Monday, April 28, 2008


DENVER—Today the full Senate voted 28-7 in favor of a measure that would provide increased transparency in the mining industry by making notices of mining intent open to the public.

Sponsored by Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) and Representative Kathleen Curry (D-Gunnison), SB08-228 would make all information submitted to the Mined Land Reclamation Board in a notice of intent to conduct prospecting or modify existing notices subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.

“This bill provides a level of transparency for the public where it is often not found,” Schwartz said. “People deserve to know what’s happening in their communities. The more information people have access to, the better equipped they are to make decisions.”

The bill would require the person filing the notice to provide an electronic version to the board so that it could be posted on the board’s web site. One exception to the bill would exempt information specifying the location, size, nature of the mineral deposit, and other information designated by the operator as proprietary.

The bill next heads to the House for consideration.


Capital Construction
Measure Moves Forward

DENVER—Today the full Senate voted 29-6 in favor of a bill that would direct a portion of Federal Mineral Lease dollars to fund higher education capital construction projects.

Sponsored by Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada), Senator Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora), and Representative Jim Riesberg (D-Greeley), SB08-233 would authorize certificates of participation to provide funding for capital construction.

“Our colleges and universities are starved for capital construction funding, which means higher costs for students,” Williams said. “It’s time the state give schools the support they need to ensure the very best learning environments for our students.”

The bill requires the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to submit a prioritized list of higher education capital construction projects to the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). OSPB will turn over the list to the Capital Development Committee and forward it to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC). The bill also allows the State Treasurer to enter into lease-purchase agreements for the construction of the projects identified in the resolution set by the JBC based on the priority list.

SB08-233 next heads to the House for consideration.