2021 Legislation

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SB21-075 – Supported Decision-making Agreement
Signed by Governor 4/26/2021
This bill gives seniors and people with disabilities more support and flexibility in handling critical life decisions (such as assistance in understanding their options and access to information) by voluntarily entering into a supported decision-making agreement as an alternative for or supplement to a guardianship.
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SB21-085 – Actuarial Review Health Ins Mandate
Assigned to Senate Appropriations: Postponed Indefinitely 4/23/2021
This bill would ensure that when a health insurance mandate is proposed by new legislation, legislators can be fully informed about how the proposed mandate would affect costs and premiums. It would do this by allowing legislators to request an actuarial review of the proposed mandate. These reviews would thoroughly assess the changes to costs created by proposed health insurance mandates, allowing legislators to make more informed decisions and to serve their constituents by ensuring that changes do not negatively impact health insurance pricing. These reviews would not be mandatory, and up to five could be requested in a session.
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SB21-094 – Pharmacy Board
Sent to the Governor 6/11/2021
This bill continues the State Board of Pharmacy and implements a number of recommendations in DORA’s 2020 sunset report. It also makes it possible for community mental health clinics to keep medications on premises so that they have what they need on-hand in case there is an after-hours emergency when pharmacies would normally be closed. This enables better care of the patients in these facilities.
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SB21-118 – Optional Alternative Approach for Low-Risk Adults
Signed by Governor 6/16/2021
This bill gives Adult Protective Services the flexibility to respond to low-risk cases differently than high-risk cases, allowing APS to partner better with clients and their families. Currently, APS uses the same approach to respond to every report of potential abuse and neglect to at-risk adults, whether the risk is considered low or high. One size doesn’t fit all, and so this bill creates a pilot program to test an alternate, more flexible approach and to collect data for wider future implementation.
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SB21-120 – Open Caption Movie Act
Assigned to Senate Business, Labor, & Technology: Postponed Indefinitely 3/10/2021
This bill is about accessibility and equity. There are many people who—because of hearing loss and a number of other reasons—cannot participate in or fully benefit from movies without visualized dialogue and sounds, i.e., captions. In Colorado, it is estimated that 20% of the population (over 1 million people) have a hearing loss disability. The bill requires movie theaters that are open to the public in Colorado to provide open captioning at all indoor and outdoor movie showings, including trailers.
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SB21-122 – Opiate Antagonist Bulk Purchase Fund
Signed by Governor 4/15/2021
This bill will help to save lives by making opiate antagonists—medications that can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose—more available. The bill realigns certain sections of the law to allow units of local government, law enforcement, and first responders better access the opiate antagonist bulk purchase fund so that they can carry this life-saving medication with them and use it when needed.
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SB21-123 – Expand Exportation of Drugs to Other Countries
Signed by Governor 4/26/2021
This bill is about saving Coloradans money and improving access to prescription drugs. It does this by expanding the current Importation Program with Canada to other countries—such as Japan, the European Union, the UK. Once federal law permits it, safe, high quality drugs could be imported from these countries at a fraction of cost that we currently pay for the same name-brand drugs in the United States.
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SB21-127 – DORA Reg. Authority During Declared Emergency
Assigned to the Senate Committee on Business Labor & Technology: Postponed Indefinitely 3/17/2021
The purpose of this bill would be to authorize the director of the division of professions and occupations to suspend certain rules governing health care professions during a disaster emergency declared by the Governor. The intent of this is to enable a swifter response to a disaster emergency than is currently possible.
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SB21-135 – Prohibit Animals In Traveling Act
Signed by Governor 5/14/2021
This bill is intended to ensure that exotic animals, such as monkeys, koalas, or tigers, are not permitted in traveling performances. This legislation recognizes that “circus” animals spend up to 90% of their lives in cages or confinement, and are often let out only during “performances,” which are involuntary acts often necessitating the use of prods or whips. And as a result of lengthy travel, they often lack adequate veterinary care. To protect these animals, the bill makes it illegal to use exotic types of animals in traveling circuses in the state of Colorado.
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SB21-136 – Sunset Forest Health Advisory Council
Signed by Governor 5/28/2021
This bill continues the Forest Health Advisory Council for another five years, allowing them to continue developing strategies to protect Colorado’s forests. The Council was established in 2016 and charged with advising and providing natural resource expertise to the State Forester and to policymakers. Forests are extremely important to the state of Colorado, and the work of the Forest Health Advisory Council is important because it protects and preserves those natural wonders.
