Gov. John Hickenlooper has until 5 p.m. Friday to decide whether to sign, veto or send on without his signature any legislation passed from the recent legislative session, and two bills — one of which is highly contentious — remain unspoken for.
The Colorado Democrat’s spokeswoman, Jacque Montgomery, said Thursday evening that Hickenlooper is still reviewing both measures.
One is House Bill 1313, which changes how officers and sheriff’s deputies seize money and property suspected of being tied to illegal activity. Law enforcement and local government groups are urging the governor to veto the legislation — addressing what’s called civil asset forfeiture — while the ACLU of Colorado, left-leaning advocacy group ProgressNow and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who sponsored the legislation are urging him to make it law.
Opponents, including sheriffs and police chiefs, say the bill would mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost funds for crime-fighting. Those supporting the legislation say it provides greater due process protections to Coloradans and would add accountability to the controversial practice.
The other measure still pending action is Senate Bill 111, which — with bipartisan backing — seeks to change regulatory restrictions on how medical marijuana businesses can buy and sell pot. Specifically, the legislation, if signed into law, would drop a mandate that such businesses can only purchase or transfer up to 30 percent of their inventory, with a new, higher level to be set by the state’s cannabis authorities.
Hickenlooper has signed hundreds of measures passed during the legislative session into law. He also sent three bills to the Secretary of State’s Office without signature — a rare move which means the legislation still becomes law but which allowed Hickenlooper to voice concern or protest for a bill without vetoing it.