My First Two Bills

On the campaign trail last year, I often reminded voters that 95% of the legislation we pass each year is bipartisan. Well, that’s largely because we do an awful lot of work that involves fairly minor changes to state law. While I’m certainly working on some big stuff for the longer term, I chose to take on a couple small things as my first two bills.

My first bill, House Bill 1017, deals with county surveyors. Did you know that half of Colorado’s counties don’t have one? Well, they’re supposed to. Our State Constitution requires each county to have a surveyor, but it’s challenging for many of our counties to find someone qualified to run. My bill gives greater flexibility to the counties on the vacancy appointment process, clarifies both the mandatory and discretionary duties of the surveyor, and modernizes a few outdated references.

My second bill, House Bill 1079, continues the health department’s existing program to ensure food safety with wholesale food manufacturing and storage. You see, many of our programs come up for review every so often because of “repeal dates” built into the law. This program was up for review this year, and I was approached by the liaison for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to shepherd a bill through the process to continue the program and make updates to the fee structure to more fairly reflect the workload required to provide technical support to different kinds of businesses. This change includes a fee reduction to many low-risk facilities such as breweries and distilleries.

I don’t expect either of these bills to make headlines, but they’re good policy. This is what so much of our legislative work is all about, and I’m really enjoying doing it every day.