Oil, gas, and crazy times in the State Legislature 

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The Colorado Senate approved House amendments to Senate Bill 181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations, on April 3, sending the bill to the governor's desk.

But the bill's opponents — who argue that it could hurt state and local economies supported by the oil and gas industry — are already seeking to overturn it.

Weld County Commission Chair Barbara Kirkmeyer, along with John Brackney, a former Arapahoe County commissioner, have filed ballot initiative language with the Colorado Secretary of State. Once that's approved, they'll need to gather nearly 125,000 petition signatures to refer an initiative to voters.

Their initiative would remake the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission into a board selected by retired judges from a list of nominees. (Senate Bill 181 lets the governor appoint the board with the Senate's approval.)

Under the ballot initiative, the Commission would also have to adopt the rules that were in place on Dec. 31, 2018. SB181 changed those rules to protect public health and the environment.

In related news, The Denver Post reports that Colorado rules for oil and gas development currently allow companies to drill or frack for 90 days without obtaining air pollution permits.

Here's the latest from the Legislature:

Democratic Sens. Julie Gonzales and Robert Rodriguez, both from Denver, introduced Senate Bill 225, which would allow local governments to implement rent control measures.

House lawmakers approved House Bill 1168, which would create a reinsurance program to help insurers pay for high-cost claims. The bipartisan bill now heads to the Senate.

House lawmakers approved the Senate's amendments to House Bill 1129, which would ban conversion therapy for minors. The bill was headed to Gov. Jared Polis' desk.

Polis signed: House Bill 1113 (addressing the effects of mining on water quality), House Bill 1028 (adding autism to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis) Senate Bill 102 (allowing public schools to adopt a new model with strategic partners) and House Bill 1155 (expanding the legal definition of "sexual contact" to include ejaculation or causing bodily substances to contact a victim).

House Bill 1225, which eliminates monetary bail for certain low-level offenses, was passed by the Legislature and sent to Polis' desk.

Lawmakers killed House Bill 1046, which would have waived fees for caucuses and party assemblies. Despite being sponsored by Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, the bill was opposed by the GOP.

The big oil and gas bill was sent to Polis, but...


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