Several people have asked “How is it going?” and my response has been “Really well – all of my bills are still alive!”
Of course, none of them have been heard in committee to this point. That being said, things are ramping up daily here under the Golden Dome.
One of my bills is scheduled to be heard on Jan. 28th. On Feb. 4, I have five bills scheduled in the House Education Committee. The following day I have two more bills in separate committees – we will see how many bite the dust in the first salvo.
The real flurry of activity has been in filling vacancies in both the House and Senate. Rep. Lewis passed away and Sen. Court resigned for health reasons creating the first vacancies this session.
Rep. Lewis was replaced by Rep. Holtorf (a farmer/rancher from Akron). Sen. Court was replaced by Rep. Hanson from the House, creating another vacancy to be filled from the outside.
Stay with me now – Rep. Beckman accepted a position with the Trump Administration last week and resigned her position – another vacancy.
It is rumored that Rep. Buck will resign to fill a vacated county commissioner seat.
Each vacancy creates a domino effect both inside and outside the Capitol. Do not quote me on this, but I heard that as many as 20 percent of our legislators have been appointed. If that is the case, it is frightening to think one in five decision makers were not elected by the people.
A quick update on HB 20-1011 (“Concerning the Creation of the “Helping Others Manage Early Childhood Act ‘HOME Act’”) that created such a firestorm last week.
After heated discussions with two home schooling legislators on my side of the aisle, a long conversation with the attorney for the entire home school community (accompanied by printed suggestions for the bill), a lengthy meeting with two leaders of the Christian home school group plus a few e-mails, we have put out most of the fires.
In spite of all the angst, the bill will still be heard in the House Education Committee on Feb. 4.
I still have one bill in the drafting stage (so it does not yet have a number) to address many of the concerns over the management of the Decker Fire.
I am working with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and others to create a management position within the Department of Agriculture.
One of the major points of contention during the Decker Fire was some ranches being bulldozed (literally) and some ranchers being bulldozed (figuratively) without proper authorization.
It was a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. The intent of the bill is make sure there is one person who actually knows everything that is going on – what a novel concept.
I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the values of this column. Last week, one of my newspaper editors pointed out that one of my bill titles was too broad – he was correct. I have since addressed that oversight.
This column serves many purposes.
One of those is to put information in front of constituents to enable you to respond with questions and/or concerns.
You may have seen the National Western Jr. Livestock Sale on Channel 9 last Friday night. I happened to be there as part of the Cowboy/Cowgirl Caucus from the Capitol. Each year we try to buy a Colorado steer in the auction.
This year was high dollar. The top steer sold for a record $155K and the top hog (from Iliff) brought…wait for it – $100K! We usually spend $10-$12K for a Colorado steer, so we kind of figured it was going to be a challenge.
We bid $13,500 on an Eaton steer and lost it. We jumped in 10 animals later on a steer from Yuma and watched it leave the ring at $16,500.
We were then left with becoming shepherds.
We finally bought Davis Vetter’s Bennett-lamb for $7,500 and chipped in our other money to buy half of Lauren Frink’s Eaton lamb. Big bucks – great cause.