From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):
Roberts’ Senate Bill 115 would have required legislative approval of the Colorado Water Plan. But Roberts and her allies backed down Thursday and changed their bill to require public hearings and reports to the Legislature. The plan will no longer require legislative approval.
The Legislature has outsourced water policy for decades, starting in the 1930s, when it created the Colorado Water Conservation Board. In 2005, it set up a system of roundtables in each major river basin to begin working toward a state strategy.
Those roundtables have been working for eight years, and last year, Hickenlooper pushed the roundtables to come up with a state plan by the end of 2014…
…defenders of the roundtables say they have brought together all sorts of water users who used to be enemies, and more people than ever are now involved in crafting water policy.
“We need to realize that eight years of hard work has gone into the water plan already,” said Rep. Mike McLachlan, D-Durango, in a Wednesday interview.
McLachlan said he supports Roberts’ bill, but he doesn’t want the water plan to turn into a turf war between the Legislature and Hickenlooper…
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the scaled-down bill 6-1 Thursday.
More 2014 Colorado legislation coverage here.