These are all of the Elections and Government bills proposed in the 2020 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 or highlighted in yellow. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments; yellow highlights mean conference committee amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Mega, Major, Medium, Minor+, 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.

House

Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:

MEGA

MAJOR

HB20-1010 Colorado Accurate Residence For Redistricting Act PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1031 Replace Columbus Day With New State Holiday PASSED SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED

MEDIUM

HB20-1066 Contribution Limits School District Director Candidate PASSED HOUSE AND A SENATE COMMITTEE AMENDED
HB20-1073 County Commissioner Districts Gerrymandering PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE AMENDED
HB20-1149 16-year-olds Voting In School District Elections PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE AMENDED
HB20-1081 Multilingual Ballot Access PASSED HOUSE AMENDED
HB20-1142 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE AMENDED

MINOR+

HB20-1093 County Authority License And Regulate Business PASSED SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED
HB20-1133 Land Use Entitlements And Municipal Disconnection PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1138 Public Real Property Index PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED
HB20-1171 Remote Camera Wildfire Alert Pilot Program PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB20-1313 Administration Of Late Ballots PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED
HB20-1321 State Bid Preference For EPA Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Partners

MINOR

HB20-1004 Assistance Landowner Wildfire Mitigation PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED
HB20-1021 Colorado Youth Advisory Council Membership PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1029 Allow County Officers To Accept Lower Salary CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
HB20-1039 Transparent State Web Portal Search Rules PASSED VERY SIGNIFICANTLY AMENDED
HB20-1057 Modify Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1074 Trash Collection By Special District PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1077 Modifications Of County Treasurer Duties PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1082 State Historical Society Authority To Sell Property PASSED HOUSE AND A SENATE COMMITTEE
HB20-1124 Disaster Emergency Transfers From County General Funds PASSED
HB20-1132 County Reimbursement For Local Elections Supplies SIGNED INTO LAW
HB20-1156 CO Colorado Municipal Election Code Administrative Modifications PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1161 Private Activity Bond Allocation PASSED
HB20-1179 Rule Review Bill PASSED
HB20-1281 Change Salary Categorizations For Certain Counties PASSED HOUSE
HB20-1289 Align Precinct Caucus Eligibility Deadlines PASSED AMENDED
HB20-1308 Nonsubstantive Emails And Open Meetings Law PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB20-1318 Standards For Recording Plats PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE AMENDED
HB20-1329 Department SMART Act Report Unfunded Programs PASSED HOUSE
HB20-1353 Competitive Solicitation Under Procurement Code
HB20-1359 Ballot Access Modifications Public Health Concerns PASSED AMENDED

TECHNICAL

HB20-1038 Repeal Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Youth Services Statutes PASSED

HB20-1004 Assistance Landowner Wildfire Mitigation (Lee (D)) [Cutter (D), Will (R)]

From the Wildfire Matters Review Committee

AMENDED: Significant

PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Negligible on its own. Estimated $300,000 a year to fund grant program.

Goal: Increase education around fire mitigation for homeowners and extend and expand a fire mitigation tax credit.

Description:

Creates a wildfire mitigation resources and best practices grant program. Grantees can use the money for outreach to landowners to inform them of resources and best practices for wildfire mitigation. Eligible entities are local governments, special districts, tribal agencies, faith-based organizations, or other non-profits. State must prioritize applicants in high hazard areas and consider potential impact of any award. Bill also extends the income tax credit for fire mitigation measures until 2024 and expands income tax credit for fire mitigation measures it to 100%, rather than 50%, of money spent. Changes the existing income tax credit for fire mitigation measures by clarifying what it can and cannot be used for, as well as lowering the amount of expense people can get reimbursed for from 50% to 25%. Extends the credit to 2024. Puts a maximum cap on credits at $625 a year per household and only allows those with less than $120,000 in annual income to be eligible.

Additional Information:

Qualifying costs for the tax credit do not include any inspection or certification fees, in-kind contributions, donations, or cost sharing associated with wildfire mitigation measures. No expenses paid by the grant program qualify.


Auto-Repeal: January 2025 for grant program, January 2024 for tax credit

Arguments For:

We need more education around fire mitigation resources for homeowners. People are often willing to do fire mitigation on their homes, but just don’t know what to do. And fire mitigation can sometimes be costly, but it can also be absolutely crucial to slowing wildfires. So it makes sense to give 100%, rather than 50%, in a tax credit for this mitigation work. extend the credit for more years, while minding the state outlay in lowering the amount eligible and capping overall expenditures. In addition to the danger, fighting wildfires is costly, so we can easily make up the lost revenue from tax credits, which in any case are stillis now capped at $2,500 $625 a year per person.

Arguments Against:

The $2,500 cap is was totally inadequate. Raising the ceiling to 100% won’t help if you are way over $2,500 to begin with. And we are making it worse by lowering the amount people can recup to 25% and the cap to $625. Just removing one or two trees could easily blow the entire credit, much less fire-hardening buildings. If resources are a problem, let’s divert money from the education grant recipients. The bill also does not appropriate any funds to this grant program or permit the program to accept gifts or donations. It is entirely reliant on the budgeting process. This is an area where it does not make sense to do means testing. We desperately want people to perform fire mitigation, if some rich folks get some tax breaks for doing so, fine, so long as they do it.


The solution to our fire problem is to stop letting people build into extreme fire danger areas in the first place. There is only so much mitigation you can do. We should not spend more state money encouraging people to live in these areas.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1004

HB20-1010 Colorado Accurate Residence For Redistricting Act [Tipper (D), Coleman (D)]

AMENDED: Moderate

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Negligible

Goal: End prison gerrymandering in Colorado.

Description:

For purposes of the census, requires non-partisan legislative staff to move prisoners from the count of the place of their imprisonment to the count of their last home address. If no last home address is known, the prisoners are to be removed from all specific location counts and counted as address unknown. Requires the department of corrections to start collecting last known home address immediately, along with age and race data, in electronic form. This is to be provided to the non-partisan legislative staff in a form that makes it impossible for anyone outside the department of corrections to identify the individual. The state will ask federal facilities to provide this information as well. The corrected population counts are then to be provided to the state’s independent redistricting commission.

Additional Information:

Counties used to be banned from counting prisoners as part of their population. This language is altered by the bill to account for the adjusted totals provided by the bill’s new process for counting prisoners.


Arguments For:

Prison gerrymandering hits unfairly twice. First, the actual home of the prisoner loses them for purposes of redistricting, which dilutes the political power of the area. Second, the area in which the prison is located gains political power, despite the fact that the prisoner does not really “live” there and in most cases will not stay in that prison for the full ten years of the redistricting cycle. In Colorado, the just over 20,000 state prisoners are clustered together in just a few spots, most of them rural. Almost 6% of one current state house district is composed of prisoners. We already recognize this as a problem in Colorado by banning counties from counting prisoners (something this bill makes no longer necessary). This practice is already done in six other states and has survived legal challenge, including at the Supreme Court. It’s time to make our districting process even fairer by putting prisoners in the correct location.

Arguments Against:

We count people for the census where they reside, in this case in prison. To extrapolate backward that they would still be living in the exact same place without prison is its own form of unfairness. And communities located around prisons need to receive adequate funding for the services they provide. It also should not be lost that people on both sides of this issue acknowledge that if this goes through it will benefit more urban areas of the state at the expense of more rural areas of the state: in other words Democrats over Republicans.

Auto-Repeal: None

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1010

HB20-1021 Colorado Youth Advisory Council Membership [McKean (R), Buentello (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: To add Ute tribe representation to the Colorado Youth Advisory Council.

Description:

Removes two at-large members of the 40 voting member Colorado Youth Advisory Council and replaces them with one representing the Southern Ute tribe and one representing the Ute Mountain tribe. All members must still be enrolled in and attending a state junior high, middle, or high school.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

The diversity section for the five at-large members of this council, which is supposed to bring the voice of youth around the state to the legislature, is more about geographic diversity, with an expressed intent for rural area representation. The council is also a great pathway for those interested in government to make critical connections. 1% of the state is Native American and reservation life can be quite different with different challenges. We have not had representation from a Native American on the council so far. We should ensure they have guaranteed representation on the council.

Arguments Against:

Each senate district in the state gets one representative, which includes the Ute tribe lands. We don’t need to carve out special representation solely for Utes, the at-large members with requirements for ensuring diversity on the council is sufficient.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1021

HB20-1029 Allow County Officers To Accept Lower Salary [Pelton (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow county officers to accept a lower salary than specified in law.

Description:

Allows county officers to accept a salary lower than that specified in law. They can later decide to increase or decrease their salary annually, so long as they do not exceed amount allowed by law.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Some county officials do not need the full salary the law entitles them to and may want to let their county keep that extra money and put it to good use elsewhere. This bill lets that happen.

