Club 20 Fall Conference recap #COpolitics

Colorado Capitol building

Here’s a report from Charles Ashby writing in The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Click through to read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

“The one issue that I did not anticipate, but appreciate more than any of the other (issues), is water,” [George] Brauchler said Friday shortly after meeting with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership about business issues. “On the Front Range, the water issue is when I turn on my tap, is it there? Getting around the state as much as I have over the past five months, water is a huge issue.” Brauchler said his lack of understanding about water issues prompted him to meet with numerous water experts, including those with the Colorado River District.

His main takeaway, which is still under development, is more storage and more conservation…

[Donna] Lynne was the only candidate for the Democratic Party nomination to make it to the Grand Valley for the Club 20 meeting, giving the keynote address at Saturday’s lunch.

For the past 18 months working as Hickenlooper’s chief operating officer, Lynne said she’s learned much about the workings of Colorado government.

As an expert in health care matters, Lynne said one of her main focuses will be on getting the cost down, which has been a particularly troublesome issue for rural parts of the state.

“We need to talk about having enough (health care) plans in the state, and providing statewide coverage,” Lynne said. “The increases in the individual market unfortunately are a function of people dropping in and out of coverage, and we need to figure out how to encourage them to stay in for the entire year. That’s what’s hurting a lot of the health plans.”

From (Briseida Holguin):

Water rights and public lands are two topics that both Republican Rep. Scott Tipton and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado discussed in detail.

Relocating the Bureau of Land Management is a high priority for Gardner, “If your in Washington D.C. you’re a thousand miles removed from 99% of the acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management,”

Gardner says he has had great conversations with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to move this forward…

Along with public lands Tipton says protecting the state’s forest will save Colorado from having fires and says the House of Representatives recently passed the Resilient Federal Forest Act.

“To be able to go in and to treat those forests, to be able to bring them back to life, to be able to cut down that dead timber. Let’s look at the positives of what can happen when we are actively managing these forests in responsible way,” Tipton said.

Both lawmakers also find themselves on the same page about water rights.

“In Colorado water is a private property right,” Tipton said.

“The federal government should not be able to dictate to Colorado what a Colorado water law or permit is allowed to be,” Gardner said.

Both Gardner and Tipton feel legislation on Colorado water rights will soon pass.

“We’re able to pass that through the house of representatives and out of the committee with by partisan support. That is now over in the senate waiting for action. I’m pleased to be able to report to you that the committee that Cory sits on just dealt the first hearing on that legislation,” Tipton said.

Tipton says he is optimistic that Congress will pass a law to protect Colorado’s water rights and that it will soon be on the president’s desk for his signature.

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