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2012 Legislation

Senate Bills

SB12-048 Local Foods, Local Jobs Act (with Rep. Coram)
This bill creates the “Colorado Cottage Foods Act”, which eliminates several restrictions on home kitchens wishing to sell their goods directly to consumers. Primarily, it exempts home kitchens from inspection regulations and applies to producers of non-potentially hazardous foods, such as baked goods, jams and jellies, and dehydrated products. It also allows small egg producers to sell at local farmers markets. The act also specifies that annual net revenues from each eligible, non-potentially hazardous food product cannot exceed $5,000.

SB12-133 Electronic Waste Recycling Jobs Act (with Rep. Coram)
The Electronic Waste Recycling Jobs act prohibits the disposal of certain electronic devices into landfills, and requires Colorado to dispose of electronic waste through certified recycling vendors. Banned devices include computers, monitors, televisions, DVD players, and other things. The Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission, as a part of CDPHE, is responsible for promulgating rules for certification of recyclers, and other rules for implementation. This bill provides a great opportunity to reduce mining for minerals, as many precious minerals can be recycled from old electronic devices.

SB12-013 Low Speed Electric Vehicles (with Rep. Jones)
Before this bill, low speed electric vehicles, LSEVs, were allows to drive on roads designated with a 35 mph speed limit or less. This bill increases the bar to 40 mph, allowing LSEVs greater access to transportation in Colorado under certain circumstances which meet the criteria outlined in the bill, or with accommodations made by CDOT specific to a community.

SB12-150 State Treas. to Manage State Financing (with Rep. Sonnenberg)
This bill centralizes the management of several state public finance transactions that go through the State Treasurer’s Office. The State Treasurer is required to act as manager for most state agencies which are involved with any issuances of bonds, notes, or warranties of at least $1 million. The State Treasurer’s specific responsibilities include determining financing structures and terms, deciding market timing, selecting financing teams that will be in charge of issuing any financial obligations, and, among other responsibilities, maintaining an inventory of all state-owned real property used as leased or collateral property. The State Treasurer’s office is paid 2% of a financial transaction in order to compensate for the costs of performing its duties of oversight; this money goes into a fund called the State Public Financing Cash Fund. Certain entities, including higher education institutions, are not required to go through the State Treasurer’s Office to enter into financial obligations.

SB12s-002 Water Projects Bill (with Sen. White, Rep. Sonnenberg, Rep. Baumgardner)
Every year the General Assembly authorizes grants and loans for water projects. This Water Projects Bill allocates funding for the construction of water projects across the state, as well as for the maintenance of the state’s water infrastructure. The Water Projects Bill allocates $55 million to reservoir projects and more than $6 million to watershed protection, flood, and drought control programs, among other necessary water projects. These projects will ensure clean drinking water, assist communities faced with flood, gather new water consumption and water rights data, and rehabilitate reservoirs and recreation areas.

House Bills

HB12-1317 Parks & Wildlife Board Composition (with Rep. Sonnenberg)
In 2011, both the Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation were combined to form the Division of Parks and Wildlife, overseen by a 16-member Parks and Wildlife Board. HB12-1317 creates a Parks and Wildlife Commission that replaces this board; the commission is comprised of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor, and also the Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, both nonvoting members. The bill requires the commission to represent a diversity of geographical regions in the state, as well as certain areas of interest or knowledge. The Commission is to submit a 5-year strategic plan, as well as annual reports, by December 31, 2013 to the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

HB12-1042 Ag. Land Tax Credit (with Rep. Pace)
HB12-1042 creates an income tax credit for any resident of Colorado who inherits agricultural land; the tax credit is equal to the portion of Colorado estate taxes attributable to the transfer of land. The current assessed value of the agricultural land is used to determine the credit amount. There are three requirements for the tax credit. First, it is distributed among all who inherit the land. Second, if the tax credit exceeds the total income taxes owed, excess can be refunded to the taxpayer. Third, if any agricultural land changes property class within ten years of any taxpayer receiving a tax credit for this land, the taxpayer is required to file to repay the credit, with interest, to the state.

HB12-1022 Mines Water Replacement Req. (with Rep. Sonnenberg)
Before HB12-1022, mine operators were not only required to replace any water lost to the amount that historically reached the stream, but also had to account for amounts of historic natural depletion to stream water due to natural evaporation or transpiration from plants, a combined process known as evapotranspiration. The bill still requires mine operators to replace water to historical levels within the mined area, but gives operators a credit for precipitation that soil lost naturally due to evapotranspiration. Sand and gravel mines are not offered this credit in water replacement requirements.

HB12-1063 Military Veterans’ Cemetery Expansion at Homelake (with Rep. Ramirez)
This bill extends the cemetery at the Colorado State Veterans Center in Homelake, Colorado, located in Rio Grande County, to include an adjacent part of the campus; the cemetery has been renamed the Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery. The Colorado Department of Human Services is responsible for maintenance and is authorizes to contract out for any necessary work. Reservations for burial plots are open to all veterans and family members. The Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery Fund is created, which can accept gifts, grants and donations as revenue for cemetery operations and capital improvements.

HB12-1078 Exempt Drinking Water Cert. Designation (with Rep. Vigil)
Before this bill was passed, drinking water treatment facilities in Colorado which impound or dispose of their own waste on-side had to apply for a certificate of designation from the county or local land use authority. Recommended by the Water Resources Review Committee during the 2011 interim, this bill eliminates this requirement for a certificate of designation for on-site waste disposal at a drinking water treatment facility.

HB12-1080 Adams State College Name Change (with Rep. Vigil)
This bill changes the name of Adams State College to Adams State University, and updates the role and mission of the school so as to add a limited number of graduate-level programs to their current curriculum that includes two-year transfer programs, undergraduate degrees, and a limited number of master’s level programs.

HB12-1083 Continue Enviro. Ag. Program Fees (with Rep. Sonnenberg)
Currently, the Environmental Agriculture program, administered by CDPHE, is responsible for permitting, inspection and oversight of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and housed commercial swine feeding operations (HCSFOs). The program is supported by the Animal Feeding Operations fund, established in 2009; 2009 legislation also increased water quality fees applicable to CAFOs and HCSFOs. These fees were scheduled to expire on July 1, 2012; HB12-1083 extends the current fee structure of water quality permits in order for the Environmental Agriculture program to continue at its current funding level.

HB12-1114 Stalking Mandatory Arrest Prtctn. Order (with Rep. Hamner)
This bill modifies the manner of response from law enforcement agencies and courts to charges of stalking in the state of Colorado. There are three parts to this bill: First, the bill requires courts to issue a protection order with the defendant’s knowledge stated on record when bail is fixed. Second, it requires that sentences for stalking that are incurred in connection with a violation of a court order (or a protection order) must be served consecutively. Third, the bill allows a defendant or prosecuting attorney to negotiate terms of a protection order issued for stalking.

HB12-1178 Tax Refund for Lost Gas or Special Fuel (with Rep. Vigil)
Currently, any distributor or transporter of gasoline or special fuel can claim a refund or credit for tax paid on gas or special fuel that is lost or destroyed by fire, lightning, flood, windstorm, explosion, accident, or other disasters. Refund is possible as long as the distributer/transporter files a claim within 7 days; HB12-1178 increases this time period to 30 days from the date of loss or destruction.

HB12-1318 Controlled Maintenance Funding (with Rep. Brown)
This bill codifies into law several accepted practices at the Office of the State Architect, OSA, (within the Department of Personnel and Administration) regarding determining eligibility for state controlled maintenance funding and expenditures for emergency controlled maintenance. Recommended by the Capital Development Committee, this bill requires the OSA to develop guidelines for determining the timing of eligibility for state controlled maintenance funding, and that these guidelines be annually reviewed by the CDC. Another process, through which a state department or public higher education institution can request state controlled maintenance funding, is also codified in this bill. The bill also establishes the Emergency Controlled Maintenance Account within the Capital Construction Fund, to be used by the OSA for emergency controlled maintenance, provided that the OSA submit an annual status report to the CDC showing expenditures from this account.

HB12-1331 Western State College Name Change (with Rep. Brown)
This bill changes the name of Western State College of Colorado to Western State Colorado University.

HB12-1349 Species Conservation Trust Fund (with Rep. Baumgardner)
The Department of Natural Resources submits programs intended to conserve native species that are either listed as threatened or endangered under state or federal law, are considered candidate species, or are likely to become candidate species as designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These programs are funded by the Species Conservation Trust Fund. HB12-1349 transfers money from the Operation and Maintenance Account to the Capital Account of the Species Conservation Trust Fund, and also combines the two accounts in order to allow for appropriate funding of programs.

Resolutions

SR12-003 Colorado Forest Energy Jobs
The Colorado Forest Energy Jobs Resolution encourages active management of Colorado’s forests to address the current risk of wildfire in our forest ecosystems, in order to create both healthy forest ecosystems and an improved Colorado forest products industry. The resolution encourages increased collaboration between the Colorado State and U.S. Forest Services, as well as will the Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade to address areas at high risk of wildfire damage, and to apply as many financial incentives to these areas as possible, for the removal of fuels and the creation of a forest energy industry.