March 22, 2024


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

Colorado legislators are intensifying efforts to address Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals (PFAS) with Senate Bill 24-081, which bans the sale and distribution of various PFAS-containing products, including cleaning products, cookware, dental floss, menstruation products, ski wax, outdoor apparel designed for severe wet conditions, and artificial turf installation. The new bill expands legislation enacted two years ago, which prohibited the sale of certain products containing PFAS due to their potential for groundwater contamination. 

Legislators heard extensive testimony on SB24-081, which led to the introduction of multiple amendments. Notably, Sen. Hinrichsen introduced an amendment aimed at exempting Class B firefighting foams and removing cleaning products from the banned items list. Following rigorous debate, the bill advanced through committee with a party-line vote and is now being debated on the Senate floor.

Ever considered becoming an organ donor? Us too! Colorado legislators are stepping up with a bill that offers tax credits to living organ donors. Not to mention, it’s also tackling workplace discrimination against them. But joking aside, donating organs is no laughing matter—it’s downright heroic. House Bill 24-1132 provides benefits and recognition for living organ donors, including certification, qualified payments for donation-related expenses, and employer protections. Additionally, it establishes tax credits, a designated recognition day, and special license plates for living organ donors. Colorado recognizes the importance of organ donation and wants to ensure donors are protected. With around 2,000 Coloradans waiting for organ transplants, this bill is a game-changer for breaking barriers and saving lives.

Environmental groups are proposing ballot initiatives to exert additional pressure on the oil and gas industry amidst the ongoing legislative activity. There are three ballot measures targeting accountability and protection within the oil and gas industry. The first measure seeks to hold the industry strictly liable for damages caused by various activities. The second measure empowers Colorado residents to enforce oil and gas regulations in state courts, with companies found at fault covering citizens’ attorney fees. The third measure aims to establish in state law the personal right to clean air and water, allowing lawsuits for any failure to uphold this right.


Updates on impactful legislation

House Bill 24-1364
Education-Based Workforce Readiness
By: Representatives McCluskie, Bacon 
Status: Introduced In House – Assigned to Education
Summary: The bill authorizes the department of education to commission a financial study with an independent contractor to analyze the costs to provide students the opportunity to obtain college credits, industry credentials, and work-based learning experiences. The study must also include an analysis on the effects of consolidating certain postsecondary and workforce readiness programs, including costs and opportunities for savings to the state and school districts, district charter schools, institute charter schools, and boards of cooperative services (local education providers).

Senate Bill 24-165
Air Quality Improvements
By: Senator Priola 
Status: Senate Committee on Transportation & Energy Refer Amended to Finance
Summary: The bill requires the air quality control commission (AQCC) in the department of public health and environment (department) to adopt by rule certain emission standards and requirements.

Senate Bill 24-166
Air Quality Enforcements
By: Senator Winter
Status: Senate Committee on Transportation & Energy Refer Amended to Finance
Summary: The bill defines a “high-priority repeat violator” as a repeat violator that, in a 3-year period, has committed 5 or more exceedances (emission exceedance) of the allowable emissions of an air pollutant in a permit (high-priority repeat violator). The bill requires the division of administration in the department of public health and environment (division), in the case of a violation by a repeat violator, to issue an order of compliance (order) for the violation instead of issuing a warning letter or compliance advisory or taking another informal action.

House Bill 24-1365
Opportunity Now Grants & Tax Credit
By: Representatives Soper, Lukens 
Status: House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor Refer Amended to Finance
Summary: Concerning regional talent development initiatives, and, in connection therewith, creating the regional talent summit grant program and an income tax credit for facility improvement and equipment acquisition costs associated with training programs designed to alleviate workforce shortages.

House Bill 24-1267
Metropolitan District Covenant Enforcement Policy
By: Representatives Jodeh, Bacon 
Status: Senate Committee on Local Government & Housing Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
Summary: The bill prohibits a metropolitan district from foreclosing on any lien based on a resident’s delinquent fees or other charges owed to the metropolitan district. The bill also imposes certain procedural requirements regarding court actions filed by or against a metropolitan district based on an alleged violation of the metropolitan district’s declaration, rules and regulations, or other instrument.


Insights by Karen Crummy, Principal, 76 Group

Are you talking to the right people? Part II

Now that you have recruited compelling messengers and tailored the message for each audience, it’s time to determine the most effective delivery method.

An integrated communications strategy that focuses on traditional media – newspapers, radio, TV – is still important, so you absolutely need a media strategy that deploys targeted messages and messengers to reporters and editorial boards as well as utilizing collateral material, Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor.

But that’s not enough anymore to make an impact. Nor are the old ways of launching mass, canned emails and robocalls at legislators. To be effective, you need to both strategically cover your bases and target specific audiences by adapting your messaging to various mediums. However, the people you are trying to reach choose the best medium, not the other way around. You need to meet them where they already are.   

Sixty percent of Americans typically get news from digital devices, dwarfing all traditional platforms. News and information consumption across platforms varies by age, gender, race, ethnicity, educational attainment and political leaning, according to Pew Research.  

Covering your bases means hitting all the places people get their news while also being laser focused on those critical audiences who you need to reach. For instance, if you are trying to galvanize moms in a certain age group, you not only want to seek out traditional earned media but to also saturate content on specific social media platforms that they visit with regularity.

Making a public policy impact requires more than determining a compelling message. To reach the people who have the most sway with legislators, you need the most-relatable, tailored message disseminated both broadly and specifically through targeted mediums that speak directly to your audiences.


All that’s happening with the Joint Budget Committee

Colorado lawmakers are facing budget constraints after new economic forecasts indicated a shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year. This shortage is attributed to lower state revenue expectations and the requirement to set aside $1.9 billion for TABOR refunds. The anticipated $38 billion budget – which includes an overall spending increase of 5.9% – likely needs to be cut back, putting major projects at risk. While Gov. Polis offered a more optimistic economic outlook, suggesting about $150 million in available funds, his forecast in relation with his budget plans, seems improbable. Factors contributing to the cash pinch include deteriorating household finances affecting consumption, declining sales tax revenue, rising unemployment and borrowing costs. Increased transportation fee collections, resulting from Democratic-approved fees in 2021, contribute to higher TABOR refunds and have put further strain on the budget. 


Press releases, news articles, and more

News Story – March 21, 2024 – Colorado Sun
Colorado environmental groups file ballot measures to limit oil, gas industry

News Story – March 21, 2024 – Sum & Substance

Construction-defects reform bill passes out of key committee

News Story – March 20, 2024 – Colorado Politics

Colorado lawmakers advance ‘assault’ weapons ban

News Story – March 15, 2024 – Colorado Politics
Colorado lawmakers face tight pressures as they craft state’s spending plan | News |

News Story – March 16, 2024 – Denver Post 

Colorado economic forecast gives rosy outlook, but legislators will have to juggle priorities in state budget