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 Construction Defects Law 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
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
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
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
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
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor
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
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
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. 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. 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
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
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.
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
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. General Orders, Second Reading, March 30th.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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, Apr 12th, 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. House, Third Reading Passed, no Amendments
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations
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
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations
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
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Third Reading Passed, no Amendments
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
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
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. In House, Health & Environment, nothing scheduled
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
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
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
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 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.