These are all of the Transportation bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1016: Honor the Service of the Seabees

Creates a Seabees license plate which requires two one-time fees of $25, one goes to highway fund one goes to licensing services fund. Only available for honorably discharged, retired, active duty, or reserve member of a construction battalion of the US Navy.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

This honors the contributions of Naval construction battalions, who provided essential engineering and construction services all over the world prior to and during combat since World War II.

Cons

We have too many special license plates and should not add more.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1016

HB18-1018: Human Trafficking Commercial Driver's License

Bill requires that training to obtain a commercial driver’s license include education to prevent human trafficking.

PASSED

Pros

Human trafficking frequently involves commercial shipping elements, so it makes sense to include prevention training for those looking to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If even one licensee learns something that helps prevent trafficking, it will be time well spent.

Cons

No one needs to be told that human trafficking is bad and anyone with a commercial license who doesn’t understand that they are shipping people is not likely to be enlightened with further training. Those who do know are doing it willingly and again unlikely to have their minds changed through training.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1018

HB18-1072: Red Light Camera Repeal

Repeals the authority for any entity in the state to use automated vehicle identification systems (including red light cameras) to identify traffic violations and issue citations.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

This is pure money grab for cities and counties, including things like issuing citations for merely stopping beyond the white line. Colorado Springs ended its program after the evidence showed it did nothing to improve safety. Colorado would join other states in banning the practice.

Cons

It is strange to hear people arguing that we should not use all means necessary to stop people from breaking traffic laws. If we want to fix the system to correct abuses, fine, but the idea that we should ignore if someone is speeding or running a red light because there isn’t an actual police officer present is wrong. Automated traffic systems help catch people breaking traffic laws. If people don’t want to get tickets for running a red light or for speeding, then don’t break the law. It’s simple, fix any abuses and keep catching people driving unsafely.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1072

HB18-1103: Local Government Off-Highway Vehicle Regulation

Clarifies that local governments can require a driver of an off-highway vehicle to follow regulations such as seatbelts, child restraint systems (if the vehicle is designed for it), eye protection, helmets, and occupant restrictions when driving on roads opened to off-highway vehicles.

SIGNED

Pros

Recreational vehicle use is prevalent in the state and many of these vehicles come in close proximity with motor vehicles, which has led local communities to issue some safety restrictions. Without this law, these restrictions are not consistent with state

Cons

These are rules the state should set itself, for public safety, not leave it up to municipalities.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1103

HB18-1119: Highway Building & Maintenance Funding

Similar to SB 001, this would put a statewide ballot initiative on November 2018 ballot authorizing the Department of Transportation to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for $3.5 billion with maximum repayment amount of $5 billion and would repeal the section of SB 267 from last session that required state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements on state buildings to fund roads. TRANs were used in 1999 for a similar purpose.

The bill also requires 7.5% of state sales and use tax funds go to the state highway fund and used for TRANs payments first (instead of 10% in other bill). Any leftover money must be spent on Tier 1 (highest priority) projects, with projects requiring to start within 3 years. There are no stipulations about rural spending or transit.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

The state is desperately behind in funding its roads. Most state-wide road funding comes from the gas tax, which has not been raised in years, thus falling behind in inflationary terms, and has shrunk from increasing fuel efficiencies. The Department of Transportation estimates an annual shortfall of $1 billion right now, and the state is expected to see continued growth. This bill puts hundreds of millions of dollars a year into transportation and follows the successful model of 1999 to jumpstart funding while making sure smaller counties and transit projects are not left out and saves the state money by replacing the lease-purchase structure. The general fund dollars that pay for it are already going to have to come out, that is the result of bill 267 last year that setup these lease-purchase agreements. So any “cut” is not new to this bill.

