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Owens signs final-wishes bill 

April 24, 2003

By Charles Ashby
Herald Denver Bureau Chief

DENVER – A bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Bill Owens will allow Coloradans to choose what will be done with their bodies after death.

Introduced by Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, House Bill 1312 would take that decision out of the hands of surviving family members and force them to abide by whatever the deceased had asked for – burial or cremation – before their death.

The measure was brought to Larson by Durango attorney Ellen Roberts after she saw several cases where the final wishes of dead clients weren’t followed.

In other matters, the governor also signed 30 other bills, including:

  • House Bill 1251 designed to cut down on auto thefts in the state.

  • Senate Bill 36 requiring that all high-school students complete a civil-government course before graduation.

  • House Bill 1142 that eliminates the distinctions between major and minor political parties when it comes to placing candidates’ names on the ballot.

Reach Denver Bureau Chief
Charles Ashby at chasby@durangoherald.com.

Legislature at a Glance

DENVER – Here is a look at work in the Colorado Legislature Wednesday and Thursday:


  • The Senate Finance Committee takes up a bill that would allow the state to post on the Internet the names of businesses or people who owe at least $20,000 in back taxes and have ignored multiple notices.

  • A conference committee meets to iron out differences over a bill that would limit noneconomic damages for disfigurement and physical impairment in medical malpractice cases.


  • Gov. Bill Owens signed a bill that would force minor-party candidates to go through primary elections before their names can appear on a general-election ballot and another bill requiring students to complete a course on civil government for high-school graduation.

  • The House Appropriations Committee approved another effort to reform no-fault auto insurance.

  • The Senate Education Committee approved a bill allowing higher-education institutions that qualify to become enterprises under the state’s tax- and spending-limitations.

  • The House Finance Committee killed a resolution that would have asked voters to change Amendment 23, guaranteeing funding for public schools, and the state’s tax- and spending-limitation amendment from constitutional amendments to statutes, where they could be amended to deal with the budget crisis.

  • The Senate gave final approval and sent to the governor a bill that would allow for increased fines of up to $1,000 for intentionally luring a bear with food or edible waste.

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