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Hello everyone,

We are past the halfway point of the 2024 legislative session! However, as with every legislative session, there is a lot more action in the second half than in the first, so stay tuned.

This past week was very good for CSPA priorities. On Thursday, HB 1139 Death Benefit for State Employee Surviving Spouse was heard in the Senate Business Committee. Velma Donahue-Sandberg, Amy Moden, and DJ Jursevics testified in support of the bill. Lt. Colonel Jon Barba filled in for Chief Packard, who was out of town. As in the House, their testimony was essential to getting the bill passed unanimously. The Committee amended the jobs with a high-risk classification to include POST-certified employees in the Department of Revenue and at higher education institutions. The Committee then unanimously referred HB 1139, as amended, to the Senate floor with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar. Unlike the House, the Senate has a very helpful procedural tool called the consent calendar. It allows the Senate to pass multiple bills in one motion. Needless to say, the fact that HB 1139 is on the consent calendar is very good news. It is currently scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor tomorrow.

On Tuesday afternoon, the JBC finally got to figure setting for the Department of Public Safety budget for next year. The JBC approved both State Patrol decision items. The first provides additional money to improve the State Patrol’s recruiting efforts and the second provides additional professional staff to free up uniformed staff to focus on their primary duties. However, the most important item was the approval of the State Patrol’s salary survey request to fund the Trooper Pay Statute. This is only the beginning of the process, and the budget has a long way to go before it is final, but the current level of funding should be sufficient to bring the averages of all trooper job classes to 99% of the three highest paid law enforcement agencies in Colorado. DPA calculated these average increases for FY 2024-25 as follows:
• State Patrol Cadet: 6.1%
• State Patrol Trooper I: 0.9%
• State Patrol Trooper II: 4.2%
• State Patrol Trooper III: 4.8%
• State Patrol Supervisor I: 8.8%
• State Patrol Supervisor II: 10.2%
• State Patrol Admin I: 6.8%
• State Patrol Admin II: 3.6%
The JBC tabled the Department of Public Safety’s number 1 request – Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Initiative – and will likely revisit it this week.

So far, there have been 544 bills introduced – 365 in the House and 179 in the Senate. Only 58 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.

Bill Skewes

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