COGA Capitol Review

COGA’s Legislative, Legal & Regulatory Committee has taken a position on the following bills.  For more information on COGA’s positions, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required, COGA Director of Communications & Public Affairs.


HB17-1116
Position: Support

Short Title: Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance
Sponsors: T. Exum | M. Hamner / B. Martinez Humenik

Current law provides that the department of human services low-income energy assistance fund, the energy outreach Colorado low-income energy assistance fund, and the Colorado energy office low-income energy assistance fund receive conditional funding from the severance tax operational fund through the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018. The bill removes the automatic repeal which means that these funds will be eligible for this conditional funding indefinitely.

Status: Active


HB17-1124
Position: Support

Short Title: Local Government Liable Fracking Ban Oil And Gas Moratorium
Sponsors: P. Buck / T. Neville

The bill specifies that a local government that bans hydraulic fracturing of an oil and gas well is liable to the mineral interest owner for the value of the mineral interest and that a local government that enacts a moratorium on oil and gas activities shall compensate oil and gas operators, mineral lessees, and royalty owners for all costs, damages, and losses of fair market value associated with the moratorium.

Status: 2/22/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs – Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1152
Position: Support

Short Title: Federal Mineral Lease District Investment Authority
Sponsors: Y. Willett | D. Mitsch Bush / R. Scott

The bill gives a federal mineral lease district (district) the option, but not the obligation, to invest a portion of the funding it receives from the local government mineral impact fund in a fund. Current law requires the district to distribute the funding to impacted areas in the district, but also allows the district to reserve all or a portion of the funding for use in subsequent years.

The bill specifies that the district may appropriate and disburse any part of the invested funding and all sums in excess thereof, including interest, dividends, or similar appreciated values, but specifies that the district shall do so only upon the enactment of a resolution identifying the reason for the appropriation and disbursement.

The bill specifies that the district may invest the funding subject to the district’s investment policy and in any investment in which the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement association may invest the funds of the association, which are the same investments in which the state treasurer is authorized to invest the local government permanent fund, which is comprised of 50% of the federal mineral lease bonus payments.

The bill allows the board of directors to engage the services of investment advisors, but specifies that the selection of investment advisors must be made following an open and competitive process.

The bill also requires the district to adopt an investment policy resolution that must be reviewed annually and must include:

  • An acknowledgment of the board of director’s fiduciary responsibility with respect to oversight of the district’s investment policy;
  • Performance benchmarks for all investments and for all investment advisors who may be hired by the board of directors;
  • A requirement for the preparation and publication of annual financial statements that must include, at a minimum, information regarding starting balances, contributions, investment income, and losses, if any, and any investment fees incurred;
  • Careful consideration of investment fees or other brokerage costs which might reduce investment returns; and
  • A requirement that the board of directors annually review the investments and annually set appropriations to be included in the trust fund.
    (Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 04/04/2017  Governor Signed into Law


HB17-1232
Position: Support

Short Title: Public Utilities Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles
Sponsors: J. Danielson / K. Priola

In an existing provision that authorizes resellers of electricity and natural gas to provide motor vehicle charging or fueling stations as unregulated services, the bill authorizes public utilities to provide these services as regulated or unregulated services and allows cost recovery.

The bill allows a utility to apply to build facilities to support alternative fuel vehicles. Standards are set for approval. When a facility is built, the rate and charges for the services:

  • May allow a return on any investment made by an electric public utility at the electric public utility’s most recent rate of return on equity approved by the commission;
  • May allow a return on any investment made by a natural gas public utility at the utility’s weighted average cost of capital at the public utility’s most recent rate of return on equity approved by the commission; and
  • Must be recovered from all customers of an electric or natural gas public utility in a manner that is similar to the recovery of distribution system investments.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: Active


HB17-1256
Position: Oppose

Short Title: Oil And Gas Facilities Distance From School Property
Sponsors: M. Foote

As part of the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission’s (commission) authority to regulate oil and gas operations to prevent and mitigate significant adverse environmental impacts to protect public health, safety, and welfare, the commission requires oil and gas production facilities and wells to be located at least 1,000 feet from s chool buildings and other high occupancy buildings. The bill clarifies that the minimum 1,000-foot distance from which newly permitted oil and gas production facilities and wells must be located from any school applies to the school property line and not the school building. The bill further clarifies that it does not apply if a school commences operations near oil and gas facilities or wells that are already actively in use or permitted.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 04/12/2017 Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1285
Position: Support

Short Title: Refinance Water Pollution Control Program
Sponsors: D. Mitsch Bush | P. Lawrence / C. Jahn | J. Cooke

Current law finances the state’s water quality program with a mix of general fund money and fees that are paid by sources that discharge pollutants into the state’s waters. Section 2 of the bill raises the fees and establishes goals for future adjustments of the ratio of revenue from fees and the general fund as follows:

  • Commerce and industry sector: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds;
  • Construction sector: 20% general fund and 80% cash funds;
  • Municipal separate storm sewer: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds;
  • Pesticides sector: 94% general fund and 6% cash funds;
  • Public and private utilities sector: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds; and
  • Water quality certifications sector: 5% general fund and 95% cash funds.

