State Legislative Update

Despite a relatively quiet session, there was movement on many bill tracked by CFB this week.  We expect to see the “Long Bill” (the State’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12) out by next week. It will be heard first in the Senate. That is when the real work will begin.

HB 1179 – Concerning on-site wastewater treatment systems, was defeated in the House Ag Committee on Monday, March 21. Don Shawcroft, CFB President, testified in opposition to this bill on behalf of Farm Bureau. This bill made a number of changes to the standards of wastewater treatment systems, including banning all current existing cesspools.

HB 1286passed the House Ag Committee on Monday, March 21, and will next be heard on the House Floor. Don Shawcroft, CFB President, testified in support of this bill on behalf of Farm Bureau. This bill addresses those water wells with “produced water” from oil and gas. It clarifies the state engineer’s rule-making authority made in connection with the dewatering of geologic formations to facilitate mining by specifying the rules; it affirms and clarifies authority granted to the State Engineer’s Office by HB09-1303.

Also this week, HB 1279 (Overweight Vehicle Permits cleanup bill) moves on out of the House Transportation Committee to the House Appropriations Committee. CFB is supportive of HB 1279. SB 110 (County Open Burning Slash Permit Program) passed House Local Government Committee onto the House Floor. CFB is supportive of SB 110. HB 1192, which would give CDOT authority to authorize state highways for longer vehicle combinations within 90 days after the Federal Freeze is lifted, was reconsidered and successfully passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday and moves onto the Senate Floor.

Two other measures that Farm Bureau stands in support of passed the Senate this week and have therefore successfully passed both chambers and head to the Governor’s desk. Those measures are: HB 1111 (Dept. of Ag Livestock Confidential Commercial Data) and HB 1159 (License Grain Protein Analyzers).

HB 1275 (Idling Commercial Diesel Vehicles), sponsored by Rep. Priola, passed the House Transportation Committee on Thursday, March 24th. It will move forward to the House Appropriations Committee. HB 1275 sets a statewide idling standard for commercial diesel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds. Counties or municipalities can have a more lenient or less restrictive standard for idling diesel vehicles, but they could not enforce anything more stringent than this new statewide standard.  The standard allows for engine idling up to 5 minutes within a 60 minute period. Then, the bill also puts in exceptions for the following situations: traffic stalls, emergencies and emergency response, maintenance and equipment, armored vehicles, passenger buses, rest stops and rest areas (when used to heat or cool a sleeper berth), parked locations, and low temperatures. CFB is working in support of this bill.


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