Colorado Capitol Report

Water Permit Fee Bill Dies Quickly

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CACI State Policy News

Senate Bill to Upend Fees for Water Quality Discharge Permits Dies in First Committee

This morning, with the blessing of bill sponsor Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton), the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to kill SB 134, “The Repeal of Statutory Fee Schedules Applicable to Water Quality.”

The bill, which the CACI Energy and Environment Council strongly opposed, would have placed the authority to set fees with the Colorado Water Quality Commission, upending the current system under which the legislature determines the fees by statute.

The bill generated significant concern among the regulated community, and CACI worked with Senator Hodge and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE ) to find an alternative to passage of the bill.

CACI and its members were joined by other organizations in committing to Senator Hodge to participate in a future stakeholder process to discuss funding issues for the Colorado Water Control Division(WQCD).

Stakeholders understand the importance of ensuring that the WQCD has adequate funding to deliver services and ensure clean, safe water, but they also believe that it is essential to work toward solutions that stakeholders help develop.  CDPHE will begin work to set in place the stakeholder process for discussing the fee issues, which will likely begin shortly after the legislative session ends.

The idea for the bill originated with an analyst for the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), and the JBC had recommended the bill.

The fiscal note for the bill contains a detailed analysis of the bill and the JBC’s reasons for supporting the bill.

For more information on this bill and on the work of the CACI Energy and Environment Council, contactCarly West, CACI Governmental Affairs Representative, at 303.866.9622.

CACI Councils and Board Busy at Work...


Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge), center, discusses various issues and bills yesterday with the CACI Board of Directors.  At left is Lou Hutchison, CACI Board Chair and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, H-D Asset Management, LLC.  At right is CACI President Chuck Berry.  Senator Jahn discussed a wide range of legislative issues, including tax credits and exemptions, workers’ compensation, higher-education funding, construction defects, the U.S. 36/CDOT controversy, marijuana taxation and regulation, pipelines and eminent domain, SB-5 (wage-claim bill), business personal property tax, “brownfields” tax credit, restrictions on owners of mobile home parks, drunk-driving penalties and taxi-cab regulation.  Widely regarded as a pro-business lawmaker, Senator Jahn was dubbed the “Gatekeeper” by The Denver Business Journal last month because of her key vote in the Senate where the majority Democrats control the Chamber by only one vote, 18 to 17.  A small businesswoman, Senator Jahn concluded her remarks by telling CACI members to call their legislators, who will “listen twice” if the legislator is their representative or senator.


Senator Pat Steadman, standing, addresses the CACI Tax Council last Friday.  Listening are Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, center, and Rhonda Sparlin, CACI Tax Council Chair and Partner, RubinBrown.  Senator Steadman is vice chair of the Joint Budget Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Senator Steadman discussed various tax credit-and-exemption bills, the State’s revenue picture, TABOR, highway funding, capital construction, the “incredibly byzantine” state sales-and-use tax system and marijuana tax revenue.

News Media Coverage

Below is recent news-media coverage of business, political, policy and governmental issues of interest to CACI:

Advancing Colorado’s key industries,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 21st.

Last piece of U.S. 36 contract put in place Thursday,” by Monte Whaley, The Denver Post, February 21st.

Left, right in agreement on state testing,” by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, February 21st.

GOP candidates for guv attack Hick and absent front-runners,” by Ernest Luning, The Colorado Statesman, February 21st.

Will hearings lead to clean air . . . or hot air?” by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, February 21st.

Young avoid coverage in Colorado, posing problem for health care law,” by Art Kane, The Denver Post, February 21st.

Bennet, immigration panel discusses cross-border reforms at CELL event,” by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, February 21st.

Colorado’s statehouse staredown: Business fees are at the root of the Gessler-Legislature battle,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 21st.

Denver, Boulder chambers back controversial U.S. 36 plan,” staff, The Denver Business Journal, February 20th.

Lawmakers propose $263M in new education spending,” by The Associated Press, The Denver Post, February 20th.

Colorado small business getting mixed bag of legislative results,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 19th.

Denver judge temporarily blocks Colorado’s ‘Amazon tax’ law,” by Andy Vuong, The Denver Post, February 19th.

Bill to help Colorado small businesses that are sued meets bipartisan end,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 18th.

Health exchange faces challenges,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 14th.

Funding shortage a highway to headaches,” editorial, by Neil Westergaard, The Denver Business Journal