Schools, guns, elections in focus at Capitol Monday

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DENVER — It’s going to be a busy Monday afternoon at the State Capitol.

Republicans and Democrats are expected to clash over a handful of proposals being heard by a pair of House committees.

The House Education Committee is set to hear House Bill 1089, which will encourage Colorado’s schools and colleges to have debates about creationism, evolution and global warming.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Humphrey, R-Weld County, is certain to die a quick death before the Democrat-controlled committee.

Humphrey, who campaigned on a promise to fight liberalism by bringing a “constitutional conservative” measure to Denver, is also the sponsor of a bill to ban abortion in Colorado that was heard last week (the inevitable vote to kill that bill has been postponed).

H.B. 1089 calls on public schools and colleges to create an environment for students to encourage scientific questioning and be able to respond respectfully to differences of opinion on “controversial issues in science education.”

The same committee is also slated to hear a bill from Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, that will direct school districts on how to deal with chronically absent or truant students.

Lawmakers in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee will also hear four proposals Monday afternoon, including a measure to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote so that their registration automatically activates when they turn 18.

Democrats believe the bill will improve voter participation. Republicans widely oppose the measure.

The same committee will also hear House Bill 1048, the “Make My Day Better” proposal that would extend the protections now afforded to homeowners, who have the right to shoot any violent intruder into their homes, to business owners.

The same legislation was killed last year by Democrats in the Senate. Expect the same result this year in the Democrat-controlled House.