2022 #Colorado Legislative review: Jerry Sonnenberg — The #Greeley Tribune #COleg

Colorado Water Congress 2020 Legislative Forum. PHOTO: Chane Polo (CWC); Dianna Orf (Orf & Orf), Sen. Kerry Donovan, Rep. Dylan Roberts, Rep. Donald Valdez, Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, Rep. Marc Catlin

Click the link to read the article from the NoCo Optimist on the Greeley Tribune website (Kelly Ragan):

With the 2022 Colorado legislative session done for the season and an election on the horizon, it’s important to take stock of what our representatives accomplished this year. The NoCo Optimist has looked at the bills each of the Weld County representatives were named prime sponsors of to illustrate what they got passed and what they didn’t. The other prime sponsors are also listed to give a sense of how bipartisan Weld’s representatives were this year. The focus here is on Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican representing Weld, Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma counties…

Modification to Conservation District Grant Fund, SB22-195.

This bill continues the Conservation District Grant Fund in the Department of Agriculture indefinitely. This means the fund will now get $148,000 added to it yearly. It was set to expire Dec. 31 of this year.The fund is required to distribute $2,000 to each of the 74 conservation districts each year.

The conservation districts themselves were formed in 1937, during the Dust Bowl era, according to the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts. The goal of those districts, according to the association, is to “provide leadership for the conservation of natural resources to their stakeholders and their communities to ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the State through a responsible conservation ethic.” Signed: June 8, 2022. Other sponsors: Kerry Donovan, Democrat; Marc Catlin, Republican; Donald Valdez, Democrat.

Equip Wind Turbine Aircraft Detection Lighting System, SB22-110

This bill requires owners and operators of new wind turbines to install light mitigation technology that uses a sensor to detect approaching aircraft. The tech turns the lights on when aircraft approaches and leaves the blinking red lights off when there are no planes around.

The International Dark-Sky Association called the bill a “big win for dark skies.”

Signed: June 8, 2022. Other sponsors: Chris Kolker, Democrat; Rod Pelton, Republican.

Supermoon over the San Luis Valley August 11, 2022. Photo credit: Chris Lopez/Alamosa Citizen

Expand Water Resources Review Committee to include Agriculture, SB22-030

This bill essentially changes the name and widens the scope of the Water Resources Review Committee to include agricultural issues. Signed: March 30, 2022. Other sponsors: Kerry Donovan, Democrat; Barbara McLachlan, Democrat; Marc Catlin, Republican.

Groundwater Compact Compliance Fund, SB22-028

This bill creates a fund to help finance efforts to reduce groundwater pumping in the Rio Grande river basin and help the Republican river basin meet its compact requirements.

While the bill creates a mechanism to administer funding, according to the Alamosa Citizen, actual money would need to come from a legislative appropriation process.

The bill passed as legislators voiced concern about a plan to divert 22,000 acre-feet of water from the Rio Grande Basin and a court decree to bring the Rio Grande to a sustainable level, according to the Citizen.

Signed: May 23, 2022. Other sponsors: Cleave Simpson, Republican; Dylan Roberts, Democrat; Marc Catlin, Republican.

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