CFB Policy Watch: Colorado’s 2020 Legislative Session Begins Tomorrow
The 2nd General Session of the 72nd General Assembly will gavel in at 10 am on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 with the Governor’s State of the State address to follow on Thursday morning at 11 am. This year’s general session is already looking to be busy and full. The interim calendar was very crowded resulting in many bill proposals that were forwarded before the general session even begins. We have heard of some of the ideas coming forward but there will be many more that will come as a surprise.
The Democrats have the majority in both the House and the Senate. While many of the party’s priority issues were passed last year, there are still plenty of new priority issues in the hopper as we look down the barrel of an election year.
What to expect from the next 120 days:
Instream flow (ISF) program expansion was hotly debated over the interim and several stakeholder meetings were held to discuss problematic aspects of the bill, including a public forum discussion on the agenda of the interim Water Resources Review Committee in Steamboat Springs. Vice President Carlyle Currier participated in that discussion. While not a direct result of the WRRC, expect to see a compromise bill that will expand the ISF program with important sideboards in place to be introduced early in the session.
Pesticides are a hot topic. Two measures are expected to arrive early in the session. The first, will ban the consumer, over-the-counter sale of products that contain neonics requiring a pesticide applicators license to purchase any of those products. The second, will eliminate the state preemption over the regulation of pesticides which would allow local governments to make their own rules.
Animal welfare will also be a primary issue area as the legislative session gets going. One measure will further limit and regulate “puppy mills” across the state for those who are breeding large numbers of dogs in kennel facilities. Another, will propose changing the regulations and requirements for housing laying hens in egg production, requiring cage-free systems to be adopted over the next few years. There is also an expected bill addressing the transport of exotic animals that we are monitoring closely for unintended impacts to the agricultural community.
A few other things to look out for include another attempt at passing a Colorado Family Paid Medical Leave program, a uniform mill levy across the state for education funding, legislation to address lingering conservation easement program concerns, and various other priority area bills.
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If you have any questions about policy or the issues that the team is working on at the Capitol, contact Emily at email@example.com.