Aurora lawmakers sold on lobbyist reform, delivery fee caps and tax-free menstrual products


AURORA | Aurora lawmakers finalized tighter rules on lobbying disclosures and a tax exemption for menstrual products during a city council meeting Monday. 

They also solidified an extension of the city’s cap on fees restaurants pay to delivery giants GrubHub, Uber Eats and DoorDash. Those rules, which limit those fees, will be extended to May 15 or until public health orders ease for restaurants to allow 100% capacity. 

Lawmakers approved that extension unanimously — as well as the law designed to make menstrual products a bit cheaper. 

Aurora lawmakers also took a moment of silence for the shooting Monday at a grocery store in Boulder, where multiple people were killed.

“I want to send my heartfelt condolences out to the families, friends and loved ones of everyone impacted by the senseless barbarism in Boulder this evening,” said Council member Juan Marcano. “And, sadly this is a kind of tragedy that’s uniquely American and one that we know way too well here in Colorado. And it doesn’t have to be this way.”

The menstrual care product ordinance removes sales tax costs when cashiers ring up tampons, menstrual pads, sanitary napkins, panty liners, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups. Sponsor Allison Hiltz has said it’s an effort to alleviate budget stress on women who have financially suffered during the pandemic. 

Councilmember Angela Lawson pushed the lobbying ordinance. Those rules passed the city council with one “nay” vote, from Councilmember Marsha Berzins. 

The law will create a public record of lobbyists attempting to sway the city’s decision-making targets. 

Lobbyists will have to frequently disclose their activities in public reports. City council members, city staff, commission members and zoning officials who speak with them will  also have to disclose activities with lobbyists. 

Aurorans will be able to click through reports to see which interest groups try to whip up support — or opposition to — bills on thorny issues from big developments and oil and gas permits to police reforms, immigration rules, minimum wage increases and more. 

In a 5 p.m. study session, Councilmember Crystal Murillo introduced a successful resolution declaring that housing is a human right. A slim majority supported the symbolic statement: Murillo, Nicole Johnston, Angela Lawson, Allison Hiltz, Juan Marcano and Alison Coombs. 

While creating nothing concrete, the resolution called on lawmakers to “provide more support for legislative matters related to housing and homelessness” and create “another showing of support to preserve existing affordable housing and create more.”