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Highlights of the Week    This week, the Joint Budget Committee introduced their supplemental package of bills in the Senate. These are the supplemental funding bills to align the 2022-23 state budget to the actual and current projections through the end of the fiscal year. Each department brings forward adjustments to align with caseload numbers and other changes. The supplemental package cleared the Senate this week and will be introduced in the House next week. Overall, the supplemental bill package decreases General Fund obligations for FY 2022-23 by $187.8 million. Absent the changes proposed through the supplemental bill package, the projected fiscal year-end reserve for FY 2022-23 would fall $55.5 million short of the required statutory reserve, affecting what the JBC will be able to spend or save in the 2023-24 budget.  

HB23-1114, First-generation-serving Higher Education Institutions, which creates a designation of state institutions of higher education with 45% first generation students as first-generation serving institutions, was heard in committee this week and then laid over for additional testimony and amendments next Thursday in House Education.   

On Monday, HB23-1017, Electronic Sales And Use Tax Simplification System, which would make improvements to the electronic sales and use tax simplification system, cleared committee unanimously. HB23-1078, Unemployment Compensation Dependent Allowance, concerning the creation of a dependent allowance for individuals receiving unemployment compensation passed committee on a party line vote this week. Both bills move to the Appropriations Committee. HB23-1011, Consumer Right To Repair Agricultural Equipment, concerning a requirement that an agricultural equipment manufacturer facilitate the repair of its equipment by providing certain other persons with the resources needed to repair the manufacturer’s agricultural equipment, passed on a party line vote this week and will be heard on the floor next week.   

A number of bills are calendared to be heard in committees of reference next week. On Tuesday, SB23-098, Gig Work Transparency, which will add additional oversight to ridesharing and delivery apps to increase transparency and makes changes to how deactivations are handled for drivers will be heard on Tuesday in Senate Business, Labor & Technology. On Thursday in House Business Affairs and Labor, HB23-1118, Fair Workweek Employment Standards, a bill that has received significant media attention since its introduction based on opposition from the business community, will be heard in the Business Affairs and Labor Committee. The legislation would put requirements on food service establishments and retailers with 250 employees or more. The requirements relate to employee work schedule plans, changes to work schedules, notices and posting of employee work schedules and a framework for predictable pay, rest shortfall pay, retention pay, and minimum weekly pay.   

The Joint Budget Committee started figure setting in earnest this week, with figure setting for Treasury and the Department of Labor and Employment. The committee also heard an update on ARPA funds, and a staff presentation reviewing the Governor’s suggested uses of ARPA funds to pre-pay certain costs including controlled maintenance and capital construction. Next week, the committee will consider figure setting for the Department of Education, Department of Early Childhood, Judicial and Independent Agencies, Department of Human Services, Department of Regulatory Agencies, and the Department of Natural Resources.   

The Capital Development Committee and the Joint Technology Committee will vote to prioritize their list of projects on Tuesday, and then forward those recommendations to the Joint Budget Committee.  
Bills of the Week
HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control  
Representative Mabrey (D), Representative Velasco (R), Senator Rodriguez  

Scheduled to be heard on Feb. 15 in Transportation, Housing and Local Government  

The bill repeals statutory provisions prohibiting counties and municipalities from enacting any ordinance or resolution that would control rent on private residential property or a private residential housing unit.
SB23-087 Teacher Degree Apprenticeship Program  
Senator Marchman (D), Senator Baisley (R), Representative Kipp (D), Representative Wilson (R)  

Passed Senate Education on Feb. 8 to Appropriations  

As an alternative route to teacher licensure, the bill creates a teacher degree apprenticeship program, which builds on elements of current alternative teacher licensure programs, including a bachelor’s degree requirement, training programs approved by the state department of education, and structured on-the-job training.