This Week in Policy & News: Through January 23, 2023

This update provides a one-stop-shop for key updates and news around policy and legislation that impacts the Rocky Mountain Partnership’s four priority areas.

State Legislative Session Updates

Below you will find any updates related to state legislation impacting RMP’s four priority areas.

New Bills We Are Keeping An Eye On

  • SB23-051: Conforming Workforce Development Statutes
  • SB23-058: Job Application Fairness Act
  • SB23-065: Career Development Success Program
  • SB23-066: Advanced Industry Acceleration Programs
  • HB23-1074: Study Workforce Transitions To Other Industries
  • HB23-1093: Higher Education Staff Sabbaticals
  • HB23-1094: Extend Agricultural Workforce Development Program
  • HB23-1081: Employee Ownership Tax Credit Expansion
  • HB23-1064: Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact
  • HB23-1070: Mental Health Professionals Practice Requirements
  • HB23-1083: Qualified Higher Education Expenses Aviation Training
  • HB23-1095: Prohibited Provisions In Rental Agreements

Bills Being Heard in Committee This Week

TuesdayJanuary 24

2:00 PM

  • SB23-001: Authority Of Public-private Collaboration Unit For Housing
Wednesday, January 25

Upon Adjournment

  • HB23-1009: Secondary School Student Substance Use

1:30 PM

  • SB23-003: Colorado Adult High School Program
Thursday, January 26

Upon Adjournment

  • SB23-051: Conforming Workforce Development Statutes
  • SB23-035: Middle-income Housing Authority Act

1:30 PM

  • HB23-1006: Employer Notice Of Income Tax Credits
  • HB23-1001: Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs
  • SB23-009: Limit Opioid Prescription And Exception For Intractable Pain
  • SB23-002: Medicaid Reimbursement For Community Health Services
  • SB23-030: Eligible Educator Classroom Expenses Tax Credit

Click the button below to learn how you can listen in and/or participate in these hearings.

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Keep an Eye on State Legislation Using RMP’s Legislative Tracker

Over 180 bills have been introduced since the kickoff of the state legislative session.

As in past years, the RMP Backbone Team is keeping an eye on legislation impacting the network’s four priority areas through our state legislative tracker. Relevant legislation will be lifted to RMP’s leadership tables to determine where education and awareness is needed to support decision makers.

Check out some of the bills introduced so far impacting these areas below.

Click the button to view RMP’s state legislative tracker in a new window.

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Additional News and Updates Updates

Below you will find additional news and updates impacting RMP’s four priority areas.

Goal 1: Increase the supply of talent to Top Jobs and jobs in critical sectors

Gov. Jared Polis promises to fully fund Colorado schools within four years
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis budget update: money for workforce development and math instruction
In Tuesday’s State of the State speech, Gov. Jared Polis promised to fully fund K-12 schools within four years — something Colorado hasn’t done since the Great Recession — even as he also promised major property tax relief and further reductions in the state income tax rate.

Polis also touted the launch of universal preschool this coming August, asked lawmakers to ask voters to keep more money from nicotine sales to expand preschool, pledged support to help high school students earn college credit, and highlighted efforts to boost students’ math skills.

Colorado residents could get access to free training for jobs in education, health care, construction trades, and other sectors that have more openings than qualified workers, under an updated budget proposal from Gov. Jared Polis.

Expanded workforce training — including some free college — was among several education proposals from Polis. He also proposed a major expansion of after-school tutoring focused on math and science skills and state money to help employers offer on-site child care.

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Goal 2: Employers improve how they hire, retain, and promote diverse talent

A bill to require advanced notice of scheduling and other shift regulations will be introduced this session
Colorado retirement plan launches for those without one
Some Colorado lawmakers are hoping to give more predictability to workers’ lives and make the state one of only two that require large employers to provide advanced scheduling.

A bill to create what supporters call a fair workweek is still being drafted by legislators including Rep. Emily Sirota, a Denver Democrat, and has yet to be introduced in the House. But its planned provisions would require some employers to post work schedules two weeks in advance, give workers at least 12 hours between shifts, and require “predictability” pay be given to workers whose hours are abruptly changed.

A new program for Colorado workers who don’t have access to a 401(k) or other retirement plan at their job has officially launched after years in the making.

The Colorado SecureSavings program was designed to help nearly 1 million workers with no retirement plan to start one at no cost to the employer. Companies with existing plans must be exempted by the state. Others with at least five employees must enroll in what state Department of Treasury officials called a “10- to 15-minute” process.

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Colorado’s job market steps into 2023 on solid footing
Diversity of US workplaces is growing in terms of race, ethnicity, and age
Colorado’s economy charged forward undeterred last month, with the state’s unemployment rate falling and hiring staying firm as the year came to a close, according to a monthly update from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in December from 3.5% in November, reaching its lowest level since July and remaining below the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.5%, according to a survey of households.

Increased immigration, longer life expectancy and a decline in birth rates are transforming the U.S. workforce in two important ways. The people powering this nation’s economy include far more people of color and workers over 55 than was the case four decades ago.

And this diversity will keep growing in the years ahead, economists predict.

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Goal Goal 3: Increase availability and accessibility of attainable housing

Gov. Jared Polis emphasizes housing action as he lays out vision for Colorado
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Announces New Housing Provision
Gov. Jared Polis laid out a second-term vision Tuesday that emphasized housing, health care affordability and tax relief as essential priorities for Colorado as it turns the corner from the pandemic.

Housing was the topic Polis dove into first and most extensively during his hourlong address. He cast it as affecting other priorities, including climate, economic, water, transportation and health policy. As such, it demands more statewide intervention.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just announced a new housing provision that could be a critical tool in communities’ work towards new housing futures.

The ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ provision requires HUD and certain recipients of public federal funds to show how they’re using that money to actively correct housing inequities.

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