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Positions on 2020 State Legislation

Jun 1, 2020

During the 2020 legislative session, Colorado Nonprofit Association took positions in supports of the following bills.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on Colorado's economy, the state acted to address a $3.3 billion shortfall.

As a result, many bills will not move forward because they have a significant fiscal impact or are subject to partisan debate.

Visit our bill tracker for the latest updates on bills we actively followed during the 2020 legislative session:

Bills supported  

HB 20-1022 Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force

What the bill does:

  • continues the task force for 5 years;
  • directs the task force to consider additional issues including sales taxes collected by nonprofits
  • removes the requirement for the task force undergo an evaluation prior to the task force's repeal
  • increases state expenditures by $42,000 and 0.5 FTE for legislative staff support 

Why we support the bill: Enables the task force to continue its work of simplifying sales and use tax collection by businesses and nonprofits

Latest status: Passed House and Senate

HB 20-1138 Public Real Property Index

What the bill does:

  • requires the state and local governments and special districts to report annually on unused properties available to the public for rental or purchase
  • requires the state architect to create a database of these properties 
  • the introduced (unamended) bill increases state expenditures by $551,000 and 0.8 FTE for database development and updates

Why we support the bill: This database would be helpful for nonprofits seeking to save money on office space and facilities.  

Latest status: Passed House Transportation and Local Government. Died on calendar in House Appropriations Committee.

HB 20-1203 Helping Colorado Families Get Ahead Act

What the bill does:

  • Increases Colorado's Earned Income Tax Credit (CO EITC) to 20% of the federal EITC.
    • Currently, this percentage is 10%
  • Allows the Colorado Child Tax Credit (CTC) to be available starting in 2021
    • Currently, implementation of the CTC depends on use of sales tax revenue from the Marketplace Fairness Act
    • The Marketplace Fairness Act has not been adopted by Congress
  • Removes application of a federal tax deduction for pass-through businesses to state income tax rates
  • As introduced (unamended), the bill would have a net revenue decrease of nearly $58 million in '21-22, increase state expenditures by over $507,632, and adding 7.0 FTE     

Why we support the bill: The EITC and CTC support the ability of working families to become more self-sufficient and economically mobile. These policies help reduce the need and demand for assistance from nonprofit organizations.  

Latest status: Passed House Finance. Died in House Appropriations Committee.

HB 20-1296 Civil Action Statute Of Limitations Sexual Assault

What the bill does: 

  • Remove the limitation on bringing a civil claim after Jan. 1, 2021 based on sexual misconduct against a child
    • This includes claims brought against a person or entity who is not the perpetrator and derivative claims
    • Currently, the statute of limitations is 6 years and is tolled when the victim is a person under disability or is in a special relationship with the perpetrator of the assault.
  • Expands economic damages that may be recovered after a plaintiff alleges sexual misconduct 15 years or more after turning age 18
  • Removes an exemption for a claim of negligence based on a sexual assault occurring in medical practice
  • Does not significantly impact state expenditures and revenues

Why we support the bill: Expands civil remedies and protections for children who are survivors of sexual misconduct. This includes civil suits that hold businesses, nonprofits, and institutions that fail to address sexual misconduct by an employee, volunteer, or otherwise happening on the premises.  

Latest status: Passed House. Postponed indefinitely (killed) by Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

HB 20-1335 Colorado Homeless Project Contribution Tax Program (HCTC)

What the bill does: 

  • Repeals eligibility for Enterprise Zone (EZ) Contribution Tax Credits for nonprofits and local governments serving people experiencing homelessness
  • Makes entities providing homeless services eligible for a new HCTC credit
  • Expands the types of homeless services eligible for tax credits
  • Moves Administration of the credit from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to the Division of Housing   
  • Reduces state revenues by $13 million in '21-22 which incentivizes $52 million of giving that year. Increase state expenditures by $535,000 and 7 FTE

Why we support the bill: Makes changes to expand the benefit of the tax credit for homeless service providers and their donors and align the program with other state housing priorities    

Latest status: Postponed Indefinitely (killed) due to fiscal impact by the House Transportation and Local Government

HB 20-1420 Adjust Tax Expenditures for State Education Fund

What the blll does:

  • Increases transfers to the State Education Fund by $113 million in '20-21 and $23 million in '21-22
  • Increases the state EITC to 15% of the federal EITC in 2023
  • Makes filers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) eligible for the state EITC
  • Stops certain federal tax expenditures from the CARES Act and Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from also applying to businesses' taxable income and losses under state law

Why we support the bill: 1420 increases state funding in the State Education Fund, expands the EITC for all eligible taxpayers in 2023, and includes ITIN filers in 2022 who pay income taxes but are ineligible for social security. These funds are increased by stopping certain federal tax credits and deductions from automatically reducing state taxes on businesses' income and losses. 

Latest status: Passed the House and Senate.

HCR 20-1001 Amend Constitutional Bingo/Raffle Licensure Requirements

What the bill does:

  • Refers a measure to the 2020 ballot asking voters to make the following changes to the state constitution:
    • Requires a nonprofit to exist for 3 years (rather than 5 years) before becoming eligible for a bingo/raffle license
    • In 2023, allows the General Assembly to establish how long a nonprofit must exist before being eligible for a license
    • Licensees may pay minimum wage to game managers and operators. Currently, the constitution does not allow charities to pay game managers and operators.  

