Require "Future Notes" on the environmental impacts of legislation in Colorado
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Facing worsening and more frequent wildfires, decreasing snowpack, degradation of the Colorado River, the depletion of wells beneath the eastern plains, and global climate catastrophe, Keep Colorado Green asks on behalf of Colorado’s 1,042,670 young people that the Colorado State Legislature put forward legislation mandating the estimation of ecological and environmental impacts of legislation before it is voted on.
Currently, the Colorado State General is obliged to provide a fiscal note, estimating the financial costs of legislation once it is proposed. According to the General Assembly’s site: “The fiscal note provides a summary of the proposed law, an explanation of its fiscal impact on state and local government revenue and spending, and an explanation of how it will be implemented. Fiscal notes are based on a set of assumptions that take into account information collected from state agencies, local governments, and other entities or sources. During the legislative session, fiscal notes are updated to reflect amendments adopted that change the proposed measure's fiscal impact.” This serves to inform legislators on the cost of any bill or law well before it is considered, and helps to ensure responsible legislating.
The proposed “future note” would mandate that a similar analysis be done with regard to legislation’s ecological, environmental, and public health impacts. This could include everything from an approximated carbon footprint to a land disruption study. In the face of worsening crises, ranging from the increase in beetle kill to the aforementioned drought on the eastern plains, we believe that any responsible legislation must consider how generations of future Coloradans will be affected. As young people, who will be forced to live in whatever world this legislature creates, we believe we have the right to understand the true impacts of proposed legislation. In the midst of a burgeoning global climate catastrophe which is burning our forests and drying our plains, it is absurd to suggest that only fiscal impacts are relevant. In order to fulfill our obligations to each other, our children, and our species, we must face the consequences of the actions we take today.
On behalf of our students at high schools and universities across the state, of the future generations both born and unborn, and on behalf of all signed below, Keep Colorado Green asks the legislature to mandate a “future note” on all forthcoming legislation, and further, that individual legislators work to sponsor, propose, and implement this legislation.
This is our future, and we have a right to defend it.
Keep Colorado Green
President Matthew Barad
Director Cory Vandenberg
Director Sebastian Lloret
Director Kelsey McKenna
Director Dan McCarthy
Director Jackson Chen
Unite Colorado Springs
Ryan James Barry
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