February 12, 2024


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

We’re now well into the legislative session, and the momentum keeps building. We’re now looking at a total of 381 bills introduced this legislative session. Bills that have navigated the rigorous committee process have successfully passed their respective chambers and are now en route to the next chamber for consideration. With Sine Die on May 8th drawing closer by the day, the push to advance key legislation intensifies.

Governor Jared Polis took a crucial step in enhancing assistance for working families throughout Colorado by signing the first bill of 2024 – House Bill 24-1084. This legislation involves temporarily doubling the state’s match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Effective solely for the 2023 tax year, the new law increases the state’s match of the federal tax credit from 25% to 50%. This measure has the potential to significantly improve the financial support available to working families, providing invaluable assistance during these challenging times.

In a fascinating development this week, Representatives Regina English and Naquetta Ricks have introduced a bill that could transform how elected officials are compensated in Colorado. House Bill 24-1059 proposes the creation of an independent commission tasked with studying and potentially revamping pay structures for our state’s leaders. This initiative reflects a widely shared sentiment among legislators that current compensation levels may not adequately reflect the responsibilities they bear. Representative Regina English also caught the attention of many with the introduction of House Bill 24-1163, which would have created a mandatory statewide pet registration system requiring owners of dogs, cats, fish, and amphibians alike to pay a fee and provide information to the state on an annual basis. The bill, facing intense backlash, was postponed indefinitely at the request of the sponsor during its February 8th committee hearing.

Turning our attention to matters of public safety, gun control legislation has taken center stage with the introduction of Senate Bill 24-003. This bill empowers the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to address illegal firearm activities statewide, with a significant appropriation of $1,690,258 allocated to the Department of Public Safety for investigative purposes. SB24-003 marks just the beginning of what promises to be a series of legislative efforts aimed at addressing gun control issues during this session.


Updates on impactful legislation

House Bill 24-1059
Compensation for State Elected Officials
By: Representatives English, Ricks, Senator Hansen
Current Status: Introduced in House and assigned to House State Affairs
Summary: Creates an independent state elected official pay commission and modifying the amount of per diem allowed to members of the general assembly for expenses incurred during sessions of the general assembly.

Senate Bill 24-003
Colorado Bureau of Investigation Authority to Investigate Firearms Crimes
By: Senator Sullivan, Representative Froelich
Current Status: Passed Senate Judiciary 3-2, now Moves to Senate Appropriations
Summary: The bill authorizes the Colorado bureau of investigation (bureau) to investigate illegal activity involving firearms statewide. The bill appropriates $1,690,258 to the department of public safety for the bureau to conduct the investigations.

Senate Bill 24-021
Exempt Small Communities from HOA Requirements
By: Senators Rich, Exum, Representative Soper
Current Status: Passed Senate 32-0, now Assigned to Transportation, Housing & Local Government in House
Summary: Creates an independent state elected official pay commission and modifying the amount of per diem allowed to members of the general assembly for expenses incurred during sessions of the general assembly.

Senate Bill 24-022
Regulate Flavored Tobacco Products
By: Senators Mullica, Brown, Representative Velasco
Current Status: Passed Senate Local Government 4-3, now moves to Senate Floor
Summary: The bill allows a board of county commissioners to adopt an ordinance or resolution to: regulate the distribution of cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products; and prohibit the distribution or sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products, including flavored cigarettes, flavored tobacco products, or flavored nicotine products.


All that’s happening with the Joint Budget Committee

During a hearing in January, Representative Shannon Bird, a Westminster Democrat and Chair of the Joint Budget Committee, delivered a significant message to lawmakers concerning the use of marijuana tax funds. She urged legislators to refrain from seeking allocations from the marijuana tax cash fund for their proposals, emphasizing the importance of excluding such funds from fiscal notes and discouraging reliance on them.

This advice coincides with a noticeable decline in Colorado’s marijuana tax revenue over the past three years. Projections show a decrease from a peak of $400 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year to an anticipated $280 million by the conclusion of the current fiscal year on June 30th.

These developments highlight the necessity of fiscal management and strategic resource allocation as the state adapts to changing revenue trends and economic challenges.


Press releases, news articles, and more

News Story – February 9, 2024 – Colorado Politics
Colorado House gives final approval to bills on occupancy limits, foster youth ‘bill of rights’

News Story – February 7, 2024 – Denver Post
Colorado lawmakers have RTD in sights for major overhaul — including big changes for elected board

News Story – February 6, 2024 – Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado House bill targets social media’s impact on youth mental health, requires pop-up ads

News Story – February 5, 2024 – Denver Post
Bills on gun reform, legislative pay and opioids on tap this week in the Capitol

News Story – February 1, 2024 – Denver Post
Front Range drivers whose cars can’t pass emissions could get $850 for repairs under new bill

News Story – January 31, 2024 – Colorado Sun
Colorado had money to stop an extra 1,500 evictions in 2023. The Polis administration told renters not to apply.