BILLS MOVING ALONG
It's the first full week in April, and it's also "Budget Week" in the Senate. We anticipate spending most of this week attempting to adopt a state budget bill for FY 2011-12, which will be challenging, to say the least.
Meanwhile, seven bills that I'm the prime Senate sponsor of have passed through at least one committee in 2011. Short descriptions of the bills follow, but for more information, bill texts and summaries are available on the General Assembly Web site, www.leg.state.co.us.
HOUSE BILL 1209: Small Business Navigator. This bill would authorize the creation of a "Small Business Navigator" system for Colorado small businesses. The "Navigator" would be available to assist small businesses by providing a one-stop location for access to pertinent information. This could include information about referrals to small business development centers, state laws and contracting, and agencies that can provide business loans. HB-1209 has passed the Senate and the House, but is currently back in the House for deliberation on Senate amendments.
HB-1169: Campus Security Information Sharing. This bill would allow campus police to share information regarding incidents that pose risks to campus communities, with certain campus administrators or people who may be at risk. Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, is the House sponsor. HB-1169 has passed the Senate and House, but is currently back in the House for deliberation on Senate amendments.
Speaking about SB-047, the Bioscience and Clean Technology Reinvestment Act, before the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association on March 31
HB-1130: Commodity Metal Theft. This bill is designed to make it tougher for people to steal commodity metals and sell the stolen goods. In part, it would eliminate the ability of a seller to use a non-picture ID during a transaction, require purchasers to sign up for the "Scrap Theft Alert System," and create a state task force to address the problem of commodity metal theft. Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Brighton, is the House sponsor, and the bill has passed the Senate and House.
SB-037: World War II Plates. This bill would authorize the creation of special license plates for World War II veterans. Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Lakewood, is the House sponsor. As of April 4, the bill had passed a third reading in the Senate, and is currently on the House floor.
SB-047: Bioscience and Clean Technology Reinvestment Act. This bill would direct a percentage of tax revenue from growth in the bioscience and clean technology industries back into economic development programs for bioscience and clean technology. Reps. Jim Riesberg, D-Greeley, and Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, are the House sponsors. SB-047 passed the Senate Business, Labor and Technology committee by a 5-1 vote, and has been assigned to the Senate Appropriations committee.
SB-052: Expectations for Institutions of Higher Education. This bill would alter part of Colorado's formula for funding public institutions of higher education. In short, it would call for 25 percent of state funding to be based on how well colleges and universities fulfill objectives set in individualized performance contracts, beginning in FY 2016-17. Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, is the House sponsor. SB-052 passed the Senate Education committee by a 6-1 vote, and is currently scheduled for second reading on the Senate floor.
SB-189: Election Timeline. This bill would change parts of the state election timeline. For example, it would move the date for party primary elections forward, from the current second Tuesday in August to the last Tuesday in June. Also, it would move the date for precinct caucuses from the third Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in March. Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, is the House sponsor. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee, and is currently scheduled for second reading on the House floor.