|'The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the stands forever.' ~~Isaiah|
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Posted: 24 Jan 2011 03:34 PM PST
House Ag Committee met on Monday, January 24th, to address its first three bills under the new chairman Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) and vice chairman Rep. Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulfur Springs). They welcomed many new committee members as the Republicans hold a 7-6 majority over the Democrats.
They passed HB 1004 (Farm Truck Registration) which CFB has a position of support on. This bill would allow for farm plate registration on a vehicle used primarily for agriculture on farm or ranch that is classified as Ag land for property tax purposes. It was run last year and was failed, so this is the second attempt at this measure.
The second bill was HB 1040 which extended state conservation board term limits to be four years, instead of three years.
The third and final bill was HB 1039 (animal cruelty regarding steer tailing). This is a measure brought forward by HSUS. The bill would have defined animal cruelty when dragging a bovine by the tail or lasso/rope legs of equine for entertainment or sport. The bill was killed by the House Ag Committee on a vote of 8-5. "No" votes to kill the bill were: J. Paul Brown, Don Coram, Marsha Looper, Wes McKinley, Ray Scott, Glenn Vaad, Randy Baumgardner, and Jerry Sonnenberg. CFB had a position of opposition on this measure. If this bill would have passed, it would have had unintended consequences for production agriculture. This bill, if it would have passed, would have defined and added two very specific issues to the Colorado Animal Welfare statute. Current statute has broad definitions as to what constitutes cruelty but it allows an animal welfare control office the discretion to assess the situation to determine what is best for the animal. The definition included in HB 1039 was a specific definition and would have limited the discretion of an animal control officer. Colorado Farm Bureau believes that this is the wrong approach.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
|Today in the House Transportation Committee we heard HB11-1034 which allowed for a special Colorado license plate for Trout Unlimited for the purpose of fund raising. On the surface you would think this would be a good thing, but my problem with the bill is it uses the State to raise money for a group that I may not always agree with. I'm all for protecting fisheries, but I don't want my State raising money for a group that would lobby against my property rights or that might lobby for policies that will raise my utility rates or no telling what else. I also am concerned about the precedence that it sets for every other lobbying group in the State. The problem was that some of the Republicans had made some promises to support the bill and it was hard for them to back out on their word. After some amendments and some hard questioning we finally referred the bill to the Agriculture Committee where I hope we can kill it. Stay tuned!|
Sunday, January 9, 2011
What a privilege it is to serve the great 59th District of the Colorado House of Representatives! When I explain to folks in
The 59th District truly is the most beautiful District in the whole State of Colorado stretching from the edge of Archuleta County east of Pagosa Springs west to include the city of Cortez in Montezuma County, south to the New Mexico border, north to include the town of Silverton in San Juan County and everything in between including LaPlata County and the towns of Durango, Mancos, Bayfield, and Ignacio, many other wonderful communities and of course the Sovereign Nations of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Native American Tribes.
In describing our great district I have to start with the magnificence of the
Just as important are the rolling fields at lower elevations cared for by farmers and ranchers, watered from manmade reservoirs, providing beauty for all to behold. Farmers also export from our District thousands of bales of the best quality hay in the world, wheat, oats, corn, and a variety of other crops and livestock. Farmers also provide local grown meat and vegetables for our own nourishment and sustainability. Yes, agriculture is a huge part of the beauty and the economy of the 59th District.
We can't forget
What other District in the State has a Durango- Silverton train and a Mesa Verde? Add the natural beauty, our beautiful lakes like Vallecito, Lemon Dam and now
One of my goals as a legislator is to tell folks about our wonderful area. Since the election I have attended several orientation sessions. At a dinner I sat between two new legislators, Representative Pete Lee from the
I wish you all a prosperous year! Rep. J.Paul Brown