15-1225 was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 13 at the Rifle-Garfield County Regional Airport. The bill had passed the Senate on April 23 to the Governor’s desk.
1225 had been introduced in the Colorado House by Representatives KC Becker and Rankin and in the Senate by Roberts and Donovan on February 18, 2015. Its purpose is to provide grants from the Department of Local Affairs currently existing grants funds and technical assistance to local governments as they participate as a “cooperating agency” in BLM and US Forest Service planning processes for the federal public lands they manage in Colorado.
The bill was heard in the House Local Government Committee February 26 and passed 11-0 to the Appropriations Committee. It was amended before the vote to enable local governments to access Dept. of Local Affairs grants (from severance taxes) without a deduction in PILT payments. The bill passed on 2nd reading on March 9 and 3rd reading on March 10. The bill then moved to the Senate. It passed the Local Affairs Committee on March 24 unanimously, passed the Appropriations Committee and full Senate on third reading on April 23.
In testimony before the House Local Government Committee, CWF noted that a shining example of the role that local government can play in federal agencies’ planning processes – and actually in advance preparation – is Park County. What this County is doing in preparation for the BLM’s master leasing planning process can become a model for collaborative processes. This is much more productive way to work with federal land management agencies than Senate Bill 15-232 which would form a commission to study how to transfer such lands to the state “if” approved by Congress.
Here is the link to the bill: