By Ed Bowditch, RMFU Government Relations For Colorado
The FY2019-20 Long Bill conference committee report has been finalized and accepted by the House and the Senate – and the Long Bill is on its way to Governor Jared Polis. Due to the limited March revenue forecast, many amendments proposed by the House and Senate were removed by the JBC. The few successful changes to remain intact added funds for aging services, rural economic development, food banks, and suicide prevention. Honoring the initial deal made in the Senate, $100 million has been set aside for transportation legislation. Other major investments include $120 million for higher education to keep resident tuition flat, and $77 million to buy down the K12 Budget Stabilization Factor.
We hit another major milestone this week as bills finally began moving out of the Senate and House Appropriations committees, signaling priority legislation aimed at reaching the Governor’s desk in the next 20 days. Among them is legislation addressing full day kindergarten, maternal health, and school lunches. Meanwhile, Speaker Becker’s de-Brucing bills and the paid family leave bill continue to work their way through the legislative process.
Despite the limited time remaining in session, more bills continue to be introduced addressing everything from campaign finance reform and automatic voter registration to clean energy and affordable housing. In addition, the Governor signed another handful of bills into law impacting agriculture, education, and healthcare. We expect the next 20 days to fly by as bills fight to be heard before the legislative session adjourns.
Bill action this week:
- HB19-1132 School Incentives To Use Colorado Food And Producers – passed House Approps and 2nd reading.
- HB19-1202 Food Systems Advisory Council – passed House Approps and moves to 2nd reading.
- HB19-1247 Study Agricultural Applications For Blockchain – passed House Approps and 2nd reading.
- SB19-139 More Colorado Road And Community Safety Act Offices – passed House Approps, 2nd and 3rd readings. On its way to the Governor.
- SB19-220 Hemp Regulation Alignment With 2018 Federal Farm Bill – passed Senate Approps and 2nd reading.
Upcoming bill action:
- HB19-1264 Conservation Easement Tax Credit Modifications – House Finance on 4/15.
- SB19-186 Expand Ag Chemical Management Program Protect Surface Water – Senate Finance 4/16.
- HB19-1168 State Innovation Waiver Reinsurance Program – Senate Health 4/18.
Here is our full bill report.