These are all of the telecommunications and IT bills proposed in the 2019 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Some bills will have text highlighted in pink or highlighted in orange. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

HB19-1247 Study Agricultural Applications for Blockchain (Donovan, Coram) [D. Valdez, Catlin]

Goal: To see if blockchain technology could help in agriculture operations.

Description:

Directs the state commissioner of agriculture to create an advisory group to see potential applications for blockchain technology in agriculture operations and report back to the general assembly in 2020.

Additional Information: n/a

Arguments For:

IBM and Walmart have already been exploring using blockchain in food supply chains to more easily identify and remove poor actors and processes. Blockchain could also provide extremely detailed food supply chain information to the end consumer, increase trust and transparency in agricultural transactions, and help provide better on-time logistics so food does not spoil.

Arguments Against:

Blockchain remains highly unproven. It tends toward end user experiences that are extremely cumbersome, it is much more expensive, and it makes it much more difficult to alter and or delete past transactions (part of the security of the database).

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1247

SB19-023 Cryptocurrency Exemption Colorado Digital Token Act (Tate, Fenberg) [Kraft-Tharp]

PASSED

Short Description:

Provides limited exceptions from the securities registration, securities broker-dealer, and salesperson licensing for people dealing in digital tokens (cryptocurrency).

Long Description:

Provides limited exceptions from the securities registration, securities broker-dealer, and salesperson licensing for people dealing in digital tokens (cryptocurrency). Exemptions only apply when the tokens are being used for a consumptive purpose, which much be available within 180 days of the time of sale or transfer of the token, and not for a speculative or investment purpose.

Arguments For:

Crypto economic systems can be an important aspect of blockchain technology, which allows for decentralized web platforms that can be extremely difficult to hack. Colorado can be a hub for this wave of the future but companies that use cryptocurrency can face an uncertain regulatory environment designed for investments, not for currency replacement. While it is certainly true that some cryptocurrencies are treated like investment vehicles by the public, the bill requires the consumptive purpose for the exemption so any currency that is really an investment vehicle won’t qualify.

Arguments Against:

We are in very early days for cryptocurrency and while there are many wonderful pictures of a beautiful blockchain future, at the moment they remain speculative visions, not reality. The reality now is that crypto is as much an investing fad as a monetary replacement and it may be difficult to sort out that investment piece from the consumptive possibility of the token. Anything that could cause the public to lose money investing in needs to be regulated as such.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-023

SB19-078 Open Internet Customer Protections in Colorado (Donovan) [Hansen, Herod]

PASSED SENATE

Short Description:

Prohibits Internet providers from receiving money from the state’s high-cost implementation program if they violate net neutrality by blocking lawful content, engaging in paid prioritization, throttling content, or not providing transparency on its reasonable network practices. If a provider is found to engage in any of these practices, they forfeit any money received in the prior two years from the program. Also requires the broadband deployment board to track federal communications commission’s websites to look for ISPs engaging in these practices, the attorney general to develop guidelines for consumers on how to file a complaint with the federal trade commission if they are the victim of these practices. Requires a governmental body to give preference to providers who certify to the government body that it will not engage in these practices.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

Net neutrality may have died federally, but the state can use the tools at its disposal to protect Coloradans. It is a near inevitability that providers will look to make money from both consumers and Internet content providers through controlling the speed (or even availability at all) of content. Prior to net neutrality’s passage, this was already being done to Netflix. These providers may say that they never would do anything like this, but then why was the law a problem in the first place? It’s clear that the providers wanted to get rid of neutrality so they could engage in the very practices the law prohibited. Which can lead to higher prices for certain content for consumers. Especially in the monopoly that is Internet service providers.

Arguments Against:

In a free market, if a company does something consumers don’t like, they can leave. That’s exactly what should be allowed to happen here, not burdensome government regulation that forces companies to do business in the way that the government likes. That's not the American way and it can stifle innovation by scaring companies away from the field and from experimenting with new technology.

SB19-107 Broadband Infrastructure Installation (Donovan)

Short Description:

Allows electrical companies to install and maintain above-ground broadband internet service infrastructure. Allows service providers to enter into contracts with landowners to access these facilities under certain circumstances.

Long Description:

Allows electrical companies to install and maintain above-ground broadband internet service infrastructure. Allows service providers to enter into contracts with landowners to access these facilities if the provider is seeking to construct or maintain broadband infrastructure, if the access will not violate an exclusivity term in the electric utility’s contract with the landowner, and if the utility has determined the provider’s access won’t interfere with the utility’s equipment. The utility can also seek reimbursement from the provider for costs it incurs as a result of sharing with the broadband provider.


Arguments For:

This is a growing trend around the country, particularly in rural areas that have difficulties in getting traditional broadband access. It involves bringing broadband through the electric company, usually through fiber lines with federal grants. Tennessee passed a similar law a few years ago and now one of its utilities is considering bringing broadband to nearly 99,000 members in five counties. Adding a little competition into this arena will be good for Coloradans.

Arguments Against:

The bottom could fall out in terms of federal grant money for this type of activity, and we could be left with a confusing overlap of systems that the electric companies will no longer take ownership of.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-107

SB19-184 Authority Colorado Water Institute Study Blockchain Technology (Tate) [Arndt, Catlin]

Goal: To see if blockchain technology could help the Colorado Water Institute.

Description:

Authorizes Colorado Water Institute to study if blockchain technology could be used to manage a database of water rights, water markets, water banks, or other uses. Study will only be undertaken if sufficient funds are received (funding is to be through donations and gifts).

Additional Information: n/a

Arguments For:

Blockchain technology could help us manage our complex system of water rights and water usage. IBM just recently collaborated with two organizations to track California’s Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta in realtime, utilizing blockchain technology to manage groundwater usage. Blockchain has the potential to provide virtually unhackable databases through decentralized storage. The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is therefore that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed. This could help with easier user access to our water rights database without compromising security.

Arguments Against:

Blockchain remains highly unproven. It tends toward end user experiences that are extremely cumbersome, it is much more expensive, and it makes it much more difficult to alter and or delete past transactions (part of the security of the database).

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-184