Colorado Kill Blog II

February 17, 2015

Every bill is bad because, unless it is a bill repealing a bad law, it is somehow growing government while simultaneously contracting individual liberty. The Colorado Kill Blog is the good news of the Limited Government Gospel. Here, we chronicle, with gratuitous glee, the deaths of bad bills.


Colorado Kill Blog 2015 Edition II

SB15-009 The Woody Biomass Fuel for Public Buildings Bill–Sponsor Jones (D) of Louisville

This bill would attempt to promote the use of “woody biomass” materials by creating a $1 million grant program. General fund monies would be awarded to any public entity which used “woody biomass” as a source of fuel for public buildings. The program funding would be taken from the General Fund for 5 fiscal years. This weirdly retrograde bill fails to take into account that we live in the 21st Century, in which natural gas, electricity, and solar power are the norms for public building fuel sources. The bill also fails to address the pollution caused by the burning of woody biomass products or the fact that public buildings heated by pellet stoves are exceedingly rare, even in Colorado.

SB15-009 was killed by the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee which saved Colorado $1,000,000.00 in new spending.

SB15-034 The Finance Charge on Credit Cards Bill–Sponsor Ulibarri (D) of Commerce City

A breech of free market banking principles, this bill would force credit card companies to cap their finance charges on unpaid balances at 12.5% per year. This bill would apply to consumer loans and consumer credit accounts. In Colorado, credit card companies may currently assess finances charges of up to 21%. This bill would impose an additional layer of state regulations upon private credit card transactions, and would allow the government to set arbitrary limits on fees that are currently dictated by market conditions within the industry. Government price controls are never a good thing.

SB15-034 was declined by the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee.

SB15-048 The Mandatory Background Checks for Youth Sports Organizations Bill–Sponsor Heath (D) of Boulder

Background checks for adults volunteering for youth sports organizations are already a standard practice in most cases. The potential for liability dictates this as a matter of practicality and, as youth sports organizations compete for members, background checks add an appealing sense of security and professionalism. This bill, regulating and creating a mandate for something that is already a common practice, is an example of government trying to fix what ain’t broken. Think about it; parents who go to the effort to get their kids involved in organized sports are already engaged with their kids, and naturally, become the watchdogs of the youth sports community. This bill would take from TABOR resources to impose a new “mandate” on organizations that are already employing the practice.

SB15-048 was knocked out in the first round by the Senate Judiciary Committee and save $438,733 in state appropriations.

SB15-054  The Fifth Day of Free School Lunches Bill–Sponsor Donovan (D) Vail

Another “let’s throw money at poor people” effort crafted by the wealthy Democrat from Vail, Kerry Donovan, this bill would force Colorado schools to make box lunches for students to take home and eat the next day. This bill, and others like it, fails to address the root causes of authentic childhood hunger, which have more to do with parental neglect than a lack of resources. This bill would have done nothing to help the kids who aren’t getting proper nutrition at home, and it would have grown the nanny state, which has for decades proven ineffective in helping people to prosperity and well-being.

SB15-048 died of starvation in the Senate State Affairs Committee which saved the state $1,587,562.00 in new spending.

SB15-068 The Cap on Student Loan Interest Bill–Sponsors Jones (D) of Louisville and Todd (D) of Aurora

This bill would reduce student loan repayments by exercising government price controls on the rates of interest charged on such loans. Private financial institutions which loan money to students would be forced to cap their interest rates at not more than 2 percentage points above what the Federal Government charges for an unsubsidized loan. This bill would also create an incentive with a tax deduction for repayment of student loans. Price controls and tax incentives are factors which interfere with free market dynamics and would, in the case of SB15-068, increase the problematic nature of student loan debt in America.

SB15-068 lost its fight for survival in the Senate State Affairs Committee, saving the state $420,663.00 over the next 3 fiscal years. 

SB15-095 The Manufactured Home Communities Bill–Sponsor Kefalas (D) of Fort Collins

This lengthy and convoluted bill, which was once called the “Mobile Home Parks Act,” requires that the Division of Housing (DOH) collect data on mobile home parks such as vacancies, rental rates and resident disputes. The DOH would then create and administer a dispute resolution program for landlords and homeowners, create a website directing people to non-profit agencies which mediate property disputes, and create the “Manufactured Home Communities Fund” to assist those living in mobile home communities. Finally, SB15-095, advances “affordable housing policy” which could mean anything from price controls to deregulation. This weird bill ran long on micromanaging human nature, but short on specifics and common sense.

SB15-095 fell apart in the Senate Finance Committee, saving the state $170,432.00 in new spending, and a lot of drama.

And…last but not least, lest you perceive that Democrat bills are the sole targets of the Colorado Kill Blog…


SB15-042 The Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse Bill–Sponsor Sonnenberg (R) of Sterling

This well-intentioned bill, crafted by a legislator who is also a farmer, would essentially make everyone in Colorado mandatory reporters of actual or suspected cases of animal abuse. Animal abuse, in this case, is defined as any animal that is “alleged to be abandoned, mistreated or neglected.” The mandatory reporter would be any person that “witnesses or has knowledge of abandonment, mistreatment or neglect of an animal…” The problem with this bill is that it fails to clearly and specifically define, “abandonment, mistreatment and neglect.” This leaves open the potential for misreporting by parties which might arbitrarily define unremarkable treatment of livestock and pets, such as the branding of cattle or the leashing of dogs, as “mistreatment.” The Pandora’s Box of litigation potentially spewing forth by so-called animal rights organizations, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the ASPCA, or various humane societies, could cripple livestock operations, pet stores, and even ordinary citizens whose interactions with animals may be deemed “abusive.”

SB15-042 was quietly euthanized in the Senate Judicial Committee, whence, because of its positive Karma, it may be reincarnated in some future form.

This round of executions saved the State of Colorado a total of  $3,617,390.00. 

Posted by 2/19/15



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