Top industry legislative issues Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, March 20, 2023 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Top industry legislative issues: water, workforce, pesticide application

 By Stefan Stathopulos, Hicks & Associates

The First Regular Session of the 74th Colorado General Assembly convened Jan. 9, 2023. The 2022 General Election didn’t change the party with the legislative majority, but what did change was the size of majority the Democrats hold in both the House and Senate Chamber. The House split went from 41-24 to 46-19 and in the Senate went from 21-14 to 23-12.
Both parties have new leadership in the Colorado House of Representatives. Representative Julie McCluskie (D) from the Western Slope was elected Speaker of the House and Representative Monica Duran (D) of Wheat Ridge was elected Majority Leader. The Republicans elected Representative Mike Lynch (R) of Wellington as the Minority Leader after the sudden passing of Minority Leader Hugh McKeann (R) of Loveland. In the Senate, Senator Paul Lundeen (R) of Monument was elected Minority Leader. Senate President Steve Fenberg (D) of Boulder and Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno (D) of Adams County will continue their leadership roles, having been elected to them midway through the 2022 Session. 

Opening day speeches by the Speaker of the House, the Senate President and the Governor’s State of the State had many commonalities. All three talked about what they would like to accomplish this session. Affordability, water, workforce development and public safety were on the forefront of all three speeches.

While water and workforce development are top priorities for GreenCO/ALCC, the most anticipated issue for the industry this year will be the Pesticide Applicator Sunset bill. GreenCO/ALCC continues to work on pesticide issues with a larger coalition called Coloradans for Responsible Pesticide Application (CRPA). This group has worked together in the past to provide a unified voice for multiple pieces of legislation including defeating bills that would have had a negative effect on the industry as it pertains to pesticides. We will continue to work closely with CRPA members to get the best outcome possible on the Sunset legislation and any other pesticide legislation that is introduced.

The General Assembly hasn’t done much over the past few sessions when it comes to water issues, but that will change this session. GreenCO/ALCC will continue to support legislation that will help fund the Colorado Water Plan, as well as work with the General Assembly, state agencies and other stakeholders to address the current drought conditions and water as a whole in Colorado.

The industry will continue to support incentives rather than mandates and will support legislation that simplifies the state’s sales and use tax, as well as look for solutions to the ever-growing workforce shortage seen around the state.

As the session goes full steam ahead, the green industry will build upon our relationships in the General Assembly and state agencies, as well as continue to educate the many new faces around the Capitol to ensure that our industry has a voice and a seat at the table.

Full article available in the latest issue of Colorado Green Magazine.

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