2023 Legislative Session

Each session we take positions on current bills that stand to impact the business community and our economy, using our legislative priorities as a baseline. Guided by those focus areas, data and member feedback, our policy decisions are guided by a committee of members and our board of directors. View our 2023 policy platform beneath the bills below.

  • Position Key
  • Support
  • Oppose
  • Neutral
  • Amend
  • STATUS Key
  • Passed
  • Failed
  • Vetoed
  • Active
Bill # Title Summary Position Justification Materials Pillars Status
HB23-1017 Electronic Sales and Use Tax Simplification System

This bill modifies the electronic Sales and Use Tax Simplification System (SUTS) to streamline various administrative processes and educate retailers and local taxing jurisdictions.

The Chamber applauds any effort to make doing business easier in Colorado. Simplifying our sales and use tax moves the needle to make doing business in Colorado more friendly.

HB23-1035 Statute of Limitations Minimum Wage Violations

This bill specifies the state statute of limitations for minimum wage violations as two years for non-willful violations and three years for willful violations.

Businesses can plan for and comply with regulations if those regulations are clear. Colorado’s current minimum wage rules do not have a clear statute of limitations, and this ambiguity creates multiple standards for wage claim litigation. We believe this piece of legislation provides clarity and consistency for Colorado’s Minimum Wage rules, creates a more predictable climate for business and staves off unnecessary litigation. Additionally, the statute proposed by HB23-1035 aligns minimum wage law with existing wage record requirements.

HB23-1039 Electric Resource Adequacy Reporting

This bill requires wholesale electricity services in the state to file a report on the adequacy of its electric resources with the regulatory oversight entity responsible for approving resource plans or rates. The regulatory oversight entity must then submit annually any resource adequacy reports to the Colorado Energy Office. The Colorado Energy Office will then aggregate the resource adequacy reports into a statewide resource adequacy report.

This bill requires adequacy reporting, which allows the state to better understand the feasibility of a wholesale energy transition, especially as we progress toward electrification and a net-zero goal by 2050. This would help ensure there is a realistic transition and will be beneficial to framing the conversation around any future policy goals discussed by the General Assembly. We believe that having the business community lead the energy transition will ensure reliable and functional policies.

HB23-1068 Pet Animal Ownership in Housing

This bill: prohibits insurance companies from denying homeowners insurance based on dog breed, while allowing denial if the breed is a dangerous dog; forbidding insurers from asking about what dog breeds live at a residence, except to ask if the dog has been deemed a dangerous dog; requires an officer executing a writ of restitution to inspect for pets and give any pets to the tenant, and if the tenant is not present, the officer must contact the local animal shelter to take custody of the pet; forbids a landlord from taking a security deposit for pets living in their property; creates the pet friendly landlord damage mitigation program administered by the department of local affairs, which would reimburse landlords up to $1,000 for any damage caused by pets—any landlord who receives reimbursement cannot take legal action against the tenant; and prohibits the existing affordable housing tax credit from being allocated unless tenants are allowed to keep pets at a qualified development. 

While we recognize that pet ownership is common, this bill would unintentionally cause rents and deposits to increase because landlords will have to offset costs of wear-and-tear caused by pets. Many landlords may simply choose to not allow any pets due to increased costs and risks. In addition, if insurance companies cannot charge premiums based on risk (large or aggressive pets) then they will just raise premiums on everyone.

HB23-1078 Unemployment Compensation Dependent Allowance

This bill creates a dependence allowance for an individual receiving unemployment compensation for each of the individual’s dependents. The allowance starts at $35 per week and increases annually for inflation. This bill also requires the division of unemployment insurance to report to the General Assembly regarding the dependence allowance annually starting Aug. 31, 2025 and by Aug. 31 each year after. 

The business community has done a great deal to ensure the solvency of Colorado’s unemployment trust fund. This bill puts this solvency into jeopardy and would cost the state tens of millions of dollars.

HB23-1090 Limit Metropolitan District Director Conflicts

For any residential special district, the district is prohibited from approving a purchase of debt from any entity with which the director has a conflict of interest. The bill further prohibits any board member from acquiring any interest in the debt.

Metro districts are essential mechanisms to allow for robust community development and act as a powerful financing tool. With such a lack of housing in the Metro Denver area, further restricting the business of Metro Districts will have detrimental effects on inventory and affordability.

HB23-1091 Continuation of Child Care Contribution Tax Credit

Currently, a taxpayer who makes a monetary contribution to promote childcare is allowed a tax credit up to 50% of the contribution. This bill extends the tax credit for three years and expands the tax credit to include in-kind donations of real property if such property is rented below market rate to promote childcare. This bill also includes a statutory legislative declaration and requires the state auditor to prepare a tax expenditure evaluation report.

The cost of childcare is an obstacle for many employees when trying to participate in the workforce. This bill tries to alleviate some of that burden and expand access to childcare.

HB23-1092 Limitating Use of State Money

This bill prohibits state money from being used to further certain social, political or ideological interests beyond what controlling state and federal law require. The bill limits the Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) to make investments solely on financial factors; prohibits them from investing in certain social, political or ideological interests; and requires a government contract to verify that a company entering into a government contract does not engage in an economic boycott of another company to further their social, political or ideological interests. 

The Chamber supports the ability of PERA investments to be diverse and nimble. This bill restricts the ability to invest in sound instruments and creates an extra burden on the administration of an already cumbersome program.

HB23-1095 Prohibited Provisions in Rental Agreements

This bill amends current law to prohibit a rental agreement from including: an unreasonable liquidated damage clause stemming from an eviction notice; a one-way, fee-shifting clause that awards court costs and attorneys’ fees to only one party; and the clause must award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. The bill also prohibits a waiver of the right to jury trial or to join a class action lawsuit or the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment; a provision allowing a landlord to levy a fee if tenant does not provide notice of renewal prior to the end of the rental agreement; and a provision that requires a tenant to pay a fee in excess of the amount a landlord paid for a service.

The Chamber opposes this bill because it adds undue burden to landlords. It eliminates flexibility for landlords to roll over their property to different tenants and creates added requirements and regulations, driving up housing costs and decreasing the amount of available housing.

HB23-1101 Ozone Season Transit Grant Program Flexibility

This bill increases the flexibility of the ozone season transit grant program by: allowing transit agencies in areas where ozone is highest at a different time than between June 1 to Aug. 31 to designate such time as its “ozone season”; to use grant money to advertise free ridership; to use grant money to increase free routes or increase their frequency; and allowing the regional transit district (RTD) to use grant money to cover the full costs, not just 80%, of free ridership fares. The bill also requires the governing body of each transportation district to include one voting member of a transit agency that offers transit service per region.

