JUC CAN (Community Action Network) is tracking several bills in the Colorado Legislature that involve housing, mental health and education that promote our UU values. Bills supported by JUC CAN are denoted with an asterisk.

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, AND TENANT PROTECTION BILLS

SB20-106 Consent to Shelter and Services by Homeless Youth(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-106)

SPONSORS: Sen. R. Woodward | Sen. J. Ginal

Allows youth who are 15 years of age or older to consent to receiving shelter services from a licensed homeless youth shelter, without requiring parental consent, in accordance with rules promulgated by the Department of Human Services. No appropriation is required. Passed Senate, passed House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services, referred amended to House Committee of the Whole.

*SB20-108 Landlord Prohibitions Tenant Citizenship Status (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-108)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Gonzales | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez – Prohibits a landlord from using or disclosing information regarding a tenant’s citizenship or immigration status and permits a tenant to bring civil action against a landlord for engaging in prohibited conduct. The requirement of immigration status information on a tenant application can lead to rejection of the application or harassment and intimidation of immigrant or undocumented tenants. Such actions can dissuade tenants from filing housing complaints or exercising their rights. No appropriation is required. Passed Senate, introduced In House, and assigned to House Business Affairs & Labor Committee.

Article: https://denverite.com/2020/01/22/one-of-denvers-state-senators-wants-to-stop-landlords-from-asking-tenants-about-immigration-status/

*HB20-1009 Suppressing Court Records of Eviction Proceedings(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1009)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Jackson | Sen. F. Winter

Requires a court to suppress records related to eviction proceedings and actions for termination. In addition, the court must not publish the names of any parties online. Upon an order granting the plaintiff possession of the premises, the court will lift the suppression order unless the parties agree that the record should remain suppressed. Summons to defendants must include a notification that the records associated with the proceedings are suppressed until an order grants the plaintiff possession of the premises, and that the record may still remain suppressed if both parties agree. Because a record is produced when an eviction is filed in court, the threat of filing an eviction discourages tenants from defending their rights. Currently, court records can be used in tenant screening to deny housing, even when an eviction case was dismissed for being unfounded or retaliatory. Suppression of records related to an eviction proceeding or an action for termination of a mobile home park tenancy until a judgement of possession against the tenant will protect tenants while a case is pending. An eviction filing is not the same as an eviction, may not accurately reflect a tenant’s history, and should not be used to deny someone housing. No appropriation is required. Passed, signed by the Governor, will take effect on December 1, 2020.

Articles: https://coloradosun.com/2020/01/30/renters-may-have-eviction-records-even-though-theyve-never-been-evicted-lawmakers-want-to-change-that/

HB20-1035 Programs to Develop Housing Support Services(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1035)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. Singer | Sen. R. Fields

Builds statewide capacity to access supportive housing services. Provides for programs focused on underserved communities with a preference for rural and frontier communities to serve people with behavioral, mental health, and substance use disorders who have contact with the criminal or juvenile justice systems who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Establishes two new grant programs and expands existing duties within the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs. This bill incorporates recommendations of the Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems (MHDCJS) Housing Subcommittee. Colorado has a homelessness crisis, with over 10,000 persons experiencing homelessness in our state. Reasons behind this crisis are a combination of rising housing costs, increased behavioral health needs, underfunded re-entry programs, and the lack of an adequately funded, statewide supportive housing infrastructure. Housing programs can reduce the cycling of offenders between prison, jail, homeless shelters, and other public services. Supportive housing is defined as combining affordable housing with access to supportive services. Department of Corrections (DOC) data show that supportive intervention costs are much less than costs associated with homelessness or incarceration. For example, for 572 individuals released from DOC with behavioral health issues in FY2018, supportive housing services would save the state almost $29M in homelessness costs (a savings of about $50K per person) and about $12M in incarceration costs (a savings of about $21K per person). For FY 2020-21, this bill requires 2.2 FTE and an appropriation of $3.6M to multiple state agencies. For FY2021-22 and future years, it requires 3.0 FTE and $3.5M. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

