Oil and Gas

There has been a lot of discussion lately in the news and in the community about the possibility of a ballot measure that will increase the severance taxes oil and gas companies pay for the value of natural resources that are extracted from properties in the state of Colorado. What are severance taxes, and what would an increase mean to the oil and gas industry? These questions and more are answered in a fact sheet put out by the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, "The Oil and Gas Industry in Colorado". The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission also has useful information on their "Frequently Requested Data" page.

Additional resources available through the State Publications Library and on the Internet that may be of interest:


Colorado's Budget

The Colorado budget bill known as the "Long Bill" was introduced yesterday. This is the annual bill presented by the Joint Budget Committee that is the state's budget. The bill alternates each year between introduction in the House and the Senate; this year it is being introduced first in the House, which is debating it most of this week, and then it will move to the Senate later this week or early next week. Next year's bill will be introduced in the Senate.

A copy of this year's bill can be checked out from our library, or you can view it online. (To access the online version, find House Bill 08-1375 and click on the bill number. A screen will appear with the bill divided into sections for download.)

When the bill is signed into law, which usually happens in April, a copy of that will be available for checkout as well. We also have copies of all of the previous Long Bills and Long Bill Acts back to the 1970s, available for checkout.



A recent outbreak of salmonella in Alamosa has caused officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to issue an advisory for residents not to drink the tap water.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause an intestinal illness in people and animals. Information on salmonella can be found on the Public Health and Environment website, and from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UPDATE: For the latest information on the situation in Alamosa, consult the "Situation Reports" from the State Emergency Operations Center and the City of Alamosa website.


Punishing Drunk Drivers

This past Friday HB08-1194 passed through the House Appropriations Committee and will now go on to a full vote of the House. HB1194 would, if passed, require convicted drunk drivers to install an interlock device in their car for nine months following the conviction. The measure would also increase fees for reinstatement of drivers licenses. The goal is to deter drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. Under current law, a first-time offender loses their license for a period of months, and the more DUIs, the longer their license is revoked. However, it is well known that many of these offenders continue to drive, though now without a license. By the passage of HB1194, the period of license revocation would be shortened so that the offender is free to drive legally -- provided they have the ignition interlock device in their car. The interlock device measures a driver's blood alcohol content by blowing into a tube. If the driver has a high BAC, the car will not start. Additionally, periodic random tests are required while the car is in operation to insure drivers to not imbibe while driving. Supporters of the bill believe that this is a way for offenders to drive legally, while possibly teaching new habits about driving while drunk, and making the roads safer for everyone.

The Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services, which provides legal interpretation and writing of bills, prepared a fact sheet on Colorado's current drunk driving laws, which you can view here. You can also search our catalog using the keyword "drunk driving" for many other documents on state drunk driving laws.


Wine Country

Did you know that there is a state agency that focuses solely on wine and grapes in Colorado?

The mission of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board is to encourage and promote scientific research about wine, growing vines, and wine-making; to market wine and wine grapes produced in Colorado; and serve as a resource for the Colorado wine industry. They recently hired an official state enologist to travel the state and work as a consultant with winery owners to help solve problems, and serve as an educator and fount of information.

If you like wine, and are curious about what Colorado has to offer, visit the board's website: http://www.coloradowine.com/.

They have a quarterly newsletter that highlights Colorado wines and wineries, along with information about wine-tasting events around the state. There are also maps and brochures on wine tours in Colorado. Maybe this weekend you can follow a Colorado Wine Trail, and spend the day visiting wineries on the Front Range, Rocky Mountains, Grand Valley, or West Elks regions.

Colorado Film

One of the best ways to promote tourism in our state is to encourage its use as a location for movie and television filming. The state maintains a website, http://www.coloradofilm.org/, with all the information on filming in Colorado, including links to the annual Colorado Production Resource Guide, a directory of locations and film personnel as well as listing recent film projects. Colorado continues to promote filming, as yesterday a bill was introduced in the state legislature to encourage filming activities in the state. HB08-1355 would, if passed, create a new film and television office within the governor's economic development office to further promote Colorado as a film location.


New Fly Fishing Video

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has just released a brand-new DVD, Fly Fishing Colorado. The two-hour video travels to some of the great fishing spots around the state. According to the CDOW website, the video offers "a comprehensive look at year-round fly fishing opportunities...with...recommended destinations, fly fishing techniques, major insect hatches, and proven fly patterns. " See http://wildlife.state.co.us/NewsMedia/ for more information.

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