DENVER – Between the two chambers of the Colorado Legislature on Monday, 39 bills were scheduled for third reading and final vote, 23 for second reading and 19 for committee hearings.
Floor workHouse Bill 1186, which would require insurers to cover one-year supplies of contraceptive medicines, was passed 22-11 by the Senate and will head back to the House for a final look before being sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper to be signed into law.An amendment to HB 1203, which would allow for local governments to institute a special sales tax on recreational marijuana with voter approval, was approved by the House and is now headed to the governor for signing into law.Senate Bill 288, which would decouple the pay rate of state legislators from that of county judges, was passed by the Senate 26-7 and heads to the House for consideration. SB 288 was drafted in the wake of public blowback because of a raise in the wages of county judges and by extension legislators in the state’s budget, while hospitals are seeing a $264 million cut, transportation is being trimmed $110 million and the K-12 negative factor is growing by $48 million.Committee workSB 117, which would ensure the right of owners of water rights to cultivate industrial hemp, was passed unanimously by the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.This bill has been pitched as a way to ensure water-rights owners have access to their resource by recognizing industrial hemp as a agriculture product
HB 1289, which would expand a pilot program that streamlines the process for short-term leasing of water rights, was also heard by the House Agriculture Committee and passed on a 7-6 party-line vote, which saw Republicans vote against the measure.This bill allows for a simplified analysis of the Historical Consumptive Use of a water right, which saves owners tens of thousands of dollars at the expense of generally undervaluing the rights.
For a long-term transaction this can be detrimental to owners, but for short-term fallow leasing, it is generally preferred because of the amount saved on the front end, said Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and sponsor of HB 1289.
Having cleared committee, both bills will head to the House as a whole for consideration in the coming days.