In this Capitol Report:
These Are the Bills Impacting Businesses that Gov. Polis Has Signed into Law so Far
With the conclusion of legislative session, Gov. Polis has ramped up signing bills into law – the final step of the legislative process. The Colorado Chamber monitored hundreds of bills that made their way through the General Assembly and took Support/Oppose/Neutral positions on more than 30 bills.
Here are the major bills impacting businesses that have been signed into law so far:
HB 1189: Air Toxics Regulation
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 6/24/21
This bill expands the requirements applicable to a “covered facility” relating to air pollutants, including adding new types of covered air toxics, creating new outreach requirements, conducting fence line monitoring, and increasing corrective action requirements.
HB 1286: Energy Performance for Buildings
Chamber Position Changed from Opposed to Neutral – Signed on 6/24/21
HB 1286 is a benchmarking bill that originally required buildings to collect and report on energy use and comply with performance standards. The Colorado Chamber’s Government Affairs and Energy and Environment Councils opposed the bill due to its broad scope, unclear parameters, and anticipated costs to comply with the benchmarking and performance requirements. After a substantial amount of work and negotiation, the proponents agreed to remove the performance standards and instead have the performance standards process outlined through a taskforce.
SB 175: Drug Affordability Review
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 6/16/21
The bill creates a new Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board that sets price caps for certain prescription drugs in Colorado that meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the bill. The bill makes it illegal to purchase or reimburse a prescription drug at a cost that exceeds the upper payment limit or price cap established by Board.
HB 1232: Public Option
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 6/16/21
HB 1232 creates the state public option, requiring all Colorado insurer to offer the Colorado Health Benefit Option by 2023 for individual and small group markets. It sets benchmarks and requires premiums to be cut by 15%. Several improvements were made after negotiation from the business community, however the Colorado Chamber maintains that this will lead to a cost-shift onto employer-sponsored insurance.
SB 260: Transportation Funding
Signed on 6/17/21
This long-anticipated proposal provides $5.3 billion in funding for transportation projects through a variety of fees, general fund dollars, and federal stimulus money. The funds generated will go towards road and highway improvements, electrification, and pollution mitigation.
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 6/23/21
These bills eliminate a series of tax exemptions while raising the exemption cap for business personal property taxes to $50,000. The chamber worked tirelessly on these bills, securing significant improvements from their original form. Improvements include reinstating the 3 of 6 combined reporting rule, slowing the restrictions on the regional home office exemptions, providing much needed clarity in defining terms, adjusting provisions of the bill for inflation, and more.
SB 252: Community Revitalization Grant Program
Supported by Chamber – Signed on 6/16/21
Provides $65 million for mixed used development projects to stimulate Colorado’s creative economy, revitalize communities and create jobs. The goal of the grant program is to jumpstart stalled real estate projects, invigorate commercial centers and main street areas, support creative workers and job creation, address Colorado’s widespread housing shortage, fuel tourism, support historic preservation, battle blight, and promote cultural vitality in all regions of our state.
SB 20: Energy Equipment and Facility Property Tax Valuation
Supported by Chamber – Signed on 4/22/21
Ensures that clean energy resources and energy storage systems used to store electricity are assessed for valuation for the purpose of property taxation in a similar manner to renewable energy facility property used to generate and deliver electricity – using the “income approach” instead of the currently utilized “cost approach.”
SB 123: Drug Importation Expansion
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 4/26/21
Expands the Canadian prescription drug importation program to include prescription drug suppliers from nations other than Canada upon the enactment of legislation by the U.S. Congress authorizing such practice.
HB 1207: Overpayment of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Opposed by Chamber – Signed on 5/17/21
This bill limits the instances in which an injured worker is worked to give back benefits that are later determined to be overpayments. It clarifies that this limit does not prevent an insurance carrier from receiving a credit against permanent disability benefits for temporary disability benefits paid beyond the date of maximum medical improvement.
Centura Announces $1 Million Health Equity & Advancement Fund
Colorado Chamber member Centura Health announced that it has established the Centura Health Equity & Advancement Fund, a $1 million community grant program to extend the impact of community efforts focused on advancing social justice through initiatives that extend health equity across Colorado.
Projects that are eligible for funding can range from $5,000 to $250,000 and must serve specific diverse communities and/or populations, focus on diverse caregivers, and leverage funding from other sources to increase social impact. Visit the Centura Health Equity & Advancement Fund website for more information and to access the grant application. Applications are due July 31, 2021