January 26, 2024


A short, sweet, and rich summary of what’s happened at the Capitol

Three weeks into the legislative session, the tempo has notably intensified. Bills are now being assigned to committees, and with just ​103 days remaining until Sine Die on May 8th, the legislative agenda is gaining momentum.

In an unexpected turn of events, Republican Minority Leader Mike Lynch stepped down from his leadership role on January 24th due to revelations of a DUI in 2022. Swiftly responding to this development, the House Republican Caucus convened the following day, resulting in the election of Representative Rose Pugliese from House District 14 (El Paso County) as the new Republican Minority Leader.

As legislative proposals continue to be introduced, a resurgence of progressive legislation is evident. Several measures, previously unsuccessful in the last session, are making a return, with HB24-1098 standing out as an example. This particular bill, titled “CAUSE REQUIRED FOR EVICTION OF RESIDENTIAL TENANT,” is poised to ignite compelling debates not only between the political parties but within the Democratic Party itself. The stage is set for dynamic and intricate discussions as the legislative process unfolds.

The State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent Government Act (SMART Government Act) is wrapping up this week. The SMART Government Act requires government agencies to give comprehensive information to joint legislative committees annually, within the first two weeks of session. This rule is designed to improve accountability, responsiveness, and transparency in government activities, helping the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) make informed decisions about budget allocations.

A theme observed across numerous legislative proposals pertains to the emphasis on local control. This trend is particularly notable in bills addressing housing and regulations related to tobacco and vaping.


Updates on impactful legislation

House Bill 24-1098
Cause Required for Eviction of Residential Tenant
By: Representatives Mabrey, Duran, Senators Gonzales, Hinrichsen
Current Status: Introduced In House – Assigned to Transportation, Housing & Local Government
Summary: This bill would prohibit evictions except for cause, meaning that tenants cannot be evicted because their lease agreement expired, if the owner wants to renovate, or if the tenant has decided to occupy the property themselves. Similar legislation was defeated last session and sharply divided the Democratic caucus.

House Bill 24-1078
Regulation of Community Association Managers
By: Representatives Titone, Ricks
Current Status: Introduced In House – Assigned to Transportation, Housing & Local Government
Summary: This bill creates a new license for businesses to conduct community association management.

Senate Bill 24-073
Maximum Number of Employees to Qualify as Small Employer
By: Senators Smallwood, Rodriguez, Representative Velasco
Current Status: Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Health & Human Services
Summary: Current law defines a “small employer” as between 1 and 50 employees for the purpose of health insurance coverage. This bill amends that to 1 and 100.

Senate Bill 24-039 *KILLED IN COMMITTEE*
Nuclear Energy as a Clean Energy Resource
By: Senator Liston
Current Status: Senate Committee on Transportation & Energy Postpone Indefinitely
Summary: The statutory definition of “clean energy” in current law determines which energy projects are eligible for clean energy project financing at the county and city and county level.

Senate Bill 24-081
Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals
By: Senator Cutter, Representatives Kipp, Rutinel
Current Status: Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
Summary: Current law prohibits the sale or distribution of class B firefighting foam that contains perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS chemicals). Section 1 of the bill, on and after January 1, 2025, repeals the exemption from the prohibition for gasoline distribution facilities, refineries, and chemical plants.

Senate Bill 24-020
Alcohol Beverage Delivery & Takeout
By: Senator Roberts, Representatives Lindstedt, Pugliese
Current Status: Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
Summary: Current law authorizes certain businesses licensed to sell alcohol beverages at retail by the drink to deliver these beverages or to allow the customer to take these beverages from the licensed premises. This authorization is scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2025. The bill removes this repeal, thereby continuing indefinitely the authorization for alcohol beverage delivery and takeout by specified licensees.

Senate Bill 24-060
Prescription Drug Affordability Board Exempt Orphan Drugs
By: Senators Kirkmeyer, Ginal, Representatives Hartsook, Duran
Current Status: Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
Summary: The bill states that the Colorado prescription drug affordability review board has no authority to perform an affordability review of, or to establish an upper payment limit for, any prescription drug that is designated as a drug for a rare disease or condition by the federal food and drug administration.


All that’s happening with the Joint Budget Committee

The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) has the responsibility of examining how the agencies and institutions of the Colorado state government are managed, operated, and funded. Over the course of the year, the JBC conducts multiple meetings and reviews various documents to develop budget suggestions for the General Assembly.

  • 15 leaders of Colorado’s public colleges and universities sent a letter to the Joint Budget Committee requesting $130.8 million for their operations in the next year, along with an additional $30.6 million designated for state financial aid. This is much greater than Governor Polis’s proposed increase of $42.7 million. 
  • The JBC moved to transfer $124,997 and 1.0 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) from the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), Office of Public Safety Communications, to the Economic Development Office (EDO), specifically to the Personal Services line item. This involves reallocating funds without any net change.


Press releases, news articles, and more

News Story – January 23, 2024 – Mile High CRE
Governor Jared Polis Joins Commerce City to Celebrate the Groundbreaking of South Platte Crossing
A significant milestone for affordable housing was marked today, January 23, with the groundbreaking of South Platte Crossing, distinguished by the presence of Governor Jared Polis. The event underscored the importance of the collaborative effort required to meet the community’s housing needs.

News Story – January 23, 2024 – Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Governors ask IRS not to tax FAMILI Act benefits
Gov. Jared Polis has joined eight other governors in states that also have a Family and Medical Leave Insurance program in asking the Internal Revenue Service to provide clear guidance on how payments are taxed.

News Story – January 24, 2024 – Colorado Sun
Colorado lawmakers intervene for ranchers losing livestock to wolves, saying “chronic depredation” must be defined
Sen. Dylan Roberts and House Speaker Julie McCluskie want Colorado Parks & Wildlife to “immediately publish” a rule or explain why the agency can’t do it.

News Video  – January 25, 2024 – FOX News
Colorado Gov. Polis calls upon Congress to act on border: ‘Let’s get it solved’
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, D., joins ‘Cavuto: Coast to Coast’ to discuss Congress’ negotiations over the border funding package, the Colorado ballot ruling and former President Trump’s legal cases.

News Story  – January 25, 2024 – Colorado Politics
A bill to designate nuclear energy as clean energy dies in committee
A Senate bill that would have defined nuclear energy as clean energy died along party lines in committee Thursday. Introduced by Sen. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, SB24-039 would have included nuclear energy in the statutory definition of clean energy sources, thus rendering it eligible for clean energy project funding.

News Story  – January 25, 2024 – Colorado Public Radio
Rep. Rose Pugliese chosen to lead Colorado House Republicans
Colorado House Republicans have selected first-term Republican Rep. Rose Pugliese of Colorado Springs to be the next Minority Leader, after the resignation of Rep. Mike Lynch earlier this week. 

News Story  – January 26, 2024 – Colorado Public Radio
If artificial intelligence is going to get involved in elections, Colorado lawmakers want voters to know
Colorado could be the next state to set guardrails on how artificial intelligence is used in political campaigns and election communications, as the world adapts to new technologies that can produce realistic videos, audio, and images far removed from reality.