Weekly Legislative Update, February 13, 2015

78 Days left until May 6 – 396 bills introduced – 219 House – 177 Senate – 141 Bipartisan – 60 bills postponed indefinitely

Parent’s Bill of Rights Has Long Debate in the Senate – the Senate spent a good deal of time this week debating legislation that would establish a “Parents Bill of Rights”.  It would allow parents the right to exempt their children from programs dealing with education, health care and mental health.  Supporters say this is about families and their beliefs while opponents say it goes too far and contradicts existing law.  It became even more interesting given the national debate on children vaccinations.  The bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote.  It’s going to have rough road in the democratically controlled House.

High Performance Transportation Enterprise Accountability – the bill was introduced by Sen. Matt Jones (D) Louisville and proposes to clarify and add transparency to P3 transportation projects in Colorado. It’s the same as last year’s bill except for the three that the Governor specifically opposed in his 2014 veto message.  Many business organizations and transportation advocacy groups opposed last year’s bill (and will again this year) because of the potential impact on the state’s ability to attract P3 investors in new projects.  The Governor’s office issued an executive order last year to address many of the concerns so they don’t believe this bill is necessary.

Promoting Agritourism – Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, is sponsoring SB 127 that will help agriculture and tourism industries in Colorado.  It promotes Colorado’s rich history and could highlight events like Pueblo’s Chile and Frijole Festival, Lamar Days, the Alamosa Rodeo, and others.  This bill allows a tax deduction and tax credit on specific agritourism business activities.  Agriculture is Colorado’s second largest industry, supporting more than 173,000 jobs and contributing $41 billion to the state’s economy.  The Senate Agriculture Committee approved SB 127, moving it to the Senate Finance Committee.  Source: Colorado State Senate Week in Review – Senate Democrats

Title Board to Review Title for 2016 Vote on Daylight Savings Time – former state Sen. Greg Brophy (now chief of staff for Congressman Ken Buck) tried several times to convince the legislature to leave Colorado permanently on daylight savings time.  There were two clocks in the Senate Minority Office – Mountain Standard Time and Brophy Time aka Daylight Savings Time.  Some Lakewood residents have taken up the cause and are working their way through the ballot initiative process for a possible vote by citizens in 2016.  Only three other states have opted out of the 1966 law approved by Congress.  If it passes the title board, proponents would need about 97,000 valid signatures to get it on the ballot.

The Legislature is closed on Monday in Observance of President’s Day.

Pete Kirchhof
[email protected]
303 507-9587 (C)

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