Why we support the bill: Nonprofits will be able to obtain charitable gaming licenses earlier in their lifecycle if voters approve this change. Also, nonprofits can more easily recruit and retain game managers and operators with the option to pay minimum wage. 

Latest status: Passed the House and Senate.

SB 20-002 Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Grant Program

What the bill does: 

  • Creates the REDI grant program for projects that create jobs through new employers, expand existing employees, or create economic diversity and resiliency
  • Local governments, or organizations or individuals working in partnership with a local government, are eligible
  • Authorizes use of funds if a rural community needs assistance due to the impact of a significant economic event

Why we support the bill: Provides additional funding for nonprofits in rural communities that partner with local governments on programs that create jobs

Latest status: Passed Senate and House

SB 20-007 Treatment Opioid And Other Substance Use Disorders 

What the bill does:

  • Requires insurance carriers to cover certain levels of treatment and specific medications in accordance with American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria 
  • Prohibit certain providers from denying access to medical or substance use disorder treatment services to persons who are participating in prescribed medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Requires managed care entities to provide coordination of care for the full continuum of substance use disorder and mental health treatment and recovery services, including support for individuals transitioning between levels of care.
  • Allows courts and parole, probation, and community corrections to use medication-assisted treatment as a condition of participation or placement
  • Increases funding for certain state departments by $27,382 and 0.3 FTE 

Why we support the bill: This legislation provides additional resources to study and address the opioid crisis in our state.

Latest status: Passed Senate and House.

SB 20-090 Limit Liability For Food Donations To Nonprofits 

What the bill does:

  • Extends immunity from civil and criminal liability to entities that donate food to nonprofit organizations including correctional facilities, hospitals, schools, and farmers
  • Encourages retail food establishments, correctional facilities, and school districts to donate apparently wholesome food to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy or poor individuals
  • Does not impact state revenues or expenditures

Why we support this bill:  Removes barriers and encourages charitable donations of apparently wholesome food that could otherwise go to waste

Latest status: Passed Senate and House

SB 20-200 Colorado Secure Savings Plan

What the bill does:

  • Creates a secure savings fund and a board appointed by the Governor to oversee the program
  • Establishes an automatic enrollment payroll deduction Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • Employees may raise or lower the percentage deducted from each paycheck or opt out of the program
  • Employers that offer a retirement plan to employee may seek an exemption from this program
  • Applies to businesses and nonprofits with 5 or more employees
  • Increase state expenditures by $866,461 and 5 FTE in '21-22 to implement the program

Why we support the bill: Having access to this secure savings plan would allow many Coloradans to start putting money away for retirement for the first time. This program would help employees of nonprofit organizations set part of each paycheck away from retirement even if they work for an organization that has been unable to offer its own retirement plan to employees.    

Latest status: Passes House and Senate

SB 20-205 Sick Leave for Employees

Requires employers to do the following:

  • Provide up to two weeks of paid sick leave (80 hours) in 2020 at 2/3s of employees’ regular pay if they are diagnosed with or experiencing symptoms like COVID-19
    • Employers may claim federal tax credits under the Families First Act to reimburse their expenses for paid sick leave used for COVID-19
  • In 2021, employers with 15 or more employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours per year
    • Employees accrue leave when employment begins and leave may be carried forward into future years subject to 12-month caps
    • Leave may be used for mental or physical health care, child care due to a school closure, and safe time for survivors of domestic violence or sexual harassment 
    • Employers must not retaliate against employees who use leave or exercise rights under this act
  • In 2022, all employers must provide sick leave meeting the standards implemented in 2021.
  • Increases state expenditures by $298,000 and 3.5 FTE

Why we support the bill:  Employees of nonprofit and for-profit businesses shouldn't have to choose between going to work sick and keeping a job or earning a paycheck. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for all employers to offer a minimum standard of paid sick leave to protect the health of the public, sustain the capacity of our hospitals, and protect jobs. 205 implements a minimum standard for paid sick leave that many nonprofits already surpass. 

Latest status: Passed Senate and House.

SCR 20-001 Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rate

What the bill does:

Refers a measure to the Nov. 2020 ballot to amend the state constitution to do the following: 

  • Eliminate the requirement to maintain a property tax assessment ratio of 45% residential property to 55% non-residential (including commercial) property
  • Eliminate the requirement for the General Assembly to periodically adjust the residential assessment rate to maintain this ratio
  • Freeze the residential property tax assessment rate at the current levels of 7.15% for residential property and 29% for non-residential property

Why we support the bill: In 1982, voters approved a constitutional measure called the Gallagher Amendment which requires a property tax assessment ratio of 45% residential/55% non-residential be maintained between each assessment cycle. In effect, this froze the non-residential property tax rate at 29% and allowed the residential property assessment rate to decline over time. The residential rate is projected to decline from 7.15% to 5.88% next year.

Repealing the Gallagher Amendment now would freeze the non-residential rate and prevent further reductions in the residential assessment rate. If the latter rate continues to decline, property tax revenues for schools, fire departments, health districts, and other public services that receive this funding will also decline. 

We supported SCR 20-001 because getting rid of the Gallagher Amendment would not only prevent forthcoming declines in funding for local public services, it would stop the trend of increasing the amount of property taxes owed by businesses and nonprofits to maintain the 45:55 ratio.