Free transit services proved to increase ridership, which had the additional benefits of making transit safer and restoring the vibrancy of commercial centers. As we strive to decongest our roads, retain public transit customers, and remedy the brown cloud, finding incentives to increase ridership are extremely important. This bill would continue to support the effort to increase ridership while also mitigating pollution by decreasing the number of commuters to and from our metro region.  

HB23-1105 Homeowners' Association And Metropolitan District Homeowners' Rights Task Forces

This bill creates the Homeowners' Association (HOA) Task Force and the Metro District Task Force. The HOA Task Force is required to: study issues regarding homeowners’ rights, including HOA fining and authority, foreclosure practices, and communications with homeowners; prepare an interim report regarding its findings; and prepare a final report on or before Dec. 31, 2023. The Metro District Task Force is required to: study issues confronting metropolitan districts homeowners’ rights, tax levying authority and practices, and foreclosure practices; and prepare a report regarding its findings on or before March 1, 2024.

This legislation is duplicative of existing statute and creates added administrative mechanisms to study already well-established data and understanding surrounding these organizations.

HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control

This bill repeals a statute that prohibits counties and municipalities from enacting rent control on residential property.

Repealing the prohibition on rent control opens the door to municipalities creating a patchwork of regulations. This prohibition adds artificial pressures on the rental market and will cause new rental construction to grind to a halt, further exacerbating our housing shortage.

HB23-1118 Fair Workweek Employment Standards

This bill changes scheduling practices for nonexempt employees who are employed by a business with at least 250 employees globally in food, beverage or retail, or employers that provide those industries with janitorial, security or integral labor. It requires a 14-day advance notice of any new work schedule; bars employers from hiring additional staff until existing employees are scheduled for their desired number of weekly work hours, up to 40 hours a week or 12 hours a day, by penalty of six months of required retention pay to the existing employee; and entitles certain employees to predictability pay, rest shortfall pay and minimum weekly pay.

This bill would have a significant and widespread impact on thousands of public and private sector employers and employees across Colorado. The bill creates new restrictions on scheduling practices, removes much needed flexibility in the workplace, and ultimately hamstrings those it is intended to help. Creating an employee schedule takes time, elaborate coordination, labor demand management, and often negotiation between an employer and an employee about availability and preference. The bill demonstrates a dire misunderstanding of the way retail, food and beverage, and related industries operate. In its current form, the proposed bill is entirely unworkable for Colorado businesses.

HB23-1120 Eviction Protections For Residential Tenants

This bill requires a landlord and tenant to participate in mandatory mediation before eviction if the tenant receives supplementary security income, federal disability insurance, or cash assistance through the Colorado works program. The landlord and tenant do not have to participate in mediation if the tenant did not disclose they receive rent assistance. The bill also prohibits law enforcement from executing a writ of restitution for at least 30 days if the tenant receives cash assistance and requires a rental agreement to include a statement informing the tenant of the right to mediation.

Mandatory mediation, increased risk, and new rental provisions are of particular concern to landlords and developers and will slow investment in more housing in Colorado. As the Apartment Association of Metro Denver recently noted, applications for new apartment development declined by a dramatic 88% in the three months following the passage of a new affordable housing ordinance in Denver. While this bill may be intended to slow the eviction process for specified individuals, the reality is that it will further slow the growth of much needed housing supply in Metro Denver.

HB23-1153 Pathways To Behavioral Health Care

This bill requires the state department of human services to conduct a feasibility study to determine if creating a system to support people with serious mental illness through a collaboration between Colorado’s behavioral health and judicial systems is feasible. The bill also requires the state to create an application process for selecting the independent third party, and to submit a report detailing the findings and recommendations by Dec. 31, 2023.

As a state, we know that behavioral health challenges are a contributing factor to homelessness. It is essential that we understand the need for behavioral health services, the capacity of state and local programs to address that need, the sector’s workforce pipeline, and the cost-benefit of existing and proposed solutions in order for our state to have a coordinated and sophisticated strategy to tackle behavioral health, and by extension homelessness and downtown revitalization.

HB23-1154 Ballot Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report

Current law permits a bill to have a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report. This bill requires the director of research of the Legislative Council to prepare a preliminary report that requires an analysis on whether an initiative has a net change in GHG emissions that directly impacts several sectors for ballot issues. The bill requires the ballot title of a measure that has a net increase in GHG to begin, “Shall there be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions…” and if there is a decrease, to start with “Shall there be a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions…”

We believe there are pragmatic ways to implement GHG emissions research, but this bill would make it more difficult to conduct appropriate research and places significant financial barriers on future GHG emission reports. Legislative Council Staff currently prepares GHG emissions reports on legislation as requested by members of the legislature. This bill is unnecessary and would further constrain requirements and capacity for Legislative Council Staff.

HB23-1162 Consumer Legal Funding Transactions

This bill creates the “Colorado Consumer Legal Funding Act." A consumer legal funding transaction occurs when a company purchases an interest in an individual’s associated legal claim. This bill provides the requirements for a consumer legal funding contract, which is satisfied when a consumer’s associated legal claim has been resolved or settled. The consumer must pay the company a predetermined amount and the amount cannot be a percentage of the settlement. The consumer is not required to repay the company if the consumer does not prevail.

This bill runs the risk of increasing and extending litigation, which would be costly to business and time consuming for the courts. 

HB23-1169 Limit Arrest For Low-level Offenses

This bill prevents a police officer from arresting a person based solely on an alleged petty offense except petty theft, petty drug offense, class 2 misdemeanor and all municipal offenses for which there is no comparable state misdemeanor. This bill does not limit a peace officer’s authority to arrest a person for an alleged offense: for which custodial arrest is required by statute; that is a victim rights act crime; for driving under the influence; for a traffic offense involving death or bodily injury; or for operating a vehicle after circumventing an interlock device. It also does not limit a peace officer’s authority to execute a search warrant.

Crime in Colorado is at an all-time high and needs to be addressed in practical ways for the safety of everyone involved, including the individual committing the crime. Limiting arrest for low level offenses makes it hard to operate businesses as it increases cost for damage repair, further exacerbates illegal activity, and limits individuals from obtaining resources that they could receive that is offered by law enforcement.