Urban Institute Research Report: www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/99181/from_homeless_to_housed_3.pdf

HB20-1122 Homeless Youth Services Act and Grant Program(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1122)

SPONSORS: Rep. E. Hooton | Rep. C. Larson | Sen. N. Todd | Sen. D. Hisey

Repeals, reenacts, and makes updates to the Office of Homeless Youth Services in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). In addition, creates a new grant program to award up to five grants of $250,000 each to existing organizations that provide a variety of services to homeless youth as outlined in the bill. General Fund expenditures in DOLA will increase by approximately $1.3 million and 0.3 FTE in FY 2020-21 and by $35,498 and 0.3 FTE in FY 2021-22. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1141 Fees Charged to Tenants by Landlords(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1141)

SPONSORS: Rep. Y. Caraveo | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez | Sen. J. Gonzales

Establishes rules regarding late fees charged to tenants or mobile home owners by landlords and limits the amount a landlord may charge. Establishes a 14-day grace period for late rent payments and prohibits a landlord from initiating eviction procedures on the sole basis of failure to pay late fees. One in four Colorado renters spend more than 50% of their income on housing. This financial burden is exacerbated by a variety of residential fees, including rental late fees. As a result, many renters who are struggling to pay for these fees find themselves in a cycle of debt, and in the worst case, faced with eviction and the threat of losing their home. There is currently no limit on late fees. Minimal appropriation is required. Lost in the House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor.

*HB20-1196 Mobile Home Park Act Updates(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1196)

SPONSORS: Rep. E. Hooton | Rep. J. McCluskie | Sen. S. Fenberg | Sen. P. Lee

Provides several updates and clarifications to the Mobile Home Park Act and to the Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Program created last year under HB19-1309 (Mobile Home Park Act Oversight Bill). Continues the work of HB19-1309 by adjusting the conditions under which a tenancy may be terminated, adjusting management’s duties concerning park maintenance and repair, requiring management to provide documentation to tenants regarding water usage and billing, prohibiting management from retaliatory actions, establishing constraints for how management may add or amend park rules, and establishing tenants’ right to privacy. Minimal $8K expenditure. Passed House, introduced In Senate, assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

*HB20-1201 Mobile Home Park Residents Opportunity to Purchase(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/HB20-1201)

SPONSORS: Rep. E. Hooton | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez | Sen. D. Moreno | Sen. J. Ginal

Gives homeowners in a mobile home park, or an association representing a majority of homeowners, the opportunity to make an offer to buy the park if the landlord anticipates selling it or changing the use of the land. Upon receiving an offer, the landlord is required to provide documents in response to reasonable requests for information and to negotiate in good faith. Establishes notification and reporting requirements, timeframes for homeowners to act, and exemptions from these requirements. No appropriation is required. Passed House, introduced In Senate, assigned to Senate Local Government Committee.

HB20-1233 Basic Life Functions in Public Spaces(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1233)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. Melton | Rep. A. Benavidez

Prohibits state and local governments from restricting a person from conducting basic life functions in a public space, unless that government can offer alternative adequate shelter to the person, or from occupying a motor vehicle legally parked on public property or parked on private property with permission. Basic life functions are defined to include sitting, standing, leaning, kneeling, sleeping, lying down, eating, and sheltering oneself in a manner that does not render passageways impassable or hazardous. Permits a person to take civil action against any government that enacts a law, regulation, or ordinance contrary to these prohibitions. For FY 2020-21, requires an appropriation of $659,089 to the Department of Personnel and Administration. Lost in the House Committee on Transportation & Local Government.

