I’ve been busy preparing for another work trip out of town. But things don’t stop happening. The next couple posts will be a collection of things that caught my eye.
CO Legislature & Bills Update
Plenty of things happening under the dome. On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee approved HB08-1269, which would help reduce the threat of devastating wildfires in Colorado’s forests by providing incentives for products that use timber killed by the bark beetle infestation. The bill was sponsored by Senator Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne). I’ve detailed efforts to battle the mountain pine beetle in previous posts. Two solutions include treating the trees with insecticide and chopping up afflicted trees. It’s more expensive to cut down and chop up the trees. It might prove more hazardous to the long-term health of the ecosystem to use insecticide.
On Wednesday Governor Ritter signed HB08-1160 (more details here), which will expand homegrown energy opportunities for agricultural producers and rural communities statewide.
The science building at Auraria in Denver had funding renewed this week. Revenue from federal mining leases will be used to purchase Certificates of Participation in order to accelerate capital construction projects. The state is facing a backlog of projects as it continues to suffer under the effects of TABOR and other budgetary limitations, brought about by anti-investment zealots.
The CO House passed the 2008-2009 budget bill. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, 55,000 more children will have health care and $63 million will be made available to Coloradans looking to go to college. Republicans thought those items, and more, weren’t a good idea and voted against the bill. By the way, the budget remains balanced under Democratic leadership.