The Senior Space April 3, 2017

The Senior Space April 3, 2017

Too often, the broader economic debate focuses on the diminishing middle class and the demonic super-rich. The discussion whirls around Wall Street and its trickle-down wealth to the rest of America.

But, let’s not confuse the middle class with rural America, the invisible class. The discussion about the loss of the middle class needs to take a back seat to the spine that built America. These are proud hard working people. Respect should be shown.

Go to the four corners of the state of Colorado alone and bear witness to people hurting. Take a trip to Burlington, where the key economic highlight was the private prison shut down last year. Urban Colorado may engage in the public/private prison debate; but, do Coloradans fully understand the death knell sounding in that section of the state? Urban Colorado views the closing of private prisons from a much different perspective than those living in Burlington. This prison was a core economic driver; not just a for-profit prison issue.

Will the Hospital Provider Fee debate follow this same nail-in-the-coffin storyline? The threat to shut down rural hospitals is real. These hospitals power the economies of the communities they serve. Here in the metro area, we now have 46 emergency rooms. Is this irony or tragi-comedy? All of this under one state roof.

The single biggest economic driver in the past twenty years has been the Internet, at the center of all commerce. High-speed broadband is a rock-solid statewide long-term investment. Rural Colorado needs this playing field to begin to even out; especially when there are strategies lined up to do just that.

Let’s acknowledge the invisible as soon as possible, because it will cost the state even more if we pretend our neighbors will thrive despite the setbacks. When opportunity is stripped away, when hope is no longer on the menu, the disenfranchised can only look to the government for help.

Will we, in our arrogance, then claim that our rural neighbors are on the government dole due to so many with no place to work and no other place to turn? See this piece in today’s Denver Post: Disabled or Desperate?

Coloradans, especially those who have been here for a good while, celebrate a brotherhood with our frontier neighbors. Shame on us for pretending they are not even there.


New Bills we are watching

HB-1305
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? Judiciary. Nothing scheduled

HB-1309
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. Local Government, Nothing scheduled

HB-1310
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. Finance. Nothing scheduled

HB-1312
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. Local Government. Nothing scheduled

SB-254
The Long Bill. Introduced in House. It is budget time; always the highlight of the session. It passed the Senate with harmful cuts remaining to rural Colorado hospitals. The House examines it this week. And, then back to the Joint Budget Committee for further discussion the following week. Where will all the money go? Appropriations

SB-256
Hospital Reimbursement Rates. How should hospital rates work moving forward? House. Appropriations

SB-267
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. Human Services, Apr 6th, Finance + Appropriations, Apr 11th, SCR 357


Bills we are watching

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

***HB-1026
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Third Reading House, Apr 3rd, 10:00am

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Refer Amended to Appropriations

*HB-1087
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. House, Third Reading, Final Passage, Apr 3rd, 10:00am

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

HB-1115
Direct Primary Health Care Services. Parameters under which a direct primary care agreement may be implemented. Third Reading, Apr 3rd, 10:00a, Final Passage

*HB-1116
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

*HB-1121
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

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Senate Third Reading Passed, No Amendments, on to the Governor

*HB-1139
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. Public Health Care & Human Services, Apr 4th, 1:30p Room 0107

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Signed by the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

**HB-1175
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. House, Third Reading, Final Passage, Apr 3rd, 10:00a

***HB-1176
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. House, Third Reading, Final Passage, and Apr 3rd 10:00a

HB-1188
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. Senate, State & Military Affairs, Apr 5th, 1:30, Room 357

**HB-1191
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. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1222
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. House, Second Reading, and Apr 3rd 10:00a

**HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Senate, Transportation, Nothing scheduled

HB-1246
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. Senate, Health & Human Services, Nothing Scheduled

*HB-1253
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). House, Second Reading, Apr 3rd, 10:00a

**HB-1264
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. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1279
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. State & Military Affairs, Apr 5th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

*HB-1284
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. Health, Insurance & Environment. Apr 13th, 1:30p, Room 0107

*HB-1290
Colorado Secure Savings Plan. A retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. Business Affairs & Labor, Apr 13th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

HB-1293
Local Government Officials on Nonprofit Boards. This bill specifies it is neither a conflict of interest nor a breach of fiduciary duty or the public trust for a local government official to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit entity. Local Government, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107


****SB-003
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. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. State & Military Affairs, April 13th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

**SB-011
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

***SB-043
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
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

**SB-065
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. Senate, Concur, Repass, Nothing scheduled

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
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. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Third Reading Passed, no Amendments, on to the Governor

SB-155
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, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Veterans & Military Affairs, Apr 19th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. In House, Health & Environment, Apr 11th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Apr 10th, 2:00p, SCR 354

SB-207
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). Judiciary. Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-213
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. House Second Reading, Apr 3rd, 10:00a

*SB-245
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. Local Government, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

*Strongly Support      **Support      ***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

The Senior Space March 27, 2017

The Senior Space March 27, 2017

Excellent timing! Remove the Federal healthcare threat so the General Assembly can debate the state budget on the very day the process gets underway.

Half of Colorado’s seniors live in rural Colorado. As of now, $528M dollars is to be cut from the State Hospital budgets. In rural Colorado, these hospitals represent so much more than the vital services they provide. They are the economic engine in parts of the state where few economic opportunities present themselves. How can we treat our rural neighbors with a fairer hand?

The 27 discussion continues; and, that in itself, is good news as this issue has been benched for the last four years. The affordable housing mess bottlenecks choices facing our caregiving community.

It appears the property tax exemption for many seniors is avoiding the axe; and, that pleases many.