HB23-1171 Just Cause Requirement Eviction Of Residential Tenant

This bill prohibits a landlord from evicting a tenant unless there is just cause for an eviction. Just cause exists when: the tenant fails to pay rent after landlord provides timely written notice of nonpayment; the tenant commits a substantial violation and does not cure it within 10 days of written notice from the landlord; conditions exist for a no-fault eviction; the tenant refuses to allow the landlord access to the property after the landlord has provided written notice at least 48 hours before attempting entry; and tenant refuses to sign a new rental agreement with terms that are substantially identical to the current rental agreement. The following are terms for a no-fault eviction: demolition or conversion of the property; substantial repairs or renovations to the property; and the landlord assuming occupancy of the property. A landlord that proceeds with a no-fault eviction must provide two months’ rent to the tenant. The landlord must also provide an additional one month’s rent if there is an individual under 18 or over 60 living in the residence, a low-income individual lives in the residence, or an individual with a disability lives in the residence.

Landlords and housing providers continue to warn that efforts to cap rents, to slow or limit evictions, and cut down on various fees will only further depress the state’s beleaguered housing development. This bill expressly limits the power of landlords over their own property and intervenes in what should otherwise be a negotiation between renter and owner. 

HB23-1174 Homeowners Insurance Underinsurance

This bill requires annual reporting from the Commissioner of Insurance on the cost of rebuilding homes in the event of a total loss, such as a wildfire, and uses that estimated value to measure against the cost and value of private insurance coverage. Further, it would require insurers to offer “guaranteed replacement cost coverage,” which would require the insurer to pay the full cost to repair or replace property, regardless of if it exceeds the policy’s limits, and offer other forms of cost coverage should the applicant refuse the guaranteed replacement. It also increases advanced notice requirements, requires adjustments to the value of coverage relative to inflation, and establishes factors for determining replacement costs.

This bill would place an overall cost increase of 30-40% percent on Colorado homeowners for a benefit they are likely to not use. The current homeowner insurance plans offered in Colorado work effectively to provide homeowners with sufficient coverage in the case of a natural disaster or unexpected home repair due to hazardous weather. We trust homeowners to make decisions they are comfortable with under guidance from professionals instead of the state mandating certain coverage thresholds.

HB23-1189 Employer Assistance for Home Purchase Tax Credit

This bill creates an employer tax credit for employers who make a monetary contribution to their employees for assistance in purchasing a home. The amount of the credit is 5% of an employer’s contribution to an employee, but the credit is capped at $5,000 per employee. The employee must use the fund for a down payment, closing costs or fees. An employee may authorize the employer to withhold earnings as a contribution to the fund. If an employee terminates their employment, they forfeit any unexpended amount of the employer contribution, and the credit is subject to recapture. In this case, the employee is entitled to the employee contribution plus any interest earned.

During a time when workforce is facing massive financial barriers to buying a home in Metro Denver, this bill creates a mechanism for businesses to attract and retain talent and establishes another way for employers to incentivize and provide more benefits to employees. This legislation is a great example of commonsense ways to help solve our affordability crisis with the business community and workforce in mind.

HB23-1190 Affordable Housing Right of First Refusal

This bill allows local governments to match an acceptable purchase offer on residential real property within its boundaries if the property is used for long-term affordable housing. The local government may assign its first right of refusal to the state or its local housing authority. This bill also requires notices be given by the seller to local governments, and the local government has 14 days to preserve its right of first refusal, 90 days to make an offer, and must close within 180 days. If the local government preserves the property as permanently affordable housing for 50 years, the use may be changed given the following criteria is met: notice is given to residents, residents are compensated for relocation, and the local government guarantees an equal or greater number of affordable housing units will be built in its place, and it offers these units to previous residents who have been displaced.

While the Chamber believes addressing housing affordability is vital for workforce retention and recruitment, this bill would repel capital investment and make it more difficult to build affordable housing stock. Provisions in the bill, such as allowing local governments to offer less than a competitive private offer and still purchase the property, or allowing a local government to take 13 months to close on a property, does not respect private property rights in the state. The best way to bring down housing costs is to support development in a meaningful way—cutting regulations, working to reform zoning, construction litigation reform, and incentivizing development professionals to invest and build in communities that need housing the most.

HB23-1192 Additional Protections in Consumer Code

This bill makes changes to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and replaces the Colorado State Antitrust Acts of 1992 with the Colorado State Antitrust Act of 2023. Changes to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act include an altered standard for reckless action and qualifying deceptive trade practices as having a significant impact on the public. The updated Colorado Antitrust Act broadens future discovery, establishes that aiding and abetting antitrust violations constitutes an antitrust violation, and increases the maximum civil penalty award. It also seeks to harmonize Colorado’s antitrust statute with statutes nationally by authorizing the Attorney General to prevent and restrain unfair methods of competition, which is a lower standard for action than in current statute.

We are concerned that this bill will intensify an increasingly litigious environment in Colorado. The Colorado State Antitrust Act and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act both have high standards for what constitutes a violation and severe penalties for qualifying violations. We are concerned that lowering the standards for violations while maintaining the severity of punitive action will result in a disproportionately litigious environment.

HB23-1198 Teacher Externship Program for Science Technology Engineering and Math

This bill establishes a teacher externship program through the Department of Labor and Employment. The program, for public K-12 teachers, would allow teachers to participate in experiential learning opportunities with employers to gain knowledge and experience in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines (STEM). A teacher participating in the program can receive compensation from the district or the employer, or may apply for professional development credit as part of the program.

Externships are a great opportunity for teachers to further understand necessary skills students need to create a successful workforce pipeline. This program is especially useful for workforce pipeline development because it focuses on in-demand STEM fields.

HB23-1201 Prescription Drug Benefits Contract Term Requirements

This bill requires the amount of a prescription charged by the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) or carrier be equal to or less than the amount paid by the PBM or carrier to the contracted pharmacy. This bill also creates transparency requirements for PBMs and carriers regarding prescription drug benefits and grants the Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing the authority to audit.

While this bill aims to create more transparency around prescription drug prices, the consequences of it would create less choice for employers and as such, less competitive pricing and higher insurance premiums. This extra cost would be shouldered by businesses and workforce as health plans increase in price. With high costs of living, we must do all we can to keep healthcare costs low.

HB23-1209 Analyze Statewide Publicly Financed Healthcare

This bill requires the Colorado School of Public Health to study legislation creating a publicly-funded and privately-delivered universal health care model. This bill also creates the statewide health care analysis task force consisting of appointed members and the Governor, as well as executive directors of state departments, the commissioner of insurance, and the CEO of the Colorado health benefit exchange.

While we recognize that this bill does not directly establish publicly financed healthcare, we have several serious concerns with this proposal. First, Coloradans overwhelmingly voted against a single-payer, publicly owned system in 2016. Second, we do not believe the legislature can justify the expense of this study when there are other policies and programs whose funding is jeopardized by a tighter budgetary environment. Third, we believe information on the feasibility of publicly financed health care already exists and has been studied in Colorado through other mechanisms; this cost and information would be redundant. Fourth, this system of health care is incompatible with the programs we have already set up to address health care costs and access, specifically the Colorado Option and the reinsurance program.

