Republican River WCD

HB21-1043 Study Underground Water Storage Maximum Beneficial Use 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News:
Short Title: Study Underground Water Storage Maximum Beneficial Use
Sponsors: R. Holtorf (R) / J. Sonnenberg (R)
Summary:

The bill directs the Colorado water conservation board (board), in consultation with the state engineer, to contract with a Colorado institution of higher education (institution) to conduct a study to:

  • Evaluate ways to maximize the beneficial use of water within Colorado and implement the storage recommendations of the Colorado water plan by storing water underground when water is available;
  • Evaluate ways to minimize the amount of water that flows out of Colorado to downstream states, without risking noncompliance with applicable interstate compacts, United States supreme court rulings, other federal law, decreed absolute and conditional water rights, the prior appropriation system, and Colorado's anti-speculation doctrine;
  • Identify:
  • Specific aquifers that are hydrologically and legally available to be used for underground storage and subsequent beneficial use;
  • Sources of revenue that could be used to pay for the underground storage projects; and
  • Planned potential or existing underground storage projects that would meet the objectives identified in the study;
  • Examine the role that various water entities might play in financing and implementing underground storage projects; and
  • Recommend legislative changes needed to implement managed underground storage projects in the identified aquifers.

The bill directs the board or the institution to submit a report summarizing the results of the study to the water resources review committee by August 1, 2022, which shall either have legislation drafted to implement the study's recommendations or submit the study along with its own recommendations to the committees of the general assembly with jurisdiction over water resources by January 1, 2023.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 2/16/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water
3/1/2021 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Amended to Finance
4/1/2021 House Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments: Amendments

HB21-1045 Invasive Pest Control Administration 
Position:
Calendar Notification: Thursday, April 15 2021
SENATE AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
1:30 PM Old Supreme Court
(3) in senate calendar.
News:
Short Title: Invasive Pest Control Administration
Sponsors: M. Young (D) | D. Valdez (D) / R. Fields (D)
Summary:

The bill creates the emergency invasive-pest response fund (fund), which is subject to annual appropriation. The commissioner of agriculture (commissioner) may expend money from the fund to implement the bill and emergency measures to control or eradicate invasive pests. The state agricultural commission (commission) may request that, at the end of each fiscal year, money in the plant health, pest control, and environmental protection cash fund be transferred to the fund. The commissioner is authorized to seek and expend gifts, grants, or donations from private or public sources for the new fund.

The commissioner may:

  • Enter into an agreement with any person or local government to provide pest control services. The department of agriculture may provide pest control services directly or through a local government and may require remuneration for providing pest control services. The remuneration is deposited in the fund.
  • Work cooperatively with the United States secretary of agriculture to implement a joint phytosanitary program if the program would economically or environmentally assist with mitigating or eradicating the spread of a regulated nonquarantine pest; and
  • Quarantine anything that harbors a pest if the pest has an economically unacceptable impact and if the measures to control the pest may achieve an acceptable level of official control.

If the commissioner determines that a public nuisance creates an unacceptable risk of spreading a pest, the commissioner may coordinate with industry to, support local governments to, and make grants to take emergency action to quarantine, control, or eradicate an invasive pest.

The commission may establish procedures for determining what is a public nuisance. A board of county commissioners may declare a pest to be a public nuisance and require its control or eradication.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 2/16/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water
2/22/2021 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
2/25/2021 House Second Reading Laid Over to 03/01/2021 - No Amendments
3/1/2021 House Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/2/2021 House Second Reading Laid Over to 03/04/2021 - No Amendments
3/4/2021 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
3/5/2021 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/10/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments: Amendments

HB21-1046 Water Share Right Mutual Ditch Corporation 
Position:
Calendar Notification: Thursday, April 15 2021
SENATE AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
1:30 PM Old Supreme Court
(4) in senate calendar.
News:
Short Title: Water Share Right Mutual Ditch Corporation
Sponsors: J. Arndt (D) | M. Catlin (R) / R. Fields (D) | J. Sonnenberg (R)
Summary:

For a mutual ditch corporation, the bill creates a presumption, which may be changed by changing the corporation's articles of incorporation or bylaws, that the shares of stock owned by a stockholder in the corporation represent:

  • The right to use the water rights appropriated or purchased by the corporation; and
  • Corresponding rights to divert and deliver the stockholder's water rights through a ditch, canal, reservoir, or other works.

The bill also authorizes these water rights to be limited to a pro rata amount at times when shareholder demand exceeds available supply. A mutual ditch corporation may operate using traditional ditch operating practices.The bill clarifies that:

  • When a shareholder is not using some of or all of the available water under the shareholder's rights, the right to use the water rights does not include the right to prevent other stockholders from using any portion of the corporation's water rights; and
  • The statutes covering ditch and reservoir companies do not prevent a stockholder from changing the use of the stockholder's shares or change the standards for water court approval to change a water right.

