By Ed Bowditch, RMFU Government Relations For Colorado
April 8, 2019 – Another busy week flew by the Capitol as the House passed the FY19-20 Long Bill establishing spending for over $32 billion total funds. The House and Senate now need to meet to finalize the budget after each chamber passed a myriad of amendments to add funding for everything from mental health and substance abuse to school nutrition and aging services. Among the most anticipated decisions surrounded funding for transportation, a hot button issue spanning multiple sessions. After the Senate passed an amendment last week directing the Governor’s office to redirect $106 million from state agencies to transportation, the House removed the Senate amendment and responded by passing a counter amendment to dedicate $70 million to transportation. The total transportation funding is yet to be determined.
While the House remained busy with the budget, the Senate worked through a contentious week of major legislation. First, the death penalty repeal bill was killed by its sponsor after it become evident not all Democrats would support the bill, putting its passage in jeopardy. Second, the Senate passed the equal pay for equal work bill to mitigate the gender pay gap.
With only 28 days left in session, 547 bills have been introduced to date with just under 100 already signed by the Governor, another 100 already killed, and the remaining 340+ continue working through the legislative process. Major legislation still aiming to reach the Governor’s desk includes Speaker Becker’s de-Brucing bills, paid family leave, climate action, and full day kindergarten.
Bill action this week:
- HB19-1168 State Innovation Waiver Reinsurance Program – passed House 2nd reading.
- HB19-1241 University of Colorado Training And Scholarships Rural Physicians – passed House Ed and moves to Approps.
- SB19-139 More Colorado Road And Community Safety Act Offices – passed House Transport & Local Govt and moves to Approps.
- SB19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations – repassed by Senate with House amendments.
- SB19-186 Expand Ag Chemical Management Program Protect Surface Water – passed Senate Ag and moves to Finance.
- SB19-212 Appropriation General Fund Implement State Water Plan – passed House Approps, 2nd and 3rd reading.
- SB19-220 Hemp Regulation Alignment With 2018 Federal Farm Bill – passed Senate Ag.
Upcoming bill action:
- SB19-067 Rural Development Grant Program Creation – Senate Approps 4/12.
- HB19-1264 Conservation Easement Tax Credit Modifications – passed House Ag and faces Finance on 4/15.
Here is our full bill report.