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Published on -3/4/2009, 7:07 PM

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Highlights from the Legislature on Wednesday

By The Associated Press

Highlights from the Legislature on Wednesday:

-- The Senate voted 35-0 to give final approval to a measure (Senate Bill 237) that changes the state's "zero tolerance" law on fake guns at schools, sending the measure to the House. The bill was introduced in response to the suspension of a 17-year-old drill team commander who had practice rifles in her vehicle. Under the bill, fake weapons found in a car wouldn't be considered a violation, but administrators would still be able to decide how to punish students who display, carry or brandish a fake weapon at school. Right now, those students would have to be automatically expelled.

-- The Senate gave initial approval to allowing small, low-speed electric cars on state highways with speed limits of 35 mph or less (Senate Bill 75).

-- The Senate gave initial approval to a measure (Senate Bill 225) that would add a definition of contraception to state law. It would define "contraception" or "contraceptive" as a "medically acceptable drug, device or procedure used to prevent pregnancy." The measure is aimed at preventing birth control from being banned by any possible anti-abortion measures similar to the personhood amendment on last fall's ballot. Colorado law defines pregnancy as beginning at implantation, and opponents say the proposed definition would allow a fertilized egg to be destroyed up until that point.

-- The Senate agreed to changes made in the House on a measure (Senate Bill 32) creating the Education Innovation Institute at the University of Northern Colorado. Senate President Peter Groff said the institute would help Colorado's chances for competing for education reform money in the federal stimulus package. The bill now goes to the governor.

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