Section 4 appropriates $433,042 from the general fund to the department of public health and environment for use by the water quality control division, and section 5 appropriates $774,965 to the department for use by the division from the 6 water quality sector funds.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: Active 


SB17-035
Position: Support

Short Title: Tampering With Oil And Gas Equipment
Sponsors: J. Sonnenberg / J. Becker

There is a current crime of knowingly destroying, breaking, removing, or otherwise tampering with equipment associated with oil or gas gathering operations. The bill increases the penalty from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony.

Status: 04/12/2017 House State, Veteran, and Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely


 

SB17-152
Position: Support

Short Title: Implement Changes Made By Amendment 71
Sponsors: L. Court / C. Kennedy | S. Lontine

The bill implements changes to the Colorado constitution approved by voters at the 2016 general election that make it more difficult to amend the state constitution by:

  • Prohibiting a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment to be submitted to voters for approval or rejection unless the petition is signed by the constitutionally specified number of registered electors who reside in each state senate district and total number of registered electors; and
  • Requiring at least 55% of the votes cast on any state constitutional amendment to adopt the amendment; except that only a simple majority of the votes cast is necessary to adopt a state constitutional amendment that only repeals in whole or in part a provision of the state constitution.

When a draft of a ballot issue that proposes a state constitutional amendment is filed with the title board, the title board must decide if the proposed constitutional amendment only repeals in whole or in part a provision of the state constitution for purposes of determining the required percentage of votes cast to adopt the amendment. The designated representatives of the proponents or any registered elector who is not satisfied with the title board’s decision may appeal the decision by filing a motion for rehearing to the title board. Decisions of the title board at the rehearing on this issue may be directly appealed to the Colorado supreme court in the same manner as ballot title and fiscal impact abstract appeals.

The bill requires the secretary of state to notify proponents of a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment of the number and boundaries of the state senate districts in existence and the number of registered electors in each state senate district at the time the petition format is approved. The secretary of state must validate signatures on a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment by random sampling. If the random sample establishes that the number of valid signatures is 90% or less of the total number of registered electors needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary of state is required to deem the petition to be not sufficient. If the random sample establishes that the number of valid signatures is more than 90% of the total number of registered electors needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary of state is required to order the examination of each signature filed.

After the examination of a petition for an initiated constitutional amendment, the secretary of state is required to issue a statement as to whether a sufficient number of valid signatures from each state senate district and a sufficient total number of valid signatures appear to have been submitted to certify the petition to the ballot. If the secretary of state declares that the petition appears not to have either a sufficient number of valid signatures from each state senate district, a sufficient total number of valid signatures, or both, the secretary of state’s statement shall specify the number of sufficient and insufficient signatures from each state senate district, the total number of sufficient or insufficient signatures, or both, as applicable. The bill allows the proponents of the petition to cure an insufficiency of signatures in one or more state senate districts, the total valid signatures, or both, as applicable.

$4,120 is appropriated from the department of state cash fund for use by the department of state for personal services.

Status: Active


SB17-156
Position: Support

Short Title: Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines
Sponsors: O. Hill / L. Saine | C. Wist

The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. These provisions are in section 3 of the bill. Section 3 also specifies that the mediation or arbitration must take place in the judicial district in which the community is located and that the arbitrator must:

  • Be a neutral third party;
  • Make certain disclosures before being selected; and
  • Be selected as specified in the common interest community’s governing documents or, if not so specified, in accordance with applicable state or federal laws governing mediation or arbitration.

Section 1 of the bill specifies that, in the arbitration of a construction defect action, the arbitrator is required to follow the substantive law of Colorado with regard to any applicable claim or defense and any remedy granted, and a failure to do so is grounds for a district court to vacate or refuse to confirm the arbitrator’s award.
Section 4 of the bill requires that, before a construction defect claim is filed on behalf of the association:

  • The parties must submit the matter to mediation before a neutral third party; and
  • The board must give advance notice to all unit owners, together with a disclosure of the projected costs, duration, and financial impact of the construction defect claim, and must obtain the written consent of the owners of units to which at least a majority of the votes in the association are allocated.

Section 5 of the bill adds to the disclosures required prior to the purchase and sale of property in a common interest community a notice that the community’s governing documents may require binding arbitration of certain disputes.

Status: Active


SB17-188
Position: Oppose

Short Title: Repeal Income Tax Credit Innovative Motor Vehicles
Sponsors: V. Marble

The bill repeals the income tax credits for innovative motor vehicles and innovative trucks for purchase and leases entered into on or after January 1, 2018.

For the 2017-18 state fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter through the 2020-21 state fiscal year, the bill requires the state controller to credit an amount of tax revenue estimated to be retained by the repeal of the income tax credits to the highway users tax fund.

The bill requires the secretary of state to submit a ballot question, to be treated as a proposition, at the statewide election to be held in November 2017 asking the voters:

  • To increase state tax revenue by a specified amount in each fiscal year through the 2020-21 state fiscal year by the repeal of the income tax credit for innovative motor vehicles and the income tax credit for innovative trucks;
  • To credit the resulting estimated tax revenue to the highway users tax fund; and
  • To allow an estimate of the resulting tax revenue to be collected and spent notwithstanding any limitations in section 20 of article X of the state constitution (TABOR).
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: Active