Three bills to help flood and other disaster victims pass House

DENVER - The Colorado House of Representatives passed three bills on Friday that will help mitigate damage from floods last fall and support future efforts for disaster response.

The bills, sponsored by representatives from Greeley, Colorado Springs, Dacono and Longmont, were three of 14 approved by the state's legislative council Flood Disaster Study Committee. If passed into law, they will provide recovery funds from previous disasters.

Bill HB14-1002 assigns $12 million to help repair water pipes that were damaged during the floods.
“Water and wastewater infrastructure repairs are among the highest priorities for bringing neighborhoods back from disaster,” said Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley).

The money would be assigned for use depending on the applicants' financial ability to pay for the repairs. Priority would be given to those with the least amount of resources.

Another bill, HB14-1003, would give an income tax break for out-of-state residents who helped with relief efforts in the wake of a natural disaster. 

Anyone who provided disaster-related work such as repairs, renovations, medical aid, rescue and other activity would be eligible. Anyone eligible may claim this exemption from the time a state of disaster emergency is declared until 60 days after it expires. This bill is sponsored by Reps. Daniel Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) and Lori Saine (R-Dacono).

The third bill approved, HB14-1006, would allow a faster flow of money to marketing districts, to help them provide more up-to-date information in real time.

In a statement supplied by House Democrats, Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) described how Estes Park had trouble getting information out when their town was finally accessible again to tourists, because they were out of money.

Marketing districts currently collect remittances gained from lodging taxes on a quarterly basis. This bill would allow them to collect every month starting in July.

All three bills are a recorded vote away from going to the Senate.  

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