legislature's plan to put $5.2 billion into the state's aging, overcrowded transportation system over the next decade. The plan, though, is funded primarily with new fees on gasoline, electric cars, deliveries and more, indexed to inflation.

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A bill seeking to limit the use of ketamine on Thursday moved one step closer to clearing the House after lawmakers gave it preliminary approval after tacking on amendments to narrow the scope of the legislation.

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 Ag Commissioner Tim Schultz told Colorado Politics after the hearing that "when you're talking about small towns in Colorado, about main street, chances of bringing Microsoft to that town doesn't exist. That town turns around one person at a time." Take a vacant building, turn it into 10-15 work spaces, and a gallery to sell those things, and that could translate into business for the local diner, for example. "It changes the will of the community around."

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Childhood victims of rape and other sexual misconduct whose deadline to hold their perpetrators legally liable has long passed are one step closer to accessing the justice system, as the Colorado Senate on Thursday approved a bill to allow survivors' claims to go forward regardless of when the abuse occurred.