For a Just, Equitable, Prosperous and
Sustainable Colorado.

State Representative

Diane Mitsch Bush

 

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Late May Greetings to Everyone in Eagle County and Routt County!

 

On May 6, the first session of the 70th Colorado General Assembly adjourned.

 

Bipartisan Legislative Successes in 2015 even with Split Control

 

When we consider the evidence and work together across the aisle, we can pass policies that improve life for everyone. By putting aside petty, partisan politics, we passed bills to:

Upcoming Events:

 

May 26 Talking Green Update on the Colorado Water Plan , McKnights Irish Pub, 5:30 pm, Steamboat Springs

 

June 4 Holy Cross Energy Association Annual meeting in Gypsum, 5:30 pm

 

June 8 Eagle County Family Leadership Training Institute Class of 2015 Graduation in Edwards at CMC, 5:30 pm

 

June 17 Joint Conference of Colorado Cattlemen's Association and Colorado Livestock Association, Steamboat Springs

 

June 20, Roaring Fork Valley State Legislative Wrap Up and Town Hall, 10 am Basalt Regional Library, 14 Midland Avenue, Basalt

 

June 25 Yampa Valley Electric Association's 75th Annual Meeting , Hayden High School, Hayden

 

June 27 Flight Days, Eagle

 

July through November:

 

Interim Joint House/Senate Water Resources Review Committee Hearings (WRRC) at the Capitol and throughout the State

 

WRRC Yampa River Basin Water Hearings in Craig on July 22- stay tuned for more

 

WRRC Colorado River Basin Hearings in Vail on August 19 and Granby on August 12 - stay tuned for more

 

Interim Joint  House/Senate Transportation Legislation Review Committee (TLRC) Hearings at the Capitol and September TLRC Transportation Tour of Southern Colorado, July through November. More specific dates soon.

 

I will be having more Town Halls and visiting with municipalities, both counties, non profits, and businesses from June through November. Please stay tuned for more specific dates.

 

 

 

Need me to show up
at an event?

 

Email Me

 

Call Me:

(970) 291-1572

Balance our budget, investing in a brighter future for all Coloradans, while adding $613 million to our reserve, rainy day fund. This bipartisan success was especially difficult because the TABOR Amendment "ratcheting effect" was triggered by the increase in Coloradans personal income from our economic recovery, so that we had to take $244 million off the top for constitutionally required tax refunds. Our post-recession recovery should have led to better funding for priorities that were drastically cut during the recession, such as public K-12 education and transportation infrastructure. Despite this, we were able to fund some priorities.

 

Other Bipartisan Bills I Cosponsored to Build a Better Colorado for All Include:

workforce development, improved storm water rules, incentives for precipitation harvesting, increased opportunities for renewables, protecting the office of consumer counsel, disaster prediction tools, wildfire reduction grants, energy efficiency, felony DUI, conservation easements, cottage foods, and via a complicated, delicate negotiation process: a bipartisan reduction in student testing!

 

Some evidence-based bills that would have helped build a better future for all Coloradans passed the House with a bipartisan vote and were killed in the Senate on partisan votes.  These included bills to: make transparent all tax credits, allow rain barrels for home use, fund teen pregnancy prevention via long-acting reversible contraception, protect seniors from elder abuse, and create a Retirement Security Task Force.

 

My bills: 6 passed both houses and will become law, but two with bipartisan support in the House were killed in the Senate. I believe in bringing together representatives of all the groups that will be affected by any issue that I’m working on before I ever introduce a bill.  This is my stakeholder process, which enables us to find practical, evidence-based solutions that work for everyone. We first try to find solutions within existing laws and regulations, but that is sometimes not possible. In such cases, new legislation is needed.

 

  • HB1224, my bipartisan bill to clarify funding and accounting rules and remove red tape for Colorado Mountain College passed unanimously out of the House and the Senate.

  • HB1228, passed unanimously out of both chambers. It is the product of a months-long stakeholder process to fix an error that had resulted in all propane sales being improperly charged an excise tax meant only for propane used as a "special fuel" to power cars and trucks. It reduces red tape and improper taxation for consumers.

  • HB1252, my bill to renew the Healthy Rivers voluntary tax check off passed the House 60-4 and the Senate 32-3. Without this bill, the Healthy Rivers Fund would have ended.

  • HB1364, the product of months of stakeholder meetings, reduces red tape and specifies inspections for small hydroelectric projects with Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose). It was carried in the Senate by Senators Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) and Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling). It passed unanimously in both Chambers.

  • HB1173, due to rampant misinformation and Washington style politics in the Senate, our bipartisan, evidence-based bill that clarified I70 winter traction requirements was amended on the Senate floor to be another study of the problem.  I had worked for 7 months with 20 groups, including businesses, I 70 nonprofits, local governments, Colorado State Patrol, and CDOT for an evidence-based, practical consensus to lessen winter closures, so this partisanship was disappointing.

My friend, colleague, and co prime House sponsor Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) and I worked very hard to correct the mountain of misinformation put out by those who had evidently not read the actual bill. Our bill passed 43-21 out of the House on March 6, then 5-0 out of Senate Transportation in late March with a good amendment from the Vice Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Ray Scott (R- Grand Junction). In April the full Senate voted to make the bill into a study. We tried in Joint House/Senate Conference Committee to compromise back to the Senate Committee version, but two Senators who had voted for the bill in Senate Transportation Committee voted no in conference committee.

The amended version was signed by the Governor. CDOT will report on I 70 winter issues to the Interim House/Senate Joint Transportation Legislation Committee (TLRC) as it normally does. I serve on that Committee; it meets from July through October, 2015. I will continue to work with all interested groups and individuals for evidence-based policy to help prevent closures and a 2016 bill. Stay tuned for updates.

 

Two of my bipartisan, evidence-based bills were killed on party line votes in Senate Committees:

  • HB1003, Safe Routes to School Funding, co prime sponsored with Representative Max Tyler (D-Lakewood) was killed in Senate State Affairs Committee on a party line vote

  • HB1234, a tax deduction to help beginning farmers and ranchers, passed with bipartisan support out of the House. Chair of the Senate Ag Committee Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) was the Senate sponsor. Senate Finance Committee killed it on a party line vote with no reason given and no opposition testimony

Thanks to everyone who attended my Eagle Valley and Yampa Valley legislative wrap ups on May 7 and May 8. We had great discussions and I learned from you.

 

From July-November, I will again represent you on two Interim, Joint House/Senate Committees: Water Resources Review and Transportation Legislation Review. Both deal with critical issues for our District. Please see "Upcoming Events" in this newsletter. Also, I will be visiting with local governments, businesses, and constituents throughout the summer and fall. Please do email me with your questions, concerns and ideas at: repdianehd26@gmail.com.

 

I will continue to work across the aisle and with all stakeholders for practical, evidence-based policies that build a better future for ALL! I am honored and humbled to represent our beautiful, headwaters district!

Diane Mitsch Bush

House Representative

District 26:
EAGLE & ROUTT

 

_____________________

 

Email Me

 

Call Me:

(970) 291-1572

Yours for a just, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Colorado for all.

 

 

Diane Mitsch Bush

Representative

Colorado State House of Representatives,

District 26-Eagle County and Routt County

P.O. Box 770535

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Paid for by Citizens to Elect Diane Mitsch Bush for Colorado HD 26  •  Kathy Chandler-Henry, Treasurer  •  ©2012-2014 Diane For Colorado