As a reminder, the AP reported in January:
House Speaker Frank McNulty highlighted the plight of a Montrose business owner during a speech to start this year’s legislative session, saying “unnecessary government restrictions” prohibit the use of the beetle-kill timber and that a GOP bill would tackle the problem.
There’s only one problem: The red tape Republicans say blocks the sale of beetle-kill timber doesn’t exist, according to the Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties Inc.
The building-code confusion is calling into question the validity of one of the centerpieces of the Republicans’ job package this year and underscores what happens when best intentions meet reality at the Legislature…
Fast-forward to today and this release from Colorado House Democrats:
HB12-1004, sponsored by Rep. Laura Bradford (R-Grand Junction), “requires county and municipal building codes to allow the use of lumber milled from lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce trees having a grade of ‘stud’ or better as building framing material.”
But as the name implies, “stud” grade lumber is already in general use for studs and other framing applications. So the Bradford bill changes nothing, encourages no one to use beetle-killed timber. Yet the bill obtained the blessing of the House Republican leadership, which put it on its phantom list of “jobs” bills.
This much-ballyhooed bill was killed this morning – at the sponsor’s request — in the House Agriculture Committee.
We noted in January that McNulty asserted this bill “would let a Colorado sawmill add 80 jobs”–bizarrely specific given that the bill doesn’t, as it turns out, actually do anything!
McNulty won’t take the fall, but the principle holds: making stuff up is a bad idea.