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H_AGR_2018A 03/05/2018 01:32:42 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, & NATURAL RESOURCES
Date 03/05/2018
Attendance
Becker J. X
Buck X
Catlin X
Danielson X
Hansen X
Jackson *
Lewis X
McKean *
Roberts X
Saine X
Valdez X
Esgar X
Arndt X
Time 01:32:42 PM to 04:42:33 PM
Place RM 271
This Meeting was called to order by Arndt
This Report was prepared by Meghan MacKillop
Hearing Items Action Taken
SB18-002 Committee Discussion Only
SB18-005 Referred to the Committee of the Whole
HB18-1246 Referred to the Committee of the Whole

SB18-002 - Committee Discussion Only


01:32:55 PM  
Speaker Duran and Majority Leader Becker,
co-prime sponsors, presented Senate Bill 18-002, concerning the financing
of broadband deployment.  Under current law, the Public Uitlities
Commission (PUC) provides financial assistance to telecommunications (telecom)
companies providing basic landline service in rural areas.  This assistance
is funded through a provider surcharge assessed on voice sercice and allocated
to the High Cost Support Mechanism (HCSM), a TABOR-exempt fund administered
by the PUC and held outside state government.  The introduced version
of the bill phases in a reallocation of HCSM funds, away from supporting
high cost landline infrastructure to supporting high cost broadband infrastructure.
 The bill also requires HCSM broadband deployment  grant applications
approved by the board to have funds transferred directly from the HCSM
to grant recipients and prohibits the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA)
from implementing broadband deployment programs or approving any grant
application concerning broadband deployment unless the board has determined
that the program or application does not involve the same or a duplicate
of any projects already approved and funded.
01:37:39 PM  
The following people testified on the bill:
01:38:21 PM  
Drew Davis, Larimer County, testified in opposition to the bill.
01:44:54 PM  

Eric Bergman, Colorado Counties Inc., testified on the bill and discussed his concerns with possible amendments to the bill.

01:50:41 PM  

Kevin Bommer, Colorado Municipal League, testified in support of the bill and discussed possible amendments to the bill. Mr. Bommer responded to questions from the committee.

01:54:37 PM  

Mr. Bergman and Mr. Bommer responded to questions from the committee.

01:59:02 PM  

Kent Singer, Colorado Rural Electric Association, testified in support of the bill and provided background on Colorado rural electric co-ops and the need for broadband service in rural areas.

02:01:14 PM  
Mark Kurtz, Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), Elevate Fiber, testified in support of the bill and discussed the DMEA and the customers of DMEA. He also discussed the importance of broadband for students in rural Colorado and discussed other priorities of DMEA. Mr. Kurtz responded to questions from the committee.
02:08:57 PM  
Stephanie Copeland, Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), testified in support of the bill and discussed potential amendments to the bill. Ms. Copeland stated that the Governor's goal is to have Colorado 100 percent covered by broadband service by 2020 and that this bill is a step towards that goal. Ms. Copeland responded to questions from the committee regarding census blocks and broadband service. Ms. Copeland distributed a map displaying broadband service in southwestern Colorado based on census numbers [Attachment A].
02:18:04 PM  
Jordan Beezley, Broadband Deployment Director, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), was present for questions only. He responded to questions from the committee regarding enforcement of grant recipients in providing services laid out in grant applications.
02:25:56 PM  

Jack Johnston, Southeast Colorado Power Association and Southeast Communications (SECOM), testified in support of the bill with possible amendments.

02:30:12 PM  
Tom Sifers, Mountain Parks Electric Co-op, testified in support of the bill, with possible amendments.
02:32:25 PM  
Mr. Johnston responded to questions from the committee regarding fiberoptic technologies and fixed wireless technologies.
02:36:40 PM  
Jeffery Heard, DEMEA, Elevate Fiber, testified in support of the bill and discussed the composition of the Broadband Deployment Board.
02:41:02 PM  
Jarrod Nixon, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.
02:42:26 PM  
Mr. Heard responded to questions from the committee regarding the composition of the Broadband Deployment Board.
02:45:24 PM  
Sarah Blackhurst, Action 22, testified in support of the bill.
02:48:47 PM  
Dr. Chris Davis, University Hospital and UC Health Telecom, testified in support of the bill.
02:51:03 PM  
Ms. Blackhurst responded to questions from the committee regarding the counties that Action 22 serves and the business model of Rye Telephone, which provides fiberoptic broadband directly to homes in Rye County. Dr. Davis also responded to questions from the committee regarding tele-medicine service in rural areas.
02:56:49 PM  
Bill Levis, AARP, testified in neutral position on the bill.
03:00:35 PM  

Jeff Weist, Colorado Cable Television Association, testified in support of the bill.