Cons

While it is true the state faces large transportation funding problems, this bill does little to address it. It does not raise any new revenues and instead pumps a one-off amount of money into the system by taking revenue from the state’s general fund, $224 million worth of revenue every year. That $224 million is going to come out of some combination of schools, higher education, health care, and prisons. There is no bond measure without the $224 million cut to education, health care, and other parts of the state budget. Colorado schools are already owed $830 million dollars by the state. There isn’t room to slash more and the legislature should look to fix the cuts made by 267 last year, not alter their mechanics. This bill also completely ignores transit as a priority: we are adding too many people to this state to solve our transportation problems through roads alone.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1119

HB18-1188: Electronic Data Transportation Infrastructure

Authorizes the Colorado department of transportation to use highway infrastructure technology to communicate with motor vehicles to facilitate or manage traffic. Currently a search warrant would be required first.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Smart highways are part of the solution to our traffic problems, we simply cannot just keep building wider and wider roads. This allows CDOT to use any smart highway solutions that require communicating with cars to determine traffic flows.

Cons

This represents a state encroachment on privacy and could be unconstitutional under the 4th amendment.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1188

HB18-1191: Local Government Alter Speed Limits

Adds to what local governments may consider before increasing or decreasing speed limits. Currently they must conduct a traffic investigation. This bill would also allow them to consider road characteristics, current and future development, environmental factors, parking factors, pedestrian and bicycle activity, and crash statistics.

PASSED

Pros

It makes sense that speed limits to be about more than just traffic flows and this bill addresses that, allowing more flexibility for local governments to change speed limits without large scale traffic studies.

Cons

Speed limits shouldn't be altered without traffic studies to get the best sense of the impact of the decision.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1191

HB18-1204: Financial Responsibility Drivers Motor Vehicles

Repeals the state’s motorist insurance database. If a person drives without insurance (and is caught obviously) the penalty becomes $250 fee each year for three years unless they prepay for 6 months of insurance, then drops to $125. Fee is waived if individual is under 130% of the poverty line and they prepay for 6 months of insurance. Surcharge of $4,000 if the violation occurs in connection with an accident that causes serious bodily injury. Not paying the fees results in losing your driver’s license. Fees go to highway fund.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Currently you lose your license immediately for driving without insurance until you can prove you have insurance. This allows people to still drive but gives the state some restitution and should provide a stronger deterrent to driving without insurance. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to drive without insurance, you might drive on a suspended license too.

Cons

Repealing the database is going to make it harder to find people driving un-insured, not easier.  Driving without a license is a misdemeanor crime, if the possibility of losing your license and risking getting caught isn’t enough, fines aren’t going to do the trick.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1204

HB18-1244: Honor the Service of Submarine Veterans

Creates a submarine veterans state license plate which requires two one-time fees of $25 and an honorably discharged, retired, reserve, or active duty member of a submarine crew of the US navy.

Pros

This honors the contributions of all those who have served on submarines.

Cons

We have too many special license plates and should not add more.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1244

HB18-1255: Childhood Cancer Awareness Special License Plate

Creates a childhood cancer awareness special license plate, which requires an individual to have made a donation to an organization approved by the department of revenue as one that assists children with cancer, as well as two $25 fees.

Pros

This helps recognize people who have helped children struggling with cancer.

Cons

We have too many special license plates and should not add more.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1255

HB18-1272: Network-Level Distracted Driving Control Technology

Requires providers of commercial mobile radio service to make network level distraction control technology available at the customer’s request, so that the provider can limit distracting content on a user’s mobile device while they are driving without need for an app. Must include a way to override the blocking in the case of an emergency.

PASSED HOUSE

Pros

This allows parents and employers to prevent distracted driving, which will save lives. Right now they are all at the whim of app developers and handset manufacturers, who have varying levels of features.

Cons

This is not necessary. Any parent or employer who wants to limit mobile devices while driving has a bunch of options in the market, including free apps from the major providers.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1272

HB18-1275: Repeal Craig Hospital License Plate Donation

Current law requires a $20 donation to Craig Hospital in order to qualify for the special Craig Hospital license plate. This bill removes that requirement.

