Transportation

As Colorado’s population booms, we must look ahead to ensure smart growth for our communities. This means building systems that move people, not just cars, and providing transportation options that meet all of our communities’ needs, including those of children, the elderly, and working families.

Bills Tracked

PriorityHB 1242 New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue

One of the priorities of both the state Senate and House this year was to secure long-term, sustainable funding for Colorado’s transportation sector. Coloradans want a transportation system that is safe, modern, and provides options. In addition to funding roads and bridges, Colorado needs significant investments in public transportation, safer walkways, and biking opportunities. This bill would have allowed Coloradans to vote on whether to vote on a modest increase to the statewide sales tax to add $3.5 billion into the state’s transportation sector in a measure that included significant funding for multimodal options.

Pro-Environment Vote: YES

Status: Killed in Senate Committee

HB 1232 Public Utilities Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles

Colorado is currently the best state in the nation to buy an electric vehicle due to our excellent tax incentives, and this bill was an effort to make Colorado one of the best states in which to drive one. It would have removed barriers to allow utilities to build infrastructure for alternative fuels vehicles, such as electric vehicle charging stations.

Pro-Environment Vote: YES

Status: Killed in Senate Committee

Spotlight: The New “Kill” Committee

Within our state legislature, there are rules in place to make sure every bill is heard in a committee and then voted on. But sometimes, these committees can operate as “kill” committees, where bills die on party-line votes for purely ideological reasons.

This year, several pieces of legislation with broad, bipartisan support met their deaths in the Senate Finance Committee at the hands of three Republican Senators: Tim Neville, Owen Hill, and Jack Tate. Two of these bill were:

House Bill 1242: This measure would have allowed Coloradans to vote on whether to generate new, sustainable funding for our transportation system by raising the state sales tax by one half of one percent to fund roads, bridges, safer routes to schools, and public transportation. Sponsored by the top ranking members of each chamber (Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham and the Democratic Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran), as well as the heads of the transportation committees in both chambers, the bill was crafted during months of stakeholder collaboration. It garnered broad support from across the state, and passed the House with bipartisan support.

Despite the backing, this Republican-led Senate Finance Committee killed the bill in committee, denying the full Senate a vote and voters the opportunity to decide whether to support the measure. As Senator Grantham, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said, “We only get so many bites at the apple...but if the number of bites we get is exactly zero, then zero is the result we will get.”

House Bill 1321: This bill would have provided a much-needed fix for funding our state parks and wildlife areas. Colorado Parks and Wildlife fees for hunting and fishing haven't kept pace with rising costs and inflation. At the hearing for this bill, 35 people and institutions testified in favor of the bill and only one person testified in opposition. Regardless, the same three Senators on the Senate Finance Committee decided that our parks were not worth investing in.

It is distressing to see three members of the legislature stand in the way of progress for the whole state and deny voters a voice in matters that affect them. It is likely that this level of obstructionism will impact future elections.

Conservation Colorado
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Denver, CO, 80202
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