Hello everyone,

They’re Back! This past Wednesday the Colorado General Assembly convened for its 120-day session. Unlike the last two years when the state was under a declared state health emergency, this year’s 120-day session will run consecutively. This means the General Assembly must adjourn sine die before midnight on May 11th.

As with most sessions, the first few days of this session were mostly about the speeches. On Wednesday, leadership in both chambers – House Speaker Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo), Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert (R-Douglas County) and House Minority Leader Hugh McKean (R-Loveland) – gave their opening day speeches and outlined their goals for the session. All four leaders highlighted the same three goals – reducing Colorado’s high cost of living, reducing crime, and increasing education funding. On Thursday, Governor Polis gave his state of the state speech echoing the same three priorities. However, as with most things even though both sides of the aisle seemed to agree on the problem, their solutions will be significantly different. Concerning public safety and Colorado’s extremely high crime rate, Democrats indicated they want to prevent crime before it happens rather than simply punish it, while Republicans blamed the increased crime on legislation Democrats have passed in the last few years.

Since Wednesday 111 bills have been introduced, 44 in the Senate and 67 in the House. On Thursday, the CSPA Board voted to support House Bill 1029 that will repay the $225 million transfer to PERA that was cancelled in fiscal year 2020-21 plus the anticipated lost earnings on the transfer. As you may recall, Senate Bill 18-200 committed the State to transferring $225 million to PERA each year to help ensure the long-term health of PERA. However, because of the anticipated budget shortfall caused by the economic slowdown during the pandemic, the legislature skipped the transfer in fiscal year 2020-21 to help balance the state budget. The result of skipping this one transfer is anticipated to have an approximate $900 million impact on PERA long term. We will continue to work with the bill sponsors, our SecurePERA partners, and the JBC to ensure the largest transfer possible to help ensure the long-term health of your retirement. Only 115 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.

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