The bill authorizes a mutual ditch corporation to deliver direct flow water to only water-requesting stockholders. Consistent with each stockholder's request and the available water supply, a mutual ditch corporation may provide water at rates of flow greater or less than each stockholder's pro-rata ownership. When total stockholder demand exceeds available water supply, a mutual ditch corporation must provide, to the extent possible, a pro rata amount of water to all stockholders that are requesting water.

If a water court decree authorizes a change in water use in a mutual ditch corporation and the decree contains volumetric limits, water diverted and delivered by the mutual ditch corporation only counts against the changed stockholder's volumetric limits if the stockholder takes delivery in accordance with the change in use decree.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 2/16/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water
3/17/2021 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
3/22/2021 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
3/23/2021 House Third Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/24/2021 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/24/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments: Amendments

HB21-1181 Agricultural Soil Health Program 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News:
Short Title: Agricultural Soil Health Program
Sponsors: K. McCormick | P. Will (R) / C. Simpson | F. Winter (D)
Summary:

The bill creates the Colorado soil health program in the department of agriculture (department). The soil health program is voluntary. The department, commissioner of agriculture (commissioner), and state agricultural commission will administer the soil health program.

The department may establish the following:

  • A system for monitoring the environmental or economic benefits of soil health practices;
  • A state soil health inventory and platform;
  • A soil health testing program; and
  • Other programs the department deems appropriate or necessary.

Before establishing a system, inventory and platform, or program, the department must provide public notice and afford the public an opportunity to submit written comments.

The department may also:

  • Seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, or donations;
  • Administer and expend the money from public and private sources;
  • Provide grants, loans, and other resources to perform soil health activities; and
  • Cooperate and collaborate with other people.

The bill also creates a soil health advisory committee (advisory committee). The commissioner is required to appoint members who represent the different geographic areas, political diversity, and demographic diversity of the state and include agricultural producers of diverse production systems. The advisory committee approves grants.

The advisory committee will make recommendations to the department and assist in the development of the soil health program. The advisory committee is also authorized to solicit input, review proposals and agreements, and evaluate the soil health program.

The department shall maintain the confidentiality of information related to private lands that identify landowners, land managers, agricultural producers, or lands.

No later than January 31 of each year, the department shall prepare and make available to the public a report of its activities on its official website. The department shall annually report each gift, grant, or donation in its budget request for the state fiscal year to the joint budget committee and at the hearing required by the "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act".

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 3/4/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water
3/22/2021 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Amended to Appropriations
4/5/2021 House Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
4/7/2021 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
4/8/2021 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/9/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
Fiscal Notes Status: No fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments: Amendments

HB21-1266 Environmental Justice Disproportionate Impacted Community 
Position:
Calendar Notification: Thursday, April 22 2021
State Library Energy & Environment
1:30 p.m. Room Old
(2) in house calendar.
News:
Short Title: Environmental Justice Disproportionate Impacted Community
Sponsors: D. Jackson (D) / F. Winter (D) | J. Buckner
Summary:

Section 3 of the bill defines "disproportionately impacted community".Section 4 requires the air quality control commission to promote outreach to and engage with disproportionately impacted communities by creating new ways to gather input from communities across the state, using multiple languages and multiple formats, and transparently sharing information about adverse effects resulting from its proposed actions.Section 5 creates the environmental justice action task force (task force) in the department of public health and environment (department), the goal of which is to propose recommendations to the general assembly regarding practical means of addressing environmental justice inequities. The task force will:

  • Hold meetings to solicit public comment concerning the development of a state agency-wide environmental justice strategy and a plan to implement that strategy, including ways to address data gaps and data sharing between state agencies and the engagement of disproportionately impacted communities;
  • Evaluate and propose recommended revisions to the definition of "disproportionately impacted community" and the state agencies and their proposed actions that are subject to section 3; and
  • File a final report by November 14, 2022, regarding its recommendations.

