HB1160 – It’s the Principle…….

February 23, 2011

Today in the Local Government Committee HB11-1160 passed with 100% of ALL committee members voting to move this bill out of committee and to the Committee of the Whole (c.o.w.) for a full house vote which will then move the bill to the Senate. The Republicans who voted YES on this bill are:

David Balmer district 39 Arapahoe county 303-866-2935 E-mail: david.balmer.house@state.co.us

Kathleen Conti district 38 Arapahoe/Jefferson county 303-866-2953 E-mail: kathleen.conti.house@state.co.us

Laura Bradford district 55 Mesa county  303-866-2583 E-mail: laurabradford55@gmail.com

Libby Szabo district 27 Jefferson county  303-866-2962 E-mail: libby.szabo.house@state.co.us

Keith Swerdfeger district 47 Fremont/Pueblo county  303-866-2905 E-mail: keith.swerdfeger.house@state.co.us

Bob Gardner district 21 El Paso/Fremont county 303-866-2191 E-mail: bob.gardner.house@state.co.us

What principles does HB1160 violate?

1.  Free Market!!  The Governor’s Energy Office will now:

  • Decide which contractors are approved to upgrade a existing home to current clean/green energy standards
  • Decide which existing homes are eligible for tax payer and/or debt funded federal grants for clean/green energy upgrades
  • manipulate the real estate market as participants MUST purchase a new construction home vs choosing from ALL of the available real estate inventory
  • create a market for c/ean/green energy homes using tax payer and/or debt funded monies

2.  Fiscal Responsibility

  • The current reported federal deficit is over $14 trillion dollars which so many conservatives agree is an immoral amount of debt to pass on to future generations.  No matter the dollar amount HB11-1160 contributes to this immoral deficit
  • Per the fiscal note in this bill, the GEO will need to hire a .5 FTE (a part time employee)  at the cost of $30,000
  • There is no dollar limit on the amount of grant that a homeseller can request – in the hearing Rep. Gerou was asked this question and had no answer

3. Limited Government

  • The GEO will create an approved list of contractors based on unknown standards or qualifications
  • Create more regulations on what is clean/green energy standards and force on the market vs allowing the market to decide if wanted and/or willing to pay for

4.  Other

  • This same bill was introduced last year HB10-1331 and specified that the money would come from Amercian Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds or any other federal funds/grants awarded.  The bill this year only states that the program will be funded by federal grants
  • There is no sunset provison in the bill and so as long as there are federal funds received the program will continue

This bill if passed by the house will almost certainly pass the Senate and while it is understandable that the committee wants to help the construction industry this bill violates basic principles of conservatives and liberty.

All constituents of the above committee members should ask for an explanation of this vote and how do they believe the vote follows the principles as stated above.

Note:  Tomorrow (2/24) HB1207 the movie tax bill is up for a hearing and Rep. Szabo, Balmer and Swerdfeger are members of the Business Committee which all should ask these Representatives if they plan on defending TABOR by voting no on HB1207 and standing on the principle of free market by voting no.

We all know that elections have consequences but so do votes.



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