Mid-Session Report Shows Great Progress
Made & More Challenges to Overcome
Made & More Challenges to Overcome
DENVER—Today Senate Democrats released their mid-session legislative update, showing major progress made in the first half of the legislative session and a snapshot of the work yet to be done in the coming months.
“On opening day we talked about the mountainous challenges facing our state,” said Senate President Peter Groff (D-Denver). “We have made historic strides up those mountains this year, and I’m excited to continue our work to improve our state’s economy, healthcare and education, as we press on to move Colorado forward.”
Economic Development & Renewable Energy
Bioscience Grants (Bacon) – Extends the grant program to make $26.5 million available to universities and start-up companies to energize one of Colorado’s most promising industries. HB08-1001 has passed the House and is currently before the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.
Business Personal Property Tax (Williams) – Raises the business personal property tax (BPPT) exemption from $2,500 to $7,000. This will give 30,400 businesses much needed relief so they can invest more in their business. HB08-1225 is currently before the House Appropriations Committee.
Single Factor Tax (Shaffer) – Cuts bureaucratic red-tape for business owners by moving to one consistent tax. This bill has yet to be introduced.
Eliminate the “Fly-Away” Tax (Bacon) – Encourages aircraft manufacturers to come to Colorado by eliminating the sales tax imposed on airplanes manufactured in the state. HB08-1261 has passed the House and is currently before the Senate Finance Committee.
Homegrown Power (Shaffer & Isgar) – Promotes energy independence for agricultural producers and rural communities statewide by allowing the extra energy they generate to be credited back. HB08-1160 has passed the House and is before the full Senate.
Forest Restoration Act (Gibbs) – Continues to address the devastation of Colorado’s forests by the bark beetle epidemic and spearheads forest restoration projects to protect water supplies. SB08-71 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Covering Colorado Kids (Hagedorn) – Will provide access to more than 50,000 Colorado kids who are currently uninsured. SB08-160 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Health Care for Kids (Boyd) – Extends health care eligibility standards for people applying for Medicaid and CHP+. SB08-161 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Alzheimer’s Council (Boyd) – Creates a council to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease in Colorado, and to develop a state plan to address the impacts of the disease. SB08-58 has passed the Senate and is currently before the full House.
Autism Commission (Shaffer) – Creates an Autism Commission to study spectrum disorders, identify existing services and gaps in services for people with autism, and identify best practices in providing services. SB08-163 has passed the Senate and is currently before the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Funding for Developmental Disabilities (Keller & Morse) – The JBC has approved $6.8 million to fund services to the developmentally disabled. With federal matching funds, the state could add as much as $14.7 million to services provided to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Building Excellent Schools Today (Schwartz & Groff) – Makes as much as $1 billion available to repair and rebuild Colorado’s crumbling schools. HB08-1335 is currently before the House Appropriations Committee.
Innovative Schools Act (Groff) – Encourages schools and school districts to innovate to improve student performance by creating Zones of Innovative Performance (ZIPs) free of certain district and state regulations. SB08-130 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Teach for Colorado (Shaffer) – Provides scholarship incentives for college students to pursue careers in mathematics, science, and other high-demand teaching areas in Colorado. SB08-133 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Early Intervention Services (Williams) – Provides early intervention services to children who are not yet identified with a disability, but need additional academic and behavioral support. SB08-89 has passed the Senate and is before the House Education Committee.
Streamlining Rural Education (Schwartz) – Streamlines the delivery of administration programs and services in rural school districts. Expands regional service areas throughout the state, leverages resources and encourages collaboration locally to meet varying needs and priorities. SB08-38 is currently before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
College Textbook Affordability Act (Tupa) - Prohibits professors from ordering textbooks until they know textbook prices, requires publishers to disclose changes made to each new edition of books, and prohibits publishers from bundling textbooks with additional materials. SB08-73 has passed the Senate and is currently before the House Education Committee.