State Rep. Bernie Buescher Discusses House Bills

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The legislative session has only been underway for a little more than a week, and already State Representative Bernie Buescher has some bills in the works.

One of the bills Buescher is working on, along with Representative Katherine Curry from Gunnison, will help oil and gas drilling communities.

If passed, the bill would double the amount of severance taxes communities receive to help with the impact of the industry. Buescher also spoke on a bill that Representative Steve King of Grand Junction introduced to the house. The bill addresses the new minimum wage increase to a price index that reflects Western Colorado communities, not just Denver and the Front Range. That bill was not passed, and Buescher voted against the measure.

"The concern I had about the amendment was that the proposal was to use a price index that included Pueblo, Grand Junction, and two other communities that doesn't exist right now; and to create that index I believe would cost something in the range of $75,000 to $125,000 per year," Buescher said.

He also said he would like to see a separate bill that would create a state wide cost of living index.