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Southern Colorado representatives reflect on the end to the 2024 legislative session

Colorado Representatives
Posted at 5:53 PM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 08:30:11-04

DENVER, Colo. — Wednesday is the last day of the legislative session at the Colorado State Capitol. The senate wrapped up early Wednesday afternoon while the house was still considering bills later in the evening.

A few lawmakers representing southern Colorado spoke to News5 about some bills they sponsored and were passed.

The Colorado General Assembly went through dozens of bills that still need to be passed and finalized on the last day of the session.

“I'm more optimistic this year than I have been maybe in all six years I've been up here,” said Marc Snyder, the Democratic Representative serving El Paso and Teller Counties.

Snyder said many bills passed this year were with bi-partisian support.

“So the really big bills, property tax relief, some of the air quality measures that we're enacting this year, they really have bipartisan support. And... I think, (that) makes everybody have a sense of, we're on the same team that we're really looking out for the people of Colorado,” said Snyder.

Representative Snyder said he introduces nearly 30 bills this session. One of the bills is The Minor Autopsy Report Release Requirements. This law would only allow a coroner to provide a copy of the autopsy report of a minor to certain groups such a parent or law enforcement.

“Not having that CORA-able or just releasing anybody who asks and creating just a one page summary. Because, you know, we've had our share of tragedy,” said Snyder.

On Wednesday, another one of his bills passed, changing the alcohol and liquor license for caterers and other small businesses.

“Right now, they can only serve at places that have been approved for alcohol on the premises. This will allow them to go to places that aren't necessarily approved, like a one day special permit. So, they can go have weddings, reunions, that kind of thing at other venues,” said Snyder.

Republican Ty Winter said the highlight of the session was passing a bill which lifts the statute of limitations on human trafficking.

“We also did sentence enhancers, that if you committed a violent crime, or you used a weapon and trafficking, that the sentence would be enhanced by quite a bit. So, putting our foot down and saying in the state of Colorado, we will not allow you to traffic people I think is a very important piece of legislation,” said Winter.

He represents nine counties in the southeast corner of Colorado. Another bill Winter sponsored and was passed gives tax credit to farmers.

“When you grow crops, you're sequestering carbon and like I say, we see people all over the country getting tax credits for doing these things, when the people that have been doing them for over 100 years aren't getting those and this is an opportunity for them to cash in on the good work that they do for soil health,” said Winter.

This session, Representative Winter proposed a bill that would dedicate a day where there is no state sales tax on child products, but it failed to become a law.

“It actually made it out of committee. It died on the probes calendar. This year, the state's budget was shot and what we saw from last year to this year is that there was a lot of money spent out of this Capitol last year and the rains were definitely pulled back,” said Winter.

He plans on introducing the bill next session.

“I've got faith that we're going to be able to bring that bill back and make it easier for the working class citizens to raise a family in the state of Colorado,” said Winter.

One of the other bills that was passed Wednesday is HB24-1468, which changes the name of the task force to the biometric technology and artificial intelligence policy task force and expands it from 15 to 17 members.

One of those members is an expert in generative artificial intelligence technology. The member who represents the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be replaced.

Another bill passed is SB24-1999, which appropriates $5 million from the species conservation trust fund in the state treasury for various wildlife conservation programs.

SB24-170 adds members to the America 250 - Colorado 150 commission to be appointed by the governor. It also directs the commission and history Colorado to hold any gifts, grants or donations in the commission's cash fund.

Another bill that was pass Wednesday is SB24-055 creates the agricultural and rural community behavioral health program in the behavioral health administration (BHA).

It also creates the agricultural behavioral health community of practice work group in the department.

HB24-1134 modifies two existing state income tax credits for child care expenses. The bill streamlines the two tax credits into one credit to be claimed for income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2026.

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