Colorado Legislation

CUA has been advocating for Colorado consumers at the state legislature since we were founded. Each year, we analyze bills that are being considered and talk to legislators about those which are within the scope of our mission.

Below you will find a list of bills that are being considered during this legislative session and CUA’s position on these bills, if we have one. There is also a section below for bills that may be of interest to you, but that CUA is not taking a position about. Those are provided for information only.

We encourage our members to contact your representatives on any issue that concerns you. Visit this page to learn how to contact your representatives.

We also encourage you to contact representatives that serve on the committees that are hearing each bill, or that you consider going to the capitol to testify on bills that impact you personally. For each bill, we are listing which committee the bill is going to next.

CUA is supporting the following bills as of May 1, 2017.
It is important to note that sometimes our position changes on a bill because of changes that are made to them. Schedules at the capitol can also change. We will make every effort to update this list with changes during the session, but please do go to the bill links to confirm committee meeting dates, times and locations.


HB17-1007: Tax Benefit Employer Collegeinvest Contribution
The starting point for determining state income tax liability is federal taxable income. This number is adjusted for additions and subtractions (deductions) that are used to determine Colorado taxable income, which amount is multiplied by the state's 4.63% income tax rate.

The bill allows an employer, whether filing as an individual or a corporation, to claim a deduction for any amount that the employer contributes to an employee's college trust account or savings account that is administered by collegeinvest. This deduction may be claimed even if the contribution has already been deducted from the employer's federal taxable income.

CUA’s reason for supporting this bill:
We support this bill because we believe it is a new and good way to encourage college savings. Student loan debt has continued to climb and this bill gives employers an incentive to help their employees to save for college.

Next Step: Unfortunately, this bill did not pass

HB17-1116: Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance
Current law provides that the department of human services low-income energy assistance fund, the energy outreach Colorado low-income energy assistance fund, and the Colorado energy office low-income energy assistance fund receive conditional funding from the severance tax operational fund through the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018. The bill removes the automatic repeal which means that these funds will be eligible for this conditional funding indefinitely.

CUA’s reason for supporting this bill:
The LEAP program is vital to ensuring that low-income people, people with disabilities and the elderly can pay their heating bills.

Next Step: Senate Appropriations Committee
Hearing Date: TBD

HB17-1180: Tuition Assistance For Certificate Programs
Under the existing tuition assistance program for students enrolled in career and technical education certificate programs (certificate programs), students enrolled in certificate programs may qualify for tuition assistance if they meet the income eligibility requirements for the federal Pell grant program but the certificate program does not meet the Pell grant minimum credit hour requirements. Under the bill, the tuition assistance program is available to students who are enrolled in certificate programs that do not meet the minimum credit hour requirements for the federal Pell grant program and who meet an income eligibility standard set by the Colorado commission on higher education. The bill clarifies that tuition assistance means money a student may use to pay for tuition, fees, and course materials.

CUA’s reason for supporting this bill:
Certification programs are an important vehicle for consumers to be able to increase their incomes. Student aid is not currently available for these programs. We believe this bill provides a permanent way for people to improve their lifetime earnings.

Next Step: This billed passed and has been sent to the Governor to sign

HB17-1127: Exempt Feminine Hygiene Products From Sales Tax
The bill creates a state sales tax exemption, commencing January 1, 2018, for all sales, storage, and use of feminine hygiene products. The bill further specifies that local statutory taxing jurisdictions may choose to adopt the same exemption by express inclusion in their sales and use tax ordinance or resolution.

Next Step: House Appropriations
Hearing Date: TBD

HB17-1195: Create State Sales Tax Exemption For Diapers
The bill creates a state sales tax exemption, commencing January 1, 2018, for the sale, storage, and use of diapers. The bill further specifies that local statutory taxing jurisdictions may choose to adopt the same exemption by express inclusion in their sales and use tax ordinance or resolution.

Next Step: House Appropriations Committee
Hearing Date:TBD

Why CUA supports sales tax exemptions for feminine hygiene products and diapers (two above bills):
Feminine hygiene products and diapers are as essential as food. For low income families, they are also extremely expensive. Sales tax exemption makes these items more affordable.

HB17-1358: Disclose Amounts Payable To Real Estate Brokers
The bill requires that, in any sale or lease of real estate, the amounts payable to anyone acting as a broker in the transaction (e.g., buyer's agent, seller's agent, transaction-broker) be disclosed in writing, either as part of the contract or otherwise, and accounted for. If the amount payable is allocated between the parties, the portion for which each party is responsible must be separately stated.

