CCGA puts its support behind 7 more state bills


The Colorado Corn Growers Association's Public Policy Committee remains busy this legislative session.

This past week, the group voted to put its support behind seven more bills during the 2015 Colorado Legislative Session, bringing the total number of bills the group is supporting to 13. Those bills focus on a variety of issues, covering water, pesticide applicator rules, mineral rights, road regulations and renewable energy, among others.

Meanwhile, the group is monitoring a number of other bills, and considering support or opposition for those as well, as the 2015 Colorado Legislative Session moves forward.

The seven bills that CCGA's Public Policy Committee voted to support recently include:

• House Bill 15-1006, "Invasive Phreatophyte Grant Program" - The bill establishes a five-year grant program for the management of invasive phreatophytes, which are deep-rooted plants that consume water from the water table or the layer of soil just above the water table.

• House Bill 15-1012, "Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Dyed Diesel" - This bill would exempt certain sales and uses of dyed diesel from the state sales and use tax, and would specify that the sale, storage, use or consumption of dyed diesel is exempt from sales and use taxes imposed by a home rule municipality or county.

• House Bill 15-1013, "South Platte Aquifer Study Recommendations" - This bill would require the Colorado Water Conservation Board, in consultation with the state engineer, to administer two pilot projects in the Gilcrest/LaSalle and Sterling areas, which would evaluate two alternative methods of lowering the water table in areas experiencing damaging high groundwater levels. The bill would also authorize the state engineer to review an augmentation plan submitted to a water court if it includes the construction of a recharge structure.

• House Bill 15-1014, "Biennial Registration Seasonal Farm Motor Vehicles" - The bill sets a 24-month registration interval for seasonal farm motor vehicles, if that vehicle is used primarily for ag production, the land on which the motor vehicle is used is classified as ag land for the purposes of levying and collecting property tax, and the vehicle is used no more than six months per year.

• House Bill 15-1054, "Off-highway Vehicle Roadway Registration" - The bill authorizes a person to drive an off-highway vehicle on a county roadway if the person has a driver's license and obeys the rules of the road, among other provisions.

• House Bill 15-1118, "Hydroelectric Power" - The bill amends the definition of "renewable energy resources" that can be used to meet the state's renewable energy standard to include hydroelectricity and pumped hydroelectricity.

• Senate Bill 15-055, "Return of Water from Tail Ditch" - The bill permits a person to use a tail ditch to return variable amounts of water to a stream. The state engineer shall not require the delivery of a minimum amount of water to the stream, except as required by a court decree.

Details and status updates about all 13 bills CCGA is now supporting, as well as other bills the organization is following, are available at http://coloradocorn.com/public-policy/position-summary

Disconnect continues between science, consumers on GM foods


According to a new survey, 88 percent of scientists with the American Association for the Advancement of Science believe GM foods are safe to eat, compared with only 37 percent of the public.

Read more at http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/29/public-and-scientists-views-on-science-and-society/.


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