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Government Affairs Monthly Report

08-5-2019

Public Comments Sought for Steamboat Airport Master Plan

After numerous meetings, open houses and public input, the Steamboat Springs Airport Master Plan project team has released the preferred alternative recommendation, the next phase of the master plan project.

Comments and review of efforts to date is incredibly important to making a plan that will serve the needs of the airport and the community now and into the future. Please submit comments on the preferred alternative by Friday, August 9, 2019, directly to
steamboatspringsairportmasterplan@dowl.com.

The City of Steamboat Springs is currently underway with an Airport Master Plan for the Steamboat Springs Airport-Bob Adams Field (KSBS) to determine the facility’s current and future development requirements. The Master Plan is focused on analyzing current demand and forecasting future requirements to develop a plan supporting the needs of the airport over the next twenty years and investigating new opportunities.

The primary objective of the master plan will be to reassess airport development needs and priorities, and prepare a 20-year development plan for the facility. While it is not intended to resolve maintenance, operations, property leasing, management, and policies matters; these issues as identified during this process will be documented for future consideration outside of the master plan process.

Project meeting materials, plan information, meeting schedules and public involvement events can be viewed at steamboatsprings.net/KSBSMasterPlan. In addition, subscription to the email list may be completed by email.


City voters will choose four Steamboat Springs City Council members on Nov. 5.

Four council members’ terms expire this year, leaving seats open in all three of the city’s districts. With four of the seven positions on the council decided in November, there’s a possibility for significant change on the council.

Council members Jason Lacy, Robin Crossan, Heather Sloop and Scott Ford’s terms will expire this year. Lacy and Crossan said Wednesday they planned to pick up petitions to get on the ballot. Sloop said she has not made a decision as to whether she’d run for re-election. Ford is term-limited and cannot run again.

City Council members serve on sub-committees and commissions and represent the city in meetings with other organizations. There is also an expectation that council members stay abreast of minutes to keep up with other city commissions, such as the Parks and Recreation and Planning commissions, though council members don’t attend these meetings.

Council members receive access to city health benefits and an $894.89 to $1,191.81 monthly stipend, depending on a person’s position on council. City council members also receive some of the same benefits city employees receive, such as a season pass to Howelsen Hill Ski Area and access to reserve a pass to Haymaker Golf Course and Steamboat Resort, Suiter said.
Visit steamboatsprings.net/election for more information.

CAR Seeks Applications for Key Advocacy/Policy Committees

Applications for CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee (LPC), Political Action Committee (CARPAC) and Key Contacts Program are now available. Applications for all three opportunities are due by no later than Friday, August 30, 2019.

Legislative Policy Committee (LPC):

Description: LPC members are to review, prepare, and make decisions based upon legislation that will be or has been introduced in the 2020 Colorado Legislative Session (meet primarily January through May).
Term Length: 1-year
Term Begins: December 2019

CAR Political Action Committee (CARPAC):
Description: CARPAC members are charged with managing and distributing RPAC funds for local and state candidates and issues, supporting grassroots and lobbying efforts, and educating REALTOR® members on matters of public policy.
Term Length: 4-year
Term Begins: December 2019
Vacancies: (1) Western District, (1) Mountain District, (2) At-Large

NEW** Key Contacts Program:

Description: To assist CAR’s legislative advocacy efforts, CAR has created a grasstops lobbyist network to establish one REALTOR® as a Key Contact for each Colorado State Legislator. Key Contacts will be activated and called upon at strategic moments to help influence state legislators on issues impacting the Colorado Association of REALTORS®.
Application: coloradorealtors.com/key-contacts

Please contact: Nick Bokone, CAR Public Policy Consultant, nickbok22@gmail.com for information on any of these programs.
Applications for all three opportunities are due by no later than Friday, August 30, 2019.

NAR Supports Credit Reporting Bill

On July 16, 2019, NAR sent a letter to Representative Gottheimer in support of provisions two through six of the Accurate Access to Credit Information Act of 2019. Among other things, the five provisions of the bill would provide access to free credit scores, transparency in the reporting process and use of consumer credit information, high standards for vetting credit information, and a reliable method for contesting and correcting inaccurate information. While NAR has no position on the primary regulator of the CRAs, NAR appreciates Representative Gottheimer's efforts to clarifying that important point.

NAR Monitors Senate Hearing on Cannabis Banking Issues

On Tuesday, July 23, the Senate Banking Committee, led by Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) held a hearing on “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives.” The first panel was comprised of Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), cosponsors of S. 1200, the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that accept funds from cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses that work with the cannabis industry. Under current federal law, cannabis is an illegal controlled substance, so federally-insured banks are barred from accepting funds from them, or risk violating anti-money laundering laws. However, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis use in some form, presenting challenges to both the state-sanctioned cannabis businesses and financial institutions. Senators Gardner and Merkley explained how the disconnect between the laws in their home states – both of which have booming legal-cannabis industries – and federal law are having negative impacts on their constituency, from increased risk of crime (due to having to work in an all-cash industry) to difficulty collecting taxes.

The second panel included witnesses from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the American Bankers Association (ABA), who explained how, as the cannabis industry grows, so does the network of other industries that intersect with it, including transportation, property management, even accounting and legal services. This means that more and more businesses are at risk of being in violation of federal law, and that it is difficult for financial institutions to ascertain if they are accepting money from a business that is in any way connected with the cannabis industry. They also outlined the many ways that financial institutions are already working with the federal government to prevent money laundering, and that, should they be able to legally work with cannabis businesses, they would be able to provide important information to the government through their regular reports on the financial state of that industry and its impact on the economy.

NAR sent a letter of support for the SAFE Banking Act to the Committee. The cannabis industry is especially tied to real estate – it requires land, warehouses, storefronts, etc., and many REALTORS® have clients that are in some way connected to it. It is important that Congress act to allow these state-sanctioned businesses access to banking services, both to improve the safety of those communities and to have clearer compliance and oversight of the industry itself.