Governor Signs AG Bills

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed five dozen bills last week, five highly important to producers across the state.
Ritter signed the SB 27 which allows officials to fine violators who illegally divert surface water $500. The same system is used for those who illegally divert ground water and caused violations to decrease and violation problems to be resolved quicker. With droughts across the country it is important that water is used as assigned and no one steals water from others.
Agricultural arson was illegal in Colorado until last week. Controlled agricultural burns are now legal under the HB 1123 law. The law states that those who start fires “in a reasonably cautious manner and there was no personal injury as a result,” cannot be fined.
HB 1107 was also signed which states that agricultural land is to be included under the URA for fair market value assessment instead of lower production value to determine the tax money given to the area for such thinks as schools and local governments.
A Farm-to-School Inter-agency Task Force is part of the SB 81 signed by Ritter. This creates a 13-person task force that works to bring local product into school cafeterias. The task force will not only provide students with healthier dining, but more income for producers in the area as well.
Finally legislators in Colorado are awaiting the signature on The Colorado Seed Potato Act. This act is much like the act in Idaho that requires potato seeds to be inspected by a committee before being planted for resale. “If we don’t put something like this through, Idaho is knocking on our back door,” Bob Mattive, a representative of the Colorado Seed Potato Growers Association said. Ritter is expected to sign the bill in the upcoming weeks.
Farm loan rates starting at 2.95%. Lock in before farm loan rates rise. Contact Farm Plus by clicking here or calling toll free 866-929-5585.