2014 session addressing whirlwind of bills
By Karen Dike
Legislative Committee Chair
The 2014 session of the Colorado Legislature is a whirlwind. The Legislative Committee has been busy reading, discussing, opposing, supporting, and monitoringbills. Here are some:
- Renewable energy. A number of bills were introduced with the intention of dismantling or overturning last year’s SB13-252, the bill that requires rural electric companies to use 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. So far all have been defeated.
- Banning Styrofoam containers. Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D-Denver) introduced a bill to remove statutory language that prevents cities from banning substances such as Styrofoam containers and plastic grocery bags. The opposition was fierce, but we have their attention and they say they will work with us in the future. The bill was withdrawn; we hope to re-introduce it next year.
- Eminent domain. We are working to defeat SB14-093 which gives eminent domain authority to pipeline companies. This passed in the Senate, flying under our radar by posing as “something they always had and just a language correction.” We are currently working on action alerts, and with others in the Environmental Committee, are trying to kill it in the House Judicial Committee.
- Health analysis. We studied Rep. Joann Ginal’s (D-Fort Collins) Health Analysis (HB14-1297) bill repeatedly. We aren’t happy with a commission that will be set up because it is politically appointed. The Committee determined it would give passive support. The bill will begin analyzing potential health effects from oil and gas operations.
- Local control. We are pushing for local control legislation to be introduced. I met with Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder), and we also e-mailed her a letter detailing language we would like to see introduced. This will help communities that are looking at fracking moratoria.
We continue to look at bills that have an environmental effect, including electric vehicles, forest issues, water issues and off-highway vehicles. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
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