Arguments Against:

We pay a certain salary because we want people working for it. If someone is accepting less than the full amount they may, even sub-consciously, contribute less to the work.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1029

HB20-1031 Replace Columbus Day With New State Holiday [Benavidez (D)]

AMENDED: Significant

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Remove Columbus Day as a state holiday

Description:

Replaces the Columbus Day state holiday with Colorado Day Frances Xavier Cabrini Day, which is the first Monday in August October.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Our current list of state holidays is as follows: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. One sticks out like a sore thumb. We do not have state holidays to honor individual heritages except for Columbus Day. There is no Irish state holiday, no German, no Spanish, no French, no Japanese, no Chinese, no Russian, no Jewish, no Mexican, etc. state holiday. You name the culture, and we don’t have one. Except for Italian-Americans and Columbus Day. The day is a holiday because Columbus “discovered” America, when in fact of course it had been “discovered” centuries earlier by the Vikings and people already lived here. Those people were widely slaughtered in the colonization process Columbus began (and the man himself never set foot in what would become the United States), and we should no longer honor that process or the individual with a state holiday. This does not take away recognition of Italian-Americans, no more than the fact that St. Patrick’s Day is not a holiday does not diminish Irish-Americans. Colorado Day, the anniversary of our becoming a state, is a perfect substitute in its place. Frances Xavier Cabrini was a humanitarian champion of immigrants and children in the United States. In her lifetime, Cabrini was responsible for founding sixty-seven institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages throughout the United States and in South and Central America. She first came to Colorado in 1902, founded the Queen of Heaven Orphanage for girls in Denver, and in 1909 founded an orphange and camp on Lockout Mountain in the traditional territory and homeland of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute indigenous nations. Those indigenous peoples, and all indigenous peoples, have a special, sacred relationship with water, similar to that of Cabrini, who found a spring of fresh water on the property in 1912 that continues to supply water to this day. She was naturalized as a United States citizen in October 1909. Recognizing the second Monday in October as Frances Xavier Cabrini Day in recognition of Cabrini's contributions to the state of Colorado creates an opportunity to promote an appreciation, tolerance, and understanding of the different cultures that make up our state.

Arguments Against:

Columbus Day celebrates more than just Columbus himself, it is a celebration of pilgrims going to a new world to be free of religious or state persecution. No one behaved perfectly, there is no dispute about that. But Columbus sailing to America is part of why most of are here today and deserves to continue to be celebrated. No one in favor of this bill is suggesting that we all leave the United States to Native Americans, so everyone of non-native ancestry has accepted our modern situation. In addition, the fact is that we have a national holiday that Italian-Americans take great pride in. Removing it does take away recognition and pride for Italian-Americans, regardless of how other cultures are celebrated in the state.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1031

HB20-1038 Repeal Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Youth Services Statutes (Woodward (R), Moreno (D)) [Arndt (D), Van Winkle (R)]

From the Statutory Revision Committee

PASSED

Description:

Removes obsolete statutes relating to department of public health and environment.

HB20-1039 Transparent State Web Portal Search Rules (Zenzinger (D), Tate (R)) [Coleman (D), Baisley (R)]

AMENDED: Very Significant

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Negligible

Goal: Require create a task force to study online disclosure of rule-making process.

Description:

Disclosure of upcoming rule-making hearings was previously optional. This bill makes it mandatory and requires the disclosure to be made on the state website at least 45 days before the hearing and include participants. When a proposed rule or amendment to a proposed rule or a cost-benefit analysis is created it must be posted online and include the rule-making timeline and process. Creates a task force to study ways to enhance citizens' online access to rules and the rule-making process and to increase the transparency of the rule-making process. This includes potential improvements to existing online resources and the potential creation of new online resources. Report due to legislature by end of year.

Additional Information:

No one is required to participate in task force but any interested legislators, executive directors of principal departments, secretary of state, the chief information officer, and executive director of statewide internet portal authortity may do so.

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Rule-making is to some extent the secret sauce in our laws. Legislators frequently delegate to appropriate state agencies the authority to make specific rules to carry out the intent of statutes and the latitude to add additional rules not directly conceived in the law to make the law work. But the degree of sunshine required at the legislature is not at all required right now in the executive branch that creates these rules. This can make it very difficult for interested parties to lend their voice to the process who are not in the business of lobbying the government 24/7. 45 days is plenty of notice and easily achievable by the agencies involved. Some work will be required to make the state website ready to handle these postings but it will be pretty small and worth it.Studying this issue in more depth before we leap will ensure we have buy-in from all parties and have the solutions that will work best.

Arguments Against:

The additional work required by executive agencies is not worth it for this. Interested groups are very aware of when these rule-making hearings are and everything that occurs in every step of the process and don’t need detailed online notifications.


We don't need to waste a year with what amounts to an optional study group. Continue forward with the requirements of the original bill and get this done now.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1039

HB20-1057 Modify Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program (Coram (R), Fenberg (D)) [Carver (R), McCluskie (D)]

From the Wildfire Matters Review Committee

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Unknown

Goal: Modify the Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program to make it easier for places with fewer economic resources to qualify, to support ongoing maintenance costs, and make more organizations eligible.

Description:

Changes the self-financing requirements for the Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program for places with fewer economic resources from 50% to 25%. Does not change the maximum grant amount of $1,000,000. Grantees may also use grants to support ongoing maintenance efforts to reduce threat of large, high-intensity fires. Adds fire protection districts and non-profits engaged in firefighting or fire management activities. Also extends repeal date of program by seven years, to September 2029.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: September 2029

Arguments For:

Areas in the state with fewer economic resources were having a harder time reaching the 50% amount required, even for smaller projects. This change will help them take advantage of this fund without changing the maximum state outlay. It also makes sense that ongoing maintenance should be covered: wildfire mitigation is an ongoing battle. This is also the reason for extending the repeal date. And any entity that works on fighting fires should be eligible. In the end, wildfires are massively expensive for the state, in addition of course to being dangerous. Money spent on prevention can go a long way.

Arguments Against:

While it is true that the maximum outlay did not increase by lowering the local contribution percentage the state could be on the hook for more money overall. It will also make it easier for more communities to apply for grants, which could crowd out some areas.


Seven years is too long to add to an auto-repealing program. It should come up for review sooner.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1057

HB20-1066 Contribution Limits School District Director Candidate (Gonzales (D)) [Sirota (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED HOUSE AND A SENATE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: $7,000
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Set limits on contributions to candidates for school district director.

Description:

Sets aggregate limits on contributions to candidates for school district director for anyone other than small donor committees at $2,500 per election ($575 for most statewide offices, $200 for state senate and house), for small donor committees at $25,000 per election ($6,125 for major state offices, $2,425 for state house and senate), and requires adjustment for inflation as with other contribution limits. This matches the limits created last year for county elections last year (combining primary and general election). Subjects contribution limits to existing provisions on disclosure as well as new provisions for special school elections.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

School district directors are extremely powerful positions but currently face no limits on campaign contributions. These positions are still public offices and thus we need to make sure candidates are not getting bought off to do the bidding of a small group of donors. The limits are suitably generous, given that these candidates are going to have a much harder time collecting small dollar donations. This of course must be balanced against the fact that these campaigns are much less expensive to run than other state offices.

Arguments Against:

School district director candidates are just not going to be able to compete for a slew of small dollar donations and that is why they are currently exempted from campaign limits. Making them a little higher than other offices isn’t enough.


Campaign finance limits are an impingement on free speech and should not exist at all, much less be expanded. People have the right to express their political speech through donating money to candidates they agree with.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1066

HB20-1073 County Commissioner Districts Gerrymandering [Kennedy (D)]

AMENDED: Moderate

PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None at state level

Goal: Require counties that elect commissioners by district, instead of by entire county, to use an independent redistricting commission.

Description:

In counties where commissioners are elected by district, instead of by the entire county, the bill requires an independent redistricting commission to draw the county district lines each redistricting cycle (occurs same time as all other redistricting, year after the census). This would currently affect three counties: Arapahoe, El Paso, and Weld. Commission must be 7 9 members, two three for each political party and three that must be registered independent. Commissions must allow for public input, including multiple hearings. Any paid lobbying of the commissions must be disclosed within 72 hours to the secretary of state. Establishes priorities to use when drawing districts, including equal size (within 5% deviation), any federal voting act requirements, preservation of communities of interest and political subdivisions, compactness, and maximizing the number of competitive districts. Prohibits maps drawn to protect individual commissioners, political parties, or if it abridges someone’s right to vote on account of their race, ethnic origin, or membership in a protected language group. Majority 6 votes, including one independent commissioner vote, required to approve a map, judicial review if commission is deadlocked.