*HB20-1332 Prohibit Housing Discrimination Source of Income(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1332)

SPONSORS: Rep. L. Herod | Rep. D. Jackson | Sen. R. Fields

Prohibits discrimination in housing based on a person’s source of income and makes such discrimination an unfair housing practice. The source of income must be lawful and verifiable including income from any lawful profession or occupation and from any government or private assistance, grant, or loan program. A landlord cannot refuse to rent or lease housing, refuse to show housing, refuse to transmit an offer to rent or lease, advertise that the rental or lease is limited based on source of income, or deny that housing is available in order to discriminate against someone based on their source of income. If the initial payment is not made in a timely manner, the landlord may exercise any right or pursue any remedy available under law. Landlords with three or fewer units of housing for lease or rent are exempt from the bill’s requirements. Will increase General Fund expenditures in the Department of Regulatory Agencies by $11,474 and 0.1 FTE in FY 2020-21 and $29,075 and 0.4 FTE in FY 2021-22. Introduced in House, assigned to Judiciary Committee.

HB20-1335 Colorado Homeless Project Contribution Tax Credit(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1335)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. Melton | Sen. F. Winter

Replaces and expands a state income tax credit for contributions to enterprise zone projects meant to address homelessness. Enterprise zone projects encourage community participation to revitalize designated areas in the state. Donors may contribute to an enterprise zone project and claim 25% of a cash donation or 12.5% for an in-kind donation as an income tax credit. For FY 2020-21, requires an appropriation of $155,099 and 1.4 FTE to the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs. Introduced in House, assigned to Transportation & Local Government Committee.

*HB20-1351 Local Government Authority Promote Affordable Housing Units(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1351)

SPONSORS: Rep. S. Lontine | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez | Sen. J. Gonzales | Sen. R. Rodriguez

Clarifies that the state prohibition on local rent control laws is not applicable to local laws that restrict rents on newly constructed or redeveloped housing so long as the local regulation provides options to the property owner or land developer, and creates alternatives to the construction of new affordable housing on the building site. The bill merely clarifies existing law and adds no new requirements to state law. No appropriation is required. Introduced in House, assigned to Transportation & Local Government Committee.

Article: www.cpr.org/2020/02/03/after-20-years-colorado-may-reverse-decision-that-limits-cities-affordable-housing-powers/

MENTAL HEALTH AND EDUCATION BILLS

Last April, Gov. Polis created the Behavioral Health Task Force, under the Colorado Department of Human Services, to overhaul Colorado’s system to treat people battling mental illness and substance abuse. Initial focus areas are reforming the behavioral health safety net system, improving care for children, and developing a long-term plan to improve care for criminal defendants who either are, or are believed to be, mentally incompetent to stand trial. See www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/colorado-behavioral-health-task-force

SB20-001 Expand Behavioral Health Training for K-12 Educators(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-001)

SPONSORS: Sen. R. Fields | Rep. E. Sirota | Rep. K. Van Winkle

From the School Safety Committee. Requires that the Colorado Department of Education offer a train-the-trainer program for employees of local education providers to prepare participants to teach a youth behavioral and mental health training course to other employees. The program must be designed to improve overall school climate and promote youth behavioral and mental health. Requires a General Fund appropriation of $997,850 for FY 2020-21. Referred, as amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

SB20-007 Treatment Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-007)

SPONSORS: Sen. B. Pettersen | Sen. F. Winter | Rep. B. Buentello | Rep. J. Wilson

From the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee. Makes various requirements concerning treatment for substance use disorders. Requires a General Fund appropriation of $771,873 for FY 2020-21 and a cash funds appropriation from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund of $1,500,000 for FY 2020-21. Referred, as amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

SB20-014 Excused Absences in Public Schools for Behavioral Health(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-014)

SPONSORS: Sen. R. Fields | Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet

From the School Safety Committee. Under current law, locally elected boards of education must have a written attendance policy for excusing a student for an extended or temporary absence from public school. This bill requires that the attendance policy must allow excuses for an absence to include behavioral health disorders or concerns. No appropriation is required. Passed, signed by the Governor.