HB23-1215 Limits On Hospital Facility Fees

This bill prohibits healthcare providers affiliated with a hospital from charging a facility fee for: outpatient services provided at an off-campus location or through telehealth or services identified by the medical services board that must be provided safely, reliably, and effectively in nonhospital settings. The bill also requires the provider to give notice of the fee to patients, prepare an annual report on facility fees, and makes it a deceptive trade practice to charge, bill or collect a facility fee when prohibited.

With the significant amendments made to this bill to allow our hospitals to continue the critical work that they do, we have moved to a neutral position. 

HB23-1224 Standardized Health Benefit Plan

This bill makes changes to the “Colorado Standardized Health Benefit Plan Act” to: require the health benefit exchange to develop a format for displaying standardized health benefit plans on its website; grant the commissioner 120 days to analyze the rate filings as opposed to the current 60 days; require a carrier to submit a plan to the commissioner on how it will meet rate requirements if it does not offer a standardized plan; and specify that the commissioner’s decisions are final agency actions subject to judicial review.

In 2021, we opposed HB21-1232 Standardized Health Benefit Plan Colorado Option because it introduced sweeping and risky legislation that would increase costs for most Coloradans, reduce competition and consumer choice, and transfer power to an appointed member of the executive branch without appropriate legislative oversight. This is still the concern for HB23-1224 with no modifications to the bill to lower consumer costs and increase consumer choice, which will have long term effects families and businesses impacted by increasing inflation.

HB23-1225 Extend And Modify Prescription Drug Affordability Board

This bill modifies certain functions of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Some of these changes include: specifying that only board members, and not employees, are required to recuse themselves during a vote if they have a conflict of interest; allowing the board chair to cancel a meeting if there is good cause; making certain changes to the procedure by which the board identifies prescription drugs that may be subjected to an affordability review; removing the prohibition of the board to set an upper limit on prescription drug prices; and establishing that it is an “adverse determination” if a patient is denied a prescription drug benefit because the manufacturer has withdrawn that drug from sale in the state.

This bill removes two key elements the Chamber fought to have in the passing of SB21-175 Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board (PDAB). These two elements include the agreed upon sunset date and putting a cap of up to 12 drugs that could be brought to the board for review. Further, we oppose the expansion of a program that has never been utilized and has not been proven to lower drug costs or evaluate pricing. The board has not completed an affordability review or set an upper payment limit for a prescription drug since the initial bill was passed. By expanding the number of drugs that could be subject to affordability review, removing the limit on the number of drugs for which the PDAB can set an upper price limit, and extending the sunset date for the law, this bill rolls back important protections that were put in place in an attempt to limit unintended consequences.

HB23-1232 Extend Housing Toolkit Time Frame

This bill clarifies that money transferred from the general fund or the affordable housing and home ownership cash fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund on June 27, 2021 must be expended before July 1, 2025. It further clarifies that the division of housing may award multiple grants in the Metro Denver area to prevent homelessness.

With housing affordability top of mind for workforce, we support this legislation because it extends timelines to use already-allocated funds to support grant programs for affordable housing. This is a commonsense way to ensure we are allocating funds that have already been earmarked to create a more affordable place for the workforce to live. In addition, the extension of this timeline will allow the housing taskforce to continue supporting homelessness initiatives, which supports economic competitiveness.

HB23-1246 Support In-demand Career Workforce

This bill directs the state board of community colleges and occupational education to administer the in-demand short-term credentials program. It appropriates $38.6 million from the general fund for the program. It requires the board to allocate funds to community and technical colleges, area technical colleges, local district colleges and Colorado Mesa University to provide assistance to students for eligible expenses supporting their enrollment in the program. Any unexpended funds must be used for a student’s housing, transportation or food expenses. The bill further requires the office of future work to provide grants to building and construction trades at no cost to apprentices, totaling $1.4 million from the general fund. The bill also appropriates $5 million from the general fund to create two new short-term degree nursing programs at community or technical colleges.

An educated workforce is imperative for a strong economy. This bill allows allocated funds to aid with student expenses and scholarships for in-demand career fields so we can ensure we have a strong talent pipeline.

HB23-1248 Executive Committee's Investigatory Authority

This bill authorizes the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council to create ad hoc investigatory committees and grants the committee subpoena power, power to take testimony under oath and to subpoena records and documents. The bill requires services of a subpoena to be made by a Sheriff or Sheriff’s Deputy, or any person over 18 with no interest in the case. The bill also permits the subpoenaed person to seek relief by providing a statement indicating how their testimony may be illegal, unduly oppressive or burdensome.

Polling, media coverage and federal issues increasingly perforate state and local policy conversations. In this context, we do not believe it is prudent to expand the investigatory powers of the Executive Committee. We are concerned that additional subpoena powers in an inherently political environment will be used in a political way. We believe these powers are most effective and unbiased in the judicial branch.

HB23-1255 Regulating Local Housing Growth Restrictions

This bill preempts any existing local growth restriction and prohibits local governments from enacting or enforcing one unless the local government has experienced a natural disaster emergency.

To increase the supply of housing, every community must do its part to develop within its boundaries. Growth caps create uneven external pressures on certain communities and contribute to an unbalanced real estate market. We support legislation that makes development easier, and this bill is one tool in the toolbox to bring down housing costs in Colorado.

HB23-1260 Advanced Industry and Semiconductor Manufacturing Incentives

This bill creates new and modifies current state tax incentives to maximize federal funding for taxpayers engaged in semiconductor and advanced manufacturing. It creates a refund mechanism allowing a taxpayer to apply for conditional approval of a tax credit based on a specified project in the state and sets the maximum amount of credit at 80%. The tax credit types that are the basis for refunds are: three enterprise zone credits for qualified investments, business facility employees, and experiential activity research; the Colorado job growth incentive tax credit; and three CHIPS zone credits for qualified investments. This bill also creates a temporary task force within the Office of Economic Development consisting of state legislators, representatives of the office, and citizens with industry experience to study the effectiveness of financial incentives intended to attract and promote the development of advanced manufacturing. This bill also creates the CHIPS zone tax credit, in which a local government may designate an area as a CHIPS zone to incentivize businesses to move there.

Historically, Colorado has struggled to contribute matching funds required to be competitive for federal grand dollars; that has had real opportunity costs for our state. We support this legislation because we want our state to be competitive for transformational opportunities only possible through federal investment. Additionally, we are strongly supportive of the task force to study Colorado’s financial incentives. Through the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, we compete with other states to recruit and retain job creating industries. From our experience working with various industries and corporate site selectors, Colorado’s incentives don’t compete with peer states. We believe that a task force dedicated to studying the competitiveness and efficacy of our financial incentives is an essential step to ensure our long-term economic strength.

