DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation that will help address PFAS contamination, direct funding to the Colorado Water Plan and plant more trees in Colorado forests.
“Communities in every part of our state are dealing with PFAS contamination because these dangerous chemicals don’t break down in the natural environment,” said Rep. Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County, sponsor of HB22-1345. “Even the smallest doses of PFAS have been linked to adverse health impacts, including cancer and damage to critical organs. The legislation we passed today is a monumental step forward to remove these dangerous products from Colorado and stop the contamination that is threatening the health of our communities.”
“With Colorado’s forests seeing increasing devastation from wildfires, insect outbreaks, drought and deforestation, we are going to increase the capacity of our state nursery to provide a large-scale, diverse and reliable stock of seedling trees to help rebuild our forests,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs. “Healthy forests will reduce the risk of wildfires, improve our groundwater quality and remove carbon and pollution from the atmosphere.”
Addressing PFAS Contamination: HB22-1345, sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Mary Bradfield, passed by a vote of 43-22. The bill will curb PFAS contamination and protect consumers by restricting the sale of products that contain these harmful chemicals. PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, are toxic chemicals added to everyday consumer products and linked to cancer, hormone disruption, organ damage and reproductive health problems. The bill immediately protects consumers from PFAS in products such as cosmetics, carpets, food packaging, baby products, textile furnishings, upholstered furniture, and fluids used in oil and gas production. The bill also requires product labels be added to other items, like cookware, that will better inform consumers of the risks.
Promoting Healthy, Diverse Forests: HB22-1323, sponsored by Representatives Marc Snyder and Meg Froelich, passed by a vote of 57-7. The bill directs $5 million to the state nursery to significantly increase its capacity to help plant new trees in damaged forests to prevent natural disasters and future wildfires. This effort will repair some of the damage from devastating wildfires, insect outbreaks, drought and deforestation.
“Healthy trees and forests remove carbon from the atmosphere, mitigate the risk of wildfire, protect our groundwater and watersheds, and make our state the incredible outdoor adventure we love,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, sponsor of HB22-1323. “By expanding capacity at our state nursery, we’ll ensure that Colorado has the healthy seedlings and baby saplings we need to replenish our forests and conserve the incredible outdoors that defines our beautiful state.”
Directing Additional Resources to Water Plan and Addressing Problem Gambling: HB22-1402, sponsored by Speaker Alec Garnett, passed by a vote of 53-12. The bill will increase funding for the Colorado Water Plan by over $7 million the next two years, and even more after that, by directing more of the revenues from sports betting to the state’s water plan. The introduction of sports betting in Colorado in 2020 has led to major growth in the gaming industry, partly due to higher limits and additional games. This bill provides more funding for the responsible gaming grant program in the Department of Revenue to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming.
“Coloradans are betting on sports and driving new revenues to our water plan,” said Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “With this legislation, we’re directing additional funding from sports betting revenues to help Coloradans with problem gaming and sending even more money to the Colorado Water Plan, which helps ensure we have the water resources we need for our growing state.”