Well, you didn’t expect the Colorado Municipal League to ask for lasers and free ponies, did you? The venerable, powerful and dutiful representative of the state’s towns and cities has more practical requests for the legislative session that begins Jan. 10.
“The main themes for the session will be maintaining local control and home rule authority, funding previous unfunded mandates from the state and trying to protect municipal taxpayer dollars from being appropriated or spent by the General Assembly through decisions that should remain local,” that’s what the CML Executive Board voted on last Friday.
More specifically, the league will have its hands on bills related to affordable housing, the opioid epidemic, natural disaster preparedness and homelessness. Marijuana, alcohol sales and energy development also are on the CML’s radar, as well as changes to the Public Employees Retirement Association.
The CML writes about its wish list on its website.
“Predictably, there will be new attempts to expand the frontier of marijuana legalization in Colorado,” the CML reports. “Early drafts of legislation that would permit (with local opt-in and approval) licensed premises for onsite, non-smoking marijuana consumption include a number of items of concern to CML. Yet, as the CML Policy Committee and CML Executive Board discussed, municipalities have wide range of views on these issues. At the core, CML’s goal is to ensure absolute local control.
“There also will be more legislation on beer and liquor this session, as the shockwaves from the 2016 shift to allow grocery stores to have multiple licenses to sell beer, wine, and sprits continue to create impacts. Additionally, a provision from the 2016 bill taking effect in 2019 now has people’s full attention. It allows conveniences stores and grocery stores with regular fermented malt beverage licenses to sell full-strength beer without any additional process. CML is working on multiple fronts on these issues.”
On PERA, the Municipal league pledged to be involved in any reforms that come down the legislative pipeline.
“With the ability to be fully funded long before the State and School Divisions, the much better funded Local Government Division can handle a little lighter touch than may be proposed for the rest of the PERA Divisions,” the CML said.