Colorado House Republicans

House GOP Newsletter

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

♦Protecting property rights    ♦House GOP Weekly Update
♦Recent Press   ♦Upcoming Legislation   ♦In the News
♦Member Tweets   ♦Capitol Pictures

Protecting Property Rights
By House Minority Whip Perry Buck (R-Windsor)

Despite the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down local fracking bans, mineral rights owners continue to be in the crosshairs of municipalities intent on denying oil and gas extraction. Just this week Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a lawsuit against Boulder County over short-term fracking bans the county is using to stymie future drilling.

While the debate over whether a government entity can legally ban the practice of natural gas extraction sadly remains ongoing, we cannot lose sight of the fact that mineral rights are private property. Just as a deed gives a person ownership of a home or a piece of land, a mineral right gives a person ownership of the subsurface minerals. As with a deed, a mineral right is a legal contract, and nothing should supersede an owner’s contractual right to their property. There are circumstances when a government entity may need to take a person’s property, i.e. eminent domain, but there is an expectation for full and fair compensation as a result.

Now opponents of my bill claim simply denying a person access to their mineral rights does not constitute as legal “taking,” as in the case of eminent domain. However, a fracking ban has the same effect on an owner as a legal taking and therefore the obligation for the government entity to compensate the owner should be the same.

This session I am running a bill, House Bill 1124, that requires a property owner be justly compensated if a government entity prevents them from accessing their property. Regardless of the merits of a ban on the practice of mineral extraction, a property owner should never lose both the right to access their property and the revenue potential of that property. My bill ensures that mineral rights owners are given adequate protections for their property.

House Bill 1124 is scheduled to be heard in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on Wednesday, February 22th at 1:30 pm.

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Perry Buck

House GOP Weekly Update

DENVER—Yesterday afternoon, on a party-line vote, Democrats killed House Bill 1089 in the House Education committee. The bill, sponsored by Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), would have required low-performing schools give parents a choice to spend their child’s state-allotted funding on alternative education options, such as other traditional, charter or private schools, or even online programs.
A bill that would require local government to compensate individuals for mineral rights in situations where the local government bans extraction via fracking.
State, Veterans, & Military Affairs (Room 271, 1:30 PM)
A bill that would allow victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens whose unlawful residency was protected by laws or ordinances, file lawsuits for damages against the elected officials responsible for such laws and ordinances.
State, Veterans, & Military Affairs (Room 271, 1:30 PM)
A bill that would allow school district employees to dispense over-the-counter medication with parental approval, and allows parents and legal guardians to opt out of data collection programs for their children.
Health, Insurance, & Environment (Room 271, 1:30 PM)

In The News
  • A Republican-led state Senate committee gave a party-line nod to a bill that would allow Coloradans to legally tuck away a gun without getting a concealed carry permit.Keep the safety on your high hopes, gun-rights supporters. If Senate Bill 116 passes the Senate Finance Committee and ultimately weathers the 18-17 Republican majority on the floor, it faces certain death before the Democrats’ 37-28 majority in the House.Still, it reminds voters who is on which side of the gun issue. (" Gun bill to allow ‘constitutional carry’ passes GOP-led committee,", 02/16/2017)

  • A House Republican took a Democratic colleague to task Wednesday, February 15, for calling him “half Latino” as the debate over sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants simmers at the state Capitol. Saying he wanted to talk about “a matter that affects the dignity of this chamber,” state Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, took to the House microphone near the end of morning announcements to “call attention to the insensitive words that were spoken about me” during a discussion about pending legislation concerning sanctuary policies. “One of our members referred to me as a ‘half Latino,’” Williams said. “This term was used to diminish my standing on this policy issue and to lessen my credibility within the Latino community. These tactics are disgraceful and in poor taste. I’m sorry that my surname doesn’t match my ethnicity or my heritage, but I’m proud of who I am and where I come from.”  ("Dave Williams lambastes Joe Salazar for calling him ‘half Latino’ in sanctuary policy debate," Colorado Statesman," 02/15/2017)

  • One in 14 trees are dead in Colorado forests and over the past seven years, the number of gray-brown standing-dead trees increased 30 percent to about 834 million, according to the state’s annual forest survey. The dying trees — largely the result of insect infestations — favor large intense wildfires, such as the 2016 Beaver Creek fire that burned northwest of Walden for five months last year, Colorado State Forest Service officials said Tuesday as they unveiled the report.(" It’s not your imagination. More trees than ever are standing dead in Colorado forests ," Denver Post, 02/15/2017)  

  • Supplemental budget bills usually are boring. Lawmakers check their phones. Reporters get coffee. Thursday’s round dripped with politics, vengeance and common sense, demonstrating politicians’ polite way of extending a middle finger. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was on the receiving end of the morning maneuver on a supplemental appropriation the Senate had already passed and the process was one step away from signing the check. ("Cynthia Coffman’s budget request torpedoed by politics,",  02/17/17)

GOP Member Tweets

Cole Wist @ColeWist

Denver Sheriff's Dept. failed this family and our community.  They and we deserve better. @9NEWS #coleg #copolitics

Lois Landgraf @landgrafforjobs

Bill to protect your 4th amendment rights in committee.  Finally--My digital warrant bill in judiciary Tuesday. Many meetings with DAs, police chiefs, sheriffs, Google, coroners and ACLU. Still has opposition. Of course

Justin Everett @Everett4Colo

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves."
- Calvin Coolidge

Capitol Pictures

Representative Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan) with students from Idalia.
The Republican Caucus meets to discuss supplemental appropriations to the budget.
Representative Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) meets with some at-risk students from Hope Academy as they learn about business and entrepreneurship during a tour of Footers Catering 
Representative Kimmi Lewis (R-Las Animas County) addresseses members of the Conservative Breakfast Association in Elbert County.

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