2017 Infrastructure Bills

We focus on infrastructure as one of our pillars for a strong economy because connections—from buses and broadband to water and energy—are the backbone of a successful region. In fact, Interstate 70 and energy are critical issues that we’re focusing on as a Chamber.

Have a question about a position we’ve taken? Call us at 303-620-8088 or email us at publicpolicy@denverchamber.org.

  • Position Key
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  • STATUS Key
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Bill # Title Summary Position Justification Materials Pillars Status
HB17-1008 Graywater Regulation Exemption For Scientific Research

This bill allows for an exemption from the water quality control commission’s regulations related to graywater for scientific research.

The Chamber supports implementing the steps established in the 2015 Colorado Water Plan, a plan designed to address Colorado’s future water needs and measure its progress. This bill implements one of the actions recommended in the plan and addresses a reuse strategy.

HB17-1068 Prevailing Wages for Colorado Department of Transportation Public-Private Initiatives

This bill requires that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) may only consider proposals for a public-private initiative that pay no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits set by the U.S. Department of Labor as directed by the federal Davis-Bacon Act.

This bill puts unnecessary restrictions on public-private partnerships (P3s), creating a burdensome and economically unattractive environment to anyone looking partner with or invest in Colorado.

HB17-1070 Infrastructure Bill

This bill requires the Center of Excellence to conduct a study and implement a pilot program on integrating unmanned aircraft systems within state and local government operations that relate to public safety.

This bill will provide analysis on the feasibility of integrating advanced technologies into government operations, further diversifying and advancing our state’s aerospace industry
while improving public safety.

HB17-1124 Local Government Liable Fracking Ban Oil and Gas Moratorium

The bill makes any local government that bans or imposes a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of an oil and gas well liable to the affected mineral interest owners, oil and gas operators, mineral lessees and royalty owners.

The Chamber maintains a firm position that local fracking bans are unconstitutional. We support this bill because it recognizes the private property rights of mineral owners and compensates owners for the financial loss if they are precluded from accessing resources that belong to them.

HB17-1153 Highway Congestion Mitigation

This bill prevents the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) from increasing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane requirements from two passengers currently to three passengers, counting the driver. This bill also requires that any funding CDOT receives that is not already allocated to another project must be allocated to the expansion projects for portions of Interstate 25 between the town of Castle Rock and Monument and between State Highways 14 and 66.

The Chamber recognizes that the need for transportation infrastructure funding is a statewide issue and must be addressed in a way that provides solutions for all of Colorado. This bill removes funding from CDOT by reducing HOV lane collections; it also focuses solely on one area, designating that any additional funding CDOT receives must be allocated to this one project. This is not a collaborative solution. Finally, this bill attempts to legislate CDOT, requiring them to focus resources on a particular project rather than allowing them to best determine where the greatest need lies.

HB17-1161 TIF Tax Increment Financing Transparency

This bill increases reporting and auditing restrictions on urban renewal authorities using an approved urban renewal plan. It also holds the authority liable if it’s deemed to have been used inappropriately.

This is a process that is already addressed by many authorities and doesn’t need to be legislated. Urban renewal and tax-increment financing are important tools for revitalizing, reenergizing and redeveloping communities and creating economic development; this bill may stifle development in the areas that need it most.

HB17-1171 Authorize New Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes

This bill requires that the Transportation Commission submit a ballot question in November 2017 asking voters to approve $3.5 billion in bonds for transportation funding.

Although we support finding a long-term solution to addressing the needs of our roads and bridges, this bill isn’t meaningful unless we pair it with significant revenue.

HB17-1219 Extend Colorado Water Conservation Board Fallowing and Leasing Pilot Program

This bill extends and expands the current Colorado water conservation board pilot program on temporarily leasing fallowed agricultural land by allowing for five additional pilot projects, including one additional pilot project in any one of the four major river basins, and extending the program by an additional five years.

The Chamber is supportive of this pilot program, as prescribed in the Colorado Water Plan, as it provides an alternative method for farmers to monetize their water rights rather than simply selling them.

HB17-1227 Electric Demand-side Management Program Extension

This bill extends a 2007 program requiring the PUC to reduce peak demand by at least 5 percent and demonstrate energy savings of at least 5 percent using 2018 energy sales numbers as a baseline for the period from 2019 through 2028.

