02/18/19 -- HB 131 -- Extend the sunset on a geological resources fee
HB 131, introduced by Representative Sonya Anderson (Republican - District 131) is an extremely simple bill. All it does is take an existing permitting fee for surface mining, and extends it from sunsetting in 2020 to 2025.
I am not particularly familiar with the geological resources program that these permit fees fund. I heard from a fellow Representative that they provide some kind of oversight to the surface mining industry, and that those in that business support the program. That may be true, but I heard no detailed explanation about why this fee is needed from the bill sponsor. It may in fact be a good program, but absent additional information I cannot make that determination. And given that voting for an extension of an expiring fee amounts to a tax increase, I voted no on this bill. It passed anyway.