These are all of the transportation bills proposed in the 2021 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.
Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:
HB21-1024 Title Certificates Off-highway Vehicle Transfers [Snyder (D), Van Winkle (R)]
Fiscal Impact: Negligible increase in revenue each year
- Remove an exemption from requirement to title an off-highway vehicle if it was last transferred prior to July 2014 and remove some barriers to selling these vehicles to dealers.
The bill would require these vehicles must have a title by July 2022 but they are exempt from sales tax if the transaction occurs prior to July 2022. Dealers are allowed to purchase these vehicles even though they lack title. Dealer must obtain an affidavit from the owner in order to obtain a title after purchase. Authorizes off-highway vehicle dealerships to access department of revenue records to verify vehicle title ownership (same access already allowed to those dealing with on-highway vehicles).
Additional Information: n/a
- We created a way to title these vehicles last year but it made it basically impossible to do so if it did not pass through a dealer, so it is time for every off-road vehicle to be able to and to obtain a title. For owners who would rather sell the vehicle, the bill provides a mechanism for them to do so even though the vehicle lacks title.
- Let’s give this a bit more time before we bring the hammer down on these older untitled vehicles, to ensure that the new system is absolutely working properly (and to give more time for folks who don’t want to title their vehicle to sell it).
SB21-069 License Plate Expiration On Change Of Ownership (Priola (R)) [A. Valdez (D)]
Fiscal Impact: Negligible each year
- Requires new license plates for passenger cars, non-commercial light trucks, and motorcycles when the vehicle’s title or interest in the motor vehicle is transferred. Get a new car, you have to get new plates. People can get plates in retired styles (like the old green plates) if the state determines there is enough interest and people are willing to pay the costs of making the plate (maximum of $50)
People with personalized plates can get the same customization on new plates but the bill does add the ability for the state to deny customizations that were previously approved if the state determines it is misleading, duplicates another registry, or that it carries connotations offensive to good taste or decency.
Additional Information: n/a
- We have too many cars on the road that are not properly registered and have old, dull plates that are hard to read. Forcing new plates when a vehicle is transferred will help with both of these problems
In Further Detail: Studies show an unacceptably high number of vehicles on the road in our state are not properly registered, including lacking insurance coverage and emissions testing. In addition to contributing to revenue shortfalls from associated registration fees, law enforcement and public safety officials rely on readable and reflective plates for safety and plates are often the only highly reflective element on vehicles, an important safety feature for stalled vehicles at night. On average, plates lose 50% of their reflectivity within 5 to 10 years of use. We can also now go back to the classic Colorado plate design thanks to new technology, so if people want them and are willing to pay, we can let them. This program will phase-in new plates over time, improving registration compliance and all of the problems already mentioned here, without large amounts of money spent or inconvenience for drivers.
- People violating the law may just find ways to keep violating it
- This cost may be small, but it is still additional costs to getting a vehicle in the state
In Further Detail:
People who are already violating the law with improperly registered plates and all the rest may just ignore this law too by keeping their old plates in violation of the requirement to get new ones when they purchase a vehicle. And while the cost is very small, $4.73 for a regular plate and $25 to renew personalized plates or special plates, it is still a cost that must be borne by Coloradans.
SB21-110 Fund Safe Revitalization Of Main Streets (Zenzinger (D), Priola (R)) [Herod (D), Exum (D)]
Appropriation: $30 million from the current budget year
Fiscal Impact: None beyond appropriation
- Transfer $30 million from the current fiscal year budget to state highway fund for use only for the Revitalizing Main Street and Safer Streets funds.
The Revitalizing Main Street fund is to help communities to alter their transportation and public space structures so as to open up more opportunities for COVID-safe activities. The Safer Streets fund is to support safety and accessibility along urban roads, especially for people who do not use cars.
Additional Information: n/a
- Both of these funds have been tremendous successes in ways that will reverberate long after COVID and we have excess funds from our current budget year, a massive amount actually, around $1.8 billion
- Both are focused on quick delivery projects, which helps boost our economy immediately as we continue to try to recover economically from COVID—and mostly provide transportation infrastructure project funding that is desperately needed
- There is an enormous backlog of projects to make our streets all over the Front Range corridor safer, which will reduce accidents and potentially save lives. The Safe Streets project alone has identified about $27 million of projects that it had to waitlist after it expended all of its available funding
In Further Detail: First, the good news. The budget shortfall for our current year was not as bad as anticipated, thanks in part to the massive stimulus measures from the federal and state government. To the tune of $1.8 billion dollars. This is about much more than just temporary measures to get through COVID. The Main Street Fund has been used to create outdoor facilities that can be used in bad weather all over the state, which will provide increased economic activity long after we are able to sit down inside restaurants normally again. One such example is a winter village park on the 16th Street Mall in Denver, with outdoor seating, dining, and retail space. The Safe Streets project has already tapped $50 million in funding to improve the safety of our roads—which frequently get short-shrift to more massive capacity building or infrastructure replacement projects. And they’ve got a backlog of around $27 million more. Finally, COVID is not over yet. So the degree to which we can quickly spend money to make it easier for people to properly socially distance while participating in activities that bill boost our economy remains important. We have plenty of money left after this bill to repay our schools and restore various large-scale funding cuts.
- The bill does not distinguish between the two funds and given that Safer Streets has a backlog, it is reasonable to assume it will grab the majority of the money
- Safer Streets is basically a metro Denver-only fund, so we may leave vast parts of the state out of this new spending
- The danger from COVID is nearly passed. Vaccines are proving to be incredibly effective in stopping severe cases and appear to extremely effective in stopping spread. We are a few months away from basically normal activity
In Further Detail: First, it is important to note that the two funds given access to this money are very different. Main Street funding can go pretty much anywhere in the state. Safer Streets funds have to go to the greater Denver metro area. Even other large cities like Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Fort Collins, and Greeley cannot get these funds. So given that Safer Streets has an already identified backlog, it is reasonable to guess that most of this new money will go to the Denver metro area by default. That is not fair to the rest of the state. And in terms of COVID, we are nearly there. The vaccines are great and all of the information from all over the world suggests they do a good job of preventing transmission and nearly eradicate the more dangerous cases that result in hospitalization or death. So we are just a few months away from more normal activity and will not necessarily need all of this outdoor stuff in the future.