By Jeff Weist, Jefferson County Business Lobby
The 74th General Assembly came to an end with a bang, putting an exclamation point on a session full of legislation with impacts to our businesses and communities. The Jefferson County Business Lobby (JCBL) — the united voice of JeffCo businesses at the Colorado State Capitol – has been busy keeping up with the whirlwind of bills that came through in the last week before sine die, and provides you this update on the final status of some of the key bills that we have been following all session long.
No bill made bigger noise at the state legislature than Land Use, Senate Bill 23-213, As introduced the bill was amended many times over before landing back in the Senate in early May after undergoing extensive revisions in the house. On the very last day of session, the bill sat waiting to go to a special conference committee but ended up dying on the calendar with no further action taken. The death knell for the bill seems to have been a deep divide over allowing the state government to take away local land-use decision-making, something that county and city municipalities overwhelmingly objected to.
An additional housing bill making its way to the Governor’s desk is House Bill 23-1255 that would prohibit future and remove voter-approved growth restrictions, while House Bill 23-1171 requiring just cause for the eviction of a tenant from a residential premises and House Bill 23-1190 to offer the right of first refusal for county and local governments to buy property both died on the calendar.
In other housing news, with 8 days left in the legislative session Senate Bill 23-303, the long awaited property tax solution from the Governor, made its debut swiftly through the process. But the solution as proposed is not so simple, requiring a vote of the people and includes limiting TABOR refunds, something you will see on your ballot this upcoming fall as Proposition HH.
Another bill that required a little bit of extra work to cross the finish line was Senate Bill 23-291, that came from a unique joint-select committee about the issue of rising gas and electric utility rates. At first, the bill faced fierce opposition, but after a conversation with Xcel Energy, the bill sponsors were able to come to a place where each was happy with the bill, and it was signed into law by Governor Polis last week.
Business Impact Bills
Here’s a quick rundown of other business impact bills that JCBL kept a close eye on, and where they landed.
Senate Bill 23-098- Gig Work Transparency. Postponed indefinitely in committee.
Senate Bill 23-172, the Protecting Opportunities and Workers Rights – or POWR Act- passed and to be sent to the Governor.
House Bill 23-1032– related to lawsuits that could be filed about the accessibility of businesses under the state version of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill is not moving forward this session, in lieu of a task force that will study the issue for further consideration. Sent to the Governor.
House Bill 23-1078– Payments for dependents of persons on the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Died on the calendar.
May 19th Legislative Recap
You’ve got questions, they’ve got answers. Register to attend the Arvada Chamber Legislative Recap on Friday, May 19th featuring Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Representative Brianna Titone, chamber lobbyist Jeff Weist, and Ed Sealover, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Competitive Council’s executive director, Rachel Beck.
That’s all for this week’s JCBL Update. The 2023 bill positions can be found at arvadachamber.org/billtracker.
The Jefferson County Business Lobby advocates as the unified voice of Jefferson County businesses for public policies that strengthen our business climate. The JCBL is a partnership comprised of the Arvada, Evergreen, Golden and Westminster Chambers of Commerce, the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation and Wheat Ridge Business Association.