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SB21-170 – Wildland Fire Mitigation Coop Electric Association
Assigned to the Senate Transportation & Energy committee: Postponed Indefinitely 4/6/2021
Colorado has seen increasing risk of wildland fires, often in rural areas or where the wildland-urban interface is primarily served by electric cooperatives. This bill would require electric cooperatives to submit comprehensive vegetation management plans to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which would include: 1) procedures and standards for inspecting, operating, and performing vegetation management, 2) modifications and upgrades to procedures for de-energizing powerlines to mitigate a wildland fire, and 3) potential system upgrades to reduce the risk of wildfires. Increased vegetation management and standardization of best practices would reduce the risk of a wildland fire starting.
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SB21-174 – Policies For Peace Officer Cred. Disclosures
Senate Considered House Amendments: Result was to Concur – Repassed 6/3/2021
This bill would require law enforcement agencies to disclose to the district attorney’s office when a peace officer’s credibility is in question. By clearly defining what sorts of behaviors should be reported—tampering with evidence or crimes related to dishonesty—this bill would ensure that district attorney’s have complete and uniform records, criminal defendants receive more just treatment, and that peace officers receive equal treatment under the law.
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SB21-258 – Wildfire Risk Mitigation
Signed by Governor 6/15/2021
Our forests are one of the greatest resources in our state, and after the 2020 wildfire season, it is clear that we need to do more to mitigate wildfires. This bill creates a wildfire mitigation capacity development fund and the hazard mitigation fund, supports forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grants, and transfers money into specially designed wildfire funds with the goal of reducing the risks and dangers posed by wildland fires.
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HB21-1015 – Security Protec. Crim. Just. Person.
House Considered Senate Amendments: Result was to Concur – Repass 5/21/2021
The purpose of this bill is to improve the safety of certain public servants and their families by protecting their personal information. It does this by extending and unifying certain protections that are already in place to a more uniform set of roles within human services and the criminal justice system, defined in the bill as “protected persons.” The bill then amends statute to specify that it is illegal to doxx anyone that is considered a protected person and that all protected persons are eligible to have their personal information—such as their home address—removed from publicly available databases.
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HB21-1019 – Factory Built Structures
Signed by Governor 05/10/2021
Current law governing the installation of factory built homes is overly complicated. Colorado used to have a number of manufacturers of modular housing, but after the Great Recession they either closed their doors permanently or moved to neighboring states. Modern factory-built homes are safer, more efficient, and more affordable than ever. By overhauling and updating these regulations, this bill will encourage manufacturers to return to Colorado, creating more jobs and greater access to affordable housing.
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HB21-1022 – Surrogacy Agreements
Signed by Governor 05/06/2021
This bill codifies legal protections for people who use the surrogacy process to have a child, such as couples who are infertile, single parents, or men in same sex relationships. Colorado is already a world-class destination for fertility treatments and surrogacy, but before this, we didn’t have specific rules in place for surrogacy agreements. So this bill puts the necessary protections into law, ensuring that everyone involved in a surrogacy agreement in Colorado—whether it is the intended parents, the surrogate, or, perhaps most importantly, the resulting child—everyone is protected to a high legal standard.
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HB21-1025 – Open Meetings
Signed by Governor 04/07/2021
This bill is about modernization, clarification, and efficiency. It clarifies that certain emails between elected officials—emails that are not related to legislation or public business—are not subject to the Open Meetings Law. These email types include 1) responses to constituent inquiries; 2) scheduling and availability; 3) forwarded information; and 4) questions for later discussion by the public body. It does not change or alter any CORA requirements; all of the email types specified would continue to be open to public inspection and review.
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HB21-1095 – 811 Locate Exemption
Signed by Governor 5/21/2021
This bill allows counties to maintain their unpaved roads in a timely fashion, ensuring public safety, by exempting them from 811 locate requirements under certain circumstances. In particular, it specifies that routine and emergency maintenance performed by county employees on unpaved roads is exempt from the excavation notification requirement if the work: 1) does not lower the existing grade of the road, shoulder, or ditch, and 2) does not exceed 6 inches in depth.
