Open Records Request for SB 181

Open Records Request for SB 181

March 12, 2019

Colorado Rising Action is submitting public information requests regarding the involvement of Colorado Rising for Health and Safety in drafting and helping to pass SB-181 – an overhaul of oil & gas regulations.

The requests aim to understand:

1. Whether or not former State Representative Joe Salazar has violated Amendment 41’s “anti-revolving door” provision of the Colorado Constitution, which prohibits elected officeholders from lobbying (or overseeing lobbying efforts) for pay for two years after leaving office. While Joe Salazar is not himself registered as a lobbyist, he is the Executive Director of Colorado Rising for Health and Safety (overseeing their registered lobbyist), and is shown actively lobbying for SB-181 in a video recorded at the Capitol.

In this video, Joe Salazar says, “Morally speaking, we have to see that this bill passes cleanly.”

Salazar also says, “Remember to contact Angela Williams as well. Contact Leroy Garcia. Contact Rachel Zenzinger. Contact Kerry Donovan. Contact Jeff Bridges. Just to make sure they stay solid on this bill.”

Suzanne Spiegel says, “We are there to support this and make sure that it gets through.”

2. Senate Majority Leader, Steve Fenberg, was clear that no one outside of legislators and bill drafters – including advocacy organizations – were involved in the formation of SB-181. We would like to determine if this is in fact true.

During testimony in front of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, Senator Fenberg says, “I did not provide the bill language to anybody…I also did not provide the bill language to people who are, who I would assume are proponents of the bill.”

“As SB-181 is getting rammed through the legislature, Coloradans deserve to know the full story. Is Joe Salazar violating Amendment 41? Is Majority Leader Fenberg being honest about who helped craft the bill? Hopefully this CORA request will help answer some of those questions,” said Michael Fields.

The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests will look at the communications between SB-181 bill sponsors, select legislators, Governor Jared Polis, and the advocacy organizations Colorado Rising for Health and Safety, League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), Conservation Colorado, ProgressNow Colorado, and other environmental advocacy groups to determine how, in fact, the bill was drafted, and to what extent unlawful lobbying has taken place.

For more information on the Independent Ethics Commission’s interpretation of Amendment 41, click here.


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