Additional Information:

  • For counties where the entire population elects the commissioners, districts must be as equal in population as possible, must not be redrawn more often than every two years, unless the districts need to be redrawn to match new federal or state legislative districts. Public hearing must be held on the new boundaries within 30 days of resolution to draw new districts.
  • If any county commissioner moves from their district their office immediately becomes vacant

Community of interest is defined as:

  • Shared public policy concerns of urban, rural, agricultural, industrial, or trade areas
  • Shared public policy concerns such as education, employment, environment, public health, transportation, water needs and supplies, and issues of demonstrable regional significance
  • Does not include relationships with political parties or candidates

Commissioner qualifications include:

  • Must be registered electors who voted in both of the previous two general elections
  • Party affiliation must not have changed in the past five years
  • Cannot have been a candidate for county commissioner within past five years
  • Cannot have been compensated by a member of a campaign committee or a member of a campaign for a candidate for county commissioner within last three years
  • Cannot have been an elected public official at any level in Colorado within the last three years
  • Cannot have been an employee of a political party within the last three years
  • Cannot be a member of the state redistricting commission
  • Cannot have been a registered professional lobbyist within past three years

Non-partisan staff to prepare applications for a panel of retired judges to evaluate independent commission applicants. All applications must be received by November 10th of year prior to redistricting. Three judge panel is to be comprised of three most recently retired judges from the judicial district that contains the county, done in a manner to ensure one Democrat, one Republican, and one independent. No judge can serve on this panel and any other state redistricting panel. All appointments to the commission require a unanimous vote. Commission appointments done by drawing by lot for each of the three groups Most be done by March 1st of the redistricting year. The panel should, to the extent possible:

  • Demonstrate experience in organizing, representing, advocating for, adjudicating the interests of, or actively participating in groups, organizations, or associations in Colorado
  • Demonstrate relevant analytical skills, ability to be impartial, and ability to promote consensus
  • Reflect the county’s racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity
  • For counties with five county commissioners Ensure that each existing district is represented by at least one commission and no district is represented by more than twoFor counties with three county commissioners, ensure that each district is represented by at least two commissioners.

Any change in party affiliation automatically removes a member from the commission. Commission may retain legal counsel as required and will be given a non-partisan staff. County will pay for this, as well as compensation for three judge panel. Commission must provide 72 hours public notice before adopting any rules for its administration and operation. Anyone may present a potential map, including members of the public. Commission must give 72 hours public notice before voting on a map. Commission must maintain a website for public comment. All written comments must be published. Access to commission hearings must be provided by broadcast via its website or comparable means of communication with the public. Commissioners are not allowed to communicate with non-partisan staff outside public hearings and non-partisan staff are not to communicate about the maps with anyone outside the commission or staff. Violating these requirements results in immediate removal. Anyone who contracts to advocate for the adoption or rejection of any map is a lobbyist and must register with the secretary of state and properly disclose any lobbying.

Commission must start with a preliminary plan from the non-partisan staff. Must be presented within 30-45 days of start of commission. Public hearings must be completed by July 21 of redistricting year. After hearings the staff must prepare and publish online at least three more plans based on feedback. Commissioners can request additional plans from staff. Final plan may be adopted at any time after last staff plan is presented. Final plan must be adopted by September 15 of redistricting year and submitted to judicial review panel. If the commission cannot adopt a plan, the third staff plan must be submitted. Panel must approve the plan unless it finds it violates the laws set out in this bill. If the panel does not approve the plan, the commission has 12 days to hold hearings that must include public testimony and return a new plan to the panel. If the commission does not meet the deadline, the staff have three days to submit a new plan. Final plan must be approved by judicial panel by December 29 of the redistricting year.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Political gerrymandering is something we do not accept in Colorado. We have independent commissions to draw our federal and state legislative districts because we understand that the practice of politicians picking their voters is the exact opposite of how a true democracy is supposed to function. Political gerrymandering also allows parties that are supported by the minority of voters to achieve majorities through techniques like packing (putting most of the majority into one district) or cracking (splitting the majority so it becomes the minority in several districts). Independent commissions allow more for a more vibrant and shifting democracy, particularly if the districts are supposed to be as competitive as possible, like this bill requires. This ensures that politicians are always working to please the voters, not to find new ones. So if we already do this for federal and state representation, why should counties get to skate by? While only three counties currently select their commissioners by a process that doesn’t involve everyone living in the county (think the difference between electing a US senator and a member of the House of Representatives), these counties and any that opt for that sort of election in the future should be forced to adhere to principled districting.

Arguments Against:

This is a costly burden for these counties to bear without getting any say in the matter. The citizens of these counties should decide if they want redistricting commissions, by good old fashioned majority vote, rather than the state legislature, most of which does not represent these three counties.


Supposedly apolitical redistricting to maximize competitiveness clashes with the idea of preserving existing political subdivisions and communities of interest. The fact is that the way people concentrate together in urban areas makes it extremely difficult to do both. We either split these communities up or we let mostly alike communities (which will probably vote mostly alike) pick the representatives they desire.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1073

HB20-1074 Trash Collection By Special Districts [Ransom (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow any sanitation or metropolitan district to collect trash.

Description:

Currently any sanitation, water and sanitation, or metropolitan district with population of 2,500 or less within a county with a population of 25,000 or less cannot collect trash. This bill removes the population restrictions so that any sanitation or metropolitan district can collect trash.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Under current law only 42 of the 64 counties in the state qualify. If a smaller county or metropolitan district wants to collect trash it should be allowed. Smaller population areas can handle it and no one is required to use the district’s trash operation if it is more expensive.

Arguments Against:

This is about economies of scale, the reason for this restriction in the first place is that trash collection just in these much smaller communities becomes more expensive because it is capital intensive, requiring lots of equipment. With fewer customers to serve, it just doesn’t make economic sense.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1074

HB20-1077 Modifications Of County Treasurer Duties (Holbert (R)) [Rich (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Make numerous small quality of life changes to duties and rules for county treasurers.

Description:

Makes multiple changes to authority and duties of county treasurers:

  • Makes fees treasurers charge for city and town taxes consistent with fees charged pursuant to the open records act and the fees charged for property valuation and transportable manufactured homes voluntary
  • Treasurers are allowed to appoint a deputy. Bill makes this a chief deputy and specifies the chief deputy will perform duties of treasurer if treasurer is unable to perform them or there is a vacancy
  • Allows treasures to give a receipt for payment only upon request
  • Clarifies that conveyance of property timing rules do not apply to personal property (handled in different section of law)
  • Allows treasurer to not mail notices if they have reasonable certainty the Post Office will not be able to deliver it
  • Makes some oil and gas property filings available to the treasurer for assessment purposes
  • Changes mandatory school levy information written notification to be included on every tax notice
  • Allows treasurer to accept early payments of taxes
  • Removes requirement that mobile homes with less than $1,000 in value be condemned and makes it optional
  • Moves date interest starts accruing for abatements or refunds of taxes made because of a petition for them to the later of when the petition was filed or when taxes were received
  • Specifies that a certification of taxes paid only applies to taxes due to the county, not to the state
  • Changes length of time treasurer must wait before providing county commissions with list of properties that have been held by county without obtaining a deed or being disposed of from 30 years to 3 years

Additional Information:

Brings Weld County, which chooses its treasurer differently from the rest of the state, into statute. Makes some definitions consistent. Repeals redundant provision regarding cash books.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This is a lot to take in, but it’s all small common sense changes to make treasurer’s lives easier and make counties run better.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1077

HB20-1081 Multilingual Ballot Access (Gonzales (D)) [Caraveo (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED HOUSE

Appropriation: $72,112
Fiscal Impact: Negligible

Goal: Increase access to ballots translated into minority languages across the state and open a ballot hotline to provide access to multilingual translators to assist voters.

Description:

Requires counties within the state where a minority language is spoken by at least 2,000 or 2.5% of citizens in the county who do not speak English well and speak the minority language at home to supply a sample ballot in the minority language as well as in-person ballots in the minority language upon request. This mirrors the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act, but lowers the eligibility requirements from 10,000 or 5%. Secretary of state must provide appropriate translation for all state and federal ballot questions and races. Secretary of state must also create a multilingual ballot hotline to provide access to translators in each of the languages the most recent census was offered in.

Additional Information:

To qualify for use, translators must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of US domestic culture, and have certified ability to speak and write proficiently in both languages. The hotline must be available during hours that are consistent with the hours of operation of voter service and polling centers. Notice of the hotline must be provided on secretary of state’s website and in all voter service and polling centers. Secretary of state must also determine which counties must offer minority language ballots and notify them as well as provide access to translation resources.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Only five state counties qualify for the Voting Rights Act requirement of a minority language ballot. But the current estimate is that 82,096 of the 103,146 eligible voters who speak English less than very well live in counties where minority language ballots are not available. Our ballots are also very dense and difficult to read, even for native speakers, particularly referendums and amendments. This means that many citizens for whom English is a second language they are proficient, but not fluent in, that the ballot is incomprehensible. So we need to expand the standards for minority language ballots and provide a hotline for those who have questions related to what the ballot actually says. Every citizen of this state has the right to vote and determine the shape and direction of our government. We must ensure that all citizens, regardless of their language, can make informed choices and be a part of the process. It is a defining part of the fabric of our melting-pot nation, where for hundreds of years we have welcomed people from around the globe who do not speak English and made them a part of America.