SB20-089 Educator Pay Raise Fund(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-089)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Danielson | Sen. L. Garcia | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez

Creates the Educator Pay Raise Program in the Colorado Department of Education to provide financial support to school districts and charter schools to increase their minimum annual teacher salary to $40,000 and their minimum hourly employee wage to $15 per hour. Beginning in FY 2021-22, the minimum salary and wage is adjusted by the district’s cost of living factor normalized to the factor for the district with the lowest cost of living in the state, multiplied by inflation. Beginning in FY 2020-21, requires the State Treasurer to divert the greater of 10.0% of gross public school land trust revenue or $15.0M to the Educator Pay Raise Fund to support the Educator Pay Raise Program, reducing annual deposits to the Permanent Fund by that amount. Referred, as amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

SB20-187 DYS Therapeutic Group Treatment Pilot Program(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-187)

SPONSORS: Sen. P. Lee | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez

In 2019, the General Assembly authorized the Division of Youth Services to expand a pilot program to implement therapeutic group treatment by adding an additional pilot program. Rather than expanding to two separate programs, this bill extends the term of the existing program and requires a final evaluation of the pilot program. For FY 2020-21, requires a decrease in General Fund appropriations of $183,804 and 1.0 FTE to the Department of Human Services. Introduced in Senate, assigned to Judiciary Committee.

HB20-1005 Enhance Safe2tell(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1005)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet | Rep. K. Van Winkle | Sen. R. Fields | Sen. P. Lundeen

From the School Safety Committee. Requires the Department of Law to devise a process to appropriately route Safe2Tell tips relating to mental health and substance abuse and to conduct an advertising campaign for Safe2Tell. It also allows the Attorney General to release Safe2Tell information to a law enforcement agency to prevent imminent physical harm or serious bodily injury. Requires a General Fund appropriation of $50,000 for FY 2020-21. Passed House, introduced in Senate, assigned to Education Committee.

HB20-1006 Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1006)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. McCluskie | Rep. E. Sirota | Sen. B. Pettersen | Sen. T. Story

From the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission. Requires the Department of Human Services to develop and implement a statewide voluntary program of early childhood mental health consultation. The program is intended to increase the number of qualified mental health consultants supporting professionals who work with young children and to give guidance and support to families, caregivers, and providers in addressing the social-emotional developmental needs of children through age eight. Increases state General Fund expenditures in the DHS by $149,278 and 1.2 FTE in FY 2020-21 and $420,423 and 2.0 FTE in FY 2021-22. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1007 Diverse Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Educator Workforce Report(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1007)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. Coleman | Rep. B. Buentello | Sen. R. Fields | Sen. P. Lundeen

Requires that the Department of Higher Education, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Education, convene a workgroup to investigate barriers to, and make recommendations to improve, the preparation, recruitment, and retention of a diverse educator workforce. Requires a General Fund appropriation of $7,400 for FY 2020-21. Passed the House, passed the Senate Education Committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1012 Child Welfare Program Children Developmental Disabilities(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1012)

SPONSORS: Rep. M. Young | Rep. L. Landgraf | Sen. N. Todd | Sen. B. Gardner

Expands eligibility for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who require out-of-home residential care through a program administered by the Department of Human Services. Specifically, it expands the program to include children with co-occurring disorders, and to children who are at-risk of out-of-home placement. Currently, the DHS only places children and who are in the custody of a county department of human services. Requires an appropriation of $36,771 to the Department of Human Services. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1015 Future Educator Pathways Grant Program(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1015)

SPONSORS: Rep. B. Buentello | Rep. J. Wilson | Sen. J. Bridges

Creates the Future Educator Pathways Grant Program in the Colorado Department of Education to award grants to local education providers to create future educator pathways programs that provide apprenticeships and concurrent enrollment course work to prepare students for careers in education, including early childhood education. Transfers $550,000 from the General Fund to the Future Educator Pathways Fund in FY 2020-21, FY 2021-22, and FY 2022-23. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1053 Supports for Early Childhood Educator Workforce(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1053)

SPONSORS: Rep. E. Sirota | Rep. J. Wilson | Sen. T. Story

From the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission. Makes several changes to state laws related early childhood workforce programs, including early childcare educator licensing and education. Creates scholarship and apprenticeship programs for early childhood educators. More than 12% of Colorado children under six had a parent who reported that they or another family member had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of problems with childcare. This is especially important because demand is expected to increase by nearly 20% in the next 10 years (Colorado Children’s Campaign). For FY 2020-21, requires appropriations totaling $1.6M to multiple agencies. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1085 Prevention of Substance Use Disorders(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1085)

