A new attempt in Washington to uproot the Affordable Care Act is happening right now. The Colorado Senior Lobby encourages all members to make your voice heard today. CSL Board member Seth Greiner just returned from a visit to DC and has taken a Congressional straw poll on the new Healthcare plan that is sure to make you ill.

Here are his recommendations for all of us:

Rep. Mike Coffman
D.C. office: 202-225-7882. Is a ‘NO’ vote, call to thank and to reinforce his ‘NO’ vote.

Rep. Ken Buck
DC office: 202-225-4676. Is a “YES’ vote, call to explain impacts of bill on seniors and those 55+, we want a ‘NO’ vote.
Rep. Scott Tipton

DC Office: 202-225-4761. No public position, but leaning to ‘YES.’ Call to explain impacts of bill on seniors and those 55+, we want a ‘NO’ vote.

Rep. Doug Lamborn
DC Office: 202-225-4422. No public position, but leaning to ‘YES.’ Call to explain impacts of bill on seniors and those 55+, we want a ‘NO’ vote.

On the local front, we can only sit back and hope we will see a deal that brings relief to our roads and to our rural hospitals. And, now that the Transportation and Infrastructure bill has suffered a premature death, perhaps both issues can be wrapped up in a package and mailed in before Mother’s Day.

The loose ends of the Legislature are being tied up behind closed doors. The financial house of cards gets dealt July 1st. Hospital cuts of $528M statewide take effect and our rural neighbors will not be able to absorb the blow.

Watch for a multi-faceted solution in the next couple of days; a massive budget bill with all of the big-ticket items included. Roads and bridges, hospitals, schools, Medicaid, small business taxes and marijuana revenue will all be tossed into the most expensive salad we’ve ever had the pleasure to sort through.

New Bills we are watching
There are no new bills to watch this week.

Bills we are watching

*Strongly Support     **Support     Monitor     ***Oppose     ****Strongly Oppose

Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Concur-Repass

Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Senate Appropriations, May 2nd, 8:40a, SCR 357

Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

Direct Primary Health Care Services. Parameters under which a direct primary care agreement may be implemented. Signed by the Governor

Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. In Senate, Ag, Natural Resources & Energy, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. Signed by the Governor

Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. State & Military Affairs, May 1st, 1:30p, SCR 357

Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. Signed by the Governor

PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retirees Employed By Rural School Districts. Concerning an extension of the employment after retirement limitations for retirees of the public employees’ retirement association employed by a rural school district after retirement. Repass

Harassment Sexual Orientation or Disability. The bill adds physical or mental disability and sexual orientation to the categories described in the harassment statute to make the statute consistent with Colorado’s law concerning bias-motivated crimes. On to the Governor

Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills. The bill requires the staff of the legislative council to prepare demographic notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the general assembly. The speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate are authorized to request 5 demographic notes each, or more at the discretion of the director of research of the legislative council. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

Create Family Caregiver Support Fund Tax check-off. Caregiving costs in Colorado and across the nation are through the roof with no end in sight. Senate Third Reading Passed, No Amendments

Task Force Recommendations for Heart Attack Care. A task force was created out of SB13-225 to improve quality of care to STEM1 heart attack patients. This bill implements or modifies the recommendations of that panel. Repass

Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse. If licensed securities professionals (qualified individuals), while acting within the scope of their employment, reasonably suspect that an elderly or at-risk person is the subject of financial exploitation, the bill requires the broker-dealer or investment adviser to report to the commissioner of securities (commissioner). The financial adviser/planner is protected from civil action too. Consideration of Senate Amendments to House, May 1st

PACE Ombudsman Program Add Local Ombudsmen. There is urgent need to get more boots on the ground, especially for our rural citizens. Ombudsmen are our eyes and ears for those who have no voice. Third Reading, Final Passage

Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval. Require majority approval by homeowners to initiate a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board. Senate Labor and Technology, May 1st, 2:00p, SCR 354

Data System Check for Employees Serving At-risk Adults. This bill establishes a state level program within the department of human services for a check of the department’s Colorado adult protective services data systems. Judiciary, May 1st, 1:30p, SCR352

