Legislative Briefs…


Right to Float Goes to the Floor, Tax Bills Pass, and Wind Bill Becomes a Study…

HB 1188 – “Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right”, Introduced by Rep. Kathleen Curry, (I – Gunnison), passed the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, Feb. 8, after a solid six hour hearing. The Colorado Farm Bureau is vigorously opposed to HB 1188.

This bill is not a “Right to Float” but indeed a “Right to Trespass”. This bill will be heard on the House Floor tomorrow morning for its 2nd reading. All CFB members are encouraged to contact their Representative and ask for a NO vote to help us in this fight to protect our property rights.

Tax Bills Pass

This week the Colorado Senate debated long hours on the “Tax Bills” to remove thirteen different current sales and use tax exemptions in hopes of helping to balance the state budget. These bills are scheduled to go into effect by March 1st. Our highest priority has been on HB 1195 (Suspend Ag Sales and Use Tax Exemptions) and HB 1190 (Suspend Industry Fuel Sales and Use Tax Exemptions).  HB 1195 suspends the sales tax exemption on Ag Compounds and Pesticides. This bill passed 3rd reading in Senate today with a vote of 18 -17. All of the Republicans voted NO along with Senators Sandoval, Schwartz, and Whitehead.

HB 1190 eliminates the sales and use tax exemption for storage, use, or consumption of energy used for industrial purposes. Through the House and Senate, there were successful efforts to amend the bill to exclude the storage, use, or consumption of fuel purchased for off-road or agricultural purposes. This exemption includes all electricity, coal, gas, fuel oil, steam, coke, or nuclear fuel purchased for agricultural purposes. The bill was approved on 3rd reading in the Senate today with a vote of 18 -16. Again, the NO votes included all the Republicans and Senators Whitehead, Schwartz, and Sandoval.

Wind Bill Becomes Study

Legislation by Representative Cory Gardner regarding wind rights (HB 1158 – Clarifying Wind Rights) was heard in the House Ag Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 9th, after discussion on the issue there was a motion to lay the bill over and direct Legislative Council to do a thorough analysis of the issue. Committee members believe it is necessary to continue discussions and study the issue as it appears the issue is here to stay.

“It’s important to understand that this was the first bill of it’s kind in the nation, so hopefully this study will give us more guidance as we move forward,” said Rep. Cory Gardner, the bills sponsor.

Water Bills

On Thursday, Feb. 11th, the Senate Ag Committee will hear both of Senator Hodge’s water bills: SB – 67 – Exempt School Irrigation Wells Prior Approp; SB – 78 – Facilitate Use Of Reusable Effluent. Colorado Farm Bureau is opposed to both of these bills.

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