PASSED

Pros

Some people might want the license plate out of gratitude for the care they have received at Craig, which of course means they have already paid large amounts of money to Craig (or perhaps they have family members who have). We should let people demonstrate their appreciation without requiring a monetary donation.

Cons

Part of the point of these special license plates is to encourage behavior, in this case encourage donation to Craig Hospital. Taking away the requirement takes away the incentive.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1275

HB18-1299: Electronic Filing Title Registration Motor Vehicle

Creates a framework for the department of revenue to establish electronic processing for issuing certificates of title, filing or releasing liens, or registering vehicles and makes adjustments in current law where necessary to make electronic documents of these types valid.

Pros

It’s 2018. We should be able do all of these activities electronically, without the need of a notary and reams of paper to physically sign. We shouldn’t have to keep our paper copies of these things in safe deposit boxes, they should reside online forever.

Cons

With the massive problems we have as a society with online security, we don’t need to be adding more things to the list of stuff that can and maybe will be hacked. Part of the reason for paper and notaries is having something be more difficult to do, which makes it harder to commit fraud.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1299

HB18-1401: RTD Regional Transportation District Low-Income Fare Program

Authorizes RTD to create a program to offer reduced fares to low-income riders and provides $80,000 from the general fund to assist RTD in starting the program.

Pros

RTD did a lot of work to come up with its reduced fare program in an attempt to boost ridership, which benefits all of us as it leads to fewer cars on the road and increased mobility for those without a car. RTD is not funded by the legislature, so any potential decrease in revenue (which may not happen with an increase in volume) will not be borne by the general assembly. The only cost is the initial $80,000 which will help get it started.

Cons

RTD may be heading down a path where their funding level drops, which will result in something bad: higher fares for everyone else, reduced service, higher taxes, or a legislative bailout.

FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE

RTD has the authority to do this without legislative approval. It operates separately from the legislature and can control its rates via its own elected board. It is not necessary to chip in $80,000 to help.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1401

HB18-1406: Driver’s Licenses and Judgments for Traffic Regulations

Prohibits the state from refusing to renew or canceling someone’s driver’s license due to unpaid traffic violations or using public transportation without payment.

Pros

Some people who rely on using a car to get to and from work and don’t have the means to scrape together enough funds to pay the fines when they are due can have their entire world yanked out from under them by losing their license. They face a Hobbesian choice of either driving without a license or not being able to work. Let’s use other methods to get those payments.

Cons

You need a final way to get someone to pay up and losing your license is an excellent way to do it. It’s not like the system is picking on people who haven’t done anything, these people have broken traffic laws and refused to pay their punishment. Letting them continue to have a license indefinitely could in effect null the traffic fine altogether: what do you do when someone refuses to pay?

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1406

SB 18-001: Transportation Infrastructure Funding

THIS BILL WAS COMPLETELY CHANGED ON THE SENATE FLOOR IN A COMPROMISE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. TEXT BELOW REFLECTS REVISED BILL.

Puts $500 million toward transportation in 2019. Does nothing else for now, in order to wait and see what voters decide this fall as it is widely expected there will be both a sales tax increase for transportation projects referendum (similar to last year's failed transportation bill) and a bonding referendum (raising money that will have to paid off over time with general funds). If either pass, the section of SB 267 from last session that required state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements on state buildings to fund roads is repealed.

If both of these fail, the bill puts a measure on the 2019 ballot authorizing the Department of Transportation to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for $3.5 billion with maximum repayment amount of $5 billion and would repeal the section of SB 267 from last session that required state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements on state buildings to fund roads. TRANs were used in 1999 for a similar purpose.

The bill also requires $250 million of state sales and use tax funds go to the state highway fund and used for TRANs payments first. Any leftover money must be spent on Tier 1 (highest priority) projects, with at least 25% in counties with populations of less than 50,000. At least 10% of the funds must be spent on transit.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

The state is desperately behind in funding its roads. Most state-wide road funding comes from the gas tax, which has not been raised in years, thus falling behind in inflationary terms, and has shrunk from increasing fuel efficiencies. The Department of Transportation estimates an annual shortfall of $1 billion right now, and the state is expected to see continued growth. The new bill lets the state's citizens decide if they want higher taxes or to use existing revenue.