SPONSORS: Rep. C. Kennedy | Rep. L. Herod | Sen. F. Winter | Sen. K. Priola

From the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee. Makes several changes to state law concerning the prevention of opioid and other substance use disorders. For FY 2019-20, includes an appropriation of $500,000 to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and for FY 2020-21 requires appropriations totaling $4.8M to multiple state agencies. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1086 Insurance Coverage Mental Health Wellness Exam(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1086)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet | Rep. C. Larson | Sen. R. Fields

Beginning January 1, 2022, requires that all applicable health plans provide coverage for the total cost of a 60-minute annual mental health examination, which is defined in the bill. The examination must be performed by a qualified mental health care provider. Beginning in FY 2020-21, diverts an estimated $13,347 from the General Fund as a result of increased costs in the Division of Insurance. Passed House, passed Senate committee, referred to Senate Appropriations.

HB20-1113 Mental Health Educational Resources(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1113)

SPONSORS: Rep. B. Titone | Rep. L. Landgraf

Requires the Office of Behavioral Health in the Department of Human Services to contract with organizations to create an online directory of behavioral health professionals and to advertise the website. In addition, allows a health care professional to take a course in mental health education to satisfy continuing competency or continuing education requirements. For FY 2020-21, requires a General Fund appropriation of $256,078 to the Department of Human Services. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1128 Educator Education Requirements Special Education(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1128)

SPONSORS: Rep. B. Buentello | Rep. J. Wilson | Sen. R. Zenzinger | Sen. K. Priola

Requires that educators complete professional development related to students with disabilities in order to renew a professional educator license. Also requires that alternative teacher programs, alternative principal programs, and educator preparation programs include coursework on individualized education programs, ChildFind, effective special education classroom practices, and federal laws related to individuals with disabilities. No appropriation is required. Passed, signed by the Governor.

HB20-1138 Public Real Property Index(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1138)

SPONSORS: Rep. J. Coleman | Rep. C. Larson | Sen. J. Bridges | Sen. B. Gardner

Requires each state agency, state institution of higher education, and political subdivision of the state to annually submit a list of its usable real property to the Office of the State Architect. The list must include the real property’s address, size, and zoning; contact information for the entity that owns or controls the real property; the plan for its use, development, or sale; a description of the condition of the real property, and a measurement of the total area of the real property that is vacant, unused, or underdeveloped. For FY 2020-21, requires a $537,590 appropriation to the Department of Personnel and Administration. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1139 Peer Support Professionals Behavioral Health(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1139)

SPONSORS: Rep. R. Pelton | Rep. Y. Caraveo

Creates and allows recovery support services organizations to bill Medicaid for eligible services and establishes a tax credit for eligible peer-support professionals. Last year Colorado’s mental health and substance use workforce only met 30% of the state’s need. Peers support professionals can significantly alleviate the gap. Peer supporters are individuals in recovery from mental health/substance use conditions who help others experiencing similar situations. Medicaid only reimburses peer support services in a very limited range of settings, which limits the scope of peer support services in other settings such as jails, OB/GYN clinics, and emergency departments. In addition, without additional educational opportunities peer supporters reach a professional ceiling resulting in burnout (Mental Health Colorado). Requires an appropriation of $67,131 to the Department of Human Services. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1238 Safe and Healthy Learning Environments for Students(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1238)

SPONSORS: Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez | Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet

Modifies the evaluative criteria used by the Colorado Department of Education when evaluating grant applications made to the Student Re-engagement Grant Program, the Services for Expelled and At-Risk Students Grant Program, the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program, and the Behavioral Health Care Professional Matching Grant Program. No appropriation is required. Introduced in House, assigned to Education Committee.

