Location: RM 271
Briefing by JBC concerning the FY 2017-18 budget requests for the Deparment
COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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09:50 AM -- Briefing by JBC concerning the FY 2017-18 budget requests for the Department of Agriculture
Representative Young, Joint Budget Committee (JBC) member, identified the issues that would be addressed during the Joint Rule 25 briefing on the FY 2017-18 budget requests for the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado Energy Office.
Representative Rankin, JBC member, discussed the budget setting process including JBC Staff briefings, Department hearings, and supplemental budget requests. He also discussed the Department of Agriculture FY 2017-18 budget request (Attachment A), including several decision items. The department’s FY 2016-17 appropriation represents approximately 0.2 percent of statewide operating appropriations and 0.1 percent of statewide General Fund appropriations. He explained that the Office of State Auditor released an audit of the State Fair on January 24, 2017, and responded to questions from the committee about the fair's budget and its ability to pay for operating costs from attendance and other fees collected by the fair. Committee discussion followed on the State Fair's budget and whether the fair should be moved from Pueblo to a different location that may costs less to operate.
10:14 AM -- Briefing by JBC concerning the FY 2017-18 budget requests for the Department of Natural Resources
Representative Rankin, discussed the Department of Natural Resources FY 2017-18 budget request (Attachment B), including decision items. The Department’s FY 2016-17 appropriation represents approximately 1.0 percent of statewide operating appropriations and 0.3 percent of statewide General Fund appropriations. The department is requesting new spending authority for several programs. For example, the department requested the creation of a new line item in the Division of Parks and Wildlife called “Chatfield Reallocation Repayment” and an increase of $216,829 cash funds for this purpose. The department also requested an increase of $82,667 General Fund and 1.0 FTE for the Division of Water Resources for an Assistant Subdistrict Coordinator for the Water Division 3 Office (the Rio Grande Basin). Representative Rankin also responded to questions from the committee about the department's budget request including funding for public education about natural resource issues. He also discussed declines in Severance Tax revenue and its impact on DNR programs. He also explained that the Governor's FY 2017-18 budget includes a proposed transfer of Severance Tax revenue into the state General Fund.
Representative Rankin responded to questions from the committee about factors affecting severance tax revenue including property tax offsets for oil and gas producers. He also discussed the Division of Parks and Wildlife budget request and a proposed increase in hunting license fees. Committee discussion followed about the Parks and Wildlife budget and the need for additional revenue.
10:45 AM -- Briefing by JBC concerning the FY 2017-18 budget requests for the Colorado Energy Office
Representative Rankin discussed the FY 2017-18 budget request and he identified allocation of Severance Tax and General Fund moneys for the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) in the Office of the Governor. Current law funds the operations of the CEO primarily with a combination of General Fund money and revenue from severance tax that is annually transferred into cash funds. The CEO requested that the JBC sponsor legislation to continue funding the CEO’s operations via transfers into its cash funds through FY 2021-22.