These are all of the higher education 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, 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.
HB20-1067 Managment Of Property Held By Certain Junior College Districts (Story (D), Fields (D)) [Roberts (D), Will (R)]
From the Capital Development Committee
Fiscal Impact: None
Goal: Allow the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District and the Rangely Junior College District to hold and sell real estate.
Prior laws that gave the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District and the Rangely Junior College District the ability to own and sell real estate were inadvertently repealed in 2009. This bill restores these abilities, while taking into account the transfer of the Colorado Northwest Community College campuses in Rangley and Craig to the state board that occurred in 2009. Sales must be for fair market value and proceeds must be used to benefit the Colorado Northwest Community College.
Additional Information: n/a
This just fixes a past error, of course these districts should be able to sell property.
It may have been an error, but really it was on the right track. The state board should be in control of these properties since the campuses are its responsibility.
SB20-006 Amend Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (Zenzinger (D), Story (D)) [Kipp (D), Baisley (R)]
From the Making Higher Education Attainable Interim Study Committee
Appropriation: $5 million
Fiscal Impact: None beyond appropriation
Goal: Tweak the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative to give it wider latitude in grant awards and update language so it can function more easily.
The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) is a 1:1 matching grant program created in 2014 to create a network of student support and scholarship programs throughout the state to boost attainment of post-secondary education credentials. This bill changes the existing program to allow COSI to spend more than 10% of all money awarded in a year on state agencies and non-profit organizations for student success and support services and the requirement that of this specific type of award, at least 70% go to non-governmental entities. The bill also makes a few smaller changes to better align with federal terminology and simplify eligibility rules. Gives $5 million to the fund.
Changes “tuition assistance” to “financial assistance”, which is how the federal government defines the term and includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, transportation, and other allowable expenses. Removes requirement that administrator must come from existing personnel. Changes the eligibility provision from equal distribution between PELL grant students and students within certain household income ranges to equal distribution between students with less than 100% family contribution of annual PELL award and those with between 100 and 250% family contribution.
These are changes the program asked for (except that it asked for $7.5 million in funding). The current restrictions on student support grants make it impossible for COSI to provide all of its scholarship students with the support services that have been demonstrated to be effective at increasing education completion rates and student well-being. Both the 10% rule and the underlying 70% rule just don’t align with what COSI has found to be best practices. As for the additional funds, this program has a proven success rate, with 100% of eligible state institutions of higher education participating and 97% of the state’s counties. COSI backed students have significantly higher levels of persistence in sticking with their education than non-COSI students and the design of the program itself, 1:1 matching, means we are making great use out of our state funds by in effect doubling the amount spent.
We put restrictions on spending on support services and not spending too much on governmental agencies for good reasons. The primary goal remains scholarships and access and we want to make sure we aren’t just passing money around from one government agency to another. If the current ratios do not work, then the better step is to tweak them into a place where they do, rather than just throw them out.
Grant funding is not a substitute for adequate, long-term, sustained education funding. We should spend these funds directly in our institutions of higher education to drive down the costs of attendance for everyone.