Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission
COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Approve Bills A through D forwarded by the Lower N||Pass Without Objection|
09:34 AM -- Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission
Senator Roberts, Lower North Fork Wildfire Commission Chair, came to the table to present Bills A through D recommended by the commission. The summary report prepared for the Legislative Council Committee, copies of the bills, and the committee's charge can be found in Attachment E. The bills are as follows:
Lower North Fork Merged.pdf
Bill A — Prescribed Burn Program in the Division of Fire Prevention and Control. Bill A creates the Colorado Prescribed Burning Act, requiring the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to conduct rulemaking and adopt standards for prescribed burning in the state, including the consideration of alternative fuel reduction strategies and the presence of qualified state officials to supervise, and to establish standards for the training and certification of prescribed burn managers. The bill further defines the role of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the
Department of Public Safety, as created by House Bill 12-1283, including coordination of multiagency initiatives to reduce fuel loads and conduct a formal review following the escape of a prescribed fire.
Bill B — Wildfire Matters Review Committee. Bill B creates an interim committee to review state policies addressing wildfire prevention and mitigation, with sufficient scope to examine forest health, emergency management, and other issues relating to wildfires. Under the bill, ten members of the General Assembly, five members from the House of Representatives and five members from the Senate, must meet as the Wildfire Matters Review Committee at least once in each legislative interim. By July 1, 2013, three majority party members and two minority party members are to be appointed from each chamber to serve two-year terms. Existing legislative
agency staff must provide assistance to the committee, with cooperation from the Department of Public Safety, the Colorado State Forest Service, and other state and local agencies. The bill contains a five-year sunset provision.
Bill C — Extend Wildfire Mitigation Financial Incentives. Bill C extends the sunset date of two current state statutes that provide financial assistance for wildfire mitigation activities. For tax years 2014 through 2024, Section 1 of the bill provides a deduction from taxable income of one-half the actual costs of certain wildfire mitigation measures performed on the property of the taxpayer, up to a $2,500 deduction per year. Eligible wildfire mitigation measures include the creation of a defensible space around structures and fuel reduction. The bill does not require eligible mitigation measures to be preapproved by a community wildfire protection plan, as required
under current statute for tax years 2009 through 2013. Section 2 of the bill extends from July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2023, the authorization of the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to issue up to $50 million in bonds for the watershed protection and forest health projects of government agencies.
Bill D — All-hazards Resource Mobilization and Reimbursement. Bill D requires that the director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety develop a statewide resource mobilization plan, providing for distribution of funding and allocation of other assets in the event of disasters and other large-scale emergencies and incidents. Under the resource mobilization plan, standard procedures will be established for resource mobilization, allocation, deployment, tracking, accounting, demobilization, and integration with the Colorado state emergency operations plan. The bill provides that the Governor or a local emergency manager may request the mobilization of state resources, and that the state will provide personnel for a unified command in such incidents.
Senator Renfroe sought additional information on Bill C. Senator Roberts clarified that the bill concerns a tax deduction, not a tax credit. She provided statistics concerning the tax deduction.
Representative Court asked for information about the commission's discussion concerning whether the cap on the government's liability for wildfire damage should be raised. Senator Roberts responded to her question.
The committee adjourned.