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Bill Detail: SB22-168

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Title Backcountry Search And Rescue
Status Sent to the Governor (05/11/2022)
Bill Subjects
  • Natural Resources & Environment
House Sponsors J. McCluskie (D)
P. Will (R)
Senate Sponsors B. Rankin (R)
K. Donovan (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee Agriculture and Natural Resources
Date Introduced 03/21/2022
Summary

The bill transfers the duties, powers, and functions of the
department of local affairs (DOLA) related to backcountry search and
rescue, the backcountry search and rescue card (card) and the backcountry
search and rescue fund (fund) to the division of parks and wildlife
(division), effective January 1, 2023. On and after January 1, 2023:
  • All positions of employment and appropriations for

personal services in DOLA related to backcountry search
and rescue and the administration of the card and fund are
transferred to the division;
  • The division is required to administer the card program and
to process requests for reimbursement for search and rescue
efforts from the fund and assumes all rights and obligations
previously vested in DOLA;
  • The parks and wildlife commission is required to
promulgate rules establishing the price and vendor fee for
the card, and the amount of the surcharges imposed on
certain hunting and fishing licenses and on boats,
snowmobile, and off-highway vehicle registrations that are
credited to the fund; and
  • The fund is continuously appropriated to the division to
reimburse local governments for backcountry search and
rescue efforts and to support search and rescue efforts
throughout the state.
The bill amends current laws providing immunity from civil
liability in certain circumstances to volunteer firefighters and incident
management teams responding to emergencies and to volunteers
providing services to nonprofit organizations to include individuals
engaged in backcountry search and rescue efforts.
The bill makes a dependent of a person who died or was
permanently disabled while engaged in backcountry search and rescue
efforts eligible for educational benefits that are currently extended to the
dependents of individuals who die or are permanently disabled while on
active duty as a Colorado National Guardsman or while working as a
police officer, sheriff, or other law enforcement officer or firefighter.

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