2014 Colorado legislative session starts today #COflood #COleg

Colorado Capitol Building
Colorado Capitol Building

From The Denver Post (Joey Bunch):

House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, told a legislative preview breakfast Tuesday that he expects flood-related bills to be among the top agenda items for the 2014 legislature.

The Flood Disaster Study Committee later approved seven additional bills and pledged more legislation to come in the wake of the September floods.

The legislative session opens Wednesday.

One flood-related bill would create grants to help fix water and wastewater facilities. Another would provide tax credits for those who lost homes or had their property destroyed. A third would extend the same limited immunity volunteer firefighters have to other volunteers and organizations that help during emergencies.

“(The flood) is one of those issues that we need to deal with both how we’re helping those people and those businesses impacted by the floods,” Ferrandino said.

The bipartisan Flood Disaster Study Committee, created after the epic September floods, is made up of six Democrats and six Republicans.

“When flood waters ravaged through 24 counties it didn’t look at a Democrat house or a Republican house,” he said. “It impacted everyone in Colorado the same.”

Ferrandino told chamber members he hoped the flood legislation would set the tone for other bipartisan agreements during the session.

The flooding from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14 killed 10 people, destroyed 1,882 structures and damaged at least 16,000 others.

After the floods, 28,348 people registered for government disaster assistance. In the latest accounting from the state Office of Emergency Management, $204 million has gone to households through government aid, flood insurance payouts and low-interest loans.

State and federal sources have paid $28.3 million, so far, to repair 238 infrastructure projects, including bridges and wastewater treatment systems, wrecked by floodwaters.

More 2014 Colorado legislation coverage here.

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