Representative Will, bill sponsor, presented HB22-1072. The bill modifies the Habitat Partnership Program (HPP) in Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Notably, the bill allows the Habitat Partnership Council (the council) to allocate the annual budget of local habitat partnership committees (local committees) and submit local budgets for approval by the CPW director. The council may also spend money as necessary in areas not covered by a local committee. The bill allows the CPW director to independently appoint members of the council without approval of the CPW Commission. The director may also set terms for local committee membership.
Under current law, five percent of the net sales of big game licenses used in the geographic areas represented by local committees is transferred from the Wildlife Cash Fund to the Habitat Partnership Cash Fund to fund the program. This funding repeals July 1, 2023. The bill extends program funding indefinitely beginning FY 2023-24, and allows CPW to retain all encumbered funds in the HPP cash fund at the end of each fiscal year. Finally, the bill exempts the HPP from the state procurement code.