It’s been less than a week and there are more than 160 bills in the queue. You can always go directly to coloradoseniorlobby.org/get-involved-2/current-bill-sheet/ and see what bills CSL is monitoring and, of course, directly to leg.colorado.gov/bill-search?field_sessions=10171 to find ALL of the bills in the hopper at the Colorado General Assembly. The state’s website is new this year.
Clearly, the Healthcare issue is dominating politics nationwide with Colorado coming right out of the gate to repeal the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Go here to read what our Republican Congressional Representatives wrote this weekend.
We may actually see a request to increase taxes to help the state raise $500M to tackle the many transportation issues the state faces. Affordable Housing, Construction Defects and the Hospital Provider Fee could re-appear in various forms. The Post laid out a concise report on the budgeting conundrum Coloradans face moving forward. It’s a terrific read to get up to date on everything schizophrenic about our state.
Bills we are watching:
Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee
Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. First stop in Finance Committee
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. Health & Human Services Committee
Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Health & Human Services
Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. Business, Labor & Technology Committee
Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory provisions to administer a fee-based healthcare affordability and sustainability program for hospitals. Finance
Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. Health & Human Services
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance
Rural Broadband Deployment. Concerning the use of high cost support mechanism funds for rural broadband deployment. Business, Labor & Technology
Other issues to watch include the preservation of 911, which is so important to older adults. Also, the Homestead Act, which allows older adults to save big on property taxes, may face scrutiny as the fiscal belt tightens. Many feel this has become a benefit for those who need it the least.
Finally, Senior Day at the Capitol is March 15th this year, approximately two weeks earlier than in past years. Many legislators had been unable to attend due to the timing of the Day versus the timing of creating the state’s Long Bill. By holding the event a bit earlier, more lawmakers should be able to hear senior concerns. Go to ColoradoSeniorLobby.org for sponsoring opportunities.
Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.