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Highlights of the Week    Even with the General Assembly closed on Monday in observance of President’s Day, this week was another busy week under the dome. 389 bills have now been introduced and we know that many more are awaiting late bill approval. On Friday, the House had its first long day on the floor with the Republican caucus slowing down the process on bills related to repealing the prohibition on rent control, requirements around rental agreements, and restrictions on governmental participation in civil immigration detention among others. Debate lasted until 6 pm, ultimately cancelling the Joint Budget Committee’s meeting for the day. The JBC will consider the Departments of Public Safety and Public Health and Environment on Monday as a result.   

On Friday, Governor Polis signed the first successful bill of the legislative session to support Colorado’s water quality and clean drinking water infrastructure, HJR23-1007 Water Projects Eligibility Lists. HB23-1071 Licensed Psychologist Prescriptive Authority, that would allow psychologists with additional education and training to prescribe psychotropic medication, is one step closer to the Governor’s desk with unanimous support from the Senate. The House is expected to concur with Senate amendments next week.   

SB23-060 Consumer Protection In Event Ticketing Sales, which expands the definition of deceptive trade practice for online ticket resales, exempts select tickets from sale limitations, and outlines a civil penalty structure for violations cleared Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee on Thursday. A handful of venues and AEG testified in support with opposition coming from consumers and resellers.  

On Thursday, the Democratic party released a package of gun safety measures that had been long speculated in the media: SB23-168 Gun Violence Victims’ Access To Judicial System, repeals current law which limits product liability actions against manufacturers of firearms and ammunition to situations in which there was a defect in the design or manufacture of a firearm or ammunition. SB23-169 Increasing Minimum Age To Purchase Firearms, would increase the age to purchase a firearm to 21 for all firearm purchases and includes exceptions for peace officers and members of the military, antique weapons collectors, and those who have completed a hunter’s safety education course and hold a hunting license. SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Order Petitions will expand who is eligible to file for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), including licensed medical care providers, licensed mental health-care providers, licensed educators, and district attorneys. HB23-1219 Waiting Period To Deliver A Firearm, establishes a 3 day waiting period before a firearms seller may deliver a firearm to a purchaser.  

On Friday morning, the Joint Technology Committee considered a bill draft requested by the Governor’s Office of Information Technology to remove the requirement that local governments ask permission from voters to provide broadband services and make “middle mile” broadband a matter of statewide concern. The bill draft was approved unanimously and will be introduced in the Senate.   

While the Joint Budget Committee is slightly behind schedule, they did consider figure setting for the Department of Education this week. The committee debated Governor Polis’s request for $10 million for the Charter School Institute (CSI) mill levy equalization fund and ultimately approved $5 million, 50% of the requested amount. They also had a lengthy discussion about Healthy School Meals and if the wording of the ballot measure will put General Fund on the hook for years to come. The committee ultimately voted to set aside $115,500,000 in a General Fund exempt account and will run a bill to implement the ballot measure with the assurance of returning that funding to the General Fund once revenues start coming in. The JBC schedule has been updated to reflect the changes for next week – the committee will hold figure setting for the Departments of Public Health & Environment, Public Safety, Judicial, Agriculture, and Human Services.   

Crossing from one parcel of public land to another in Colorado creates a private-property conundrum that’s proven tough to fix and is gaining media attentionHB23-1066 Public Access Landlocked Publicly Owned Land, would allow lawful passage between public land parcels bordering private property, highlighting a decades-old conundrum in the West. The bill is scheduled to be heard on Feb. 27 in House Agriculture, Water, & Natural Resources. On Tuesday, HB23-1192 Additional Protections In Consumer Code, will be heard in House Judiciary. The bill creates additional protections in the consumer code – making changes to the deceptive trade practices provisions and repeals the “Colorado Antitrust Act of 1992” and reenacts the “Colorado State Act of 2023” establishing new requirements. Lastly, House Business Affairs & Labor will take back up HB23-1118 Fair Workweek Employment Standards for action only on Thursday, March 2, after the bill was laid over following a 7-hour hearing last week. 
Bill of the Week
HB23-1215 Limits On Hospital Facility Fees   Representative Sirota (D), Representative Boesenecker (D), Senator Mullica (D), Senator Cutter (D)  

Introduced February 22, assigned to House Health & Insurance  

The bill prohibits a health-care provider affiliated with or owned by a hospital or health system from charging a facility fee for health-care services furnished by the provider for outpatient services provided at an off-campus location and for certain outpatient services that may otherwise be provided in non-hospital settings.