Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thought for the Day

'The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.' ~~Isaiah

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

Colorado House Ag Committee recap

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

License plates for Trout Unlimited

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

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
Psalms 19: 8


   What a privilege it is to serve the great 59th District of the Colorado House of Representatives! When I explain to folks in Denver the area that I represent, they always say "I've heard that Southwest Colorado is the most beautiful part of all of Colorado". I always respond that they are not wrong and I invite them to come down and see for themselves.

    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 San Juan Mountains. Much of my life has been spent in the high country of the Wiminuche Wilderness Area managing sheep and sheep herders, enjoying the spectacular views, the beautiful wild flowers, and the abundant wildlife encompassing the resilient tundra to the massive evergreen trees of the forest.

     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 Fort Lewis College and the oil and gas industry.

    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 Lake Nighthorse, skiing at Durango Mountain Resort and other places, our friendly towns and people, abundant wildlife for watching and for hunting, and an occasional sheep drive and we have an environment for tourism like no other place in the world.

    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 Colorado Springs area Senator Angela Giron from the Denver area. In our conversation, I told them about our ranching operation. They were amazed that such an outfit might exist in Colorado. I invited them to come down next summer. That got me to thinking and I am going to try to plan a tour for the entire Colorado legislature to come down and see this great district.

     I wish you all a prosperous year! Rep. J.Paul Brown

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day:
"In happy moments, praise God; difficult moments, seek God; quiet moments, worship God; painful moments, trust God; and every moment, thank God."      author, Rick Warren