Senate Dems want to use stimulus for health care

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Senate Dems want to use stimulus for health care

Republicans say money should be saved
Isgar overruled on well fee bill

DENVER – A large fee increase on water wells plowed through the Senate on Wednesday, despite Sen. Jim Isgar’s attempts to delay it.


Senate Bill 216 would increase water well permit fees to $665, up from the current $100. It also substantially raises fees on dam inspections and substitute water supply plans.


Isgar tried to get the Senate to send the bill to his Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for more study.


"I think this bill has to go back to the ag committee so we can have some discussion on these changes," Isgar said.


But he lost by one vote. Three other Democrats and 11 Republicans voted on Isgar’s side.


Democratic leaders say the bill needs to keep moving in order for Gov. Bill Ritter to sign it into law by March 1. If it passes, the water fees would go up March 1.


"We need to keep this bill moving in order to balance our budget for ’08-’09," said Senate Majority Leader Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont.


Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, said the bill was introduced Monday and is moving too fast.


"The impacted citizens didn’t have a chance to come up and testify on this bill and how it’s going to affect them," Brophy said.


But water fees were increased to balance the budget during the last recession, said Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo. Well fees were $480 as recently as 2006, he said.


The Senate’s final vote is scheduled for today. After that, the bill goes to the House.


jhanel@durangoherald.com

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