Cons

While it is true the state faces large transportation funding problems, this bill does little to address it. It does not raise any new revenues and instead pumps a one-off amount of money into the system by taking revenue from the state’s general fund, $500 million, and then asks the voters to take $250 million out every year. That $250 million is going to come out of some combination of schools, higher education, health care, and prisons. There is no bond measure without the $250 million cut to education, health care, and other parts of the state budget. Colorado schools are already owed over $700 million dollars by the state. There isn’t room to slash more and the legislature should look to fix the cuts made by 267 last year, not alter their mechanics.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-001

SB18-028: Motor Vehicle License Plate Mounting Requirements

Repeals requirement that front license plate be at approximate center and at least 12 inches from the ground.

SIGNED

Pros

Having the rear license plate in the standard position is sufficient, this front license plate must still be clearly visible and legible. Some cars don’t have the front license plate position, so this frees car owners to put the plate where they would like, potentially on the dashboard.

Cons

Non-uniformity means plates are harder to spot in fast-moving situations (like driving). If we are going to require front license plates, we should require they all be in the same spot so law enforcement can easily see them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-028

SB18-046: Special License Plate Nonprofit Donation

Several laws require a donation to a nonprofit organization to qualify for a special license plate. This bill authorizes nonprofit organizations to increase by $10 the minimum donation required for issuance of a special license plate. In July 2019 the amount can start to be adjusted for inflation.

SIGNED

Pros

Allows nonprofits to collect more money in exchange for opportunity to use these plates, which is the whole point of the program.

Cons

May actually lead to less purchases of these plates if the prices keep going up every year.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-046

SB18-047: Repeal Tax Credits Innovative Vehicles

Repeals income tax credits for innovative motor vehicles after 2018 and sends the money to the state highway fund through 2021.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Colorado desperately needs money for its roads and innovative motor vehicles no longer need the tax credit (if they ever did, government should not be picking winners and losers). While this isn’t a large amount of money, it is money that does not have to come from raising taxes or raiding the general fund.

Cons

Innovative motor vehicles remain one of the best ways for us to mitigate climate change. The more people we can get into them the better off we will all be. All new industries take time to get their manufacturing costs down and electric cars and their like are no different. While prices have come down, it’s not time yet to remove the tax incentives.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-047

SB18-049:Use Of Mobile Electronic Devices While Driving

Current law prohibits use of wireless telephones while driving for those under 18. This bill extends the prohibition to drivers of all ages and increases the definition to all mobile electronic devices. It creates an exemption for hands-free usage, keeps the emergency exemption, and increases the penalty for minor drivers from $50 to $300.

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Driving while using a mobile device has been shown to be as dangerous as driving drunk. There is no reason adults should be allowed to engage in this activity either. Hands-free usage exemptions allow us to still make use of our phones, almost all of which now feature digital assistants like Siri that can take dictation.

Cons

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives and the government should not be nanny stating them out during specified times or activities. Drivers are more than capable of using them properly without becoming distracted and those who do should not be punished because there are some people who cannot.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-049

SB18-053: Primary Offense for No Safety Belt

Extends requirement to wear a safety belt to every passenger in a motor vehicle (currently it only applies to front seat passengers). The bill also allows police to stop and cite someone for not wearing a belt (currently they can only cite for not wearing a belt if they stopped the driver for a different alleged traffic violation).

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The backseat is still a dangerous place to be unbelted in an accident. This merely logically extends existing law to cover the entire car. Seat belts save lives every day and every year someone dies a death that could have been prevented by a seat belt. It is common sense that we should extend the requirement to everyone in the car and common sense that if this is a traffic violation, police can stop someone for it.

