2018 Bills Passed

SB18-002 Financing Rural Broadband Deployment

Many of our rural communities across the state are still not able to access broadband in the way that the front range is able to. Some communities only have access to dial up connections and some have no access at all. In order for rural businesses, schools and communities to thrive in a technology driven world we need to bring affordable broadband services to these communities. This bill funnels monies in the High Cost Support Mechanism Fund (HCSM) to start addressing the need by encouraging infrastructure developments to bring broadband to rural communities around the state. The fund was originally designed to bring landline telephones to underserved communities across the state and was wildly successful at doing so. Now that the need for landline telephone infrastructure has gone down because it is so widespread, we believe that the HCSM will be able to similarly boost the prevalence of Broadband in high need areas.

SB18-088 Taxation Of Retail Marijuana Sales

This bill is addressing the unintentional drafting error in SB17-267 that accidentally excluded certain special districts from collecting a portion of state sales taxes on Marijuana sales that they previously were collecting. The bill simply allows the special districts to decide for themselves whether or not they need voter approval to resume collection of those previously voter-approved sales taxes.

HB18-1234 Internet Sweepstakes Café Revise Legal Terms

This bill aims to clarify a vague law concerning internet sweepstakes cafés that until now have evaded a Colorado constitutional ban on gambling. Better defining this law now will help stem unregulated and illegal gambling.

HB18-004 Increase Fees Stationary Sources Air Pollutants 

Concerning an increase in fees paid by stationary sources of air pollutants.  This bill will prioritize the use of the revenues generated by the fee increases to reduce permit processing times, and will engage affected industries to identify and assess measures to improve billing practices, increase accounting transparency, and assess potential efficiency improvements with respect to division activities financed by the fees.

2018 Bills Pending/Not Passed

 HB18-1428 Authorize Utility Community Collaboration Contract

This creates more energy opportunities through collaboration between municipalities and Xcel. Xcel energy has started forming new “Energy Future Collaborations” to partner with their communities in advancing their local, energy‐related goals. HB18-1428 allows municipalities and energy providers to enter into voluntary legal agreements proposing modified services for their community, which will require Colorado Public Utilities Commission approval. This is a step toward allowing municipalities to follow their individual energy goals with the aid of a partnership with utilities.

SB18-200 Modifications To PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association To Eliminate Unfunded Liability

The bill modifies benefits, increases contributions, ensures alignment of contributions, service credit, and benefits, and makes other modifications in order to reach a 100% funded ratio for all school districts, local governments, and other entities within the next 30 years.  This bill’s goal is to get PERA retirement benefits to all employees in the public sector in Colorado.

HB18-1274 Reduce Greenhouse Emissions by 2050

This bill title speaks for itself.  If passed, it will require Colorado to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by eighty percent of the levels that existed in the year 2005.  Good for the planet, good for the people.

HB18-1157 Increased Reporting Oil and Gas Incidents 

This bill requires oil and gas operators to file written reports with and give oral notice to the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission and other affected stakeholders for each major and minor reportable event in the oil and gas fields. We want to keep oil and gas operators safe and the practice of drilling for fuel as safe and regulated as possible, to protect our environment.

Bills I Passed During the 2017 Legislative Session

SB17-267 Sustainability of Rural Colorado

The bipartisan bill restores $528 million in funding cuts through reclassifying the Hospital Provider Fee to a government enterprise that otherwise would have doomed some rural hospitals and forced every hospital in the state to reduce programs and services. It also launches $1.8 billion in certificates of participation (similar to bonds) to mend and expand Colorado’s dilapidated transportation system. The bill also directs millions of dollars back into our schools to help address funding shortfalls across the state and provides tax breaks to small business owners

SB17-216 Sunset Continue Fair Debt Collections Act

This bill continues the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act through 2028 and implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report.  The Act protects consumer interests by maintaining regulation of Colorado collection agencies. Click here for text on the Sunset review.

SB17-105 Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges

This bill requires investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills.  This will allow consumers more autonomy and knowledge when paying for their utilities and keep electric companies from taking advantage of purposely vague charges.

SB17-050 Consolidate Forest Risk and Health Grant Programs

This bill consolidates existing state grant programs related to forest management under the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and gives it the authority to spend balances in certain cash funds. This will allow forest and fire mitigation programs more resources to protect our fragile forestry.

HB17-1354 Collection of Delinquent Taxes on Mobile Homes

This bill gives the county treasurer more flexibility to enter into partial payment agreements with the owners of such mobile or manufactured homes.  This will ensure that mobile homeowners do not lose their homes in property-seizure in the event that they fail to pay a tax.

HB17-1220 Prevent Marijuana Diversion To Illegal Market

Until this bill was passed Colorado had some of the loosest limitations on home-grow marijuana plants in the country at 99 plants which made us a target for illegal sales of marijuana on the black and “gray” markets. This bill limits the number of plants an individual can grow to 12 plants unless the grower registers with the CO Dept of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) in which case they could grow up to 24.

HB17-1190 Limited Applicability Of St. Jude’s Co. Water Case

This bill limits the applicability of the Colorado Supreme Court to only those cases filed after July 15, 2015, freeing up previously decreed absolute and conditional water rights or claims.

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