HB20-1284 Secure Transportation Behavioral Health Crisis(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1284)

SPONSORS: Rep. T. Kraft-Tharp | Rep. J. McCluskie | Sen. J. Bridges | Sen. J. Smallwood

Requires secure transportation services to be licensed by a county’s board of commissioners in order to provide urgent transportation to an emergency medical services facility, a mental health treatment facility, an approved alcohol and substance abuse treatment center, or a walk-in crisis center for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Also creates a new Medicaid benefit for secure transportation. In the midst of a mental health or substance use crisis many Coloradans will be transported by ambulance or by law enforcement while in handcuffs. Not only can these circumstances exacerbate a crisis, law enforcement responses can further stigmatize mental health and substance use conditions (Mental Health Colorado). Requires appropriations totaling of $206,795 to multiple state agencies. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1312 Behavioral Health Training Requirements Educator License(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1312)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet | Rep. B. Titone | Sen. N. Todd | Sen. D. Hisey

Requires that educators complete professional development related to behavioral health training in order to obtain an educator license. Also requires the Colorado Commission on Higher Education ensure that each teacher candidate in an initial educator licensure program completes at least one semester- or quarter-length course in behavioral health training. No appropriation is required. Passed House Education Committee, referred amended to House Committee of the Whole.

MISCELLANOUS BILLS

Health Care:

SB20-033 Allow Medicaid Buy-in Program After Age 65(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-033)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Tate | Sen. R. Fields | Rep. S. Lontine

Establishes a Medicaid buy-in program for working adults with disabilities who are 65 or older. Beginning in FY 2021-22 the bill will increase state revenue from the buy-in fee by $255,518. However, the bill is expected to decrease General Fund obligations by a nearly offsetting $248,611 for people enrolled in Medicaid. Passed Senate, introduced in House, assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.

SB20-163 School Entry Immunization(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-163)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Gonzales | Sen. K. Priola | Rep. K. Mullica

Under current law, most students must either submit a certificate of immunization, a certificate of medical exemption, or a statement of nonmedical exemption for an immunization for a religious or personal belief to attend school. This bill allows students to attend school after completion of an online immunization education module by their parent or guardian, or by the student if age 18 or older or emancipated. In FY 2020-21, the bill requires an appropriation of $41,906 to the Department of Public Health and Environment. Passed Senate, introduced in House, assigned to Health & Insurance Committee.

HB20-1236 Health Care Coverage Easy Enrollment Program(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1236)

SPONSORS: Rep. S. Lontine | Rep. P. Will | Sen. J. Tate | Sen. J. Bridges

Creates the Colorado Affordable Health Care Coverage Easy Enrollment Program for the purpose of leveraging individual income tax data to increase the number of eligible uninsured individuals enrolling in health care coverage affordability programs, which this bill defines as Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), or a health insurance plan offered through the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange for which premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions are available. No appropriation is required. Passed House, introduced in Senate, assigned to Finance Committee.

HB20-1349 Colorado Affordable Health Care Option(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1349)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Roberts | Rep. C. Kennedy | Sen. K. Donovan

Directs the Commissioner of Insurance in the Department of Regulatory Agencies to design a health insurance plan (the “Colorado Option” plan) to be offered by private health insurance carriers in the individual market beginning in 2022. It requires most hospitals to participate at reimbursement rates established in the bill, which may be adjusted by the commissioner. An advisory board is created to guide the development and implementation of the program. For FY 2020-21, the bill requires an appropriation of $808,949 to multiple state agencies. Passed House committee and referred to Appropriations.