Brokers are required to disclose their fees or the basis for calculating their fees on all marketing materials relating to any specific property, including on-line multiple listing services.
Why CUA supports this bill:
Transparency in financial transactions is important to consumers.

Next Step: House Business Affairs and Labor
Hearing Date: TBD

SB17-216: Sunset Continue Fair Debt Collections Act
Sunset Process - Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report on the continuation of the 'Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act' (Act) by:

Continuing the Act through 2028;
Defining what is expected of a collection agency that purchases, sells, or attempts to collect on a purchased debt;
Clarifying that when a collection agency attempts to collect on a debt, the Act applies, by removing language from the definition of 'debt';
Clarifying that the statute of limitations for private actions and actions by the administrator of the Act is 4 years;
Repealing the collection agency board; and
Allowing consumers who have monetary judgments against a collection agency to access surety bond funds.

Why CUA supports this bill:
Consumers continue to need the protections afforded by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act in Colorado. Working with the Fair Lending Coalition, CUA supported efforts to strengthen the law and to ensure that consumers keep valuable protections.

Next Step: House Appropriations Committee

Hearing Date:  TBD

SB17-245: Tenancies One Month To One Year Notice

Currently, a tenancy of one month or more but less than 6 months may be terminated by either party with 7 days' notice. The bill extends the notice to 21 days. The bill also requires 21 days' notice for a landlord to increase rent in tenancies of one month or longer but less than 6 months.

Why CUA supports this bill:
Extending the time when a tenancy can be terminated gives a tenant more time to find another place to live. Given Colorado's current housing market, this is extremely important. This bill could prevent homelessness for some consumers and offer others more time to shop for a new place to live that fits within their budget.

Next Step: Senate Introduction
Hearing Date: TBD

Bills for your information

The following bills are those that we are monitoring but we are not taking a position on them. We provide this information because we know that they may be of interest to our members. CUA monitors bills that relate in some way to our mission, but are not exactly what we typically spend time working. We do that in order to focus our resources on more closely related subjects. Sometimes, we do change our status on a bill because a legislator has asked us to be involved or because we learn something new about the impact of the legislation.

HB17-1101: Division Of Youth Corrections Monetary Incentives Award Program
The bill creates the youth corrections monetary incentives award program (program) in the division of youth corrections in the department of human services (department). The purpose of the program is to provide monetary awards and incentives for academic, social, and psychological achievement to juveniles committed to the department. The department is directed to adopt rules concerning the administration of the program, including participation criteria, guidelines, and award amounts. At a minimum, a juvenile in the program must maintain an outstanding academic record during each academic term and make continual progress in therapeutic or other programs he or she is assigned to. Rules for the program must state that the incentive money may only be used for educational purposes, independent living expenses, restitution expenses, or other expenses approved as necessary and valid by the juvenile's case manager.

The department shall credit and hold in trust any incentive money awarded to a juvenile to that juvenile's account, if he or she has one established. If the juvenile does not have an account established, the department shall establish an account for a juvenile at such time as he or she begins to earn incentive awards through the program.

The department is authorized to accept gifts, grants, and donations for the purposes of the program.

Next Step: This bill passed as has been signed into law by the Governor

HB17-1021: Wage Theft Transparency Act
Current law requires employers to release requested information to the division of labor standards and statistics (division) in the department of labor and employment and allows the division to have access to employers' premises and all books, records, and payrolls of employers. Current law also prohibits the release of any of this information obtained by the division if the release of the information might reveal a trade secret. The bill clarifies that information obtained by the division that relates to a finding by the division of a violation of wage laws is not confidential and shall be released to the public or for use in a court proceeding, unless the director of the division makes a determination that the information includes specific information that is a trade secret.

Next Step: This bill passed and has been signed into law by the Governor.

HB17-1026: Reverse Mortgage Repayment When Home Uninhabitable

Under current law, the borrower in a reverse mortgage transaction is relieved of the obligation to occupy the subject property as a principal residence if the borrower is temporarily absent for up to 60 days or, if the property is adequately secured, up to one year. The bill adds a third exception to the principal-residence requirement to cover situations in which a natural disaster or other serious incident beyond the borrower's control renders the property uninhabitable. The maximum time allowable for a temporary absence under these circumstances is 5 years.

Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

HB17-1068: Prevailing Wages For CDOT Colorado Department Of Transportation Public-private Initiatives
The state department of transportation (department) is currently authorized to solicit proposals and consider unsolicited proposals for public-private initiatives for certain public projects. The bill specifies that the department may consider proposals, whether solicited or unsolicited, for a public-private initiative only if the proposal includes labor costs for construction that use no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area set by the United States department of labor as directed by the federal 'Davis-Bacon Act'.

Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

HB17-1119: Payment Of Workers' Compensation Benefits

The bill creates the 'Colorado Uninsured Employer Act' to create a new mechanism for the payment of covered claims to workers who are injured while employed by employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance. The bill creates the Colorado uninsured employer fund, which consists of penalties from employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance.

The bill creates the uninsured employer board to establish the criteria for the payment of benefits, to set rates, to adjust claims, and to adopt rules. The board is required to adopt, by rule, a plan of operation to administer the fund and to institute procedures to collect money due to the fund.
Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

HB17-1157: Bank And Credit Union Reliance On A Certificate Of Trust
Currently, a bank may rely on a certificate of trust when trustees open a trust deposit account. The bill requires trustees to provide additional information in a certificate of trust. The bill also permits a bank to rely on a certificate of trust for any transaction between the bank and the trustees unless the bank has knowledge that the certificate of trust is contrary to the trust agreement. Knowledge will not be inferred solely because the bank has a copy of the trust agreement.

The bill allows credit unions to rely on a certificate of trust in the same manner as a bank.

Next Step: This bill passed and was signed into law by the Governor

SB17-085: Increase Documentary Fee & Fund Attainable Housing
Currently, each county clerk and recorder collects a surcharge of one dollar for each document received for recording or filing in his or her office. The surcharge is in addition to any other fees permitted by statute.

Section 2 of the bill raises the amount of the surcharge to $5 for documents received for recording or filing on or after January 1, 2018.  Out of each $5 collected, the bill requires the clerk to retain one dollar to be used to defray the costs of an electronic or core filing system in accordance with existing law. The bill requires the clerk to transmit the other $4 collected to the state treasurer, who is to credit the same to the statewide attainable housing investment fund (fund).

Section 3 creates the fund in the Colorado housing and finance authority (authority). The bill specifies the source of moneys to be deposited into the fund and that the authority is to administer the fund. The bill directs that, of the moneys transmitted to the fund by the state treasurer, on an annual basis, not less than 25% of such amount must be expended for the purpose of supporting new or existing programs that provide financial assistance to persons in households with an income of up to 80% of the area median income for the purpose of allowing such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes as well as to provide financial assistance to any nonprofit entity and political subdivision that makes loans to persons in such households to enable such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes.

Section 3 also requires the authority to submit a report, no later than June 1 of each year, specifying the use of the fund during the prior calendar year to the governor and to the senate and house finance committees.
Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

HB17-1307: Family And Medical Leave Insurance Program Wage Replacement
The bill creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program in the division of family and medical leave insurance (division)in the department of labor and employment (department) to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual's
own serious health condition.

Each employee in the state will pay a premium determined by the director of the division by rule, which premium is based on a percentage of the employee's yearly wages and must not exceed .99%. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund from which family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals.

The director may also impose a solvency surcharge by rule if determined necessary to ensure the soundness of the fund. The division is established as an enterprise, and premiums paid into the fund are not considered state revenues for purposes of the taxpayer's bill of rights (TABOR).
HB17-1307: Family And Medical Leave Insurance Program Wage Replacement
The bill creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program in the division of family and medical leave insurance (division)in the department of labor and employment (department) to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual's
own serious health condition.

Each employee in the state will pay a premium determined by the director of the division by rule, which premium is based on a percentage of the employee's yearly wages and must not exceed .99%. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund from which family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals.

The director may also impose a solvency surcharge by rule if determined necessary to ensure the soundness of the fund. The division is established as an enterprise, and premiums paid into the fund are not considered state revenues for purposes of the taxpayer's bill of rights (TABOR).

