House Bill Would Boost Wildfire and Disaster Mitigation

DENVER, CO– The House today advanced HB21-1208, legislation that would help Colorado communities prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change and related natural disasters. 

“As the changing climate threatens structures, livestock, and Coloradans across our state, we have to take action now to help build more resilient communities,” said Rep. Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County. “This bill will help local governments and communities draw down significant federal resources to protect against natural disasters like wildfires and droughts that are devastating our state, forcing Coloradans from their homes, and harming industries that create jobs. Our local communities desperately need a consistent, ongoing source of revenue to fund mitigation resources to fund mitigation projects so they can be better prepared to weather increasingly severe droughts, fires, and record temperatures.”

“By investing in natural disaster and wildfire mitigation, we can prevent some of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in damages and losses consumers and property owners face each year in Colorado,” said Rep Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “Climate change is making natural disasters worse and worse each year, burning people’s homes and threatening job creating industries that rely on our beautiful environment.” 

HB21-1208, sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Matt Gray, would create a natural disaster enterprise to draw down federal funds to help Colorado communities mitigate the impact and reduce the threat of climate-related natural disasters, such as wildfires. The bill establishes a small $2 per year flat fee on some disaster related insurance policies that will be leveraged for three times as much federal funding. The funding will be used to finance disaster mitigation projects in communities that are actively working to increase their resiliency.. The grant program will also provide technical assistance to local governments to help them address and mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

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