2010 Colorado legislation update

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Lawmakers were busy trying to balance the budget this week. Here’s a report on the week’s happenings at the state capitol in Denver, from Marianne Goodland writing for the Sterling Journal Advocate. From the article:

The General Assembly this week is working on HB 1327, which initially planned to transfer the CWCB construction funds, $19.6 million that it gets from federal mineral lease revenues, into the general fund to help shore up the state’s 2009-10 budget. HB 1327 was amended by the House on second reading Wednesday to restore the funds for the construction fund. The vote to restore the funds drew strong support from legislators of every party: 24 of the House’s 27 Republicans voted in favor of restoring the dollars, as did 14 of the chamber’s 37 Democrats and Rep. Kathleen Curry, I-Gunnison…

SB 27, which would impose a $500-per-day fine for illegal diversions of surface water, sailed through the Senate in the past week. The bill got unanimous support from the Senate on Monday and is now awaiting action from the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee. It is sponsored in the House by Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango. SB 27 would impose the same fine for illegal diversions of surface water that is in place for illegal diversions of ground water. Supporters say that not having a fine for surface water diversions means those who divert water illegally are slow to stop when they are notified of the violations; the potential of a fine means resolving the problem in weeks versus months.

More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The state’s water construction funds have been a model of self-reliance, allowing the Colorado Water Conservation Board to operate without taking a dollar from the state’s general fund. But after $107 million of the funds were taken to balance the state budget last year, the agency’s ability to continue making loans was hamstrung, CWCB Executive Director Jennifer Gimbel told the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board Thursday.

More 2010 Colorado legislation coverage here.

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