Article: www.denverpost.com/2020/03/05/colorado-public-option-unveiled-health-insurance/

Fiscal:

SB20-029 Cost of Living Adjustment for Colorado Works Program(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-029)

SPONSORS: Sen. R. Fields | Sen. D. Moreno | Rep. J. Coleman | Rep. M. Duran

The federal government provides Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states. The Department of Human Services, in connection with county governments, administers Colorado Works, the state’s TANF program. The funds may be used for cash benefits and services designed to help low-income families become self-sufficient. This bill increases the amount of basic cash assistance for Colorado Works recipients by 5.0% for FY 2020-21. In each subsequent year, the amount must be adjusted upward by1.5%. Beginning in FY 2021-22, and each year thereafter, this bill directs the Joint Budget Committee to review the sustainability of the Colorado Long-Term Works Reserve as a source of funding for the cost of living adjustment, and to consider additional sources of funding, if the reserve fund falls below $34M. For FY 2020-21, requires an appropriation of $4,081,755 to the Department of Human Services from the Colorado Long-Term Works Reserve Cash Fund. Passed Senate committee and Appropriations and referred, as amended, to the Consent Calendar to Senate Committee of the Whole.

*HB20-1203 EITC Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit and Income Definition(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1203)

SPONSORS: Rep. E. Sirota | Rep. M. Gray | Sen. J. Gonzales

Enacts the Helping Colorado Families Get Ahead Act. Beginning tax year 2021, creates a state income tax addition equal to the amount of a taxpayer’s federal qualified business income deduction, activates the state child tax credit, and expands the state earned income tax credit. The EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools available to lift children and families out of poverty by putting more money back in families’ pockets. The bill would use the additional revenue to expand the state EITC, a refundable tax credit for working families. It would also use the additional revenue to fund the state CTC, a tax credit in statute for Colorado families with children ages five and under, but which has never been funded. This bill would not affect federal taxes owed, but Colorado is one of only five states that allows tax filers to deduct business income for the purposes of calculating state income taxes (Colorado Children’s Campaign). For FY 2020-21, requires a General Fund appropriation of $337,493 to the Department of Revenue with 4.5 FTE. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

Article: www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/eitc-and-child-tax-credit-promote-work-reduce-poverty-and-support-childrens

Action: www.coloradofiscal.org/2020/02/support-hb20-1203/

Criminal Justice System:

SB20-060 Criminal Justice System Operational Processes Study(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-060)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Gonzales | Sen. R. Rodriguez | Rep. S. Gonzales-Gutierrez

From the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee. Requires the Department of Corrections to conduct a study to examine how individuals proceed through the various stages of criminal proceedings, including the various sentences and programs to which a person may be sentenced or placed. The Department of Corrections requires an appropriation of $50,000 in the current FY 2019-20 and $1,000,000 in FY 2020-21. Passed Senate committee, referred to Appropriations.

SB20-100 Repeal the Death Penalty(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-100)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Gonzales | Sen. J. Tate | Rep. J. Arndt | Rep. A. Benavidez

Repeals the death penalty in Colorado and makes conforming amendments. Sentences for offenses charged before July 1, 2020, are not changed. Passed, signed by the Governor.

Article: https://coloradosun.com/2020/03/23/colorado-death-penalty-repeal/

SB20-181 Measures on Incompetent to Proceed(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-181)

SPONSORS: Sen. P. Lee | Rep. M. Weissman

Under current law, when a court orders a competency evaluation, an evaluator must create a report that includes an opinion on whether the defendant is competent to proceed. This bill makes changes to competency reports provided by evaluators, makes changes related to bond release for defendants who are incompetent to proceed, allows for certain charges to be dropped when a defendant is incompetent, and creates a committee to study the effect of sentencing for assault-related offenses on certain populations. For FY 2020-21, this bill requires a General Fund appropriation of $193,941 and 2.0 FTE to the Judicial Department. Passed Senate committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1017 Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Criminal Justice System(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1017)

SPONSORS: Rep. L. Herod | Rep. C. Kennedy | Sen. K. Donovan | Sen. K. Priola

From the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee. Makes several changes to state law concerning substance use disorder treatment in the criminal justice system. For FY 2020-21, this bill requires an appropriation of $633,590 to multiple state agencies. Passed House committee, referred to Appropriations.