New Bills we are watching

HB-1284
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. Health, Insurance & Environment. Apr 13th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1290
Colorado Secure Savings Plan. A retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. Nothing scheduled

HB-1293
Local Government Officials on Nonprofit Boards. This bill specifies it is neither a conflict of interest nor a breach of fiduciary duty or the public trust for a local government official to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit entity. Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

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

***HB-1026
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 28th, Upon Adjournment, 0107

*HB-1087
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. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations.

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

*HB-1116
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

*HB-1121
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

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. General Orders, Second Reading Mar 27th

*HB-1139
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. Public Health Care & Human Services, Apr 11th, 1:30p Room 0107

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Signed by the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

**HB-1175
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. General Orders, Second Reading, Mar 30th

***HB-1176
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. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1188
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. Senate, State & Military Affairs, nothing scheduled

**HB-1191
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. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1222
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. Finance, Mar 29th, Upon Adjournment Room LSB-A

**HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Transportation & Energy, Mar 27th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

HB-1246
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. Third Reading, Final Passage, Mar 27th

*HB-1253
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). Public Health Care & Human Services, Mar 28th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1264
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. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 30th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1279
Construction Defect bill. Require majority approval by homeowners to initiate a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board. State & Military Affairs, Mar 29th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A


****SB-003
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. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. State & Military Affairs, April 13th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

**SB-011
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

***SB-043
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
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

**SB-065
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. House, Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
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. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

SB-155
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, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Veterans & Military Affairs, Apr 19th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. In House, Health & Environment, nothing scheduled

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-207
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). Judiciary. Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-213
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. In House, Transportation & Energy, Nothing scheduled

*SB-245
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. Mar 27th, General Orders, Second Reading

*Strongly Support      **Support     ***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

The Senior Space March 20, 2017

The Senior Space March 20, 2017

It’s a bit difficult to play the political game in Colorado when Pac Man is already eating the cards. The States can’t play if DC dramatically changes the rules. As Senator Everett Dirksen reportedly said, “a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later, it adds up to real money.”

Contrary to the nation, Colorado’s checkbook has to balance out each year; so, how does one plan for this new American reality show? How does one debate the value of a proposed annual $300M transportation infrastructure bill when $14B of federal threat looms on the budget horizon?

This brings an entirely new and real meaning to the business term, Disaster Plan. Every company, agency, almost all entities have disaster plans: the economy goes south, a damaging storm, something catastrophic. A ‘just in case’ document. Governor Hickenlooper has already asked his team to come up with potential scenarios; but, there’s a huge difference between millions and billions.

One week from today, the budget process begins with zero visibility in the national forecast, which makes an indoor political game nigh impossible for any state. Alerts have been posted across the country to be on the lookout for expensive solutions in search of a host of problems rather than the other way around. So, it’s not just burning the midnight oil to develop meaningful disaster plans; it’s also preparing for a reality show doomed to a short run.

And, time might just be the ticket. While many are swooning at the proposed re-shaping of our institutions, the political wind must be mighty to keep those proposals afloat for the long term. Some will get the wind knocked out of them, some will gain in emotional intensity. But, time settles all things.
Given the nature of uncertainty, time itself might become the State’s best weapon. Summer session anyone?


New Bills we are watching

HB-1264
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. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 30th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1279
Construction Defect bill. Require majority approval by homeowners to initiate a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board. Nothing Scheduled

SB-245
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. Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

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

***HB-1026
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 28th, Upon Adjournment, 0107

*HB-1087
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. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

*HB-1116
Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. In Senate, Ag, Natural Resources & Energy, Mar 23rd, 1:30p, Room 357

*HB-1121
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

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Senate Health and Human Services, Mar 22nd, Upon Adjournment, SCR 354

*HB-1139
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. Public Health Care & Human Services, Nothing Scheduled

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Senate, passed third reading, no amendments, off to the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

**HB-1175
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. General Orders, Second Reading, Mar 27th

***HB-1176
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. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*HB-1187
Change Excess State Revenues Cap Growth Factor. Change formula used under TABOR to set spending cap for budget every year. The original formula, a combination of CPI, inflation, %, plus percentage growth in population. This bill says TABOR allows voters to make changes, but a better formula might be growth in personal income, a more effective indicator of economic growth. This bill asks voters to change TABOR to a five year rolling average of income growth as the formula for the cap. Veterans & Military Affairs, Mar 20th, 1:30pm SCR 357

HB-1188
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. House, Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

**HB-1191
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. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1222
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. Finance, Mar 20th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

**HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Transportation & Energy, Mar 22nd, 1:30p, Room 0112

HB-1246
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. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 21st, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

*HB-1253
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). Public Health Care & Human Services, Mar 28th, 1:30p, Room 0107


****SB-003
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. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. Veterans & Military Affairs, April 13th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

**SB-011
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. Senate Considered House Amendments-Result was to Concur-Repass. Signed by House Speaker, off to the Governor

***SB-043
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, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
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

**SB-057
Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. This is the Hospital Provider Fee bill. 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 Committee, Mar 21st, 2:00p, Room 271

**SB-065
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 Committee, Mar 21st, General Orders, Second Reading

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
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. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. General Orders, Second Reading of Bills, Mar 21st

SB-155
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, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Veterans & Military Affairs, Apr 19th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. Business, Labor & Technology, Mar 20th, General Orders, Second Reading of Bills

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Mar 21st, Upon Adjournment, SCR 354

SB-207
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). Judiciary. Mar 22nd 1:30p, SCR 352

SB-213
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. Mar 21st, General Orders, Second Reading of Bills

*Strongly Support      **Support      ***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.
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