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This week was the first week that bills were heard in committees of reference. The committees also heard overview presentations from departments of interest to their topic areas. Given the number of new members (32) in the General Assembly, the focus on issue education from agencies has been greater than in years past.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) unanimously approved the finalized 2023 Colorado Water Plan this week. First released in 2015, the Water Plan provides a comprehensive framework to guide collaborative action from water partners, agencies, and Coloradans. From securing supplies that provide safe drinking water to improving farm irrigation to rehabilitating streams—the 2023 Water Plan targets specific, key actions to contribute to a stronger, more water-resilient Colorado.

Next week, committees of reference will hear numerous bills. HB23-1071 Licensed Psychologist Prescriptive Authority, which has garnered significant media attention, will be heard on Wednesday, Feb. 1 in Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services. In that vein, multiple introduced bills attempt to address the current mental health crisis in Colorado. HB23-1007 Higher Education Crisis And Suicide Prevention will be heard in House Education on Wednesday Feb. 1.

As of Friday, the General Assembly has introduced 212 bills, 122 House bills and 90 Senate bills. HB23-1118 Fair Workweek Employment Standards was introduced on Tuesday, which continues to receive media attention and growing opposition from the business community. The bill has been scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday Feb. 16. 

A package of renters rights bill were also introduced this week and are likely to face scrutiny: HB23-1099 Portable Screening Report For Residential Leases, scheduled to be heard in House Business Affairs & Labor on Feb. 8, HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control, scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 15in Transportation, Housing & Local Government; and HB23-1120 Eviction Protections For Residential Tenants, which was assigned to House Judiciary.

The Joint Budget Committee will begin figure setting next week in anticipation of introducing the FY 2023-24 budget on March 27. The JBC will accept testimony from the public on Wednesday afternoon. 

On Friday morning, the General Assembly honored late Minority Leader Hugh McKean. Current and former members from both sides of the aisle rose to share the love that Representative McKean brought into the world and honor his legacy.

This afternoon, Saturday, January 28, Kyle Brown won the vacancy committee for HD12. Brown will be sworn in in the coming weeks.

Bills of the Week

SB23-065 Career Development Success Program

  • Senator Lundeen (R), Senator Bridges (D)
  • Introduced Jan. 23, assigned to House Judiciary
  • The Career Development Success Program (CDSP) in the Colorado Department of Education provides financial incentives to schools to encourage secondary students to enroll in qualified industry-credential programs, internships, or construction industry apprenticeship programs. Beginning FY 2023-24, the bill increases the annual minimum appropriation for the program from $1 to $10 million dollars and expands the number of programs and eligible students who can receive funding.