We are over one-third of the way through the 2022 legislative session. This past week both the House and the Senate took Monday off for Presidents Day. On Tuesday, the House passed HB 1150, that the CSPA supports, on third reading on the vote of 53 to 11. HB 1150 eliminates the defendant’s signature requirement on certain citations and is necessary for the Patrol to move to electronic citations. Later in the week HB 1150 was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 1150 will likely be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next few weeks. Also, on Tuesday, the Senate unanimously elected Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) as Senate President. President Fenberg’s move from Majority Leader to President made way for Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) to become Senate Majority Leader.
I want to thank all of you who took the time to contact the House Finance Committee a couple of weeks ago asking them to support HB 1029, the PERA Payback bill. It is very important for legislators to hear from CSPA members about the issues that are important to you. Legislators talk with lobbyists every day and lobbyists are an important part of the process. However, when a legislator sees that someone outside the legislative process takes the time to contact them about an issue it is much more impactful. As a result, when the CSPA sends out a request to contact legislators please take the opportunity to do so. It is important that legislators hear from you and if you can use your own words and circumstances in the communication, it will have even more of an impact.
As for HB 1029, the PERA Payback bill, I wanted to give you an update. HB 1029 was pulled off the committee calendar to work on how to pay for it. This is good news! As I have mentioned before, there is wide support for paying back the cancelled $225 million payment, the friction surrounds the additional $78 million for lost investment gains that is also included in HB 1029. Rep. Shannon Bird (D-Westminster), one of HB 1029’s prime sponsors, is working hard to secure as much additional funding as possible. However, a determination of how much money is available is unlikely to happen before the FY 2022-23 budget (the Long Bill) is introduced which is currently scheduled to happen by March 28th.
As of Friday, there have been over 400 bills introduced – 273 in the House and 140 in the Senate. Only 73 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.