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Legislative Year: 2019 Change

Colorado Eyes & Ears »

Reclaimed domestic wastewater receives attention among the first bills introduced at the Capitol.  Dog and cat owners should note that HB18-1069 allows toilet flushing with reclaimed water up to category three standards. 

Category three water gets secondary treatment with filtration and disinfection and meets standard three e coli and turbidity measures.  Category three water receives more treatment than water used for zoo operations (category one) and commercial laundries (category two).

Marijuana is added to category two wastewater compliance in HB18-1053 and hemp is added to category one wastewater compliance in SB18-038.

Colorado’s beef industry will benefit from a new regulation coming from anti-regulation Republican lawmakers Rep. Kimmi Lewis (HD-64) from eastern Colorado and Sen. Vicki Marble (SD-23) from the more rural side of the north I-25 corridor.  US born, bred, and slaughtered meat will receive a USA MEAT designation.  Others get the IMPORTED label.

A bipartisan bill, SB18-009, sponsored by Sens. Kevin Priola (R-25) and Stephen Fenberg (D-18), both in districts north of the metro area, allows utility customers to install residence-based electricity storage units.  The bill will help electric car owners and solar energy users mitigate energy black or brown-outs.

Guns get the usual election year mulligans.  Two bills to repeal ammunition magazine prohibitions, HB18-1015 and SB18-052, will put House committee members and all Senate Democrats on the record as voting to oppose unlimited ammunition magazines.  They are already on the record with HB17-1097 and SB17-007, defeated in the previous session.

HB17-1036, Concealed Carry in Public Schools has a recycle in 2018 with HB18-1037, Concealed Carry on School Grounds.  SB18-051, Prohibit Multi-burst Trigger Activators, sponsored by Sen. Mike Merrifield from SD-11 in Manitou Springs, is new and will prevent automatic weapon firing of semi-automatic weapons.  These bills will lose in State, Veteran, and Military Affairs committees.

Democrats and Republicans are running various taxes up and taxes down bills. 

Plastic bags may end up funding affordable housing if Democrats Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. Lois Court can pass a bill for an initiative to charge 25 cents for plastic bags used at stores.  The tax covers any number of bags used in a single purchase.

Democratic Sen. Andy Kerr has resurrected Funding for Full Day Kindergarten, SB18-004, so far without Rep. Brittany Pettersen, who sponsored the same bill, SB17-29, with Kerr in 2017.  Pettersen is running for Kerr’s Senate seat in 2018.  The bill asks the Secretary of State to run an initiative that will allow state government to retain TABOR tax money for kindergarten.

On the other side, Republican leadership in the Senate wants to reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.43 percent.  Another bill, SB-070 sponsored by incumbent Republican candidate Sen. Tim Neville, SD-16, will free up more church property from taxation.  HB18-1036, another Neville-sponsored bill, brings back the annual legislation to reduce business personal property tax. 

Republican leadership in the Senate also wants to improve broadband coverage to rural areas.  Rather than using tax dollars, the bill uses PUC regulated funds and surcharges from local exchange carriers to cover additional costs. 

Four Republican legislators, two from the House and two from the Senate, are asking for a funding initiative for transportation that will not raise taxes but will move money around, exclude certain funds from spending limits, and push 10 percent of sales taxes to the transportation budget.

So much of this legislation shows how little has been accomplished in previous years to resolve education and transportation funding needs.  With the legislature divided, gun bills will go down. 

There is good news for the sake industry.  SB18-019 will classify sake as wine in the Colorado Liquor Code.

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