This program promotes energy efficiency and reduces energy costs of businesses and individuals. The bill does not preclude a utility from exceeding the program targets and thereby helping business and residential customers achieve higher energy savings.

HB17-1232 Public Utilities Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles

This bill enables public utilities to recover the costs of implementing electric motor vehicle or natural gas fueling stations. It also allows public utilities to consider transportation electrification and natural gas vehicle programs to support greater adoption of these technologies.

The Chamber is supportive of a diverse energy economy and this bill encourages investment in innovation, infrastructure and these alternative energy technologies.

HB17-1233 Protect Water Historical Consumptive Use Analysis

This bill applies a water use exemption for participants of government-sponsored water conservation programs statewide.

The Chamber supports implementing the steps established in the 2015 Colorado Water Plan, a plan designed to address Colorado’s future water needs and measure its progress. This bill implements one of the actions recommended in the plan and encourages people to participate in water conservation programs.

HB17-1242 New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue

This bill refers a ballot question to voters in November 2017 asking for approval of a .62 percent sales and use tax increase to fund transportation infrastructure and mobility. The funding would generate approximately $700 million in its first full year, allocating $300 million to CDOT and, of the remaining new revenue, 70 percent to counties and municipalities so they can address unique local needs and 30 percent to create a multimodal transportation fund. The tax increase would sunset automatically in 20 years.

This bill offers a long-term statewide solution to addressing the needs of transportation infrastructure by pairing it with sustainable funding. Without significant investment in our state’s infrastructure, our economy and ability to attract workers will suffer. This bill aligns with the Chamber’s transportation principles.

HB17-1256 Oil and Gas Facilities Distance from School Property

This bill increases the current setback rules for oil and gas drilling from 1,000 feet from a school or other high occupancy building to 1,000 feet from the property line of that building.

Colorado has the most stringent oil and gas regulations in the country, which are regarded as best practices nationally and internationally. This legislation undermines the legitimacy of the 2015 Colorado oil and gas task force, which produced a number of comprehensive recommendations from a diverse group of stakeholders.

HB17-1279 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval/

This bill would enact an informed consent process and require that a majority of homeowners vote to proceed with a construction defect claim before a lawsuit is filed.

This bill helps ensure homeowners are informed and able to resolve issues without having to resort to costly and time-intensive litigation. Although we realize that House Bill 1279 alone will not solve all of Colorado’s housing problems, we hope it will help spur the development of attainable housing options for our millennials, seniors, public servants and other Coloradans struggling to buy a home.

HB17-1289 State Engineer Rules Historical Consumptive Use

This bill requires that the state engineer develop rules to allow for a quicker, more streamlined process for calculating historical consumptive use of a water right when selling or leasing. However, it doesn’t eliminate the option for the seller to go through water court if they so choose.

The Chamber supports implementing the steps established in the 2015 Colorado Water Plan, a plan designed to address Colorado’s future water needs and measure its progress. This bill implements one of the actions recommended in the plan.

HB17-1336 Additional Protections Forced Pooling Order

The bill requires a majority of royalty interest owners to agree to apply for an order to pool oil and gas resources within a given drilling unit as opposed to any one interested party. The process includes giving notice to all interest owners, holding a hearing and holding a vote.

The Chamber remains a strong believer in protecting private property rights; however, this bill and its sponsors attempt to address a very complex issue very late in the session and without engaging all stakeholders in the process. Therefore, it fails to achieve a balanced solution. Additionally, this proposal doesn’t consider the innovations in technology that, coupled with the current set of stringent rules for oil and gas development, allows for minimal impact to the environment.

HB17-1348 Prohibit HOV High-Occupancy Vehicle 3 Requirement North I-25 Express Lanes

This bill would require any public private partnership agreement for the Interstate 25 north project to say that high--occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes must be free of charge for any motor vehicle that is occupied by two or more individuals, counting the driver.

This bill removes funding from CDOT by reducing HOV lane collections and will exacerbate the already critical transportation infrastructure funding crisis the state is experiencing.

SB17-042 Repeal of Local Government Internet Service Voter Approval

This bill repeals restrictions meant to keep governments from competing with telecommunication companies. The bill also removes restrictions that prevent governments from using governmental immunity to circumvent federal and state rules and from engaging in preferential or discriminatory practices in the provision of telecommunication services.

