Governor Polis signs long bill (budget)

Colorado Capitol building

Here’s the From Governor Polis’ office:

Governor Jared Polis today signed SB 19-207, FY 2019-20 Long Bill, into law. He was joined by sponsors and Joint Budget Committee members Senator Dominick Moreno and Representative Daneya Esgar. The budget funds top priority items including free full-day kindergarten, saving people money on health care, and investments for water and transportation.

SB19-207 establishes an operating budget of $31.9 billion total funds of which $11.8 billion is General Fund.

“This budget lays a strong foundation for a bold vision for our state, creating opportunity for all,” Governor Polis said. “A product of collaboration and teamwork with Colorado’s leaders in the General Assembly, this budget ensures that our state’s economic success can be realized by every child, adult, and business in our communities. My top priority in this first year as Colorado’s 43rd Governor was to provide access to free, full-day kindergarten to every Colorado family. I am proud to say that this budget makes that vision a rapid reality, with funding now available for the school year that starts this fall.”

To read the FY 2019-20 Budget letter transmittal click here.

From the Associated Press via The Denver Post:

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has signed into law a $30.5 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Colorado Politics reports Polis signed the document on Thursday, his 100th day in office.

The budget includes $175 million to offer free full-day kindergarten throughout the state, a top Polis priority.

Tuition at Colorado’s public colleges and universities won’t rise in the 2019-2020 school year. Transportation needs get an extra $300 million. And state employees will receive a 3% pay hike.

2019 #COleg: HB19-1261 (Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution) passed in the Colorado General Assembly

Click here to read the bill.

2019 #COleg: The $30.5 billion state budget bill is done, and transportation gets a boost — The #Colorado Sun

Research education for students

From The Colorado Sun (John Frank):

Colorado lawmakers gave final approval Friday to a $30.5 billion state budgetpackage that includes $300 million for road projects, $175 million for full-day kindergarten and a 3% pay hike for all state employees.

The agreement on the spending plan that starts July 1 came after the budget writers found an extra $70 million for transportation as part of a deal with Republican lawmakers who threatened to obstruct the debate.

The additional dollars will come from a variety of sources, including $40 million out of two reserve accounts. The state’s push for full-day kindergarten took a $10 million cut because fewer students are expected to participate. And the remaining $20 million came from unspent dollars and minor accounting tweaks.

The original budget package allocated $230 million for roads. The new $300 million total — which will require additional legislation this session — would get split between the state and local governments for highway construction, mass transit projects and road maintenance. The total need for transportation in Colorado is estimated near $9 billion.

State Rep. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat and budget writer, said the budget package boosts spending in key areas, such as education and road building. “We are making historic investments across the areas we care about,” he told lawmakers…

The House approved the final budget bill by a 41-22 vote with only one Republican in support, state Rep. Lois Landgraf of Fountain. The Senate later voted 25-7 on the bill with a handful of Republican lawmakers in favor.

The budget bill now goes to Gov. Jared Polis for consideration. The governor has line-item veto authority to strike items in the budget bill.

2019 #COleg: Governor Polis signs HB19-1113 (Protect Water Quality Adverse Mining Impacts)

On April 7, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the “Bonita Peak Mining District” to the National Priorities List, making it eligible for Superfund. Forty-eight mine portals and tailings piles are “under consideration” to be included. The Gold King Mine will almost certainly be on the final list, as will the nearby American Tunnel. The Mayflower Mill #4 tailings repository, just outside Silverton, is another likely candidate, given that it appears to be leaching large quantities of metals into the Animas River. What Superfund will entail for the area beyond that, and when the actual cleanup will begin, remains unclear.
Eric Baker

From Governor Polis’ office via The Colorado Springs Business Journal:

Governor Jared Polis this week signed a bill to help prevent water pollution from future hardrock mining operations in Colorado.

Rep. Dylan Roberts, whose district was impacted by the 2015 Gold King Mine spill near Silverton, co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Barbara McLachlan.

“This is good for our environment, and keeps a thriving mining industry moving forward,” McLachlan said in an Apr. 5 news release issued by Colorado House Democrats. “We can’t go back in time but we can ensure we have a brighter, safer future and one that protects our precious water.”