Cons

This is the nanny state in action. While we all agree that everyone should wear a seat beat, we also all agree about a host of other actions that are better for the health of citizens yet we do not have government laws coercing people into doing them. Not wearing a seat belt does not harm any other individual, so there is no duty to protect others from one person’s foolishness. This ability to stop someone for not wearing a belt (or more accurately, the suspicion of it) also gives police another excuse to pull someone over for no reason. They can claim they thought the driver or passenger was not wearing a belt.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-053

SB18-073: Report Transfer Ownership Motor Vehicle

Today if you sell your car you still retain all liability until the buyer goes and registers the vehicle. If the buyer never registers the vehicle, all liabilities (crimes, road tolls, etc.) still is the responsibility of the seller. This bill allows the buyer to register the title change and thus remove all liability from the vehicle. It instructs the state to make this information available to motor vehicle owners and to implement this in a manner that doesn’t cost additional money.

SIGNED

Pros

Most residents are unaware of the liability issue that currently exists. This bill fixes that problem through both education and a way for the buyer themselves to remove the liability.

Cons

There may be some confusion factor related to both the buyer and the seller attempting to register the title change.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-073

SB18-077: State Sales Tax Exemption for Used Motor Vehicles

Creates a state sales and use tax exemption for used motor vehicles. Currently the state collects these taxes after each transfer. Leased vehicles would still be subject to sales and use taxes.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Over time, motor vehicles may have many owners and the state collects these taxes each time the motor vehicle is transferred. These taxes make it harder for those most likely to buy used cars, working families, to afford one. A car is still a significant source of job mobility and this bill gives more families better access to affording one.

Cons

Since taxes are percentages and based in this case on the purchase price, a cheap used car is only going to add a small amount to the price. In aggregate this could mean a larger drop in revenue for the state and local governments which is not replaced by anything else.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-077

SB18-078: Exempt Old Vehicles From Some Registration Charges

Currently motor vehicles older than ten years carry an additional registration fee and a road safety surcharge. This bill caps these additional fees at 30 years, so that cars 30 years old or older do not face these fees.

Pros

Vehicles older than 30 years aren’t meant to be driven on roads all the time, they are special interest vehicles with value to collectors. These charges aren’t designed for them and are an unfair extra charge facing an older vehicle enthusiast.

Cons

These fees are designed for reason: older cars are less safe than newer cars and require more work from the state’s registration board. In fact, the older the car is, the more these two things become true. So putting an upper limit on this does not make sense, if anything much older cars should be charged more. If you have a car registered in the state you can drive it, it is not up to the state to determine who is simply collecting cars and who is putting less safe vehicles on the road (collector cars are also driven from time-to-time). This also takes money out of the state highway fund (though not much of course) which is severely underfunded.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-078

SB18-108: Eligibility Colorado Road and Community Safety Act

Allows someone to present a social security number instead of a taxpayer identification card to obtain a driver’s license (this applies to one of the requirements for someone who is not lawfully present in the country obtaining a driver’s license). Also allows the license to be reissued or renewed or replaced if it is lost or stolen in the same manner as any other driver’s license.

PASSED SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

The reason for issuing these licenses has not changed and is much the same reason that many cities do not operate as federal immigration agents: we want everyone living in this state, legally or illegally, to abide by state laws and most importantly, report any crimes to the police. In the case of driver’s licenses, you of course need a license to purchase car insurance, which we want everyone on the road to have. There are some here illegally who have a social security card and thus never got a taxpayer identification card (this is a card designed for illegals who do not have social security cards). We need to make sure they are covered in this section of the law.

Cons

We cannot as a functioning government of laws set up a bunch of laws relating to immigration and then build an entire structure devoted to making sure that people who are breaking these immigration laws are nice and comfortable here in the United States. Widening this sanctuary ID program makes it easier for illegals to stay in Colorado and that in turn makes it more likely illegals will come here. All of this stuff makes it harder for federal immigration agents to their job and get illegals out of this country.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-108

SB18-144: Bicycle Operation Approaching Intersection

Allow local entities to adopt regulations for bicyclists that allow them pass through stop signs at a reasonable speed as well as treat a red traffic light as a stop sign rather than wait for a green.

