3:12pm

Thu January 24, 2013
Watershed

Udall And Bennet Make Another Push For Watershed Restoration Funding

Colorado Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall are making one final push for emergency watershed protection funding to be included in Hurricane Sandy disaster-relief legislation.

Both Senators took to the floor of the Senate Thursday morning in support of the funding which could provide critical support for watersheds like the Poudre River devastated by last year’s High Park Fire.

Standing in front of a large photo of the blackened Poudre River, Bennet expressed his disappointment that the House removed the funding from its version of the bill with a rationale for fiscal responsibility.

“The reality of this situation is that it is fiscally irresponsible because we can say with 100 percent certainty that the cost of fixing these problems later will be significantly more than it is now.”

Senator Udall says the amendment does not add dollars to the bill, but reverses a decision by the House to exclude Colorado from receiving Emergency Watershed Protection Program funds.

“This bill should include in the interest of fairness, much needed aid for Colorado. If we don’t do this now it’s going to cost us a lot more later to fix our water treatment centers and to stabilize our stream banks and to provide the clean drinking water for the people of our state.”

Members of Colorado’s House delegation were also disappointed the funding was not included in their version of the bill.

The amendment may yet be added during the Senate's reading of the Hurricane Sandy relief bill passed earlier this month by the House.

A vote on the bill, and any added amendments, could come as early as Thursday afternoon. Udall Spokesman Mike Saccone says that depends on how quickly the chamber acts on filibuster-reform rules.