HB19-1113 will ensure that when new mining permits are issued, sufficient and secure bonds are in place to ensure cleanup and better protect public health and the environment. The new law will end self-bonding for hardrock mines in Colorado and will explicitly include water quality protection in the calculation for the amount of bonding required. It will also require mining license applicants to set an end date for the cleanup of their operation, so that they can no longer just to do water treatment into perpetuity.

“Mining is a part of our history and always has been. For a long time, it has shaped our economy, our water rights system, and our communities,” Robert said in the release. “However, water is our state’s most precious resource and must be protected. This new law will modernize our hard-rock mining laws to protect clean water and ensure that taxpayers are never left on the hook for a private company’s spills.”

Mining operations have polluted more than 1,600 miles of Colorado rivers and streams, according to the release, and Colorado is one of just seven that allow “self-bonding,” which allows mines to operate with insufficient recoverable assets, leaving taxpayers vulnerable to potential cleanup costs.

Numerous small business owners, rafting outfitters, farmers, local elected officials and others from across western and southern Colorado testified at a House hearing in support of the bill. It passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

2019 #COleg: Governor Polis signs HB19-1200 (Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater Point Of Compliance)

Graywater system schematic.

Click here to go to the Colorado Legislature website to read the bill:

Concerning the point of compliance related to the treatment process involved in treating reclaimed domestic wastewater for indoor nonpotable uses within a building where the general public can access plumbing fixtures that are used to deliver the reclaimed domestic wastewater.

SESSION: 2019 Regular Session
SUBJECTS: Natural Resources & Environment Water

BILL SUMMARY
In 2018, the general assembly authorized the use of reclaimed domestic wastewater for irrigation of food crops and industrial hemp and for toilet flushing if, at the point of compliance in the water treatment process, the reclaimed domestic wastewater met certain water quality standards.

The bill authorizes the water quality control commission (commission) to adopt rules requiring a point of compliance for disinfection residual related to the treatment process for reclaimed domestic wastewater used for toilet flushing within a building where the general public can access the plumbing fixtures used to deliver the reclaimed domestic wastewater. If the commission adopts the rules, the rules must establish a point of compliance for disinfection residual at a single location between where reclaimed domestic wastewater is delivered to the occupied premises and before the water is distributed for use in the occupied premises.

2019 #COleg: Governor Polis signs HB19-1113 (Protect Water Quality Adverse Mining Impacts)

Click here to read the bill.

2019 #COleg: Budget bill (SB19-207: FY 2019-20 Long Bill) amendment allocates $106 million to roads

Colorado River Road. Once you get on it, it’s hard to get off. Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Charles Ashby):

Senators from both sides of the aisle agreed to an amendment to the state’s $30.5 billion annual state spending plan that would divert more money to roads and bridges. Such amendments to the budget bill, particularly one this large, are rare.

That happened during debate over, SB19-207, the state’s annual budget. Initially, the bill called for spending only $30 million in general fund money on transportation, funding that was on top of $200 million already allocated to transportation projects.

But in a deal between Republicans and Democrats reached earlier in the day, transportation projects now may see additional money.

“What this amendment will do is make a slightly less increase (to all departments) and find a way to take this $106 million and put it into transportation,” said House Minority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker. “I’m grateful to those who have been involved in the conversation.”

[…]

The bill still requires a final Senate vote, which is to come today.

It then will head to the House for more debate. Whether that money will stay in the final version of the bill remains to be seen.

From the Associated Press via The Aurora Sentinel:

Colorado’s Senate has approved a draft $30.5 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The Senate voted 29-6 on Thursday to send the legislation to the House Appropriations Committee.

At Republicans’ insistence, senators agreed on Wednesday to divert $106 million to transportation needs from other programs. That brings to $336 million the proposed budget’s total transportation funding.

Colorado’s backlog for new transportation projects and repairs is an estimated $9 billion.

The budget document includes funding for full-day kindergarten for school districts and families that want it. Colorado now guarantees half-day funding.