Trashing local authority

Republicans in the Colorado Legislature, who routinely decry federal legislation that imposes new restrictions on states, seem to have little concern about imposing new mandates on local governments in Colorado.

Witness the party-line passage of House Bill 116 on second reading in the House this week. The bill would require cities to allow private trash haulers to operate within municipal limits if a city is about to approve its own trash pick-up system. And it would require voter approval before any new municipal trash fee could be implemented.

The bill wouldn’t immediately affect cities such as Grand Junction, which have had city trash service in place for a long time. But it could in the future if significant changes are made to that service.

We’re all for giving private companies the chance to compete with government-operated services. That’s why we supported the city hiring a private vendor for food service at Grand Junction’s two municipal golf courses.

But this should be a local decision, not something dictated by 100 lawmakers in Denver.

If residents of a particular municipality don’t like the system of trash service in place, they can change it by electing new municipal representatives.

The state Senate should trash HB 1116.


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