Happy Friday! So much happened this week, and I'm excited to tell you all about it. But first, I did not have the opportunity to share about our late night last Friday the second. We were on the floor until about 10pm discussing the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill. The bill has passed the House and is awaiting a date to be heard in Senate committee.
SB19-181, "Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations" was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday and I am hopeful it will pass through and make its way to the House for our consideration. If this bill is passed, it will be an endorsement of Colorado’s commitment to prioritizing our state's health and safety. SB19-181 modifies the composition and the regulatory charge of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), and provides additional regulatory authority over oil and gas operations to local governments. This bill will direct the COGCC to regulate the development of oil and gas in a manner that protects public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of wildlife resources, and will give control back to local governments to regulate oil and gas development within their jurisdictions.
I strongly believe that we need to protect our environment and the health and safety of Coloradans without completely shutting down the oil and gas industry. This bill puts health and safety first, provides clear local authority and protects our environment.
On Friday, the electioneering communications bill I’ve been working on, SB19-068, officially passed! This bill will expand the disclosure of funding in political campaigns. I’m looking forward to attending my first bill signing with the Governor.
On Wednesday, I attended a Town Hall Meeting presented by the Conifer Area Council. I provided a brief legislative update, and heard about Staunton State Park (a gem in our community), CDOT activity, plans for the Yellow House at Meyer Ranch, and Native American sacred trees and places. Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper, Senator Tammy Story, and RTD Board member Peggy Caitlin also presented. The best part was engaging with constituents afterwards, including a man who told me he had never spoken to an elected official before that night.
On Tuesday morning, a new representative was sworn into the House. Perry Will, from District 57, was chosen to fill a vacant seat created when former Representative Bob Rankin moved to the Senate. We’ve all tried to make him feel welcome — I can’t imagine what it would be like jumping in to the rushing stream!
On Tuesday, People and Pollinators came to the Capitol to teach us about the important players in pollination. I learned that beetles and flies are key pollinators. Who knew that bees and butterflies weren’t the only ones? These pollinators are critical in supporting healthy ecosystems as well as crops. They are currently threatened by climate change, loss of habitat, and harmful pesticides. I’m excited to meet with People and Pollinators over the summer to explore ways to help them at the legislature.
I was thrilled to meet with many citizen lobbyists this week. I met young people lobbying for legislation to allow them to vote in school board elections, constituents lobbying for reproductive health issues, and members of the American Cancer Society Action Network. I’m so grateful when citizens (and especially young people) take the time to advocate for issues that matter to them.
Representative Lisa Cutter