The department will report on the task force during the department's "SMART Act" presentations.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 4/6/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Energy & Environment
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal note currently unavailable
Amendments:

HJR21-1002 Water Projects Eligibility Lists 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News:
Short Title: Water Projects Eligibility Lists
Sponsors: J. Arndt (D) / K. Donovan (D)
Summary: *** No bill summary available ***
Status: 1/15/2021 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water
2/18/2021 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
2/23/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
2/24/2021 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/4/2021 Senate Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/9/2021 Senate Third Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/10/2021 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/11/2021 Signed by the Speaker of the House
3/11/2021 Signed by the President of the Senate
3/11/2021 Sent to the Governor
3/21/2021 Governor Signed
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal note currently unavailable
Amendments:

SB21-023 Restrict Nondisclosure Agreements State Government 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News: Democrats on Colorado legislative panel kill GOP-backed bill to reduce state employees’ use of nondisclosure agreements
Short Title: Restrict Nondisclosure Agreements State Government
Sponsors: B. Kirkmeyer
Summary:

The bill prohibits the state and any of its departments, institutions, or agencies (state) from making it a condition of employment that an employee or a prospective employee execute a contract or other form of agreement that prohibits, prevents, or otherwise restricts the employee or prospective employee from disclosing factual circumstances concerning the individual's employment with the state (nondisclosure agreement) except where the nondisclosure agreement is necessary to prevent disclosure of:

  • Factual circumstances relating to the employment that reasonably implicate privacy interests held by the employee who is a party to the agreement; and
  • Matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or rules or by state statute or matters bearing on the specialized details of security arrangements or investigations.

The bill prohibits nondisclosure agreements that prohibit state employees from disclosing factual circumstances concerning their employment. To the extent that an employer includes any such provision in any employment contract or agreement, the provision is deemed against public policy and unenforceable against a current or former employee who is a party to the contract or agreement except where the provision is intended to prevent disclosure of factual circumstances implicating the employee's privacy interests or matters required to be kept confidential under federal or state law or matters bearing on the specialized details of security arrangements or investigations.

The bill prohibits the state from taking any retaliatory action against an individual on the grounds that the individual does not enter into a contract or agreement deemed to be against public policy and unenforceable under the bill. Any person who enforces or attempts to enforce a provision deemed against public policy and unenforceable under the bill is liable for the employee's reasonable attorney fees and costs in defending against the action.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 2/16/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
3/18/2021 Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments:

SB21-034 Water Resource Financing Enterprise 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News:
Short Title: Water Resource Financing Enterprise
Sponsors: D. Coram (R)
Summary:

The bill creates the water resources financing enterprise (enterprise). The board of the enterprise (board) consists of the board of directors of the Colorado water resources and power development authority and the board members of the Colorado water conservation board. The enterprise will provide financing to "water providers", defined to include drinking water suppliers, wastewater treatment suppliers, and raw water suppliers. Raw water suppliers are limited to those that provide raw water for treatment and use as drinking water.

Customers of a drinking water supplier will pay a fee to the supplier, who will transmit it to the enterprise to be used for the financing. The fee for each individual metered connection in a drinking water supplier's public water system is 25 cents per 1,000 gallons of drinking water delivered per month in excess of the first 4,000 gallons of drinking water delivered in that month to the individual metered connection. The board may adjust the fee based on inflation and equity concerns for large nonresidential customers and customers who pay tiered rates that start higher than 4,000 gallons per month.

The enterprise can provide financing for grants, loans, and in-kind technical assistance in arranging third-party financing. In determining whether to provide financing, the board shall consider the following factors:

  • A water provider's ability to pay, including whether the water provider has sought or received other financial assistance;
  • Whether a water provider has been found to be noncompliant with requirements, or is subject to increased requirements, related to the provision of raw water, drinking water, or wastewater treatment;
  • Whether the proposed use of financing relates to a project identified in and in furtherance of the state water plan; and
  • The geographic location and demographic characteristics of the water provider and its customers.

The enterprise shall provide, and a water provider may use, the financing only:

  • In connection with the provision of raw water, drinking water, or wastewater treatment; and
  • For feasibility studies, consulting, planning, permitting, and construction of infrastructure and water conservation projects and related recreational, hydroelectric, and flood control facilities, including necessary enlargement and rehabilitation of facilities but excluding maintenance and operation of facilities.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 2/16/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
3/11/2021 Senate Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources Postpone Indefinitely
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal impact for this bill
Amendments:

SB21-235 Stimulus Funding Department Of Agriculture Efficiency Programs 
Position:
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
News:
Short Title: Stimulus Funding Department Of Agriculture Efficiency Programs
Sponsors: S. Jaquez Lewis / T. Bernett | K. McCormick
Summary:

The bill directs the state treasurer to make an immediate, one-time transfer of $3 million from the general fund to the agriculture value-added cash fund to augment the department of agriculture's ongoing advancing Colorado's renewable energy and energy efficiency (ACRE 3 ) program. The bill also appropriates $2 million from the general fund to the conservation services division within the department of agriculture for the purpose of administering voluntary soil health programs.

The bill requires the department of agriculture to periodically report on its expenditures to the office of state planning and budgeting and the general assembly.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 4/6/2021 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources
Fiscal Notes Status: Fiscal note currently unavailable
Amendments: