In the News

Governor Signs Bills that The Colorado Chamber Lobbied

Over the last few weeks, Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law legislation, detailed below, on which The Colorado Chamber lobbied and that involved the work of The Colorado Chamber members who serve The Colorado Chamber’s policy councils.

The Colorado Chamber members with questions regarding these bills should contact Loren Furman, The Colorado Chamber Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, or Carly West, The Colorado Chamber Governmental Relations Representative.


HB-1272 RTD and SCFD Sales and Use Tax Base Same As State

Sponsors: Representative Dickey Lee Hullinghurst (D-Boulder) and Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver)

  • This bill modifies the special districts and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD sales-and-use tax base to align it with the State’s sales-and-use tax base. This includes taxing such items as soda, candy, cigarettes, direct mail and food containers while exempting such items currently exempted under State law as low emissions-emitting vehicles, machinery or machine tools and vending machine sales of food. See also the bill’s second fiscal note for more details.

HB-1288 Establish Statewide Uniform Sales and Use Tax Base

Sponsors: Representatives Kathleen Conti (R-Littleton) and Daniel Kagan (D-Cherry Hills Village) and Senators Pat Steadman (D-Denver) and Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs)

  • This bill requires the Colorado Department of Revenue to work with the Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties, Inc., on a report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2013, that includes:
    • Identifying the sales-tax exemptions for each jurisdiction across the state;
    • Estimating the revenue associated with each exemption;
    • Determining how a uniform sales-tax base can be revenue-neutral for the state and local taxing jurisdictions; and
    • Recommendations on how to establish a uniform sale-tax base.

For more information, see the bill’s fiscal note and the fiscal analysis by Joint Budget Committee (JBC) staff.

HB-1295 Simplify Sales Tax for Marketplace Fairness Act

Sponsors: House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) and Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder)

  • Concerns implementing the requirements of the Federal “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (if adopted), in order for the state to be authorized by the federal government to require remote sellers to collect sales tax on taxable sales made within the state.

For more details, see the bill’s fiscal note and the fiscal analysis by JBC staff.

HB-1300 Revisor’s Bill

Sponsors: Representative Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) and Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs)

  • Fixes language in current statute that was not addressed 2011’s SB-86 by changing the reference by which a taxpayer who has exhausted local remedies as a condition precedent to filing an appeal may appeal a deficiency notice or refund claim denial issued by a county or municipality in connection with the imposition of a sales-or-use tax by such government to include all of the provisions of subsection (8) of the current statute.

Labor and Employment

SB-285 Regarding Changes to Workers Compensation

Sponsors: Representative Angela Williams (D-Denver) and Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton)

  • This bill made changes to the procedures in workers’ compensation claims for the resolution of workers’ compensation disputes using law services similar to this Noll Law Firm or others to build a workers compensation case. This helped to ensure that workers’ compensation insurance, such as Class Code 8810, were put in place to aid employers in case there was an issue, and extra support was required.

HB-1165 Creation of a Manufacturing Career Pathway for Colorado

Sponsors: Representative Jim Wilson (R-Salida) and Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder)

  • This bill requires that the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education collaborate with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to design a career pathway for students seeking employment in the manufacturing sector beginning the 2014-15 academic year.

For more details, see the fiscal note and the JBC staff fiscal analysis.

Health Care

HB-1115 CoverColorado Repeal

Sponsors: Representative Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver)

  • This bill repeals the CoverColorado program because, due to the implementation of Federal health-care reform, there is no need to continue this program for insuring “high-risk” Coloradans. The Colorado Chamber worked to amend the bill to direct 25 percent of funds remaining in the program to funding the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.

HB-1245 Funding Health Benefit Exchange

(Sponsors: Representative Angela Williams (D-Denver) and Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton)

  • This bill creates two funding mechanisms to support the operations of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, including:
    • A fee assessed on health insurers operating in the individual and small-group markets; and
    • A premium-tax credit to encourage contributions to the Health\Exchange from insurance carriers.

For more details, read the fiscal note and the JBS staff fiscal analysis.

HB-1266 Health Insurance Alignment

Sponsors: Senator Matt Jones (D-Louisville) and Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont)

  • This bill aligns state health insurance laws with the requirements of the Federal health-care reform to eliminate conflicting or duplicative requirements.

For more information on this bill, read the fiscal note.

HB-1290 Modernize Stop-Loss Health Insurance

Sponsors: Representative Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver)

  • This bill updates the law that regulates excess-loss or stop-loss health insurance policies used with health-benefit plans for self-insured employers with no more than 50 employees by increasing the attachment point from $15,000 to $20,000 and making other updates to terms and requirements in current law.

SB-200 Expand Medicaid Eligibility

Sponsors: Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver)

  • The bill expands Medicaid eligibility from 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 130 percent of the FPL. For the first three years, the Federal Government will pay the cost of expanding eligibility. Beginning in FY 2016-17, the Federal Government will reduce its share gradually until, in 2020, it covers 90 percent of expansion costs.

For more information on this bill, read the fiscal note and the JBC staff fiscal analysis.

Energy and Environment

SB-202 Inspections of Oil and Gas Facilities

Sponsors: Senator Matt Jones (D-Louisville) and Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont)

  • As amended, the bill requires the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to report to the Joint Budget Committee and legislative committees of reference by February 1, 2014, on utilizing a risk-based strategy for inspecting oil-and-gas locations. The report is to include findings, recommendations, and a plan, including staffing and equipment needs for implementing the strategy, by July 1, 2014.

For more details on this bill, read the fiscal note and the JBC staff fiscal analysis.