Bookmark and Share

Committee unanimously supports water bill

Senate Bill 1051 was heard in the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee this week.

This is a bill I have mentioned before that requires large water providers to report annually on water use. The data collected from this bill will be used to improve water conservation efforts. After much work and discussions with the Colorado Water Congress, Colorado Water Conservation Board, conservation groups and municipal water providers, we were able to craft a bill that was acceptable to the various organizations. The bill passed out of committee unanimously.

I received late bill status in order to work on a bill that will reduce late fees to $10 on trailers over 2,000 pounds. My bill will complement House Bill 1211 which recently passed and will reduce late fines to $10 on trailers that weigh 2,000 pounds or less. I originally sponsored an amendment to House Bill 1211 that would have accomplished this but it was not approved by the House. After hearing from you and your frustration with newly added late fines on trailers, I decided to work on a bill that will reduce late fees on all trailers regardless of weight. Senator Bill Cadman (R-Cimarron Hills) will co-sponsor the bill and it will be introduced next week.

On Monday, the governor signed House Bill 1365 into law. HB 1365 is a bipartisan bill I sponsored along with Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction) and Representatives Judy Solano (D-Brighton) and Ellen Roberts (R-Durango). The natural gas industry, the environmental community, the Department of Public Health and numerous other stakeholders worked together to propose this bill that will result in the creation of jobs in the energy sector and reduction of harmful emissions in our atmosphere. The quality of our air is an important environmental and health consideration for everyone in Colorado. It is essential that we work towards reducing emissions in order to preserve the health of our citizens and the beauty of our state. I am confident that this bill is an important step forward in achieving this goal.

On Tuesday, legislators wore red in support of equal pay for women. Many studies show that women are paid less even though they perform the same work as men. Our society has made much progress to develop significant laws in Colorado and the United States that protect the civil rights of all citizens regardless of their gender, station or background. However, inequalities in workplace compensation are still issues that must be addressed. This week we took time to reflect on work that still needs to be done but also to take pride in how far we have come in securing an equal status for everyone.

I co-sponsored a resolution acknowledging April 22 as Earth Day in Colorado. Most of the bills I sponsored this session promise in some way to create jobs and improve the health and quality of our environment. In my professional life as a water resource engineer, I understand how important it is for us to develop our resources in a way that protects the environment and Earth for our children and future generations.

On Friday, the Senate took time to honor the life of David Kinterknecht of the Montrose Police Department. David was killed in the line of duty in 2009. His name is the latest addition to a resolution that honors over 236 police officers who gave their lives in service of the citizens of Colorado. The tradition of annually honoring peace officers killed in the line of duty has been observed by the Colorado legislature since 1876. It was a somber moment on the floor as we honored David and his family, as well as the many others that lost their lives in service of our state.

There are many challenging bills still to be heard on the floor prior to the end of the session on May 12. Thanks for reading.