HB23-1272 Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization

This bill enacts many provisions involving taxes related to decarbonization. It extends the innovative motor vehicles income tax credit for the purchase or lease of plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles and extends the credit through 2028. The credit cannot be claimed for vehicles that cost more than $80,000 for pickup trucks or $55,000 for automobiles. This bill also creates a tax refund for an industrial property owner who does an industrial study or installs greenhouse gas emission reduction improvements, up to 30% of the costs paid up to $1,000,000. Further, the bill creates a tax refund for geothermal energy projects for the purpose of energy production, as well as tax credits for the deployment of heat pump technology. This bill creates a new heat pump tax credit, a tax credit for electric bicycles up to $800, and also creates a tax credit for an aviation business to construct a sustainable aviation fuel facility.

While the Chamber supports incentives for business to address climate change, this bill creates uneven incentive mechanisms, making it harder for one industry to do business while another gains incentives. This incentive should be distributed equally amongst all industries that would benefit from it.

HB23-1277 Reporting Adjustments To Taxable Income

For S corporations and partnerships, this bill consolidates the composite return and withholding options for nonresident owners and clarifies the calculation. It also adopts the multistate tax commission’s model statute for reporting taxable income adjustments, and provides additional time to report adjustments to allow S corporations more time to handle them on behalf of owners. This bill also changes the due date for C corporations’ income tax returns to May 15 to conform with federal standards.

The Chamber supports updating processes to make it easier for companies to operate and do business. This bill will allow for a more streamlined process for businesses to report state tax information, while also conforming to federal standards.

HB23-1294 Pollution Protection Measures

This bill removes the requirement that the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) make rules setting conditions and limitations for start-up, shutdown or malfunction of air pollution that justify temporary relief from an emission control regulation. Currently, a person cannot permit air pollution emission at a nonresidential structure unless a notice has been filed with the Division of Administration in the Department of Public Health and Environment. This law adds more requirements, including that permits being approved by the division and the applicable period of review by the federal environmental protection has been completed. The law also removes the prohibition against the AQCC adopting stricter rules than federal law and adds new regulations to oil and gas construction permits to aggregate emission from a proposed or modified oil and gas system and consider emissions from exploration and preproduction activities. The bill also modifies the complaint process for noncompliance, adds requirements for the division to investigate, and creates new control measures that must be included in any state implementation plan for ozone adopted by the AQCC until a serious, severe, or extreme ozone nonattainment area is re-designated.

This bill would have sweeping consequences on energy production and utilization in the state, would raise energy costs for our workforce, and would create a regulatory process so onerous that it would grind the state’s permitting processes to a halt. The Chamber is especially concerned about provisions limiting vehicle miles traveled and putting the impetus to reduce this on the business community—an onerous and impossible task to be shouldered by one part of the community.

HB23-1302 Housing Accessibility

This bill modifies the accessible housing standards exception process for building plans submitted after July 1, 2023. When approving plans, a government may only grant an exception to the accessible housing standards when it is determined that the standards are technically infeasible or would create an undue hardship. The bill also requires that alteration of walls must also conform with certain minimum alteration requirements. This bill states that failure to comply with these minimum requirements constitutes discrimination and creates a civil action. This bill also requires a certain number of type B dwellings and in some cases at least one type A unit. The bill also requires newly constructed housing to have at least one building entrance on an accessible route, accessible fire alarms, accessible emergency exits, accessible mailboxes, and accessible signage.

Creating accessible housing is extremely important, but this bill creates complications in expediting the delivery of badly needed housing stock to market. New townhome units already meet federal ADA visibility requirements, and this bill would supersede federal law which is in place to assure accessibility—creating more red tape for developers, a prolonged permitting process, and added cost to housing.

HB23-1304 Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Programs

This bill modifies the voter-approved Proposition 123 in a number of ways. It allows tribal governments to participate; requires the Division of Local Government to administer the land planning capacity development program; allows the office to use a portion of the money from the fund for administrative expenses; allows for a certain recalculation of the area median income for affordable units; ensures that affordable units are included in the 3% growth obligation; and requires the Division of Housing to publish three annual reports.

Voters decided to support Proposition 123 in 2022, and we support operationalizing the initiative. While we did not take a position on the proposition, we support building more housing, and this legislation can be another tool in the toolbox to meet that goal.

HB23-1309 Film Incentive Tax Credit

Based on the findings of the Film Incentive Task Force, this bill codifies into statute the following: restructuring of the film incentive program from a cash rebate to a refundable income tax credit during fiscal years for which there are at least $50 million of excess state revenues; specifying the credit cannot be used for income tax years beginning in any other calendar year unless the General Assembly specifies a maximum aggregate amount of such credits; and requiring the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Film, Television, and Media to jointly review the effectiveness of the credit and issue a report to the House of Representatives in 2028.

This bill incentivizes investment from film related businesses to support the Colorado workforce, creates local jobs to promote the production of films, and makes our beautiful landscape competitive with other states. Arts and culture is an important industry vertical for the Colorado economy, and this legislation will increase our economic competitiveness in the space of media and film.

SB23-001 Authority of Public-private Collaboration Unit For Housing

This bill authorizes the public-private collaboration unit in the Department of Personnel to perform additional functions to provide housing. These include: accepting gifts, grants and donations to be credited to the state-owned real property fund if unused; utilizing proceeds from real estate transactions and revenue from public-private agreements; acting as an agent on behalf of the department in real estate transactions deeded to the department; and creating a process for using requests for information to solicit projects.

Housing is one of the Chamber’s top legislative priorities, and we applaud the General Assembly for crafting a public-private partnership system to deliver desperately needed housing stock to market. This bill is effective because it inventories underutilized state lands and repurposes them to build affordable housing, slashing costs to developers and passing savings on to consumers. The Chamber appreciates the General Assembly’s approach to housing using an incentives-based, public-private partnership model, rather than a one-size-fits-all mandate system.

SB23-016 Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures

The bill commits Colorado to a net-zero target by revising its 2050 goal to 100% emissions reductions and sets additional interim targets at five-year intervals. This bill includes measures that establish a state income tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the purchase price for new, electric-powered lawn equipment and construction of new transmission lines for a cleaner electric grid by requiring local governments to expedite reviews of transmission projects.

The Chamber opposes this bill unless amended. While the Chamber supports tax credit incentives to ease the cost of transitioning to electric energy for businesses, we trust that the current targets for the state’s emission reduction plan are sufficient to meet the net-zero goal by 2050. We oppose changing interim targets on emission reduction standards because it places an onus on businesses to retrofit their property in time to meet these targets. The cost of these changes will have a damaging impact on the economy with most of the financial burden being placed on the back of businesses. We encourage the sponsor of this bill to remove the interim targets and clarify the incentive language.

