90th Anniversary collection

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Hello everyone,

It’s all over! The second regular session of the 74th General Assembly ended at 10:13 pm on Wednesday, May 8th. The House adjourned at 7:49 pm. The Senate followed a couple of hours later after they finished their tributes to departing members.

The last three days were crazy. The legislature considered hundreds of bills and multiple pieces of major legislation were introduced and passed in the final days. On Sunday, HB 1472 Raise Damage Limit Tort Actions was introduced. HB 1472 is a compromise between business interests, insurers, and trial lawyers to avoid a very costly battle at this fall’s election. Earlier this year, the Colorado Trial Lawyers’ Association and the business community filed competing ballot initiatives. Seeking a middle ground and wanting to avoid a fight at the ballot, the Governor’s Office brought the parties together to come up with a compromise that will avoid a ballot fight that was expected to cost each side tens of millions of dollars. HB 1472 passed in three days – the minimum number of days it takes to pass a bill – and only received six no votes.

Another piece of legislation that flew through the legislature in the last few days was SB 233 Property Tax. SB 233 is designed to provide tax relief to residential and commercial property owners while at the same time protecting funding for K-12 schools and the state budget. SB 233 passed both chambers with only eight no votes. However, unlike HB 1472, it does seem SB 233 will prevent certain ballot initiatives from moving forward. Even though it is anticipated to reduce property taxes by $1.3 billion in the first year, the proponents of two ballot initiatives have indicated they do not think SB 233 provides enough tax relief. Initiative 50, which has already been approved for the ballot, would cap statewide property tax revenue at 4%. (SB 233 caps non-K-12 education property tax revenue at 5.5%.) Initiative 108, which is still in the signature gathering stage, would lower the state assessment rate. (SB 233 also lowers the assessment rate, but not as much.) Passage of these initiatives would be disastrous for the state budget. (Initiative 108 alone is anticipated to have a more than $2 billion impact.) SB 233 does not become effective if either initiative passes.

All in all, the CSPA had a good session. We passed our priority legislation – HB 1139 Death Benefit for State Employee Surviving Spouse. In fact, all the bills the CSPA supported passed with one exception. SB 044 PERA Retiree Refundable Tax Credit failed because of a lack of funding. In addition, together with the law enforcement lobby, we killed some bad legislation – HB 1460 Law Enforcement Misconduct. Most importantly, we received full funding for the Trooper Pay Statute in the budget. I want to thank Captain Mike Honn and Sergeant Brandon Nathlich for all their hard work this session and their partnership in helping to further the interests of the CSPA membership.

In the end, there were 705 bills introduced – 472 in the House and 233 in the Senate. Only 238 days until the General Assembly convenes for the 2025 legislative session.

Bill Skewes

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