Arguments Against:

This expansion falls squarely on the backs of counties, who are given no financial support to create these extra ballots and pay for translation of their local ballot materials.


There are no guidelines or guardrails in this bill to prevent hotline translators from influencing the vote of people who call and ask for translations. This could allow translators to subtly influence the vote of people who call in.


The language in ballot questions is incredibly precise. While we are forced to do some minority ballots by federal law, it is a bad idea to start with and we should not do more than is required. English is the language of the United States and an individual who cannot read or understand English well enough to fill out a ballot should not be relying on a translation of the original language of the measure to cast a vote.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1081

HB20-1082 State Historical Society Authority To Sell Property (Story (D), Fields (D)) [A. Valdez (D), Beckman (R)]

From the Capital Development Committee

PASSED HOUSE AND A SENATE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: One-time increase to state museum cash fund from proceeds of sale

Goal: Allow state historical society to sell a vacant lot in Georgetown.

Description:

Allows the state historical society to sell a vacant lot in Georgetown, with proceeds of the sale going to the state museum cash fund to be used for capital outlay, capital construction, or controlled maintenance at museums statewide.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This site was acquired via a donation in 1989 and was used for a time for a Georgetown Loop Railroad ticket sale booth. It is now vacant and unused. It is not effective for overflow parking (too small and too far away) and the railroad is run by a different operator who does not want a ticket booth. The historical society was approached by an organization interested in the property and it has been appraised and put on the market, with three different offers. This bill allows the historical society to sell this specific piece of land without changing the ability for the historical society to sell land in general. Because of the special nature of state historical society property, we will want to have legislative overview of anything like this in the future.

Arguments Against:

To keep the legislature from having to opine on this sort of thing in the future, we should change the law to allow the state historical society to sell land under conditions exactly like this where the property is vacant and unused and can be sold for appropriate value.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1082

HB20-1093 County Authority License And Regulate Business (Donovan (D)) [McCluskie (D), Wilson (R)]

AMENDED: Significant

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None at state level, counties that implement taxes will see increases in revenue

Goal: Allow counties to regulate businesses in unincorporated areas, including levying sales and lodging taxes. Regulate Airbnb type lodgings.

Description: Allows counties to regulate any business or business activity in the county, including short-term lodging rentals, property owners who advertise or rent their lodgings for a short-term stay and to fix the fees, terms, and manner for issuing and revoking licenses for that activity.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This essentially allows counties to regulate business activities in unincorporated areas of the county, as anything in a city is covered by that city. Currently counties have no ability to control Airbnb type businesses in these areas, beyond a few areas already defined in law, which deprives counties to go beyond state regulations in areas they wish to (like many cities have done with Airbnb’s) and no ability to collect local sales tax and lodging tax in these areas.  That deprives the county of revenue it should be able to collect on business activity, particularly now that sales taxes are destination-based. Businesses in the state already have to navigate local regulations and licensing (and taxes) in cities so this will not be some large shock to the system. Being in an unincorporated part of the county should not advantage a business over one that is in the area but located in a city. Summit County for instance currently can only manage the short-term rental market through land use regulations, rather than licensure and regulations, and counties are already doing some form of regulation without the statutory authority to do so because they need an ability to mitigate potential impacts of short-term rentals on the community, including following local ordinances. The cleanup from things like not properly securing trash or overloading houses with people and flooding septic systems has its own costs on the community too. This bill gives them that authority but also provides its limits.

Arguments Against:

We already have one of the most complicated sales tax systems in the country and adding more complexity for businesses is not the way we want to go. In addition, most agriculture businesses operate in unincorporated parts of counties and this bill could have a huge impact on their operations. If the problem is that counties are already using an authority they do not have to regulate these businesses, then we can explicitly take that authority away. If the problem is that short-term rentals are violating ordinances then there are mechanisms to deal with this. The short-term rental market is extremely important to the economic vitality of many of these counties and we should not do anything that might jeopardize that.

HB20-1124 Disaster Emergency Transfers From County General Funds [McKean (R), Snyder (D)]

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Clarify 8 year clock for transferring county funds after a disaster declaration starts after the final declaration.

Description:

Clarifies that for existing law which allows a county board of commissioners to transfer money to the county road and bridge fund for eight years after a disaster declaration from the governor affecting the county, the 8 year clock starts after the final declaration or extension of the disaster.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This is just common sense. Disasters can unfold over a period of time and declarations can be extended. The intent here is 8 years afterwards, the bill merely fixes the law to follow that intent so the clock starts at the right time.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1124

HB20-1132 County Reimbursement For Local Elections Supplies (Fenberg (D)) [Lontine (D)]

SIGNED INTO LAW

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Expand type of election equipment and supplies counties can be reimbursed for to meet their new mandated number of voting locations.

Description:

Expands the types of equipment the state will reimburse counties for what is required to increase voting locations, as stipulated by a bill passed last year. Originally the bill allowed for a one-time purchase of voting equipment. Now purchase of, or payments for the anticipated incremental cost to lease voting equipment and other equipment and supplies is allowed.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

HB19-1278, among other things, set requirements for mall ballot drop boxes based on population and increased polling station requirements for smaller counties. It did provide for funds for counties to comply, but in a fashion that was too limited. This bill expands counties’ ability to get reimbursed so they can get everything they need, not just voting equipment, and so they are not forced to purchase equipment outright. The bill retains the provision that anything reimbursed must be to comply with HB19-1278 only, so counties would still not able to gain reimbursement for unrelated items.

Arguments Against:

If we were previously too strict, this is too lax. Any and every other equipment and supply is now eligible and while it must be to comply with HB19-1278, a creative county may be able to stretch definition of what is needed for compliance pretty far.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1132

HB20-1133 Land Use Entitlements And Municipal Disconnection (Tate (R)) [Kraft-Tharp (D), McKean (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Require land removed from a city or town to adhere to county land use laws and for counties to go through appropriate zoning process for the land.

Description:

Prohibits landowners from having their land removed from a city until all vested property rights affecting the land have been terminated or have expired. Makes any land that is removed from a city or a town subject to the county’s zoning, map, and other land development regulations within 90 days after removal but counties cannot automatically apply uniform zoning classifications to all lands removed from cities or towns in this manner. Counties can deny any building or occupancy permits for the land during the 90 day window.

Additional Information:

Counties can start the procedure to subdivide the land at any time after its removal from the city or town is complete but they cannot make a final decision until county zoning regulations have been enacted on the land.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Land use is an important public interest, and we’ve long recognized this fact through zoning laws. For land that was governed by one governing interest, like a city, and then becomes part of another, the county, we have to ensure the appropriate land use rules are in place for that specific land. This means not only ensuring we move onto county rules for the land but also requiring counties to go through their zoning process for each case and not simply rubber-stamping every property with the same broad brush.

Arguments Against:

This is a local control issue, counties should have the right to make these determinations themselves. If the citizens in a particular county feel their zoning rules are not working properly, they can go through the county commissioners to enact change.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1133

HB20-1308 Nonsubstantive Emails And Open Meetings Law (Ginal (D)) [Arndt (D)]

PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Exclude some e-mail records between public officials from state open meeting laws, including scheduling, forwards, inquiries from people who are not part of public bodies, and posing questions for later discussion.

Description:

Makes some exceptions to e-mail records between public officials that are subject to state open meeting laws. These include e-mails about scheduling and availability, forwarding information, responding to an inquiry from an individual who is not a member of the state or local public body, and posing a question for later discussion.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

E-mails that are subject to open records law of course have to be kept by public officials so they can be part of the public record. We already exempt e-mails that do not relate to pending legislation or other public business, this bill merely clarifies that just figuring out a schedule, responding to questions from people are not part of the public body, or just posing a question for later discussion also do not need to part of the public record.

Arguments Against:

Removing logistical stuff like scheduling is one thing, but this goes too far in allowing matters that do touch on public policy to be excluded. Information that is forwarded could be about a public matter, a question that was asked for later discussion could be very important to understanding why something turned out the way it did.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1308

HB20-1179 Rule Review Bill (Gardner (R), Lee (D)) [Herod (D), Soper (R)]

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Extend all recent state agency rules except those that either conflict with law or have no authority basis in law.

Description:

Extends all state agency rules that were adopted or established between November 2018 and November 2019 except for the rules listed in the bill. These rules were found to have either conflicted with or had no basis in statute. They will expire on May 15, 2020. Full list in additional information, categories were chosen based on rules that were disallowed.