SB23-035 Middle-income Housing Authority Act

This bill clarifies that the middle-income housing authority has the ability to enter into public-private partnerships by specifying that: the affordable rental housing component of a public-private partnership is exempt from state and local tax; a public-private partnership may transfer interest of the project to an entity other than the authority; the authority may issue bonds to finance affordable rental housing; and bonds issued by the authority may be paid with the revenue and assets of the affordable rental housing component of a partnership.

The Chamber supports this legislation because it provides clarity to the operationalization of the middle-income housing authority, so that our state can increase sorely needed housing inventory. We encourage the General Assembly to continue advancing a public-private partnership model because it is a commonsense way to increase housing stock and create affordable housing for our workforce.

SB23-047 Confirmed Funds For Closing And Settlement Process

This bill changes the closing process in real estate transactions. It requires that funds intended to be used at closing have been received and deposited in a trust account at least one business day prior to closing and that the funds be confirmed as deposited and available upon closing. 

This bill places an unnecessary burden on banks and does not realize significant benefit to the consumer.

SB23-051 Conforming Workforce Development Statutes

This bill creates the Office of Future of Work in statute and expands its duties. This bill also amends statutes to enable the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship to recognize Colorado’s state apprenticeship agency and modifies language to make this change.

This bill formally establishes an office that seeks to upskill and reskill our workforce to keep it competitive. It is imperative to our state’s success that we create economic opportunity for all sectors of the workforce, and continue to assure we have a strong talent pipeline by ensuring apprenticeships and other workforce training programs.

SB23-056 Compensatory Direct Distribution to PERA

The Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) was entitled to a distribution of $225 million in 2020; however, funds were deferred due to budgetary pressures. HB22-1029 made a partial repayment to PERA, and this bill makes full repayment to PERA for their entitled distribution by allocating an additional $35,050,000.

We support dispersing the funds entitled funds to PERA. Further, PERA is a debt obligation of the state, and responsibly managing that debt is essential to protecting our state’s credit rating and ability to attract companies and jobs.

SB23-058 Job Application Fairness Act

This bill prohibits employers from asking a job seeker about their age date of birth, or dates of attendance at or graduation from an educational institution. Exceptions for compliance with occupational safety, federal law and state or local occupational requirements are allowed. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment would have authority to issue warnings and civil penalties for violations.

This bill is misaligned with what employers are experiencing in the current labor market. Whereas there are two available jobs for every unemployed Coloradan, employers have never been more flexible in their hiring practices and adaptive on job requirements. Further, the legislation is rendered moot as soon as candidates advance in the hiring process. Finally, businesses ought to be able to hire the talent that they need without additional restrictions. This bill is an intrusion on the hiring process in an attempt to address a problem that is not an issue in the current labor market.

SB23-060 Consumer Protection in Event Ticketing Sales

This bill amends consumer protection law regarding ticket sales and resales for events. The bill amends definitions related to event ticket sales including: specifying that a “reseller” includes an event operator who acts as a reseller of event tickets and defines a “rights holder” as a person with initial ownership rights to sell a ticket to an event. It also outlines a civil penalty structure for transactions in which one or more tickets are sold or acquired in a manner that constitutes a deceptive trade practice.

Third-party ticket businesses often buy event tickets in large quantities, putting them in control of ticket prices and sales instead of the original vendor. This bill will help give more control back to the venue/contractor of an event.

SB23-065 Career Development Success Program

This bill removes the requirement to complete a qualified industry pre-apprenticeship program for the career development success program. Currently, the General Assembly appropriates $1 million annually to the department of education for the program. This bill increases the appropriation to $10 million annually. This bill also requires a school district to receive 120% of the pupil amount per pupil eligible for free and reduced lunch that successfully completes a qualified industry credential program.

Workforce development and access to talent are imminent issues affecting the growth and success of Colorado businesses. This bill removes an unnecessary barrier to the upskilling of our workforce, and it allocates more funding so that work can have a broader reach. 

SB23-066 Advanced Industry Acceleration Programs

This bill extends the Advanced Industry Export Acceleration Program and the Advanced Industries Acceleration Grant Program by 10 years. It also broadens eligibility for qualifying businesses to access an international export development expense reimbursement. Additionally, the Advanced Industry Export Acceleration program allows businesses to receive an international export development expense report, provided they meet eligibility requirements.

These funds foster our advanced industries and have a measurable positive impact on job growth, innovation and economic stimulant. Continued investment in these industries generates economic growth for our state and strengthens Colorado’s competitive edge.

SB23-098 Gig Work Transparency

The legislation directs the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics to adopt rules that require disclosures about payments made to drivers and procedures regarding driver termination for delivery network companies (DNC) and transportation network companies (TNC). The bill would mandate that companies show the amount drivers and the business earn respectively. The legislation would also require gig companies to give drivers more information related to wages, time worked and expenses. Finally, this bill would create a review mechanism through the state that would allow drivers to challenge deactivations and terminations.

There are provisions within this bill that would be onerous to implement from a business perspective based on technology application, safety protocols standards from the National Transportation Safety Board, and the overall benefit drivers would receive. Drivers who work for DNCs or TNCs frequently do so part-time to supplement their income. They appreciate flexibility, and they do not act as full-time employees for the companies they operate under. This bill is a slippery slope toward classifying independent contractors as W-2 employees as opposed to 1099 employees.

SB23-105 Ensure Equal Pay For Equal Work

Current law authorizes the director of the division of labor standards to create and administer a process to accept and mediate complaints. The bill changes these authorizations to requirements. The bill additionally requires the director to: investigate complaints or other leads concerning wage inequity; if violation is found, order compliance and relief; and promulgate rules to enforce the bill. The bill also requires an employer to: follow specific guidelines for posting a job when the employer is considering more than one candidate; provide specific information to employees regarding the candidate selected and opportunity; and disclose the requirements for career progression and compensation, benefits, status, duties, and access to further advancement.

We worked closely with administrators, legislators, and leadership to ensure that the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, passed in 2019, was implementable for businesses and meaningfully helped workers. However, the law's implementation was neither practical nor effective in realizing the spirit of the policy. We had hoped reevaluating this policy would resolve the unintended consequences of the first attempt, and SB23-105 does move in the right direction regarding previous definitional issues with promotional opportunities. However, SB23-105 falls short of addressing many functional gaps created by the 2019 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. For example, this new proposal does not address the well documented issue of remote Colorado workers being excluded from the national labor market as remote workers. This attempt to fortify equal pay also creates many new business requirements. We are seriously concerned that the additional requirements created in this bill are so operationally cumbersome, that ambiguity will be the only way to achieve compliance. This reality, which has already proven itself in the first Equal Pay law, is the worst of both worlds—meaningless compliance. We oppose SB23-105 because it does not fix all of the mistakes of the past, rather it makes new mistakes all its own. 

