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2021 Colorado Legislative Session

Apr 20, 2021

During the 2021 Colorado legislative session, Colorado Nonprofit Association is following numerous bills before the Colorado General Assembly.

Check out our bill tracker to see which bills we are watching, their current status, and our positions.

We have taken positions on the following introduced state bills: 

 

Title and bill number: HB 21-1054 Housing Public Benefit Verification Requirement

What the bill does: The bill creates a public or assisted housing benefit exception to the requirement that an applicant for state or local public benefits verify lawful presence in the United States.

Fiscal impact: No significant impact on state expenditures and revenues. 

Our view: We support this bill to get rid of unnecessary requirements to verify lawful presence for state housing assistance programs. The bill does not affect federally-funded housing programs.

Status: Signed by Governor

 

Title and bill number: HB 21-1108 Gender Identity Expression Anti-discrimination 

What the bill does: 

  • Modifies the definition of sexual orientation and adds gender expression and gender identity to statutes prohibiting discrimination against members of a protected class.
  • Prohibits discrimination based on gender expression or gender identity in areas including employment, housing, financial services, healthcare, funeral arrangements, participation in public services, education, youth services, criminal justice, and transportation.
  •  Expenses paid by a taxpayer to a private club that discriminates based on gender expression or gender identity are not tax deductible.
  • Residential properties exempt from property taxes for charitable purposes are also prohibited from discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity.

Fiscal impact: No significant impact on state expenditures and revenues. 

Our view: We support this bill to protect Coloradans from discrimination on the basis of gender expression or identity.

Status: Passed House, awaiting hearing in the Senate 

 

Title and bill number: HB 21-1247 Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment (CDPHE) Pay Grantees Up Front 

What the bill does:  Allows CDPHE to pay up to 25% of a grant upon execution or renewal of the grant agreement..

Fiscal impact: No additional state funding needed to make this change.

Our view: This change makes it easier for smaller nonprofits, including those primarily led by and serving BIPOC populations, to manage state grant funds from CDPHE. Typically, nonprofits must have several months of cash on hand to carry out state grant programs because the grantor reimburses expenses after they occur. Providing partial funding in advance will reduce strains on grantees' cash flow.          

Status: Introduced in House, assigned to House Energy and Environment Committee

 

Title and bill number: SB 21-073 Civil Action Statute Of Limitations Sexual Assault

What the bill does:

  • Removes the limitation on bringing a civil claim after Jan. 1, 2022 for sexual misconduct against a child
    • This includes claims brought against a person or entity who is not the perpetrator, as well as derivative claims
    • Currently, the statute of limitations is 6 years and is tolled when the victim is a person under disability or in a special relationship with the perpetrator.
  • Expands economic damages that may be recovered after a plaintiff alleges sexual misconduct 15 years or more after turning age 18

Fiscal impact: No significant impact on state expenditures and revenues. 

Our view: We support expanding civil remedies and protections for children who are survivors of sexual misconduct. This includes civil suits against businesses, nonprofits, and institutions that know about sexual misconduct of employees or their volunteers and fail to address it.  

Status: Signed by the Governor

 

Title and bill number: SB 21-077 Remove Lawful Presence Verification Credentialing

What the bill does: 

  • Removes state requirements to verify the lawful presence of applicants for issuance or renewal of a license, certificate, or registration.
  • Allows state agencies to request documents needed to verify an applicant's identity
  • Does not affect requirements to verify lawful presence to access federal public benefits

Fiscal impact: No additional funding needed to carry out the bill. 

Our view: State law currently requires verification of the lawful presence of all applicants for credentials. If SB 21-077 passes, then certain state agencies may determine which documents are needed to verify an applicant's identity and whether lawful presence must be verified for the particular credential. This legislation removes unnecessary barriers to economic mobility for people seeking professional licenses.  

Status: Awaiting final vote in House. Senate will consider House amendments after the bill passes the House.

 

Title and bill number: SB 21-088 Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act

What the bill does:

  • Allows adults who endured sexual misconduct as a minor to bring new civil actions toward the actor and an organization if misconduct was known or should have been known.
  • An organization may be liable for failing to take steps to reasonably address the situation or monitor or exclude the actor from contact with minors.
  • The organization is not liable if the organization’s action to remedy the situation was reasonably adequate to address the risk, the organization evaluated if remedial action was effective, or participants were apprised of potential risks.
  • Survivors may seek damages from an entity operating a youth program, or an educational entity operating an educational program, or a district preschool program where the victim was a participant at the time at the time of the sexual misconduct. 
  • This statutory cause of action applies retroactively for any victim having endured sexual misconduct as a minor prior to, on, or following 1/1/22.

Fiscal impact: $15 million increase of state expenditure and 10.7 FTE to handle cases filed against government agencies. 

Our view: We support expanding civil remedies and protections for children who are survivors of  sexual misconduct. This includes civil suits against businesses, nonprofits, and institutions that knew about sexual misconduct of employees or volunteers and failed to take reasonable action to stop it.  

Status: Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee

 

Title and bill number: SB 21-181 Equity Strategic Plan Address Health Disparities

What the bill does:

  • Authorizes grant awards to positively affect social determinants and help community organizations reduce health disparities in underrepresented communities through policy and system changes
  • Requires the office of health equity to issue a report with relevant data and recommended strategies to begin to address such inequities.
  • Requires a state agency work group to develop a health equity strategic plan to ensure cross-agency collaboration in addressing social determinants of health.

Fiscal impact: Increases state expenditures by $170,000 and 1.5 FTE

Our view: 

  • Developing a strategic plan for health equity will ensure that Colorado takes a concerted approach to reducing health disparities. This includes focusing on the social determinants of health to address the root causes of health inequities. 
  • SB 21-181 also provides funding to strengthen the ability of nonprofits to reduce health disparities by working with underrepresented communities to identify and implement necessary changes to systems and public policy.
  • Creating lasting change means not only investing resources in how individuals are served but also in addressing whole systems that lead to disparities.   

Status: Passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee

Title and bill number: SB 21-199 Remove Barriers to Certain Public Opportunities

What the bill does:

  • Eliminates the state law prohibiting state and local governments from providing state and local public benefits to individuals not lawfully present.
  • Repeals specific requirements that individuals must be lawfully present when applying for a professional licenses, public works contracts, and local business licenses.
  • Prohibits the General Assembly from appropriating additional funding in FY 2021-22 for the purposes of providing state or local benefits to individuals who are not lawfully present.
  • Specifies that state agencies must request any additional funding through the annual budget process starting in FY 2022-23. 

Fiscal impact: Increases state expenditures by $178.000 in '20-21 and $63,000 in '22-23

Our view: Removes burdensome requirements for nonprofits to verify the lawful presence of applicants for state and local public benefits. State law has required nonprofits to perform these verifications if state and local agencies are unable to do so.  

Status: Introduced in Senate, assigned to Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee 

 

Region: 
Statewide