Additional Information:

  • Rule from department of agriculture setting annual transport permit fee for cattle at $20 per head
  • Rules from the department of education on administration of the early literacy grant program:
    • Rule 6.1 on recommending which applicants should receive grant funding
    • Rule 7.1(A) on the uses of grant money
  • Rule from department of education allowing school personnel, with school board approval, to possess and administer to a student medical marijuana in nonsmokeable form so long as the student has a valid license
  • Rule from the department of labor and employment allowing uninsured employers board to enter into contracts with third-party vendors to adjust claims and represent the board in all legal proceedings
  • Rules from the department of labor and employment from the division of oil and public safety on explosives regulation:
    • Rule 3-4(A) about cases where division denies a permit or the permit is subject to disciplinary action
    • Rule 3-4(D) which allows division to temporarily suspend a permit if they have objective and reasonable grounds to believe the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action
  • Rule from the department of natural resources, Rule 1.1(50.1)(d) about construction material exemptions in mining processes

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

We have to do this every year to ensure that the rules set by various state agencies are lawful. Those that are not can be rewritten to comply with law or a legislator can attempt to pass a bill that provides the missing legal authority.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1179

HB20-1138 Public Real Property Index (Bridges (D), Gardner (R)) [Coleman (D), Larson (R)]

AMENDED: Significant

PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: $550,000 in year one, then minimal on-going

Goal: Create a database of government owned property not being fully utilized from almost all government entities in the states.

Description:

Requires each state agency, state institution of higher education, and nearly all local governments to submit a list of all of the property they are not fully utilizing by the end of the year. List must include:

  • Address
  • Size and zoning of property
  • Contact information for the owner or controller
  • Plan, if there is one, for use, development, or sale of property
  • Description that includes property condition and measurement of area of property that is vacant, unused, or underdeveloped

Everyone must submit updates to this list at the end of each year. Beginning in July 2021, if anyone plans to sell any property that is not being fully utilized, must tell the state. State must develop a searchable online database of this information by July 2021 and keep it maintained. Must be publicly available, free and easy to navigate.

Additional Information:

Ambulance districts, fire districts, sanitation districts, water districts, and water and sanitation districts are exempt from these requirements. Property that must be reported includes:

  • Existing structure intended and appropriate for human occupancy that is either wholly unused or has unused space of more than 500 3,000 continuous square feet for at least six straight months
  • Land that is currently unused and able to serve as a site for at least one structure of 1,500 square feet or more that is intended for and appropriate for human occupancy

Does not include:

  • Rights-of-way, easements, or other property rights upon which facilities, plants, or systems of a public utility are located or are to be located.
  • Land in the department of transportation intended to be used for right-of-way
  • All roads, streets, and alleys and all other dedicated rights-of-way
  • Land held by the division of parks and wildlife and the parks and wildlife commission
  • State public lands


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Affordable land and building space has become harder and harder to come by in the state, particularly for non-profits and community-based organizations attempting to address key needs such as child care, health care, education, and access to food. We still have a severe shortage of affordable housing. Being able identify usable space and land that is owned by the government but just sitting there can only help all of these areas. And it is also just good government: letting the citizens know what land the government owns but isn’t fully utilizing. The bill does not address land, reporting of which is covered by a bill passed last year.

Arguments Against:

This is too much work without enough reward. Any developer can find out who owns what land if they are interested without all of this rigmarole for state agencies and post-secondary schools. Unused building property square footage is too small with too short a vacancy timeline. We also already have a similar land reporting requirement from a bill last year, this may create duplicative work and also may not blend the two reports together for the public.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1138

HB20-1142 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program [Cutter (D), Soper (R)]

AMENDED: Moderate

PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Create a hazard mitigation enterprise fund, exempt from TABOR, that collects fees from insurance companies and uses the money to mitigate hazards around the state, particularly in helping local government obtain federal grants that require matching funds.

Description:

Creates the Hazard Mitigation Enterprise, which operates as a government-owned business for the purpose of collecting fees charged to insurers who offer hazard insurance and using that money to fund a grant program to assist local governments with matching funds for federal mitigation grants and provide education to the public and local governments on hazard mitigation. This enterprise is exempt from TABOR revenue requirements. Enterprise may award a maximum of 80% of its revenue for grants and no more than 25% of grant money on a single grantee. Grants are contingent upon obtaining the federal grant. Fee collected is 0.05% of premiums collected in the state on hazard policies. Based on last year’s data, that will be approximately $4.5 million.

Additional Information:

Exact goals of the enterprise are:

  • Reduce negative impacts from future disasters on life, property, and the economy
  • Engage in mitigation activities that are cost-effective, technically feasible, and environmentally sound as well as allowing strategic investment of limited resources
  • Reduce repetitive losses
  • Fully utilize federal funding available for mitigation projects
  • Increase community resiliency by buying down risk through appropriate insurance
  • Decrease losses by encouraging building codes and land use policy that mitigate risk

Insurance types that must pay the fee include:

  • Fire
  • Allied lines
  • Multiple peril crop
  • Private crop
  • Private flood
  • Farmers multiple peril
  • Homeowners multiple peril
  • Commercial multiple peril
  • Earthquake
  • Combined private passenger auto
  • Aircraft
  • Boiler and machinery

Criteria for the enterprise to evaluate grant applications includes: Federal standardized cost-benefit analysis and financial need of the eligible entity. Grantees must report quarterly to the enterprise on progress. Enterprise must report annually to the legislature, including:

  • Unobligated funds, number of grant applications and value of grants awarded
  • Eligible entities that have applied for a grant, actions taken by each grantee, other measurements of success, and amount of grant money distributed to each grantee
  • Progress toward goals of the enterprise and any suggested legislative action

Enterprise can accepts gifts, grants, and donations so long as they do not exceed 10% of the enterprise’s total revenue. It may also issue bonds upon approval of legislature.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

There is no consistent long-term source of funds to mitigate hazard exposure in Colorado. Among other things this limits the ability of local governments to take advantage of federal grants because of matching funds requirements. It is actually insurance companies that have stepped into the breach here in some cases, requiring mitigation efforts by the customers. For example, those in high wildfire danger zones may have to mitigate fire hazards on their property. So it therefore makes sense to help the insurers and help the state by adding a user fee onto insurance companies that offer hazard insurance. Because this is a fee that helps these insurers do their business, it is not a tax and therefore not eligible for TABOR revenue requirements. In summary, this bill will help insurance companies lower their risk profile, help Colorado citizens lower their risk of catastrophe, and help the state lower its costs in battling hazardous situations like wildfires.

Arguments Against:

This is an unacceptable workaround of TABOR. The insurance companies are not voluntarily providing these funds and the funds are not simply being passed through to another entity. This is a tax on insurance companies with the proceeds from the tax going to various programs sponsored by state dollars. That does not mean this is not a worthy program, it just means it should follow the TABOR rules.


The solution to our fire problem, which is what this is mostly about, is to stop letting people build into extreme fire danger areas in the first place. There is only so much mitigation you can do.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1142

HB20-1313 Administration Of Late Ballots (Todd (D)) [Sullivan (D)]

AMENDED: Significant

PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None at state level, some increased costs for counties

Goal: Get mail ballots to people who register or change their address after a county has already mailed out its ballots and allow people to get replacement ballots by mail, up to a certain point close to the election.

Description:

Requires the county clerk to process all voter registration applications and updates to voter registration records that require a new ballot be sent to the voter within 48 hours two business days if the election is between 15 and 7 days away. Requires the clerk to mail a replacement ballot if the voter updated their address or registered to vote after the county sent out its ballots so long as the election is more than 7 days away. Clerk must keep a record of every new ballot sent out. When the election is 15 days away, the clerk must start delivering ballots to the Post Office within one business day after processing the registration or address change, and when the election is 11 days away the ballots must be sent by first class mail. Allows voters to get a replacement ballot by mail if they make the request more than 7 days before the election. Requires anyone responsible for getting ballots to voters that knows the ballot will not be delivered in a timely manner must report this to the county clerk and the secretary of state. Knowingly and willingly failing to do so is subject to a civil penalty of a maximum $1,000 $50.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Our vote by mail system is great, but at the moment when the ballots get sent out by the county, it basically stops. If you register or change your address and need a new ballot, you have to go get one instead of having it automatically sent to you. When there is enough time before the election this should not be, and it will not be too much of an additional burden on clerks to mail out the ballots. We also have to ensure that these last-minute changes are processed quickly enough to allow this to occur. The smaller the county, the less likely this will happen and so the fewer resources will be required. It therefore should be within the abilities and resources for all counties to adhere to this bill’s provisions without extra help from the state.

Arguments Against:

This is an unfunded mandate. It might not seem like a large mandate, but faster processing and postage costs are an additional burden all counties will have to bear without any assistance from the state. Someone who wants a replacement ballot is going to have to work with their county clerk to get one anyway, so the extra burden of not having it mailed should not be much of a deterrent.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1313

HB20-1318 Standards For Recording Plats (Winter (D)) [Bird (D), Will (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow county clerks to receive original plat plans in an electronic format and add some mechanical requirements for how plats must be submitted.

