Legislative Update: Too many lofty goals, too little time

We’re now two-thirds of the way through the 120-day legislative session with 418 bills still in play and more coming. The big transportation funding bill (all 197 pages of it) was posted on May 4 after a press conference with the Governor, legislative leadership, and some business interests. Speaking of legislative leadership, both House and Senate have expressed a desire to conclude the session by May 28 but looking to the issues remaining to be resolved that appears less likely each day. They must wrap up by June 12, anticipating a return for a potential special session later to deal with the billions of dollars sent by the federal government as stimulus money.

In addition to the transportation funding bill which would raise money for highways, bike lanes, rail and bus services (lumped in under the moniker “multi-modal”), there is still the health insurance bill minus the public option component, major environmental bills seeking environmental justice and expanded CDPHE authority over air and water as well as tax “reform” not yet introduced.

We continue to partner with our colleagues at the state Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Water Congress on issues of common interest such as dredge and fill permitting. CMA’s Government Affairs Committee continues to meet weekly to analyze and discuss these issues and to seek more detailed input from our members. Simultaneously, our issue committees (water quality and coal, hardrock, and uranium) continue to monitor and participate in rulemakings with the various state agencies at the Department of Natural Resources and CDPHE. Stay tuned for more details—it will be a mad, mad May!