The State Legislature is moving along well as we head into April and only 40 days left of the 2011 Legislative Session. However, the Joint Budget Committee still has no agreement on the State Budget for FY 2011-12 and therefore no ‘Long Bill’ has yet been released. CFB staff will be watching the Long Bill for any unexpected amendments.
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CFB President Don Shawcroft testified before the House Natural Resources Committee today in Washington D.C. During the hearing titled “Harnessing American Resources to Create Jobs and Address Rising Gasoline Prices: Impacts on Businesses and Families,” Shawcroft told the assembled Representatives that Americans are experiencing sticker shock at the gas pump these days, but high fuel costs are hitting America’s farmers and ranchers especially hard.
“Most Americans are feeling sticker shock caused by high gasoline prices when they fill their automobile’s tank,” Shawcroft said. “But there is no term in the English language to accurately describe what farmers and ranchers feel every time they put diesel in the tanks of their farm equipment.”
Shawcroft cited numerous examples of the economic impact currently experienced by farmers and ranchers. He said the cost just for refueling a typical tractor can be more than $1,000.
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.
This week the Colorado House of Representatives will consider HB 1005.
Repeal of HB 1195 will bring much needed tax relief to Colorado’s farmers and ranchers. Please call your House member today and urge them to support HB 1005. If HB 1005 is not signed into law, then Colorado farmers and ranchers will be stuck paying sales tax for their inputs, which will put them at a disadvantage to surrounding states.
The U.S. Senate passed a three-week spending measure on Thursday to keep the government running through April 8. This measure contained about $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget.
The House Committee on Agriculture, House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Energy and Commerce Committee all held hearing looking at the impact of EPA regulations and restrictions on energy production. These hearings brought great scrutiny on EPA. Since the beginning of the 112th Congress EPA has continually been on the oversight hotseat.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee also held hearings on energy production. They looked specifically at the impact the recent Deepwater Horizon blowout. This blowout is being used by the administration to block new drilling permits.
HB 1123 prohibits financial transfers from severance related funds unto the general fund. This bill has successfully passed the House and will head to the Senate State Affairs Committee. It is being sponsored by Rep. Coram and Sen. Roberts. CFB is supportive.
Ove the past few weeks you have seen information regarding the federal budget, CR’s and what is likely to happen. With the last CR extension about to run out last Friday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) introduced H.J. Res. 48, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for an additional three weeks, until April 8. The current CR expires on Mar. 18. The bill will be on the House floor this week.