SB23-110 Transparency for Metropolitan Districts

Under current law, citizens requesting formation of a special district must submit plans to the Board of County Commissioners or municipalities for each county which would contain this special district. For proposed metropolitan districts that submit plans to one or more Boards of County Commissioners or municipalities, this bill requires the service plan to include: the maximum mill levy that may be imposed; and the maximum debt that may be issued by the metropolitan district. The bill also requires the metropolitan district to have annual meetings if formed after Jan. 1, 2020; and also requires the board receive a statement of a registered municipal advisor certifying the interest rate of the debt. The bill further requires the seller of real property within a special district to provide the district’s website to the buyer, which will be disclosed on the Colorado Real Estate Commission seller’s property disclosure.

Standards codified in this bill are already considered industry best practices. We support this bill because it is proactive about metro district standards without penalizing a necessary tool for regional growth and development.

SB23-111 Public Employees' Workplace Protection

Currently, the “National Labor Relations Act” and the “Colorado Labor Peace Act” exclude certain public employees. This bill grants these public employees, including individuals employed by counties, municipalities, fire authorities, school districts, public colleges and universities, library districts, special districts, public defender's offices, the university of Colorado hospital authority, the Denver health and hospital authority, the general assembly, and a board of cooperative services certain rights. These rights include: the right to discuss and express views regarding workplace issues; engage in activity for mutual protection; fully participate in the political process while not in uniform and off-duty; and organize an employee organization. The bill also prohibits public employers from discriminating with or otherwise interfering with these activities.

This bill is a slippery slope. Coloradans have always preserved a careful balance between labor unions and employers. The Labor Peace act is a fundamental component of Colorado labor relations, but this careful balance between labor and employers is at potential risk with this kind of legislation. Today, local communities can already decide whether their government employees can form labor unions, and whether those unions can then collectively bargain. 

SB23-143 Retail Delivery Fees

This bill modifies existing retail delivery fees by permitting a retailer to pay the retail delivery fee (RDF) on behalf of the purchaser; requires the department of revenue to waive any processing costs for a retailer’s electronic payment by automated clearing house (ACH) debit of RDF if the charges would exceed the amount of the RDF revenue being remitted; creates an exemption from the RDF for a retail delivery by a qualified business defined as a business that has $500,000 or less of retail sales in the prior year or is new; and creates a primary definition for “retail delivery” to reflect current statute. If the retailer elects to pay the RDF, then the retailer is not required to add the RDF to the prices of the retail delivery, separately itemize the RDF, or collect the RDF from the purchaser, who is not liable for the amount nor eligible for a refund of an erroneously paid RDF; and required to remit the RDF on the date that would be required if the RDF had been received from the purchaser on the date of the retail delivery.

While we appreciate the work this bill does at providing relief to small businesses under a certain financial threshold, we believe the bill would benefit from an amendment to ensure that businesses that made the investments necessary to comply with the retail delivery fee by the July 1, 2022 effective date are not penalized while allowing compliance flexibility for medium size businesses.

SB23-171 Large Entertainment Facility Substance-free Seating Requirement

This bill requires entertainment venues with 7,000 or more seats to designate 4% of their seats as “substance-free seating." These seats cannot be higher or farther away relative to the other seats in the facility. These “substance-free seats” must be accessible to persons with disabilities and signs must be prominently displayed in and around the substance-free sections. Failure to comply with these regulations is deemed “good cause” for refusal or denial of an alcohol beverage license or initial license issuance.

The Chamber believes large venues subject to this bill best know how to run their businesses, and an added mandate on these venues is onerous and difficult to implement and enforce. As it stands, venues can choose to provide substance-free seating to guests on their own, and a mandate interferes with their ability to make a profit and best run their business.

SB23-172 Protecting Opportunities And Workers' Rights Act

This bill enacts the “Protecting Opportunities and Workers’ Rights Act," which: directs the Colorado Civil Rights Division to include “harassment” as a basis of discrimination on any charge intake mechanism; adds a new definition of “harass” and “harassment” and repeals the current definition; adds protections from discrimination for individuals based on marital status; specifies that in harassment claims, conduct need not be severe or pervasive to constitute discrimination; eliminates the ability of employers to assert that an employee’s disability has a significant job impact as reason to not hire; and specifies that it is discriminatory to fail to launch an investigation of a complaint.

In recognition of the extensive stakeholder work that went into this legislation, the Chamber has changed its position from opposed to monitoring on SB23-172. We are grateful that the sponsors and proponents remained engaged with the business community  to find solutions that advanced workers' rights in Colorado without creating an excessively litigious environment. 

SB23-175 Financing of Downtown Development Authority Projects

Currently, downtown development authorities may use a tax increment financing (TIF) arrangement for 30 years with the ability to extend for another 20 years. For property tax revenue only, this bill creates automatic and recurring additional 20 year extension periods for TIF arrangements unless the governing body of an authority opts out of the extensions. During the 20 year extension period, 50% of the incremental revenue is allocated to a special fund to finance projects within the authority’s boundaries, the other 50% is allocated to other entities that levy property taxes within the boundaries of the authority. During the last 10 years of the extension, the base revenue for the TIF is recalculated yearly; for an automatic and recurring extension, the bill requires the base year revenue to be recalculated every year.

The Metro Denver area is home to many vibrant, well-maintained downtowns, which serve as economic engines for our region and create a sense of place and character in our communities. This bill makes TIF reauthorization less cumbersome, so we can continue developing and maintaining our downtowns to attract talent and make Colorado the best place to live in the nation.

SB23-184 Protections for Residential Tenants

This bill restricts the ability of a landlord to consider or inquire about certain information relating to a prospective tenant’s rental history, income and credit history, and requires the landlord to rent to the first prospective tenant who applies and meets the requirements of the rental and financial screening criteria. A landlord is required to keep a time-stamped receipt of each application submitted. This bill states that a landlord who violates the bill’s provisions is subject to an initial penalty of $50, and if the landlord does not cure the violation, he or she is subject to a $5,000 statutory penalty to be paid to the aggrieved party, plus initial damages, court costs and attorney fees. The bill further requires a landlord to allow a tenant to pay a security deposit in monthly installments equal to one half the term of the tenancy, and prohibits a landlord from charging a security deposit that is larger than one month’s rent.