HB20-1019 Prison Population Reduction and Management(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1019)

SPONSORS: Rep. L. Herod | Sen. J. Gonzales

From the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee. Makes changes to the way the state manages the prison population. Allows the Department of Corrections to house up to 650 inmates at Centennial Correctional Facility’s south campus, requires a study of future prison bed needs in the state, creates a new crime of unauthorized absence, and requires a new sentencing hearing when an offender is terminated from a community corrections program, among other provisions. For FY 2019-20, this bill includes an appropriation that provides $5,511,167 total funds ($5,450,197 General Fund, $60,970 cash funds) and 37.0 FTE for operation of Centennial Correctional Facility South (“Centennial South”). For FY 2020-21, this bill includes an appropriation that provides $250,000 General Fund to the Department of Corrections for a study of how to end the use of private prisons in Colorado. Passed, signed by the Governor.

HB20-1262 Housing Assistance Justice System Transition Money(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1262)

SPONSORS: Rep. D. Esgar | Rep. J. McCluskie | Sen. D. Moreno | Sen. R. Zenzinger

Ends the annual transfer of unspent community corrections funding to housing programs in the Department of Local Affairs for persons with mental and behavioral health disorders who are transitioning from the criminal justice system. No appropriation is required. Passed, signed by the Governor.

Immigrant Rights:

SB20-083 Prohibit Courthouse Civil Arrest(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-083)

SPONSORS: Sen. J. Gonzales | Rep. L. Herod

Prohibits the civil arrest of a person who is present at a courthouse or on its environs, or while going to, attending, or coming from a court proceeding and provides remedies. No appropriation is required. Passed, signed by the Governor.

Article: www.denverpost.com/2020/03/24/ice-colorado-courthouse-immigration-arrests/

HB20-1294 Replace Illegal Alien with Undocumented Immigrant(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1294)

SPONSORS: Rep. S. Lontine | Sen. J. Gonzales

Replaces the term illegal alien with unauthorized worker as it relates to state government contracts for services. No appropriation is required. Passed House, introduced In Senate, assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

Firearms:

HB20-1355 Secure Storage of Firearms(https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1355)

SPONSORS: Rep. M. Duran | Rep. K. Mullica | Sen. J. Bridges | Sen. C. Hansen

Requires firearm owners to securely store their firearms, requires federally licensed gun dealers to provide a locking device and other information about safe storage of firearms, and requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct a public education campaign. Will increase state General Fund expenditures by $66,326 and 0.6 FTE in FY 2020-21 and by $63,331 and 0.5 FTE in FY 2021-22 in the CDPHE and the Department of Revenue. Introduced in House, assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

State Budget

Forecast March 2020 (https://leg.colorado.gov/publications/forecast-march-2020)

Colorado Sun: The economic impact of the coronavirus is huge. Now Colorado lawmakers are looking at a budget deficit. (https://coloradosun.com/2020/03/16/colorado-state-budget-march-economic-forecast-coronavirus/)

Legislative Information

Denver Post: Colorado legislature can resume its regular session after breaking for coronavirus, Supreme Court rules (www.denverpost.com/2020/04/01/colorado-legislature-coronavirus-ruling/)

Find My Legislators (www.togethercolorado.org/legislation/)

Contact Information for all Legislators in the Colorado State Legislature (https://leg.colorado.gov/legislators)

List of Committees in the Colorado State Legislature (https://leg.colorado.gov/content/committees)

Find a Bill—Colorado General Assembly (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills)

For an extensive list of education bills, go to Chalkbeat 2020 Colorado Bill Tracker at https://chalkbeat.org/2020-colorado-bill-tracker/

Together Colorado Legislation Priorities at www.togethercolorado.org/legislation/

Mental Health Colorado at www.mentalhealthcolorado.org/2020-legislation/

League of Women Voters of Colorado legislative action at www.lwvcolorado.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=314195&module_id=376340

Colorado PTA Legislative Committee at https://copta.org/advocacy-2/legislative-committee/

Colorado Children’s Campaign legislation compilation at www.coloradokids.org/advocacy/at-the-capitol/capitol-updates/

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition legislation compilation at www.ccdconline.org/legislative/disability-legislation-house-senate-bills/