*This bill has been assigned to the Senate “kill” committee, state affairs*

PASSED

Pros

This regulation has been done at both local and state levels in the past with a resulting lack in uniformity as to standards. This fixes the standard for bicyclists if a community wants to treat them separately from cars and thus lets the entire public know what the rules are.

Cons

This may cut down on some confusion but it surely will not cut down on bike accidents by giving them the ability to share the road with cars but ignore the rules put there for safety. We don’t leave it up to the car’s driver to decide if they can go through a stop sign at 15 miles per hour or treat a red light like a stop sign if there is no traffic. Bicycles should be no different.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-144

SB18-181: 4-Year Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection Cycle

Changes emissions cycle from two years to four years for cars in model year 1982 or newer and specifies that a vehicle cannot fail an inspection because the check engine light is on.

Pros

Newer cars are built better, we don’t need to be inspecting them every two years it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Check engine lights are notorious for coming on for obscure reasons that have nothing to do with emissions, if a vehicle can pass the test it should not matter if the light is on.

Cons

Denver in particular has a difficult time with air pollution, much of which is caused by cars. The last thing we need to do is give more time for anyone with a car from the 1980s to drive around without verifying that it isn’t belching pollution into the sky. In addition, most cars get tested by just driving around, it’s rarer to have to go to a facility to get a test so there isn’t a big burden that is being removed here.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-181

SB18-196: Repeal Late Vehicle Registration Fee

Repeals the late fee for registering a vehicle, which is currently $25 a month with a $100 maximum.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

A fee is supposed to be a charge to cover the cost of handling something. There is no cost to the government for registering your vehicle late, it’s a pure money grab.

Cons

Having no punishment at all for doing something after you were supposed to doesn’t make sense, this isn’t about covering the cost of something it’s about punishing people who do not follow the rules. According to the fiscal note, this bill will cost the state’s already poorly funded highway fund $5 million next fiscal year and over $10 million the year after that. It will also cost counties and municipalities another $3 million next year and nearly 7 million the year after. All told, a $17.3 million revenue loss with nothing to off-set it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-196

SB18-204: Limit RTD Regional Transportation District Discount Fare Programs

Prohibits RTD from offering new discount fares or incentive programs without legislative approval. Would have the effect of blocking RTD from implementing a proposal to let kids under 12 ride for free, create a 70% discount for ages 13 to 19, and give low-wage residents a 40% discount.

PASSED SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The legislature has a responsibility to make sure RTD doesn’t become underfunded, since any funding shortfalls will result in something bad: reduced service, higher taxes, or a legislative bailout. The legislature should therefore be in charge of these sorts of decisions.

Cons

RTD’s study believes these changes will pay for themselves through increased ridership by 2021. This is legislative overreach into the running of RTD, which takes no funding from the general fund and subsists solely on fares, sales tax, and advertising. It will have a negative impact on ridership, which by extension will increase traffic on our roads.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-204

SB18-216: Alternative Fuel Vehicles Public Utilities

Allows cost recovery for public utility resellers of electricity and natural gas for charging ports or refueling stations, allowing for a return on investment for a utility that builds a facility to support alternative fuel vehicles. The rate is set at the same recent rate of return approved by the public utilities commission and must be recovered from customers in a similar manner to distribution system investments.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

One of the biggest barriers to adoption of alternative fuels for vehicles is the lack of recharge/refuel infrastructure. Allowing public utilities to get the same sort of return that they do on other power distribution systems should unlock innovation in this sector and may even position Colorado at the forefront of what will most definitely be a rapid growth sector. Just think about how many gas stations there are right now.

Cons

The private sector should be able to fill in here if this is truly such a promising avenue. Our system of capitalism works best when it is driven by private companies who see an opportunity in the market and create new products to meet it. It works worst when the government decides there should be a market and sets about making sure products are made under its umbrella.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-216