BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1134
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION & ENERGY
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The committee returned to order. Representative McFadyen stated that the committee will only take witness testimony on House Bill 09-1134.
06:41 PM -- House Bill 09-1134
Representative Kefalas, prime sponsor of House Bill 09-1134, discussed the merits of the bill. The bill would establish a Colorado Railroad Authority to create a rail system to serve passengers in the I-25 and I-70 corridors. Representative Kefalas discussed the intent of creating a new authority and explained its goals. Representative Kefalas responded to questions from members of the committee. Representative Kefalas provided copies of House Joint Resolution 08-1039, regarding support for a high-speed rail corridor along the front range of Colorado, to members of the committee (Attachment S).
Representative McFadyen asked for witnesses to testify in opposition to the bill.
06:53 PM -- Mr. Dick Hartman, representing Union Pacific Railroad, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Hartman provided background information on passenger and freight rail industries. Mr. Hartman also discussed current economic trends and rail studies conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation. Mr. Hartman responded to questions from members of the committee.
Representative Green asked for witnesses to testify in support of the bill.
07:14 PM -- Former Representative Bob Briggs testified in support of the bill. Handouts on House Bill 09-1134 were provided to the committee (Attachment S). Representative Briggs provided background information on Colorado railways and discussed track congestion. Representative Briggs responded to questions from members of the committee.
Representative Green asked Representative Briggs on the composition of the proposed Colorado Railroad Authority and if board members would be elected. Representative Primavera asked for examples of similar authorities in other states.
Representative Looper asked if a conflict exists with proposed routes with existing routes. Representative Briggs provided details on various regions and potential passenger service routes.
07:37 PM -- Mr. Bernie Zimmer testified in support of the bill. Mr. Zimmer discussed potential routes to connect populated areas.
Representative McFadyen discussed Tennessee Pass and its maintenance needs.
07:50 PM -- Mr. Lewis Shaw testified in support of the bill. Mr. Shaw discussed rising population trends and growing need for multiple transportation modes.
07:55 PM -- Mr. Grant Bennett, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Bennett discussed financing mechanisms for transportation infrastructure.
08:04 PM -- Ms. Edie Bryan, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bryan discussed efforts in other states to obtain high-speed rail corridor status.
Representative McFadyen closed witness testimony and stated that the committee will act on the bill at a later date.