Skip to contents
Politics and Government

Colorado governor vetoes two bills dealing with off-highway vehicles, transportation funding

Jared Polis rejected House Bills 1024 and 1196, his second and third vetoes of measures passed during the 2021 legislative session

OHV's (off-highway vehicles) drive on the streets of Lake City, Colorado on June 2, 2021. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)
  • Credibility:

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Friday vetoed two more bills passed during the 2021 legislative session.

The Democrat rejected House Bill 1196, which would have made a technical amendment to a law passed in 2019 that sought to ask voters in November to approve $1.3 billion in bonds for transportation funding. But the ballot question was eliminated by another measure passed this year, Senate Bill 260, a massive transportation fee and spending bill.  

“If signed, House Bill 1196 might only serve to confuse Coloradans,” Polis wrote in a letter explaining his veto. 

The governor also vetoed House Bill 1024, which would have required owners of all off-highway vehicles to obtain titles before they could sell their vehicles, starting in July 2023.

“While we agree that titling is an appropriate mechanism to prevent fraud and theft, we are concerned about making this a requirement for all OHVs, regardless of whether an owner is intending to sell or trade-in the vehicle, or the value of that vehicle,” Polis wrote in a letter explaining the veto.

The governor said he was also “concerned about the potential patchwork of sales tax requirements that will be created by this bill.”

MORE: Off-highway vehicles are revving up locals (in a bad way) in Colorado’s remote mountain towns

Polis encouraged the bill’s bipartisan sponsors to work on new legislation including a cost floor for which vehicles must be titled and “proactively define OHVs to ensure that there are not unintended consequences or ambiguity.” 

“I hope that a solution can be completed in time to be introduced next session,” the governor wrote. “We want Colorado to continue to be a leader in outdoor recreation.”

Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, a Highlands Ranch Republican and prime sponsor of House Bill 1024, said he intends to bring the legislation back next year.

“Criminal theft of valuable off highway vehicles, such as ATV’s, remains a problem in Colorado and I look forward to finding a workable solution next year for victims of theft,” he said.

Sen. Kevin Priola, a Henderson Republican who worked on the measure, reacted to the veto with a shrugging bitmoji image text-messaged to a reporter.

The vetoes come after Polis rejected House Bill 1092 in May, which would have allowed candidates to run for lieutenant governor and another elected position — with the exception of U.S. Senate and U.S. House — at the same time.

The veto of House Bill 1092 led to a rare veto override vote in the Colorado House. Lawmakers overwhelmingly decided not to override the governor’s decision.

Since the legislature is no longer in session, state lawmakers cannot override the vetoes on House Bills 1024 and 1196. 

Polis has until July 8, 30 days after the 2021 legislative session ended, to veto or sign bills passed this year. He can also allow legislation to become law without his signature.

The Colorado Sun has no paywall, meaning readers do not have to pay to access stories. We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable.

This reporting depends on support from readers like you. For just $5/month, you can invest in an informed community.