First and foremost, I would like to discuss HB 15-1119. This is a bill that I am really advocating, and here’s why:
- This bill does not allow or ban hydraulic fracturing, but instead reinforces mineral ownership as a real property right that deserves compensation for loss of potential income if property development is limited by local government regulations.
- If a city or county decides to exercise its police power of eminent domain in a condemnation, those state and federal constitutions require the property owner be paid just compensation.
- This is a form of protection for the mineral owners from being unable to access the minerals that they own, and from potential loss of income. This fosters more financial stability among mineral owners, their families, and their communities.
- The simultaneous reduction of state funding (the Negative Factor) and the enactment of multiple unfunded education reform measures have forced rural schools to redirect their limited resources from students and local educational priorities to state data collection and reporting requirements.
- Within the past eight years, state data collection and reporting requirements have created a huge administrative burden for rural school districts, particularly those small rural districts with only one administrator.
- This bill will help reduce the administrative burden so that Colorado’s rural school districts can focus more on students and student achievement than reporting. This will be possible by implementing an automatic waiver, such as the ones that charter schools receive.
- This bill facilitates the establishment and maintenance of volunteer fire protection organizations in areas of the state that currently lack full-time fire protection services. This is a crucial step in our state’s commitment to be better prepared for heightened wildfire activity in the years to come.
- It will create a framework to encourage the establishment of not-for-profit, nongovernmental volunteer fire departments (to be recognized by the State Division of Fire Prevention and Control) in areas that are lacking such protections.
- This will also allow for access to additional funding and grants for such organizations in good standing.