This year’s legislative session has come to an end…again! Although the last day of the 2012 session was May 9th, with the extra three days of the “special session” the legislatureofficially adjourned this past Wednesday, May 16th. We all welcomed the end of session and the Senate Democrats were proud to look back on our legislative accomplishments focused on Colorado’s economic recovery through a host of jobs bills in our ‘Colorado Works’ initiative.
Along with rural economic development, much of my legislation focused on resource management and environmental stewardship. Many of my jobs bills, such as the “Local Foods, Local Jobs Act,” the “Electronic Recycling Jobs Act,” and the “Forest Health Jobs Resolution” were passed with strong bipartisan support. During the special session, we finally passed my Water Projects Bill, which allocates $61 million in reservoir projects and watershed protection, among other initiatives. Senate District 5 is receiving important funding for local projects – $30M in funding will go toward the rehabilitation of the Rio Grande and Beaver Park Reservoirs. I teamed up with Rep. Pace to pass theAgriculture Land Tax Credit bill, which will help preserve our rural ag. communities and, as the senate sponsor of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission bill, I worked to protect stakeholder interests and a create a balanced commission for stewardship of our state’s outdoor recreation and natural resources.
During the upcoming summer and fall interim, I will remain busy with interim committees, conferences, community events and town halls throughout Senate District 5. As always, please advise me of local events that I can add to my district tour this summer! Since my district is changing due to last year’s redistricting process, I’ll be touring the eleven counties of my current district along with Eagle County and Lake County, which both join SD5 in 2013. While it will be bittersweet to lose the San Luis Valley counties under the new SD5 map, I have many visits planned for this summer and plan to keep in touch long after the district changes are finalized!
Senate District 5
Environment & Energy Updates
The most recent map of Colorado Snowpack show’s the state at a mere 9% of yearly average. As we prepare for summer during severe drought conditions, it’s imperative that we stay vigilant about fire risk and prevention and protect our water resources. For updates on Colorado drought conditions, visit the drought monitor website:
BLM Defers Lease Parcels
The recent BLM decision to defer the sales of 30,000 acres of oil and gas leases in the North Fork Valley in Delta and Gunnison Counties is a testament to the value of the public process for resource management. I commend the substantive community involvement and communication surrounding the BLM proposed leases – the concerns articulated in letters, emails, calls, and op-eds were thoughtfully constructed. Since extending time for public comment in December and my role in the public hearing in Hotchkiss in January, it has been an honor to stay involved with stakeholders to ensure all opinions were taken seriously. I am grateful to the BLM for acknowledging public input and their work as responsible stewards of our state resources – the deferral of the sales was an appropriate outcome for this issue.
Governor Signs Bills in SD5
Governor Hickenlooper made a series of stops in SD5 for bill signing ceremonies, including HB-1080 “Adams State ‘University’” bill that I sponsored with Rep. Ed Vigil. Also on the signing tour was Poncha Springs for HB-1345, South Fork for SBs-2, my “Water Projects Bill,” which I co-sponsored with Sen. White. Everyone who turned out for these events was grateful to the Governor for his visit and attention to the importance of these issues.
My Interim Committees
Capital Development Committee, member
We’ll be touring the state assessing front range state facilities.
Transportation Legislation Review Committee, member
Legislative Legal Services Committee, member