We have grave concerns over this bill’s interference with a landlord’s ability to do business in Colorado. Without the ability to inquire about credit history, rental history or other vital information, a landlord cannot properly screen a prospective tenant and is taking on increased risk on their investment: they have the right to know who they are entering into a contractual obligation with. In addition, landlords should be able to select the tenant who best qualifies for the rental, not the first to submit their application, as this hinders their ability to choose who to do business with and increases financial risk.

SB23-201 Mineral Resources Property Owners' Rights

Currently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) may authorize a pooling order, which combines multiple mineral interests for purposes of drilling, which may include an owner who does not consent to the drilling for oil and gas on the mineral owner’s tract. This bill changes the commission process for entering a forced pooling order by: requiring an applicant prove that 45% or more of mineral rights owners consent to the pooling order; requiring the commission to determine if the minerals may be extracted without disturbing the tract of a nonconsenting mineral owner; requiring a forced pooling order be issued in a manner that minimizes adverse health and safety impacts; and requiring the commission to issue a pooling order before any minerals are extracted. 

With gas prices still at an all-time high due to the ongoing foreign conflicts, adding additional regulations to Colorado’s oil and gas industry further exacerbates high costs and makes it harder for Coloradans to access reasonably priced fuel.

SB23-205 Universal High School Scholarship Program

This bill establishes the universal high school scholarship program for students who pursue an in-demand or high priority postsecondary education program. Students are eligible if they graduated from a Colorado high school and complete the free application for federal student aid. Each scholarship award is $1,500, and the bill requires the General Assembly to appropriate $25 million total for the program.

An educated workforce is vital for economic competitiveness, and this bill works to continue a previously successful program meant to increase employment in in-demand career fields, creating a healthy workforce pipeline.

SB23-207 Sales And Use Tax Refund For Data Center Purchases

This bill, beginning Jan. 1, 2025, allows data centers to claim a refund on all state sales and use tax on purchases for construction materials or data center equipment necessary for construction or operation of the facility. To be eligible, the facility must obtain certification from the Office of Economic Development stating it is an eligible data center. An eligible center is defined as creating a certain number of jobs, generating a certain amount of revenue, and requiring a certain amount of power.

This bill provides incentives that make Colorado more attractive in bringing business to the state, and data centers have the added benefit of decreasing utility costs for consumers overall. We support legislation that attracts business and brings down costs for Coloradans.

SB23-213 Land Use

This bill requires the Director of the Department of Local Affairs to conduct a housing needs assessment every five years, beginning no later than Dec. 31, 2024, which must determine current statewide housing stock as well as future need. It also requires Urban Municipalities and Rural Resort Communities to develop their own housing needs assessments, which will detail their plan to address the housing needs assigned to them by the Department of Local Affairs. The bill also prohibits local governments from enacting any ordinance that does not allow construction of accessory dwelling units where single-family residential zoning is a use-by-right. In addition, the bill requires Tier 1 Urban Municipalities and Rural Resort Communities to allow middle housing (multiplex structures up to six units) to be constructed where single-family residential zoning is currently a use-by-right. In designated key corridors, the bill sets guidelines for number of units which must be reserved for low and moderate income households and sets minimum density standards. The bill also requires a municipality to adopt either a standard model code or adopt local laws that satisfy the minimum standards for the above provisions of the bill. Further, the bill prohibits municipalities from setting different or stricter standards on the construction of factory-built homes, prohibits minimum square footage, prohibits residential occupancy limits, and appropriates $15 million from the general fund to assist local governments to administer the provisions of the bill.

Colorado is in an acute housing shortage, and this bill standardizes regulations and cuts red tape, making it easier to build sorely needed housing stock. It offers a roadmap that will create smart, denser development where it makes sense, while also preserving Colorado’s current neighborhood character. While we understand it is not a perfect piece of legislation, the economic need Colorado has for housing is immense and this bill works to bring much needed housing inventory to market.

SB23-252 Medical Price Transparency

This bill requires hospitals to create a public list of all standard charges for all hospital items and services provided to patients. It also requires hospitals to make a public list of at least 300 shoppable services and report the lists to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. This bill also requires the department to monitor hospital compliance and issue a written notice if found in violation.

At a time when we should be supporting our hospitals as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and work to regain operational normalcy and profitability, these added regulations complicate this recovery. Codifying federal rules into state statute creates the potential for duplicative and conflicting state and federal rules, and changing the regulatory mechanisms and organizations adds unnecessary confusion and ambiguity and makes doing business in Colorado more difficult.

SB23-276 Modifications to Laws Regarding Elections

This bill modifies the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” in a number of ways. It allows any form of identification currently specified in the code to be presented electronically, changes requirements for preregistering 17-year-olds for general elections and expands disclosure requirements for candidates. The bill further specifies that the Department of State cannot use public funds for advertising featuring candidates for local, state or federal government offices. This bill increases the number of voting drop boxes on public university campuses, creates a new formula for county clerks to facilitate elections, and requires larger counties to begin counting ballots at least four days prior to election day.

The Chamber supports legislation that makes it easier to vote, and we are proud of Colorado’s historically high voter turnout. If passed, however, this bill would increase fees on business to help cover the cost of elections—placing more burden on our business community and increasing costs which will then be passed onto consumers. We support elections being easier and more equitable, but we oppose this bill specifically because of the undue burden the funding mechanisms place on business. The state should find an alternative funding mechanism or appropriate additional General Fund toward elections – as opposed to putting election funding on the backs of businesses. 

SB23-283 Mechanisms For Federal Infrastructure Funding

This bill clarifies that money from the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” cash fund can be used by the Governor’s Office as project planning support and requires that the State Treasurer transfer $86 million from the general fund to the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” cash fund.

As Colorado continues to expand, so will our infrastructure needs. This bill will help financially support infrastructure expansion and investment in job creation throughout the state, helping Colorado maintain its economic competitiveness amongst surrounding states.

SB23-291 Utility Regulation

This bill socializes on-site solar costs to install systems; changes fuel cost modeling; gives discretion to the administrative state to determine the standard of review in cases on a case-by-case basis; mandates disclosure requirements; builds out extensive cost recovery exclusions; requires disclosure of individuals employed by regulated entities; including salaries and wages; establishes “fuel cost sharing” models; eliminates line extension allowances; establishes a study process to shorten depreciation lives; and grants special rights to non-regulated energy providers.

This bill would devastate the state’s utility production and energy supply and would severely jeopardize the ability of utility providers to do business in the state by way of onerous and harmful regulation. It would tie the hands of large utility providers to have a seat at the table to negotiate in political arenas, would set back our energy transition, and would hurt Colorado’s consumers and businesses.