While the Chamber recognizes that the intent of this bill is to expand broadband capabilities to rural Colorado, repealing these government restrictions would not achieve that goal. Instead, it would have a detrimental effect on local communities and allow for discriminatory practices and unfair competition in the telecommunications industry.

SB17-089 Allow Electric Utility Customers to Install Energy Storage Equipment

The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to require all utilities in the state to allow electric customers to install and use electricity storage systems on their property without restrictions or regulations and without changes in their rate.

This bill would impose significant uncertainty around energy storage applications, utilization and connectivity, particularly as it relates to connecting with the utility power grid. The unknown increased costs would be passed on to all consumers, including commercial customers, regardless of whether they are utilizing this technology.

SB17-156 Homeowners' Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines

This bill requires alternative dispute resolution before filing a construction defects lawsuit if written into the governing documents. It also requires that all owners receive notification of any legal proceedings related to their property and that a majority of homeowners vote to proceed with the construction defect claim before a lawsuit is filed.

This bill addresses the three most critical components of construction defect litigation reform that will make a meaningful difference in increasing for-sale workforce housing while maintaining strong consumer protections. The Chamber has been working on these reforms with a broad coalition focused on energizing the construction of for sale condominiums throughout Colorado.

SB17-157 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval

This bill requires that a homeowners’ association (HOA) board must notify all unit owners before filing a lawsuit against a developer or builder, disclosing information about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits and obtain the approval of a majority of unit owners. This bill also preempts municipal ordinances requiring alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and extends the statute of limitations by freezing the clock while the HOA is going through the voting process with owners.

While this bill contains some meaningful changes to current law regarding construction defect litigation, the Chamber is concerned that, as written, it supersedes local municipality efforts to incorporate ADR as an option to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation. The Chamber supports a process that allows for a quick resolution of construction issues while providing sufficient consumer protections to all owners in a community.

SB17-188 Repeal Income Tax Credit of Innovative Motor Vehicles

This bill is a referred measure that repeals the current income tax credit on purchased and leased innovative trucks and vehicles and uses that money to fund the highway users tax fund.

This bill would remove incentives to invest in alternative fuel vehicles, something the Chamber has been supportive of in past years. Although we support finding a long-term solution to addressing the funding needs of our roads and bridges, this bill doesn’t provide a significant source of revenue.

SB17-279 Applicability Recent Urban Renewal Legislation

This bill clarifies technical portions of HB15-1348, a bill that modified provisions governing urban redevelopment, by expressly listing the types of changes to existing plans that will trigger retroactive compliance with HB15-1348.

The Chamber sees the strong value of urban renewal projects as a tool for revitalizing, reenergizing and redeveloping our communities and for economic development. We support these necessary technical fixes to streamline the process and to help local governments and the development community achieve greater certainty when investing in these projects.

SB17-303 State Highway System Funding and Financing

This bill refers a measure to the November 2017 ballot asking voters to approve $3.5 billion in bonds for transportation funding and requires that 10 percent of existing revenue from state sales and use taxes be transferred to the Colorado Department of Transportation for payment of bonds and ongoing maintenance.

Although we support finding a long-term solution to addressing the needs of our roads and bridges, this bill isn’t meaningful unless we pair it with significant revenue. In order to fund this bill, the state would be forced to forego needed maintenance on existing roads, bridges and tunnels. Furthermore, this bill focuses only on highways and fails to include local governments to address mass transit and other mobility needs across the state.

SCR17-002 Real Estate Transfer Tax for Affordable Housing

This concurrent resolution will refer to the voters on the November ballot a real estate transfer tax of 1/10 of one percent that will be used to fund affordable housing.

While the Chamber is actively engaged in finding solutions to incentivize the building of attainable housing for our workforce, we oppose this bill because it would have a negative effect. An increase in real estate transfer taxes would result in higher real estate costs. When examining public funding to support building affordable housing, we believe every stakeholder ought to contribute toward the solution and no individual or group alone should bear the burden of solving this. Additionally, this proposal will add yet another formula to our state’s constitution, an issue that the Chamber adamantly opposes because of its inherent potential to create budgeting and funding problems in the future.