Bill passed to amend vehicle registrations

DENVER — Bills to protect motorists from identity theft, create an aerial firefighting fleet and increase penalties for violations of oil and gas drilling rules cleared major hurdles on Monday.

After the Colorado House amended a bill to remove the addresses and signature requirements on vehicle registrations and sent it back to the Senate for a final vote, Sen. Steve King instead insisted on a conference committee to work out the differences with the version he got out of the Senate.

The intent of the bill was to remove as much identifying information on the registrations to protect people from identity theft, or prevent someone coming to their home to burglarize it.

But one House member managed to take the address provisions out of the bill because some people might use it as a document to prove their residency during voting.

King said the conference committee, which included Rep. Jared Wright, R-Fruita, and the House sponsor of SB131, compromised on the issue.

Now, one of the two registration cards motorists are sent will include the address, but be marked as a document Coloradans should keep at home. The other card for motorists to keep in their vehicles won’t have the address.

“It’s a good compromise,” King, a Republican, said.

Moments before that measure was approved and sent onto the governor, King saw a bill get final Senate approval to fund, at least for now, half of the the aerial firefighting fleet he’s been trying to create for two years now.

On a unanimous vote, the Senate approved SB189, which appropriates nearly $10 million toward purchasing or leasing two fire spotting planes. Another $10 million will come from the state’s reserve account and would go toward fighting any future fire.

Meanwhile, the governor signed HB1337, which increases that reserve account by about $131 million, taking the account from 5 percent of the state’s general fund to 6.5 percent.

When that account was created, it was required to be 4 percent of the general fund, the state’s main checking account.

Other action Monday included:

■ Final House approval of a bill (HB1356) increasing the daily fine for violating oil and gas drilling rules from $5,000 a day to $15,000 a day.

■ Final Senate approval of a measure (SB181 to ban the use of red-light cameras to nab motorists who run stoplights.

■ Preliminary Senate approval of a bill (SB14 )to increase the amount of money needy seniors can receive in state aid to pay their property taxes and heating bills.


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