03:02:42 PM  

Pete Kirchof, Colorado Technology Association, testified in support of the reengrossed version of the bill, as it passed the Senate. Mr. Kirchof responded to questions from the committee.

03:11:02 PM  

Tim Kunkleman, CenturyLink, testified in a neutral position on the bill, with possible amendments.

03:15:29 PM  
Tim Goodwin, CenturyLink, testified in a neutral position on the bill. Mr. Goodwin responded to questions from the committee regarding CenturyLink's cost and price of broadband service.
03:21:26 PM  
Mr. Kunkleman and Goodwin continued to respond to questions from the committee.
03:42:35 PM  
Emily Ibach, Colorado Farm Bureau, testified in support of the bill.
03:44:59 PM  
Representative Arndt closed the testimony phase.
03:45:54 PM  
Majority Leader Becker responded to comments made regarding the HCSM.
03:49:46 PM  
Speaker Duran also made comments regarding the bill and discussed amendments that were referenced in testimony. Committee discussion ensued.
03:51:54 PM  
Representative Arndt laid the bill over until March 12, 2017.



SB18-005 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


03:53:49 PM  

Representative Roberts, sponsor, presented Senate Bill 18-005, concerning economic assistance for rural communities experiencing certain significant economic events that lead to substantial job loss in those communities. The reengrossed version of the bill requires the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to act as the designated agency for coordinating the state's response to significant economic events in rural communities, including a plant closure or substantial layoff. The bill defines a rural community as a county with a population of less than 50,000 residents or a municipality with a population of less than 20,000, if it is not adjacent to another municipality with population of greater than 20,000.  Representative Roberts distributed a fact sheet regarding the bill [Attachment C].

04:01:26 PM  

Brandy Delange, Colorado Counties Inc., testified in support of the bill and responded to questions from the committee.

04:03:03 PM  
Amelia Myers, Conservation Colorado, read testimony from Wayne Talmond in support of the bill.
04:05:32 PM  
Representative Roberts responded to questions from the committee.
04:06:45 PM  
Andy Hill, Department of Local Affairs, testified in a neutral position on the bill and responded to questions from the committee.


04:13:13 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-005 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Roberts
Seconded Hansen
Becker J. Yes
Buck No
Catlin Yes
Danielson Yes
Hansen Yes
Jackson Yes
Lewis No
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Saine No
Valdez Yes
Esgar Yes
Arndt Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB18-1246 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


04:13:20 PM  

Representative Danielson, sponsor, presented House Bill 18-1246, concerning updates to the Colorado Nursery Act.  The bill modifies the law by removing the inspection exemption for a nursery that sells stock grown and sold only in Colorado; raises the nursery stock business registration fee cap from $100 to $300 per year; authourizing the Commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate rules regarding the information to be included on lables attached to nursery stock; adding and modifying definitions; and prohibiting the sale of noxious weeds or nursery stock infected with noxious weeds.

04:16:12 PM  
Mitch Yergert, Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), testified in support of the bill and discussed the changes to the Colorado Nursery Act made by the bill. He also responded to questions from the committee.
04:22:50 PM  
Alex Guarce, Colorado Nursery and Greehouse Association (CNGA), testified in support of the bill.
04:24:59 PM  
Dan Wise, CNGA, testified in support of the bill.
04:30:27 PM  
Mr. Yergert returned to the witness table to respond to questions from the committee regarding how the bill would impact the noxious weed board.
04:31:37 PM  

John Garlich, Bookcliff Vineyards, testified in support of the bill.

04:35:00 PM  
Brant Harrison, Kokopelli Farms, testified in support of the bill.
04:36:02 PM  
Dave Zach, CNGA, testified in support of the bill and stated that he supports the fee cap raise, as outlined in the bill.
04:38:40 PM  
Representative Danielson made concluding comments on the bill.


04:42:22 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 18-1246 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Danielson
Seconded Valdez
Becker J. No
Buck No
Catlin Yes
Danielson Yes
Hansen Yes
Jackson Yes
Lewis No
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Saine Yes
Valdez Yes
Esgar Yes
Arndt Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:42:33 PM   Committee Adjourned






Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2020. 

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