Bill exempts wildlife officers from bear-killing ban
By Denver Post Capitol Bureau
Thursday, March 28, 2002 - Wildlife officials and certain other government agents would be exempt from a ban on killing black bears during spring and summer under a compromise given tentative approval Wednesday by the Senate. House Bill 1221 also exempts any person who kills a black bear in defense of life or property.
The bill is a compromise on a plan that would have allowed wildlife officials to issue licenses for hunting problem bears in the summer. Wildlife officers said the bill was needed to prevent people from ignoring hunting restrictions and firing on bears from their porches.
Under the compromise, agents from the Division of Wildlife or the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be exempted.
Pledge proposal dies
The Senate Judiciary Committee killed a bill Wednesday that would have required students and teachers at public schools to start each school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
House Bill 1332, by Sen. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan, was nearly identical to a bill killed in a Senate committee earlier this session. The vote was 4-1 to kill the measure, with just one Republican senator present. Supporters said some schools no longer require the Pledge of Allegiance and said a daily recitation would show unity and patriotism.
Opponents cited a 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said requiring the pledge could infringe on free-speech rights.
Changing face of billboards
The Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow highway billboards that change faces. House Bill 1269, co-sponsored by Sen. Ron May, R-Colorado Springs, also would enable the Colorado Department of Transportation to relocate billboards when a highway is widened rather than paying the sign owners and property owner thousands just to destroy the signs.
May said that "trivision" billboard advertising would mean more money for local governments because it would triple the number of ads on a billboard, each of which would have to pay a fee to the local government. The signs also change faces so slowly, May said, that they won't pose a hazard to motorists.