Description:

Allows county clerks to receive original plat plans in an electronic format. Adds some requirements for plats received: at least ten point type, no illegible images, and for those submitted in original format, white paper with no watermarks, no staples or other binding, no impression seals, no colored highlight markers, and for those submitted in electronic format, minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Changes paper requirement from at least three mils thick to 60 pounds for every 500 sheets heavy bonded paper.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

It makes sense in 2020 to allow clerks to receive these in electronic format, so long as the requirements are followed. 300 dpi is the current requirement for clerks if they scan original files. The rest of the new requirements are again common sense to allow the document to be easily read and preserved.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1318

HB20-1149 16-year-olds Voting In School District Elections (Moreno (D)) [Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Nearly $400,000 in first year, then minimal every election year afterward

Goal:

To increase youth participation in elections by allowing preregistered 16 year-old to participate in school-related elections.

Description:

Allows any 16 year-old preregistered to vote to vote in school-related elections: state board of education, school district offices, measure to raise property taxes for schools, measures relating to school district organization, measure related to school financial obligations and debt. Preregistrants can circulate and sign petitions related to these elections as well as donate money related to these elections. Preregistrants cannot run for any office. The state must reimburse counties for any costs associated with sending ballots to preregistrants. Applies to elections in 2021 and beyond. Bill ends confidentiality of preregistrants in July 2021 and requires county clerks and the secretary of state to make reasonable efforts to inform preregistrants that their voter information will not be confidential after June 2021 and how to become a confidential voter, if eligible.

Additional Information:

Bill also updates ability for schools to preregister eligible students (currently can only do registration), the information given to preregistered students regarding their eligibility to vote in school related elections and how to get a ballot, and that individuals in juvenile detention facilities must be given information about their right to preregister and vote in school related elections. Failure to vote in two successive school elections as an under 18 year-old preregistrant does not count toward voter inactivity for cancellation purposes.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Multiple cities already allow this practice because we trust 16 year-olds to operate cars on the roadways and we should also trust them with a voice in laws that directly affect their school. Many 16 year-olds work and pay taxes. And most importantly, numerous studies have shown that voting is a learned habit. People who vote once are much more likely to do so in the future. Getting these 16 and 17 year-olds voting on a smaller scale will make it much more likely that they will be full participants in our democracy when they turn 18. Right now the 18-24 year-old turnout rate is abysmal in this country, it didn’t crack 40% in the 2016 presidential election. One of the cities that has allowed this practice found about 17% turnout for 16 and 17 year-olds, double the number of 18 year-olds in the same election. The constitutionality has been studied very closely and this process matches closely to processes in other states with very similar language in their state constitution as ours.

Arguments Against:

Anyone who has ever met a 16 year-old and an 18 year-old knows there is a big difference that cannot be waived away. While individuals always mature at different rates, in general there’s a reason 18 is the age where we truly start treating people like adults, whether it’s admission to the military, expectation to leave home and start work/college, or the ability to vote. And while we can always find 16 and 17 year-olds who would be perfectly capable of rational and effective participation in the electoral process, the same thing could be said of 12 year-olds. We have the cutoff at 18 for good reasons, and already pre-register 16 and 17 year-olds and automatically convert these registrations when the individual turns 18.


This may also be unconstitutional in terms of changing the voting age without changing the state constitution. And it forces us to end the confidentiality of preregistrants in order to comply with integrity of election laws. It isn’t worth it.


This doesn’t go far enough. All of the arguments about driving and paying taxes and boosting interest in voting apply writ large, not just to school related elections. Quite a few 16 and 17 year-olds may be interested in national and state politics, but not in local issues. Not to mention that “things that affect them” go far, far beyond school. The environment, tax policy, health care, all of it affects these teens too.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1149

HB20-1281 Change Salary Categorizations For Certain Counties (Hisey (R)) [Pelton (R), D. Valdez (D)]

PASSED HOUSE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None at state level, counties will see decrease in expenditures

Goal: Change categorization of Alamosa and Yuma counties for the purposes of lowering salaries for elected officials in the county.

Description:

Changes the categorization of Alamosa and Yuma counties for the purposes of setting salaries for elected officials in the county. Alamosa moves from a group including Chaffee, Clear Creek, Gunnison, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Park, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, and Teller to a group including Archuleta, Delta, Gilpin, Grand, and Logan. This will lower all salaries by 7.7%. Yuma moves from a group including Kit Carson, Lake, and Washington to Huerfano and Rio Grande. This will lower all salaries by 8.3%.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

These designations are designed to reflect the reality of each county in the state, in terms of cost of living and its revenue base, so that the bigger and more prosperous counties pay more. This bill is sponsored by representatives of both of these counties, who need to pay their elected officials less in the future to reflect the reality of their counties.

Arguments Against:

Elected officials really should be paid more in general in order to attract people to the roles who can devote their full time and attention. Rather than decrease pay, let’s help counties that cannot afford to pay with state funds.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1281

HB20-1156 CO Colorado Municipal Election Code Administrative Modifications (Zenzinger (D)) [Froelich (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Modify requirements for municipalities for absentee ballots by creating consistency with other municipal election provisions and removing some elements.

Description:

Modifies requirements for municipalities for absentee ballots by removing a declaration, providing specific affirmation text, removing a duplicate stub in mail ballot elections, and making some absentee requirements consistent with other election requirements. This includes time period before an election the clerk has to amend a petition to correct or replace signatures (66 days to 62 days), the time period before an election someone has to withdraw (63 days to 62 days), and a slight change to the return envelope.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This is mostly clean-up, we should have one set of standards for elections across all ballot types and of course where we don’t need or can’t use something (like a stub that is not necessary for verifying mail ballots or a declaration that municipalities cannot use) we should get rid of it.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1156

HB20-1321 State Bid Preference For EPA Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Partners [Buentello (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: For state transportation contracts, requires state to give preference to companies that are registered with the EPA’s SmartWay program.

Description:

Requires the state to give preference to transportation service providers that are registered SmartWay carriers or logistics companies when contracting for transportation of freight or coordination of transportation of freight. SmartWay is a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency program that companies can register for. It is designed to reduce environmental footprints.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

SmartWay provides a comprehensive system for tracking, documenting, and sharing information about fuel use and freight emissions across supply chains, which helps companies identify more efficient transportation methods and strategies to not only lower emissions but also costs. It is widely supported by the industry, with more than 3,500 businesses in the program, and has saved us a lot of energy and lowered emissions since it began in 2004. It only makes sense to leverage the state’s purchasing power to require SmartWay participation. It truly will be a win-win for any company that decides to join SmartWay (it is free!) to get a state contract. Most of them will probably already be in it.

Arguments Against:

SmartWay is really just advice, which is great, we can all use good advice. But joining the program for free forces a company to do nothing to actually use the best-practices for lowering emissions and using less fuel. We should require that they are members in good standing, which requires more than just signing up.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1321

HB20-1329 Department SMART Act Report Unfunded Programs (Todd (D), Lundeen (R)) [Kipp (D), Saine (R)]

AMENDED: Moderate

PASSED HOUSE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Identify programs in the executive branch that have not been funded for at least six years and give the legislature an opportunity to repeal them.

Description:

Requires each state department to annually submit to the legislative council staff a list of programs that have not been funded from any source for at least six years. This will be reported to the legislature, including to the statutory revision committee, which the bill grants the power to recommend legislation to repeal any unfunded program with at least seven votes from its members (committee consists of 8 members total) a majority vote. Any money left in an unfunded program should be handled as part of that repeal legislation and should go back to its original source.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

There are a lot of programs created every year at the state legislature and not all of them end up being successful. Those that do not end up sitting in our laws and in our executive branch’s duties as virtual zombies. This bill helps us identify these zombies and then leaves it up to the committee tasked with removing obsolete language and programs from statute to decide if we should get rid of them. It requires a near unanimous vote to get out of that committee and then Of course any bill passed out of the committee would have to go through the regular legislative process. So nothing will automatically be terminated and some programs may even find new life as they are rediscovered.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1329

HB20-1353 Competitive Solicitation Under Procurement Code [Coleman (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Require all requests for proposals stemming from state laws to be competitive solicitation processes as laid out by the state procurement code rather than just a simple request for a proposal.

Description:

Whenever a state law requires an agency to issue a request for a proposal, the agency must issue a competitive solicitation as required by the state procurement code as deemed most appropriate and efficient for the project.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

We have a well-thought out procedure for competitive responses to requests for proposals in our procurement code that require fair treatment, transparency on award criteria, and adequate public notice. But legislation frequently just tells an agency to issue a request for a proposal in the text rather than directly the agency to use the procurement code. This can lead agencies to not use the code, which of course contradicts the very reason we have it in the first place. All this bill does is say that whenever a piece of legislation says “issue a request for a proposal” that means use the state procurement code procedures.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB1353

HB20-1359 Ballot Access Modifications Public Health Concerns (Fenberg (D), Holbert (R)) [Garnett (D), Neville (R)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow political parties to use remote participation in their 2020 election events to avoid large public groups due to concerns over spreading coronavirus.

