Jan 23, 2014 8:25 PM by Bill Folsom
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is pushing for more changes to improve Colorado wildfire prevention and response. He is putting his support behind eight bills introduced by lawmakers from both parties. "This package of bills is the product of a legislative interim committee created last year and ongoing work on these issues by state agencies and their local partners." Said Hickenlooper, "We are committed to doing what we can with the state's available resources to keep Coloradans safe and reduce as much property loss from fire as possible."
The eight new bills discussed are:
HB14-1003: Would exempt non-Coloradan disaster relief workers from having to pay Colorado income tax on money earned while responding to disasters in Colorado.
HB14-1004: Would eliminate the Colorado Emergency Planning Commission and transfer its responsibilities to the Division of Fire Prevention and Control. It would also give the governor the ability to provide financial assistance without a federal disaster declaration.
HB14-1007: Concerning the authority of county governments to limit certain forms of fire, and, in connection therewith, permitting county governments to prohibit agricultural burning during periods of high fire danger and to prohibit fireworks activity during the summer season.
HB14-1008: Concerning the authorization of the Colorado water resources and power development authority to make loans to private entities for purposes of forest health projects.
HB14-1010: Concerning corrections to statutory provisions relating to the prescribed burning program administered by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety.
SB14-008: Concerning the creation of the wildfire information and resource center in the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety.
SB14-046: Concerning a grant program to increase local firefighter safety.
SB14-047: Concerning the payment of death benefits for seasonal wildland firefighters killed in the line of duty.