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HB21-1115 – Board Of Health Member Requirements
Sent to the Governor 6/9/2021
This bill changes county and district Board of Health membership requirements to include an annual public health training for all board members provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDLE). It also requires CDLE to develop and provide guidance on how to recruit board members. By ensuring that Board of Health members are given further tools to make more informed decisions about local public health policy and that board seats are filled, this bill will improve local public health outcomes for Coloradans.
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HB21-1122 – First Responder Interactions with Persons With Disabilities
Sent to the Governor 6/17/2021
This bill will help those with disabilities. It establishes a 12 person commission whose purpose is to improve first responder interactions with persons with disabilities. The commission shall review existing training and curricula and form a new recommended curriculum, which shall be implemented by July 2022.
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HB21-1160 – Care Of Dogs And Cats In Pet Animal Facilities
Signed by Governor 5/21/2021
This bill will ensure that cats and dogs in shelters are guaranteed a minimum standard of care, including timely veterinary attention and that their behavioral health needs are addressed, including housing that supports their behavioral health.
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HB21-1166 – Behavioral Health Crisis Response Training
Sent to the Governor, 6/11/2021
A 2014 study by the Colorado Autism Commission found that in our state, we have a scarcity of appropriate services for children, youth, and adults who are dually diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. This is true everywhere in the state of Colorado, but the need is even more dire in rural areas. This bill establishes a state-wide, evidence-based, behavioral health crisis training for up to 30 providers in order to fill this known gap in services and includes teleconference-based training options to help us reach the more rural areas of Colorado.
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HB21-1172 – Hospital Patient Long-term Care Visit Rights
Assigned to House Health & Insurance committee: Postponed Indefinitely 4/21/2021
The bill would require health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing care facilities and assisted living residences, to allow their patients and residents to have at least one visitor of their choosing and to offer visitation policies and procedures in writing. It prohibits health care facilities from disallowing visitation entirely because of a pandemic, but allows for mitigation practices such as visitor screening, requiring visitors to wear masks, or limiting the number of visitors.
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HB21-1195 – Regulation of Radon Professionals
Senate Third Reading Passed: No Amendments, 5/27/2021
Radon gas is naturally occurring and can cause a myriad of health problems. To ensure that people are safe from radon, this bill requires that professionals who install radon mitigation systems be properly trained in installation and testing procedures.
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HB21-1204 – Unemployment Insurance Marijuana-licensed Business
Signed by Governor 4/2/2021
This bill ensures that workers in Colorado’s booming marijuana industry have access to unemployment insurance. Because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, the industry has created a paymaster to handle their employee benefits so that these workers can get mortgages, credit cards, unemployment insurance, and other financial products. This bill makes a small change to insurance law so that marijuana industry employees can continue to receive their unemployment benefits.
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HB21-1245 – On-track Equipment Railroad Crossings
Signed by Governor 6/7/2021
This is a straightforward but very important public safety bill that addresses the safety of railroad crossings. Trains are not the only thing that operates on the railroad; “on-track equipment” refers to train-like machines that operate on the railroad and are used to do track maintenance. However, “on-track equipment” are not considered trains, and legally in Colorado, and before this bill, they were not currently included in the laws that state drivers must pause to check for trains at railroad crossings. By adding “on-track equipment” to these railroad safety requirements, we will improve public safety and raise public awareness of this issue.
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HB21-1261 – Extend Beetle Kill Wood Products Sales Products Sales Tax Exemption
House considered Senate Amendments: Result was to Concur, Repass, 6/8/2021
This bill helps to speed the removal of dead trees that become fuel for wildfires by extending a tax exemption for the use and sale of Beetle Kill Wood and its products. Bark beetles kill trees in Colorado forests, and we can improve forest health and mitigate potential wildfires by incentivizing their removal with this tax incentive. Beetle Kill Wood also has a distinctive blue stain that makes for lovely wood products and furniture!
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HB21-1275 – Medicare Reimbursement For Services by Pharmacists
Senate Third Reading Passed: No Amendments, 6/4/2021
This bill expands the services for which pharmacists are eligible for reimbursement, making certain medically necessary services more accessible to patients in need. It also allows a pharmacist to seek reimbursement for the administration of extended-release injectable medications for the treatment of mental health or substance use disorders.
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