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APA Colorado Legislative Committee Update

By: Susan Wood, AICP and Eric Heil, Esq., AICP - Committee Co-Chairs

The 2017 Legislative Session, convened in January, and adjourned in May after the introduction of hundreds of proposed bills. Throughout the session, the Legislative Committee considered planning-related bills that represented a variety of planning issues. Currently, the Legislative Committee is preparing in several ways for the upcoming Colorado Legislative Session, which convenes on January 10, 2018. These include running potential proactive legislation; preparing a Legislative Agenda for APA CO Board of Directors adoption; and shifting approach to include an emphasis on education and advocacy, as well as lobbying efforts.

Proactive Legislation
Last session we took a proactive approach with water legislation and will consider that again in 2018. APA CO sponsored HB017-1364, a bill that, if successful, would have added a water conservation item to the list of Comprehensive Master Plan elements that are included in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S. 31-23-206). We were unsuccessful in this attempt; however, meetings have begun with a several groups to discuss the potential for running similar legislation in 2018. We are also discussing educational opportunities that would provide information on the importance of water and water conservation to the future of Colorado. In particular, in August, we met with representatives with the Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Counties, Inc., Colorado Municipal League, Denver Water, and Colorado Builds to talk about common interests and educational efforts. We will work toward laying the groundwork for future water planning and water conservation efforts and will assess as we go forward, the potential for running similar legislation in 2018.

 

Legislative Survey/Legislative Agenda
Please check your email for a link to the Legislative Survey, which was sent on November 1st. This is an important planning tool for APA CO and the Legislative Committee. It is used to set the APA CO 2018 Legislative Agenda and helps the Chapter plan with targeted issues in mind. Last year we had a good response and the information was invaluable. Thank you for participating again this year.

Lobbying Efforts
In previous years, and going forward, the APA CO Legislative Committee has met bi-weekly during the legislative session to evaluate legislation that has been introduced that can have an effect on planning and the work of planners. We are assisted by our Legislative Liaison, or lobbyist, and the combined effort has provided APA CO members with a voice at the State Capital. These efforts have been and will continue to be the foundation for much of the work the Committee does during the Legislative Session. Typically, the Committee meets bi-weekly on Monday evenings at 6:00 PM during the session. Most meetings are held by phone and participation throughout the State is always desired.

Education and Advocacy
APA and APA CO are educational organizations. In the past couple of years, APA National has expanded its advocacy efforts and has established the Planners Advocacy Network to engage and train planners nationwide in advocacy. The Network is geared at shaping federal planning policy, which is a complement to our State efforts. In addition, training offered online (Advocate’s Toolkit) can be applied at both levels. If you would like more information, go to https://www.planning.org/advocacy/. We are exploring ways to leverage our efforts with the APA National effort to be effective on all fronts.

If you would like to participate in the Committee and/or get APA Colorado Legislative Committee updates to find out the status of legislation during the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session, please send an email to the address below and ask to be put on the APA CO Legislative List Serve.

We appreciate your interest and invite your participation!
Contact: Legislative@apacolorado.org
 

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