In this Capitol Report:
What’s Coming on Air Quality and Environmental Issues
Colorado environmental regulations have been the source of much debate in state politics over the last several years. Lawmakers and agency officials have proposed and are implementing sweeping new policies, from oil and gas regulations to emissions reduction targets.
Majority Leader Steve Fenberg recently wrote about what’s coming next in the world of air quality and environmental issues. The first issue on his list is electrification as a strategy to reduce emissions in Colorado. We expect our elected officials to continue to push for electrification policies on new construction, retrofitting old buildings, and move the state away from fossil fuel.
The Majority Leader also named investing in transit as a top environmental priority, getting cars off the road and moving to electric public transit. In addition, he emphasized the need to “hold polluters accountable” by better enforcing current laws and shutting down coal and gas plants. Read more about Sen. Fenberg’s plans below.
In addition to Sen. Fenberg’s comments, there are several other issues that the Colorado Chamber anticipates coming up as we approach 2022. First, there are discussions of making the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) a professional board similar to the Oil and Gas Commission (COGCC), which would remove much of the current executive branch power over the agency.
Finally, the controversial Employee Trip Reduction Program could make its way into the 2022 session as a statewide legislative proposal. There are also discussions of mandating work-from-home policies for particular industries. We are monitoring these issues closely and will continue to update our members as new developments occur.
Update on Public Option Rulemaking
The Colorado Option rulemaking stakeholder meetings started in late July. Last Friday marked the fifth of six meetings hosted by the Division of Insurance (DOI) staff, which are intended to gain public feedback on the plan design and cost sharing. In that time, the DOI has announced the Colorado Option Director, Kyla Hoskins, as well as introduced the standardized plan options and proposed rules.
Director Hoskins has a background in program implementation and consumer advocacy, and will oversee the process under DOI and Commissioner Conway. Here profile and background can be accessed here.
The standardized plan options will be tiered the same as the Exchange program: Gold, Silver and Bronze plans, and the proposals can be viewed here. The final Colorado Option standardized plan will be shared with stakeholders on Thursday November 4th. At the most recent meeting on October 8th, DOI reviewed the standardized plan proposals and discussed the considerations throughout the process, including meeting the intent of the enabling legislation. Their presentation can be viewed here.
Additionally, DOI has released their proposed rules, which can be reviewed here. Please submit your comments on this draft proposed emergency regulation no later than 5 PM, October 20, 2021, to: DORA_Ins_RulesandRecords@state.co.us. If you do submit comments, and are able to share them with the Chamber, we would love to consider them as we compose our comments.