Description: Allows parties to use remote participation as needed in their assemblies, conventions, and to fill vacancies during 2020. Parties may also reduce or waive quorum requirements. Extends deadlines for various elections and assemblies.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: End of 2020

Arguments For:

This is to allow for remote participation to avoid public health concerns due to coronavirus. We need to still have these party events to determine who will be on primary ballots (which are of course mailed) and if any vacancies arise. But we do not need to do them in person this year so we can help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB1359

HB20-1161 Private Activity Bond Allocation (Winter (D), Tate (R)) [Bird (D)]

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Move the consideration of tax-exempt private activity bond authority from a committee in the department of local affairs to the housing board and eliminate an associated fee cap.

Description:

Eliminates the bond allocation committee that currently reviews tax-exempt private activity bonds and makes recommendations to the department of local affairs on statewide priorities for the allocation of the limited bonding authority among eligible bond issuers (this is pursuant to federal law requirements). The state housing board is to do this instead. Eliminates a cap on the fee paid for issuing these bonds or for making a mortgage credit certificate election. Also eliminates the authority for the executive director of the department of local affairs to make rules governing bond allocation.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

The current setup is cumbersome and it is difficult to get decisions in a prompt manner from the committee. The state housing board is better equipped to handle this on a regular basis as the vast majority of the decisions relate to housing. As for the fee cap, the fee right now is covering the actual cost and the state is instead raising other unrelated fees to cover its expenses.

Arguments Against:

The work done on this can go far beyond housing, and even if the current membership of the board is equipped to handle this there is no guarantee it will be in the future.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1161

HB20-1171 Remote Camera Wildfire Alert Pilot Program (Coram (R)) [Catlin (R), McLachlan (D)]

PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: $2 million
Fiscal Impact: None beyond appropriation

Goal: Create a pilot program for using remote cameras to help detect and control wildfires.

Description:

Requires the Center for Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting to establish a remote camera pilot program by April 2021. $2 million appropriated for program. Center must acquire or contract for a system of remote pan-tilt-zoom cameras and associated tools that can provide live feed to discover, locate, and confirm fires. Center to collaborate with state and federal agencies to determine where to place cameras. Center must report to legislature each year on value of camera system and its potential for more widespread use in the state. Program is repealed with sunset review in September 2024.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: September 2024

Arguments For:

Multiple other western states use remote camera systems to locate fires more quickly, monitor them more thoroughly, and ensure contained fires are completely extinguished. The cameras can use infrared technology to detect smoke at night in addition to visual daytime features. The first few hours of fighting a fire can be critical in containing it early before it spreads. Properly placed, these cameras can save money, property, and even lives if we can get a handle on more fires before they grow out-of-control. They of course will not be perfect, given that they cannot be placed everywhere and that a human is required to detect the fire on the feed, but even getting a jump on one fire could pay for the whole program.

Arguments Against:

You may have noticed that California has not been able to control its wildfire situation very well in the past few years, despite these cameras. Right now the cameras cannot detect fire on their own, a human has to see it. That is a critical shortcoming in the technology (they are working on it) that means it is too early for us to plunk this kind of money down for it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1171

HB20-1289 Align Precinct Caucus Eligibility Deadlines (Foote (D), Holbert (R)) [Kennedy (D)]

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Loosen restriction on how close to a political party’s caucus, assembly, or convention a 17 year-old preregistrant has to join the party to participate and how close anyone has to join to be elected a precinct committee person.

Description:

Clarifies that pre-registered voters who are 17 and have been a member of the party for less than 22 days at the date of a political party caucus, assembly, or convention and will be 18 by the next general election has the same rights as those who become 18 or citizens within 22 days of the caucus: vote or be elected as a delegate (already had the right to do these things if member for longer than 22 days). Changes all timelines for precinct committee person relating to residency and affiliation with the party to 22 days.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

We want to encourage pre-registrant’s who can vote in the next general election to be active in the process and the 22-day party affiliation requirement can act as a barrier. We don’t need to worry about swarms of 17 year-olds switching parties at the last second to disrupt caucuses, assemblies, or conventions. For committee people, the same 22 day deadline for participation suffices for election to this role.

Arguments Against:

Political parties should be free to make their own rules.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB20-1289

SB20-034 Statutory Revision Committee Annual Report (Moreno (D), Zenzinger (D)) [McKean (R), Arndt (D)]

From the Statutory Revision Committee

SIGNED INTO LAW

Description: Moves the statutory revision committee report due date from November 15 to July 1.

SB20-056 Surplus Military Vehicles Highway Use If Firefighting (Crowder (R)) [Will (R)]

From the Wildfire Matters Review Committee

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow firefighters to use already owned surplus military vehicles on all state roads.

Description:

States that a surplus military vehicle is not an off-highway vehicle if it is owned or leased by a municipality, county, or fire protection district for the purpose of assisting with firefighting efforts, including mitigating the risk of wildfires.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

There are firefighters throughout the state that rely on these vehicles to fight fires, 58 of them according to the non-partisan legislative council staff. Without this change these firefighters cannot legally drive the vehicles on state highways and any local government roads that have not given them authorization. This is a public safety matter, pure and simple.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-056

SB20-062 Enactment of CRS 2019 (Gardner (R), Lee (D)) [Herod (D), Soper (R)]

SIGNED INTO LAW

Description: Enacts the 2019 revised Colorado statutes as the law.

SB20-139 County Loans For Public Infrastructure Projects (Foote (D))

AMENDED: Moderate

PASSED SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Allow non-home rule counties to make loans to governmental entities within their county for funding infrastructure projects in the county.

Description:

Allows counties to make loans to a government entity that is created or located within the county. Loans must be used for funding transportation infrastructure projects in county. The source of the loan must be money that is in the county investment fund. It must have a specified repayment term. The loan recipient is required to pay interest on the loan at a rate greater than rate of return on county investments. Amount must not cause the total outstanding principal of all loans to exceed 8% of all unencumbered money. Approval by county board of commissioners of the project prior to issuing a loan must occur in public meeting. County must also pursue private sector options for funding the project. Counties must set underwriting standards prior to issuing any loans. These must, at minimum, require each loan to be analyzed with respect to risk, market rates, and loan terms.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This gives non-home rule counties the same authority that home-rule counties have: to have part of government loan money to another part. There are many parts of this state in unincorporated counties where the roads are not maintained by the county, for instance, and if the people who live in these areas want to improve or maintain their roads right now there are not many options. This is also optional, counties don’t have to use it if they do not want to. The county is not going to run into financial difficulty if the loans are defaulted on, because of the cap on the amount of funds that can be loaned. The bill also requires the county to try to get private sector funding first.

Arguments Against:

If the counties have the extra money in their investment funds, they should just spend it on these projects as needed, rather than loaning the money out to groups of citizens who want to improve their roads. Roads that are in a county are the county’s responsibility.


The bill has no guardrails to prevent counties from overextending themselves. It also may crowd out private sector funding which should be the preferred solution. It is little vague on what exact local entities are eligible for a loan, you could end up with some government entities who really shouldn’t be getting loans from counties.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-139

SB20-141 Cash Funds Maximum Reserve Exception (Hisey (R))

KILLED BY BILL SPONSORS

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Exempt several cash funds from a cap on the amount of uncommitted funds they are allowed to keep.

Description:

Exempts the Fire Suppression Cash Fund, the Public School Construction and Inspection Cash Fund, and the Health Facility Construction and Inspection Cash fund from the requirement uncommitted funds not exceed 16.5% of the amount expended in the past fiscal year. This allows these funds to keep any money they are given without giving it back to the general fund.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

When a large project comes forward the money must be paid upfront from these funds and it can be a large amount. These caps can get in the way of properly paying out these projects and cause imbalances in payments.

Arguments Against:

If we need to create a mechanism to allow these caps to be massaged when needed for large projects, let’s do that specifically rather than a general exemption.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-141

SB20-063 Recodify Statutes Concerning Department Of Law (Lee (D)) [Weissman (D), McKean (R)]

PASSED

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Update the statutes for the Department of Law to codify current practices and eliminate out-dated language.

Description:

Specifies the department may represent the office of the state auditor on some matters, moves some statutes out of this section to more appropriate places in law, updates references and language through the statutes, and slightly reorganizes the offices of the department. Makes the deputy attorney general a chief deputy. Clarifies that any money received by attorney general belonging to the state must be paid as soon as possible to the department of the treasury.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This is just a clean-up of this law to better reflect current practices. Any operational changes will be minor at best.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-063

SB20-071 Permissible Uses Of State-owned Motor Vehicles (Smallwood (R), Fields (D)) [Michaelson Jenet (D), Beckman (R)] TECHNICAL BILL

From the Legislative Audit Committee

AMENDED: Minor

SIGNED INTO LAW

Description:

State agencies can assign state vehicles to employees for one of two purposes: commuting or traveling away from home in connection with their job. Federal tax law holds commuting vehicles as taxable to the employee while traveling away from home are not. Currently there is a parking rule that allows a state vehicle to be parked at an employee’s home for more than one day a month that does not distinguish between the two types of vehicle. This had led to confusion among employees about the tax law. The bill simply states that commuting does include traveling away from home as defined by the IRS and that a vehicle can be parked at home for more than one day a month if assigned to an employee but that vehicle cannot be used for commuting unless it was explicitly assigned as such.

