BILL SUMMARY for SB09-087
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved a prepared amendment to Senate Bill 09-087 (|
Moved a prepared amendment to Senate Bill 09-087,
Moved that Senate Bill 09-087 be referred to the C
Moved to strike Section #5 of Senate Bill 09-087.
|Pass Without Objection|
Pass Without Objection
Pass Without Objection
Senator Williams, Chair, called the meeting to order.
01:36 PM -- Senate Bill 09-087
Senator M. Carroll, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 09-087, concerning increased accountability standards for special districts. She said that special districts are being created at a faster pace than any other government type, that the public has very little information regarding the districts in which they live, and that debt is being incurred by these districts. She said that Senate Bill 09-087 will increase the public's knowledge of the administration of special districts and special district elections. She said that Colorado statutes relating to special districts should be updated. She commented on the purposes for which special districts are created.
The following persons testified in regard to Senate Bill 09-087:
01:49 PM -- Evan Goulding, representing the Colorado Special District Association, commented on the types of special districts that have been created in Colorado. He noted that special districts permit taxation of, exclusively, those persons who benefit from the service provided. He noted that these governments have no authority regarding zoning, platting, or law enforcement. Mr. Goulding said that special districts are subject to open meetings laws and state election laws. He said that special district elections are limited to certain time frames. He said that the majority of special districts that are being formed are initiated by developers, and are subject to annual audits. He said that audits specify the potential debt of a district. He commented on the proposal to make mail-in ballots available to electors in special districts. He commented on aspects of Senate Bill 09-087 that could complicate long-term financing plans of districts.
02:18 PM -- Crystal Korrey, representing the Colorado Farm Bureau, opposed Senate Bill 09-087. She said that the measure is unnecessary and burdensome. She said that rural districts are generally the oldest districts in the state. She noted that many district elections are uncontested and that there is no reason to conduct elections in such instances. She said that information required under Senate Bill 09-087 is already available to the public.
02:22 PM -- Carrie Cortiglio, representing the Health District of Northern Larimer County, opposed Senate Bill 09-087. She commented on the request for a quinquennial review in the bill that may be initiated by 100 residents of the district. She said that Senate Bill 09-087 will result in significant costs to the district.
02:25 PM -- Douglas Kemper, representing the Colorado Water Congress, opposed Senate Bill 09-087, and said that Senate Bill 09-087 will be a burden on water districts.
02:27 PM -- Justin Largo, Arvada, representing himself, said that the state now has more than 3,000 governments, and that most of the growth in governments is from the creation of metropolitan districts. He said that there is a problem with authorized, but unissued debt of special districts, and that 21 percent of Colorado special districts have had some sort of warning regarding their debt. He said that special districts elections are "opaque." He said that the preponderance of scheduled special district elections are cancelled. He spoke of information that will be provided to electors under Senate Bill 09-087.
02:33 PM -- Jeff Hare, Platteville, representing himself, said that he lives within a developer-controlled metropolitan district. He commented on the issuance of bonds for the provision of utilities within his community. He said that all of the power for expenditure of funds by the special district is held by the developer. He said that only 10 percent of residential lots in his development have been sold to date. He said that no one in his community was aware of elections that were conducted by the special district in 2008. He said that he initiated a recall election of the three commissioners on his special district board. He said that there should be better accountability on the part of metropolitan districts.
02:55 PM -- David Williams, representing the Libertarian Party of Colorado, supported Senate Bill 09-087, and said that the accountability of special districts is not a partisan issue. He supported the posting of information from special districts on web sites and further supported election reform in Senate Bill 09-087.
02:57 PM -- Duane Senn, Aurora, representing himself, supported Senate Bill 09-087 and said that it will promote transparency on the part of special districts. He said that there are 199 metropolitan districts within the City of Aurora. He supported the mail-in ballot requirement within Senate Bill 09-087.
03:00 PM -- Sheryle Hutter, representing the Equal Justice Foundation, supported Senate Bill 09-087 and said that it will protect property owners in Colorado.
03:02 PM -- Jeff Orrock, representing the Libertarian Party of Colorado, spoke of his personal efforts to provide notice of a special district election. He said that there must be transparency in special district elections and in the administration of special districts.
03:07 PM -- Jenny Flanagan, representing Colorado Common Cause, supported Senate Bill 09-087. She stated support of the creation of an "inclusive election process" for the districts. She supported mail-in ballot elections for special districts and said that this technique dramatically increases participation on the part of eligible electors.
03:15 PM -- Ivan Meek, Louisville, representing himself, supported Senate Bill 09-087. He said that the cost of posting special district elections on a website is minimal.