Here is a highlight of some of the major happenings from the Colorado State House and Senate this week:
HB 1068 – Rep. Fischer’s “State Engineer to approve Ag water transfers” bill was killed in the House Ag Committee by the Sponsor’s request as the controversy around how this would be handled has increased and there was an agreement for a task force to further look into and study the options for doing long term transfers via administrative approval. – CFB supportive
HB 1107 – Rep. Baumgardner’s “State illegal immigration enforcement” bill was killed in the House Ag Committee by the Sponsor’s request as this bill had a lot of opposition in trying to cover a number of concerns and the bill sponsor is working with leadership on a late bill to still come forward on the protection of employers. – CFB monitoring
HB 1192 – Rep. Coram’s “Longer Vehicle Combinations Highways” bill was amend in House Transportation Committee to give CDOT the authority to designate state highways for use of longer vehicle combinations within 90 days of the Federal Freeze (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991) being lifted or pilot projects be expanded. – CFB supportive
SB 99 – Sen. Brophy’s “Commercial Vehicle Equipment Rules” bill was pulled by the request of the Sponsor in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. Sen. Brophy and Rep. Sonnenberg had met with the Division head of Motor Safety for the Colorado State Patrol who agreed to address the concerns we have had with pickup-trailer combinations of gross combination ratings of 26,000 pounds or less that have been pulled over for unnecessary safety rules and inspections. This will be handled internally with the CSP office and Brophy and Sonnenberg are comfortable with the commitment they received from the Division head. – CFB supportive
SCR – 001 – “Addressing Ballot Measures” – This Senate Concurrent Resolution in currently on the Senate awaiting its third and final vote before it moves to the House. CFB is very supportive of this referred measure and we were the only Ag group to testify on the bill in the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing, which will be sent to the voters in the 2012 General Election for final approval. This measure would protect the Colorado Constitution by doing the following:
- Increasing the number of votes needed to pass a constitutional amendment from a majority to at least 60% of the votes cast. (Does not affect the simple majority voting requirement for initiated statutory changes.)
- Requiring that a minimum number of petitions signatures for a citizen initiated constitutional amendment be gathered from voters who reside in each Colorado congressional district. (Does not affect the signature requirements for citizen-initiated statutory changes.)
- Allowing current constitutional amendments to be repealed with the same simple-majority by which they were voted in. (Requires a 60% super majority vote to repeal constitutional amendments passed after 2012.)
- Protecting approved citizen-initiated statutory changes by requiring two-thirds vote of the legislature to amend that law during the first three years after adoption.
Up on Monday in House Ag Committee:
HB 1150 (Becker) Use Wildlife Fees Habitat Water Storage – CFB supportive – This has been a compromising deal being worked out on this measure between Rep. Becker and DNR, in which DNR plans to require that DOW commit money within their budget for aiding in water storage projects and benefiting wildlife and wildlife recreation. The Division intends to allocate at least $6 million for these types of projects over the next five years. In turn for this commitment Rep. Becker intends to pull his HB 1150 on Monday in the House Ag Committee.
HB 1231 (Fischer) S. Platte River Alluvial Aquifer Study – CFB supportive
HB 1146 (Massey) Def Ag Land for Prop Tax – CFB actively engaged on this measure
HB 1063 (McKinley) Animal Welfare and Control – CFB opposing