Next Step: Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs
Hearing Date: TBD

HB17-1323: PUC Ethics Add Consumer Protection
Section 2 of the bill prohibits a person from serving on the public utilities commission if he or she:

Has, within the immediately preceding 4 years, served as an officer or director of a regulated utility; or
Has or acquires any official relation to, or financial interest in, a regulated utility.
Section 3 encourages the director of the commission to assign employees to temporary training and development sessions with other state agencies, particularly those with which the commission has frequent interaction, to improve the employees' substantive expertise and familiarity with the operations of those agencies. Section 3 also requires the director to keep written and audio records of the commission's proceedings and make them publicly available online.

In addition, section 3 expressly authorizes the executive director of the department of regulatory agencies (of which the commission is a part) to request that the state auditor conduct performance audits of the commission and its staff and operations.

Section 4 creates the position of independent ombudsman for ethics to:

Receive complaints and comments about the commission's performance of its duties;
Create, maintain, and administer a continuing program of ethics training for commissioners and staff; and
Annually report to the executive director and the general assembly concerning the number, character, and disposition of complaints the ombudsman received during the preceding year.
Section 6 funds the office of the ombudsman using an existing cash fund, the fixed utility fund. Section 7 directs the commission to adopt rules concerning conflicts of interest, incompatible activities, and ex parte communications, which rules form the basis of the ombudsman's ethics training curriculum.

Next Step: House 3nd Reading
Hearing Date: TBD

SB17-085: Increase Documentary Fee & Fund Attainable Housing
Currently, each county clerk and recorder collects a surcharge of one dollar for each document received for recording or filing in his or her office. The surcharge is in addition to any other fees permitted by statute.

Section 2 of the bill raises the amount of the surcharge to $5 for documents received for recording or filing on or after January 1, 2018.
Out of each $5 collected, the bill requires the clerk to retain one dollar to be used to defray the costs of an electronic or core filing system in accordance with existing law. The bill requires the clerk to transmit the other $4 collected to the state treasurer, who is to credit the same to the statewide attainable housing investment fund (fund).

Section 3 creates the fund in the Colorado housing and finance authority (authority). The bill specifies the source of moneys to be deposited into the fund and that the authority is to administer the fund. The bill directs that, of the moneys transmitted to the fund by the state treasurer, on an annual basis, not less than 25% of such amount must be expended for the purpose of supporting new or existing programs that provide financial assistance to persons in households with an income of up to 80% of the area median income for the purpose of allowing such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes as well as to provide financial assistance to any nonprofit entity and political subdivision that makes loans to persons in such households to enable such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes.

Section 3 also requires the authority to submit a report, no later than June 1 of each year, specifying the use of the fund during the prior calendar year to the governor and to the senate and house finance committees.

Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

SB17-105: Consumer Right To Know Electric Utility Charges

The bill requires an investor-owned electric utility to file with the public utilities commission (commission) for the commission's review a comprehensive billing format that the investor-owned electric utility has developed for its monthly billing of customers. An investor-owned electric utility shall file the comprehensive billing format at the time of filing a rate schedule with the commission. The comprehensive billing format must include the following:

A line-item representation of all monthly charges and credits applied to the customer;

For months in which tiered rates are applied, a breakdown of the tiered rates and the amount of usage to which each rate was applied for the month;

The rate and usage for the current month and each of the previous 12 months, as shown in a bar graph or other visual format; and

For customers to which demand rates apply, a listing of the demand charge, aggregated data about the range and average of kilowatts used during the various demand periods of the billing period, and, if the customer is a residential customer, a calculation of the amount that the customer would have been billed had standard residential rates applied.

The bill sets forth procedures for the commission's review of a filed comprehensive billing format and provides that once a comprehensive billing format has been approved by the commission, the investor-owned utility need not refile it unless changes have been made to it.

Next Step: This bill passed and has been sent to the Governor to sign into law

SB17-131: Uniform Wage Garnishment Act
The bill adopts the 'Uniform Wage Garnishment Act' (uniform act) and amends existing statutory provisions relating to wage garnishments covered by the uniform act.

Next Step: None, this bill did not pass out of committee

SB17-147: Distribute Information Federal Loan Forgiveness
The bill requires the department of personnel to develop and annually distribute informational materials to state employees concerning federal student loan repayment programs and loan forgiveness programs for which state employees may be eligible. The department of personnel may use existing federal informational materials, if available. The informational materials may be distributed by e-mail or through a regular mailing or communication to state employees. The department of personnel shall update the materials at least annually and distribute any updated materials.
Next Step: None, this bill died in committee