SB20-105 Daylight Saving Time Observed Year Round (Scott (R))

AMENDED: Very Significant

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Refer a measure to the ballot to make it daylight savings time year-round in Colorado.

Description:

Refers a measure to the ballot asking voters to make it daylight savings time year-round in Colorado, if the federal government allows states to remain on daylight savings year-round.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Losing an hour of sleep and then having to readjust your body clock to the new time in the Spring is harmful. It can take up to 3 weeks for some to get back to a normal rhythm, according to a study in the journal Sleep Medicine. Productivity losses due to these changes have been estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Research has found that motor vehicle and pedestrian fatalities do drop, due to the increased amount of daylight at “night” and it boosts retail spending by giving more sunlight at the end of the day (which is why the Chamber of Commerce has always supported it). So instead of moving the clock back and forth, let’s just keep it at the extra hour of daylight that everyone likes in the evening.

Arguments Against:

What we have right now works great. In the summer we get an extra hour of daylight at night when days are long enough so it won’t be dark early in the morning. In the winter we recognize that it would not get light until 8 AM in the dead of winter, far too late for most people who work. Any gains we make out of having it be light later in the day would likely be lost due to increased accidents earlier in the day. The concept of “productivity loss” is a pretty vague idea, that we can accurately measure how much less work someone does because they are “tired”, and not enough to hang such a big decision on. Productivity might suffer just due to the early darkness. No one goes on daylight savings year-round for good reason, we shouldn’t either.


We need to go in the opposite direction and stay on standard time all year. As stated in the arguments for, switching the clocks back and forth is harmful and it can takes weeks to get back in rhythm. Daylight savings is an anachronistic throwback to wartime America where the idea was to save fuel. It hurts farmers (the only organized lobby against daylight savings), the energy gains from it have been found to minimal (less than 1% and with the margin of error in studies, perhaps 0). Arizona and Hawaii don’t use it, we shouldn’t either.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-105

SB20-174 Change Management Of State Convention Display Space (Donovan (D))

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED SENATE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Change management of the display space available to promote the state in the Colorado convention center from department of personnel to the office of economic development.

Description:

Changes management of the display space available to promote the state in the Colorado convention center from department of personnel to the office of economic development. Allows the office to develop any guidelines for use of the space and create an advisory group to manage it if the office wants to.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This just makes sense, the office of economic development is much better suited to managing space promoting the state than the office of personnel (which also wants to move this responsibility).

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-174

SB20-186 Colorado Redistricting Commissions (Fenberg (D), Holbert (R)) [Garnett (D), Neville (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Not yet released

Goal: Get state laws ready for the changes required by the 2018 constitutional amendments to the districting process, which will occur after the 2020 census results are ready.

Description:

Repeals the existing statutory requirements for districts. Clarifies that the mistaken reference in the state constitution to the federal voting rights act is a clerical error and the correct reference must be used. Cleans up some language to make it more universal rather than applying to specific years (i.e. year ending in two rather than 2012). Repeals some outdated language about adjusting population figures through statistical means. As required by the state constitution, requires non-partisan legislative staff to assign staffers to the two redistricting commissions, gives the commissions permission to use committee rooms at the capitol to do their work, and sets out requirements for getting applicants and making decisions for membership of the two redistricting commissions. Sets the per diem for the commissioners at $99 for attending meeting and for the judicial panels required by the state constitution to assist these commissions at $150 a day and gives them permission to use the capitol hearing rooms as well. Gives computer equipment and specific databases to the commissions to do their work. Sets requirements for counties and the secretary of state to verify final maps and make changes if necessary for places left out entirely, put into multiple districts, or split residential parcels in congressional districts.

Additional Information:

Requires the final congressional commission plan to be submitted to the state Supreme Court (as required by the 2018 change to the constitution) with a copy of all maps showing the division of the state into districts and any necessary supporting evidence for the map. After Supreme Court approval the commission must submit copies of the census maps showing each district with a description of its official census units to the secretary of state and to the county clerks. Secretary of state is to check for any accidental omissions of portions of the state and determine its assignment. If the omitted area is surrounded by a district, it goes to the district. If it is next to two or more districts, it goes to the district with the least population. If an area is accidentally in two districts, the same rules apply for determining which district it belongs to. If a clerk discovers a residential parcel is divided between two districts and wants to move the district border, they must get approval from the secretary of state. Such a move must move the entire parcel into the least populous district, minimize effects on the local community for establishing polling locations, minimize changes in redistricting, and not violate the state constitution. Supreme Court must approve secretary of state’s decision to move a district line. All of this copies the procedure for state districts.

Secretary of state must supply any candidate for office or any Colorado citizen a statewide district map an individual district map to a resident of the district free of charge.

Clarifies that the boundaries of a district do not change if they coincide with the boundaries of a city or county and that city or county annexes more land.

Requires first the county commissioners to redraw their voting precincts after all districting is complete to ensure that no precinct is split between multiple state or federal legislative districts.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

This is basically clean-up legislative work required to ensure proper enaction of the 2018 constitutional districting amendments approved by the voters. That amendment has its own districting requirements, so we need to remove the ones in state law. Obviously the intent was for the civil rights act to apply correctly, we don’t need to let a clerical error in the drafting of the amendment stop that from happening. And the rest is just making sure we are set for congressional districting, and that the two commissions have access to all of the resources they need.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-186

SB20-136 Statutory Revision Committee Omnibus Bill (Moreno (D)) [Arndt (D)] TECHNICAL BILL

From the Statutory Revision Committee

AMENDED: Minor

PASSED

Description:

Updates language relating to treatment of mental health disorders, repeals obsolete provisions in transportation laws, updates obsolete references to federally qualified health center, updates out-of-date provisions for state tourism office, repeals outdated provisions in the pilot protest feature, and a bunch of other miscellaneous references that now conflict with current law.

SB20-147 County Impacts From Municipal Annexation (Gardner (R))

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal: Make several changes to city land annexation process by requiring more county approval.

Description:

Requires county board of commissioners to adopt annexation plan prior to city adopting the plan unless contiguity of area to be annexed with municipality is more than 1/4. Changes annexation rules for cities from annexing unincorporated land in a county from less than 1/6 of perimeter of land area to less than 1/3 of perimeter of land area to be annexed must be contiguous with the municipality. Forbids annexation unless the land is clearly depicted within an area identified in an annexation plan that was adopted by the municipality at least two One years prior to the annexation. Changes requirement of land being proposed for annexation from ½ to 1/3 being used for agricultural purposes and adds land as assessed for agricultural purposes as qualifying. Changes requirement to consider contiguity based on streets or roads if it owned and maintained by the county. Requires length and extent of county owned or maintained roadway that is to be annexed and any monetary reimbursement paid to the county to ensure county is made whole, must be determined by an intergovernmental agreement approved by the county and annexing municipality prior to annexation. Allows counties to disconnect land owned by the county within municipal boundaries. Any city and county that have entered into an intergovernmental agreement regarding annexation are exempt from this bill.

Additional Information:

Changes hearing requirements for annexation from 30-60 days to 60-90 days after effective date of resolution. Modifies the alternative test for determining community of interest requirement so that it must not be physically practical (already in law) or economically feasible to extend urban services to the area.


Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Counties have very little power over annexations in law right now, it is basically a dialog between landowners and cities. This can lead to patchwork issues of control, including flagpole annexation (where a narrow strip of land is annexed to reach a larger area out away from the city). This bill restores balance in favor of the counties by requiring their approval. If counties and cities are working together in an official agreement than they are exempt.

Arguments Against:

Landowners can already decide if they want annexation or not and counties and cities already work together and do work together around annexation issues. This bill instead puts the veto power into the hands of the county to override the wishes of these landowners and a municipality. It takes a situation that is mostly working fine right now and tilts it hard in the direction of the counties. It would in essence allow counties to hold cities hostage over annexation issues. Even in its changed form the bill still gives counties too much power and breaks a system that is basically working for most of the state.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-147

SB20-157 Vacation Of Roadway By Municipality Or County (Rodriguez (D))

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Some cities and counties may get revenue

Goal: Allow municipalities and counties to condition the vacating of all or any part of a roadway upon payment from any person to whom title to the land being vacated will go.

Description:

Allows municipalities and counties to condition the vacating of all or any part of a roadway upon payment from any person to whom title to the land being vacated will go. When roadways are vacated, title automatically vests to the owners of abutting land, with a few exceptions.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

There may some circumstances where a county or city might vacate a roadway if they could get compensation for it, as land is a valuable thing. This bill allows them to do so. No one is forced, if the owners don’t want to pay then the county or municipality can either not vacate the land or vacate it anyway at no cost.

Arguments Against:

This could set-up a difficult situation where the county or city wants to vacate a stretch of road that abuts several different property owners. In theory the county could only vacate the parts they get paid for, leaving a patchwork of rights if some owners decide they don’t want to pay. Needs to be either all one way or the other.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB20-157