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Colorado News Miner 108

Bad bills, organ compensation, airport suit, competition, anti-vaccine politics, Bottoms fantasies, China Dave, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
March 26, 2024

Merchant Codes for Guns: Some legislators want to force credit-card companies to specify a "merchant category code for firearms and ammunition." Dave Kopel argues the bill would not curb crime but is another step toward registering gun owners.

Drug Maker Sues Price Control Board: Meg Wingerter: "The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver on Friday by drugmaker Amgen and two of its subsidiaries, alleges the board wasn't only wrong to find Enbrel unaffordable, but that the Colorado law that created the panel is unconstitutional and should be overturned by the courts."

Dating App Bill: Bill 11 is a really stupid idea, argues Shoshana Weissmann. "If you file a report against an ex to get back with them, that would be filed with the attorney general and become public record."

Bad Bills: The legislature is still pushing ahead with the terrible bills on evictions and gun storage in cars.

Grass: Elise Schmelzer: "The bill, signed into law Friday by Gov. Jared Polis, prohibits the installation of ornamental grass, invasive plants and artificial turf on most commercial, industrial and state government property." I favor the trend toward more-native landscapes, but mandates on private business is the wrong way to go. Just use water pricing instead.

Organ Compensation: Reps. Manny Rutinel and Mary Bradfield: "If passed, the CARE Act would remove the financial barriers to living organ donation by providing up to a $40,000 tax credit to individuals who donate a life-saving organ to a stranger. Because not everyone is a perfect organ match with their loved one, organ donors who donate to a stranger can create a chain reaction of agreed-upon organ donations." Good idea.

Airport Suit: Olivia Prentzel: "The town of Superior and Boulder County commissioners are suing Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport near Broomfield over long-raised concerns about lead pollution and excessive noise by air traffic." I don't think noise complaints have merit, but I wouldn't mind seeing an objective report on potential effects of lead.

Anticompetitive: As an episode of the Get More Smarter podcast relates, Rep. Steven Woodrow claimed that a bill to "prohibit algorithmic devices used for rent setting" was necessary to prevent anticompetitive practices. According to a guest on the show, Woodrow offered his remarks in response to a speech by Ken DeGraaf claiming (as paraphrased by the guest) that "Democrats [are] all Marxists who want to take away private property rights." Assuming that's at all accurate, both Woodrow and DeGraaf are completely missing the point. The fundamental problem is that politicians have largely outlawed a competitive marketplace in housing by banning much development. How property owners set rent is a distraction from the fundamental problem. That said, the legislature ought not interfere with private contract rights; one political violation of people's rights does not deserve another.

Anti-Vax: Also from Get More Smarter: Rep. Richard Holtorf said the following on the house floor: "The incidence of young youth that are participating in athletics literally falling down, near dying or dying, participating in sports, in very high, due to the Covid-19 vaccine and the implications of that vaccine on the youth that receive that vaccine." For Holtorf to promote such ignorant conspiracy-mongering in the legislature is repulsive. Republicans who voice or tolerate such lies richly deserve to lose their political power.

Bottoms on Transgender Issues: Rep. Scott Bottoms recently said, "I think by next year the Democrats will present a bill to make the sexual age of consent 12 years old. We've done almost everything else, that's the next step." Of course his statement is absurd, and Democrats intend no such thing. Apparently Bottoms, a Christian preacher, has never heard of the verse, "Though shalt not bear false witness." Bottoms, however, is not the only person saying this sort of thing. Helen Lewis, discussing the radical view that children have an absolute right to agree to gender-affirming hormones and surgeries, argues: "This view has two logical implications: The first is that, if we are now just letting kids do whatever they want with their bodies, why not let them get married at 12, or drink alcohol at 13, or consent to sex at 14 with an adult partner? . . . The alternative argument is that gender—however you define it—is so unique and important that it alone justifies total bodily autonomy for minors." Lewis, of course, did not confuse a potential "logical implication" with a concrete legislative plan.

Insurance Mandates: Ed Sealover: Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy "nixed his plan Tuesday to let state residents keep primary-care providers even when they change jobs or insurers, opting instead for a bill making it easier for doctors to leave employers and continue practicing without facing extreme penalties . . . by limiting the noncompete agreements that physician groups can impose on doctors who choose to leave them." The underlying problem here is that politicians have turned health "insurance" into prepaid health care, which has completely screwed up the market. Yet again we have politicians proposing political solutions to politician-caused problems. (I think there's some argument for government declining to enforce non-compete contracts.)

China Dave: This is hilarious: Dave Williams, the "America First" chair of the state GOP and a candidate for Congress, makes his money importing goods from China.

Arizona DEI Suit: The Goldwater Institute is suing Arizona State on behalf of a professor who says mandatory DEI training promotes racism.

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