Captiol Connection: February 27, 2015
CALL FOR ACTION- Support Senate Bill 177
We still need participants in the Call for Action to urge your State Legislators to SUPPORT SB15-177, HOA Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. If you did not receive this email, or you would like to be able to forward this alert to your colleagues/clients/etc., please click here.
CAR is a member of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance (HOA), a coalition of local elected officials and business groups throughout the state that is looking for reasonable reform to help relieve our condo and townhome market.
If you have any stories or testimonials of buyers who could not purchase, owners who could not sell, or owners who could not refinance because their property was encumbered by litigation, please let us know at GovAffairs@coloradorealtors.com.
House Bill 1167- Water Storage Study
CAR SUPPORTS HB15-1167, South Platte River Mainstem Storage Study by Representative Brown (R-Ignacio). This bill requires the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to study the feasibility of supplementing water supplies in the South Platte River basin through the construction of one or more reservoirs in the basin and the importation of water into Colorado from the Missouri River basin. The goals of the study are to:
- Assess the suitability of storage sites in the South Platte River basin including Tamarack Ranch State Wildlife Area and the Narrows Project near Fort Morgan;
- Estimate the volume of water delivered to Nebraska in excess of the amounts required under the South Platte River compact for each of the previous 20 years; and
- Assess the feasibility of constructing new reservoirs at one or more storage sites
The CWCB will provide an update on the study to the Water Resources Review Committee, the Governor’s Office, the Executive Director of the DNR, and the General Assembly’s applicable committees of reference by October 31, 2015, and complete the study no later than December 31, 2015. The CWCB will provide a report summarizing the study to the Governor’s Office and the committees of reference by February 15, 2016. The CWCB will also include the findings from the study in the Colorado Water Plan.
CAR understands the state’s need for additional water storage, and believes the bill is a useful way to study the feasibility and viability of future water storage plans that will benefit the state.
House Bill 1205- Tax Expenditure Evaluation Committee
The Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) took a NEUTRAL position on HB15-1205, Creation of Tax Expenditure Evaluation Committee by Representative K.C. Becker (D-Boulder) and Representative Lori Saine (R-Dacono). This bill creates the Tax Expenditure Evaluation Committee (committee), a year-round joint committee of the General Assembly. The committee is responsible for reviewing evaluations of state tax expenditures to be prepared by the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) or its contractor, and for making recommendations or authoring legislation regarding improvements to the state’s administration of tax expenditures.
While the LPC understands the value of eliminating old or outdated tax expenditures from the general fund, freeing up the money for more important uses like education and public safety, they also see a few issues with the structuring of the Committee’s terms, and how the process will take place. They believe the terms of the Committee should be staggered, and that perhaps, the formulation should not occur until just following an election. As it is currently drafted, the two-year term extends through an election, which could create a problem if the committee member is not reelected. Therefore, we are in a NEUTRAL position so we can work on amendments that address our concerns with the legislation.
Senate Bill 22- Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Amended in Committee
The LPC is in a SUPPORT position on SB15-022 Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. This bill, recommended by the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, transfers $9,800,000 from the General Fund to the Wildfire Risk Reduction Cash Fund in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) July 1, 2015. It changes terminology to expand references to hazardous fuels and specifies treatments for the removal or reduction of vegetative fuel. Where feasible, the DNR is required to encourage a grant applicant to use veterans in wildfire mitigation activities.
The bill was recently amended in the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee to include all veterans in accredited corps programs, not just the green corps, as well as it extended the grant program to 2020 instead of 2017. The bill is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Transit Alliance Spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy from April 1, 2015-May 16, 2015. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited, so please get your applications in to take part! More information, as well as the application, can be found here, and the deadline for applying is Friday, March 13th at 5PM.