Chance to Compete Act. Prisoners who’ve done their time must ‘wear’ their record when set free. That, in itself, condemns them again. What’s the fairest way? State & Military Affairs, May 1st, 1:30p, SCR 357

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Wage Replacement. Partial wage-replacement benefits for eligible individuals. State & Military Affairs, Nothing scheduled

Documentary fee to Fund Affordable Housing. Increases the documentary fee for real estate property transactions by one cent per $100 valuation, and is estimated to generate $9 million- $10 million per year. On a $300,000 home, this would total a $30 fee increase and would yield significant benefits across the state. State & Military Affairs, Nothing scheduled

Application Fees for Renters. Keeps application fees to the price of what is actually necessary to screen residents—such as credit reports, reference checks or tenant screening reports—and ensures the fee is refunded if the applicant is never screened. State & Military Affairs, May 1st, 1:30p, SCR 357

Receipts for Renters. Gives renters the right to have a copy of their lease and to receive receipts for cash payment of rent. Without a receipt, tenants facing eviction cannot prove they have paid what the landlord says they owe. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

Division of Insurance Annual Report Pharmaceutical Costs Data. This bill peels back the layers of what it really costs for drugs, as well as other hard-to-get facts from the companies that produce and distribute them. It asks that these companies provide this data to the Insurance Division annually. State & Military Affairs. Nothing scheduled

Domestic Violence Reports by Medical Professionals. This bill modifies current law that requires medical professionals to report all injuries to authorities. It provides more discretion for the medical professionals. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

Pharmacist Partial Fill Opioid Prescription. Clarifies the rules and actions for pharmacists. House, Second Reading, May 1st

* HB-1354
Collection of Delinquent Taxes on Mobile Homes. Gives County Treasurer flexibility in the management and authority of the rules. May 4th, Upon Adjournment, SCR 357

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. Second Reading, May 1st

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. Signed by the Governor

Transportation Network Company Drivers Medical Certificate Not Required. The bill eliminates the requirement for a medical certificate for persons who drive for transportation network companies.  Transportation & Energy, May 3rd, 1:30p, Room 0112

Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

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. Signed by the Governor

Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Refer to Appropriations, Nothing scheduled

Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges. Concerning consumers’ right to know their electric utility charges by requiring investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills. Senate Concurs with House -Repass

Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Signed by the Governor

Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology, May 1st, 2:00p, SCR 354

Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. Result to Recede, Nothing scheduled

Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System. The bill clarifies the intent of the general assembly for establishing a coordinated behavioral health crisis response system (crisis system). Appropriations, May 2nd 8:40a, SCR 357

Automated Driving Motor Vehicles. The bill declares that the regulation of automated driving systems is a matter of statewide concern, and, therefore, local authorities are prohibited from regulating these systems. The use of automated driving systems is authorized if the system is capable of conforming to every state and federal law applying to driving. If not, a person testing a system is required to coordinate with the Colorado state patrol and the Colorado department of transportation. Conference Committee Adopted, Repass

Expand ‘Notice to Quit’ ‘Notice of Rent Increase’ from 7 days to 21 days. Allowing more time for the transition prevents a host of additional problems down the road. Third Reading Passed, No Amendments

The Long Bill. May 1st, 9:00a, Hearing Conf. Comm, JBC

Sustainability of Rural Colorado. Reclassify the state’s hospital provider fee as an enterprise fund. An examination of rural Colorado’s fiscal status across the board. This is one of those bills that’s served best by reading the whole thing. Deep inside, for example, proposed statewide budget cutting. Appropriations, May 2nd, 8:40a, SCR 357

Revise Medicaid Fraud Reporting. Third Reading, Final Passage, May 1st

High Risk Health Care Coverage Program. Access to coverage for the High-risk candidates. Health & Human Services, May 3rd, Upon Adjournment, SCR 354

*Strongly Support     **Support     Monitor     ***Oppose     ****Strongly Oppose

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

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.
Email Steve Grund