Introduction from Local Government Stakeholders
COMMITTEE ON JOINT LOCAL GOVERNMENT
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03:10 PM -- Introduction from Local Government Stakeholders
Chip Taylor, Director of Legislative Affairs, Andy Karsian, Legislative Liaison, Chip Mendez, Legislative Liaison, and Pat Ratliff, Lobbyist, all with Colorado Counties Inc., introduced themselves to the committee and described their role with the organization. Committee members received two documents regarding Colorado Counties Inc. 2009 policy statement and legislative agenda (Attachments D and E). Mr. Taylor said their organization takes an active stance on 200-300 bills each session related to issues and concerns to various counties. He discussed some issues that are of concern for the 2009 legislative session, including: unfunded mandates, the possible elimination of the business personal property tax credit, transportation, the allocation of severance tax. Mr. Taylor continued to give an overview of the legislative issues listed in Attachment E. Mr. Taylor answered a question from the committee about various acronyms used on the handout.
Erin Goff, Senior Staff Attorney, Geoff Wilson, General Counsel, Mark Radtke, Legislative and Policy Advocate, and Kevin Bommer, Legislative and Policy Advocate, all of the Colorado Municipal League (CML), introduced themselves to the committee and described their role within the organization. Committee members received a 2007-08 Annual Review, published by CML (Attachment F) and the CML 2008-09 Policy Statement, published by CML (Attachment G). Ms. Goff reviewed CML's legislative agenda for the 2009 session. Senator Schwartz thanked the CML team for their presentation.
Dan Slack, Chief Executive Officer, and Kevin Lindahl, General Counsel, Bill Clayton, lobbyist, and Tony Lombard, lobbyist, all of the Fire and Police Pension Association (FPPA) introduced themselves to the committee. Mr. Slack explained that the FPPA is a government-appointed board that manages a retirement fund for all municipal police and firefighters in the state. Mr. Lindahl spoke about two bills that FPPA is supporting for the 2009 legislative session. House Bill 09-1030 will address firefighter and police officer pension plan compliance with requirements set forth in the internal revenue code. Second Bill 09-017 will address firefighter and police officer disability and survivor benefits. Mr. Lindahl explained that both bills were recommended by the Pension Reform Commission. Mr. Clayton responded to questions concerning the old pension plans. He said the existing pension system is one of the best in the country. Mr. Lindahl responded to questions about the death and disability plan that will be addressed in Senate Bill 09-017.
Chris Howes and Jim Driscoll, both of the Howes Group, a lobbying firm that represents the Colorado Retail Council and Emergency Medical Services Association, introduced themselves to the committee. Mr. Howes and Mr. Driscoll talked about upcoming legislation of interest to their clients. Mr. Howes gave an overview of the interests of the Colorado Retail Council and spoke briefly about the decline in sales figures during the holiday season.
Evan Goulding, Executive Director, Mary Zuchegno, Director of Research and Policy Development, and Don Eberle, Lobbyist, all of the Special District Association of Colorado (SDA), introduced themselves to the committee. Committee members received a Legislator's Guide to Special Districts, prepared by SDA, (Attachment H). Mr. Goulding explained that there are almost 700 special districts in Colorado, including hospital districts, park and recreation districts, water and/or sanitation services districts. He talked about the growth of new special districts are metropolitan districts in the state. The typical special district is only authorized to use property taxes and not sales and use taxes. Mr. Goulding gave a brief overview of the issues of concern to special districts for the upcoming legislative session.
The committee adjourned.