Denver—The Colorado River Water Conservation District is very concerned about a water bill that was approved by a Senate committee Monday. Senate Bill 183 would require a water judge when he or she decrees a water right, to quantify the actual historical consumptive use during wet years, dry years and average years.  Chris Treese from the CRWC testified against the bill .  He says the measure should not include years of undecreed use of the water right.  He says the bill has turned into a battle between the Western Slope and the front range.  The Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee approved the bill on a 4 to 3 vote.


Meeker—The Bureau of Land Management wants the public’s help in reviewing it’s inventory of roads and trails in the northwest part of the state.  The BLM will spend the next few years putting together a comprehensive travel management planning process with over 18-hundred miles of routes within one and a half million acres.  White River Field Manager Kent Walter says, “if you use the roads and trails within the area, we would like to hear from you.”  You can learn more by going to the White River Field Office homepage and clicking on the Travel and Transportation Management link.   Public comments are being taken until May 31st.


DENVER (AP) – A Democrat effort to raise Colorado’s minimum wage notched a partial victory today when the House voted to allow cities to raise the wage if they wish. The Democrats didn’t have enough support in the House to let voters decide if the wage should be raised statewide. The bill allowing local governments to raise the wage passed 34-30 on party lines, with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans opposed.  The second bill required a two-thirds vote because it would potentially change the state constitution. Republicans had enough votes to block the effort. Even the passage of the local wage hike bill is a temporary win for the Democrats because the GOP-controlled senate has already expressed strong opposition.  Colorado’s current minimum wage is $8.23 per hour.  Democrats want to raise it to 12.50 an hour by 2020.  Republicans say the mandatory hike will raise the price of goods and services and force many business owners to close or lay off workers.


DENVER (AP) – Legislation that would prohibit welfare cards at Colorado marijuana dispensary ATMs or strip clubs has been sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper for action.
The Senate passed the bill today on a 23-12 vote. Many dispensary ATMs are already set up to decline the electronic benefit cards, known as EBTs. But lawmakers say legislation is needed to ensure there’s no misuse and to avoid possible federal sanctions.Some Democrats opposed the bill, saying it’s not clear that the misuse of the cards is widespread.
The bill doesn’t give the state a way to monitor ATM use for compliance. But a separate pending bill that also seeks to restrict the use of welfare cards does have an enforcement mechanism.