Legislative Update 4-25
There are only two weeks left in the 2012 session. That’s right, the legislature only has 14 days to complete everything on the calendar and the list is long, expansive and it seems legislators add to it everyday with new bills. Considering this, this week as well as the rest of the session is going to be packed.
So far in this packed week HB-1278, a bill that calls for a study along the South Platte, was heard in the House Ag committee again where it was amended to reduce the size and scope of the study. Farm Bureau supports the bill in its amended version and helped it pass out of committee. HB-1278′s next stop is the appropriations committee.
HB-1014 was also heard in the Senate Transportation committee yesterday. This bill will reduce vehicle registration late fees to a flat $20 instead of $25 per month with a max of $100. Farm Bureau testified in support of this and it was laid over till Thursday for action only.
Still on Farm Bureau’s plate this week are the Parks and Wildlife Commission bill, HB-1317, and a bill to classify ag inputs as wholesale, HB-1037. The former creates a new commission to oversee the the new Division of Parks and Wildlife that was created last year by merging the DOW and Parks and Recreation. The bill sets up a commission with 3 sportsmen (one of which is an outfitter), 3 agriculture seats, 3 outdoor recreation (one of which is a diversified trail and one a non-profit non-consumptive wildlife organization), and 2 at-large members. CFB is supportive of this current make-up; a compromise of many stakeholder groups. It will be heard tomorrow in Senate Ag.
HB-1037 is a bill that would classify inputs we use in agriculture, such as pesticides, bull semen and products used in the care and raising of livestock, as wholesale which would not allow them to be subject to sales tax. Agriculture is the only industry in the state whose inputs are subject to sales and use tax. This bill would put Colorado farms and ranches on the same playing field as other businesses in Colorado.
That about does it for now but be sure to check back in on Friday for an update on Thursday’s events. If you can’t wait that long you can always follow the latest happenings on Colorado Farm Bureau’s facebook page and tweets from @agrilobby. Have a great rest of the week!