2016 House Bills

Number of bills rated

Bills supported

Bills Opposed

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OpposeHB16-1001: State Contracts Certify Compliance With Equal Pay Laws
Position: Oppose

This bill requires a business that bids for a contract with a governmental body submit a certification that it is in compliance with state and federal equal pay standards and laws. There would be created a form for businesses to use to certify that they, as well as their subcontractors, are in compliance with equal pay standards and laws and that, if awarded a contract, they will remain in compliance with such standards and laws throughout the term of the contract. They would have to keep and maintain certain information related to their employees, broken down into categories by gender, race, ethnicity, and national origin, for the term of the contract with the governmental body. Because, only government should tell grown-ups how to work together.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1002: Employee Leave Attend Child’s Academic Activities
Position: Oppose

In 2009, the general assembly enacted the “Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act”, which allowed an employee to leave work for the purpose of attending academic activities for or with their child. The law outlined various nanny-state provisions such as hourly limits, employee permission slip requirements, etc. The law mercifully had a repeal provision for Sept 1, 2015, so it was repealed last fall and the world did not come to a stop. For most people, anyway. The bill has now been resurrected and put on steroids, never to die again, continuing on in perpetuity.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1003: Middle Class College Savings Act
Position: Oppose

Well this looks familiar. Why don’t we just quote ourselves from last year, “This one is a stunner – class warfare redistributionist policy at its finest. This bill takes the existing deductibility for the CollegeInvest savings program in Colorado and makes it highly progressive. Make less than $ 150,000 a year? DOUBLE your deduction! Make over $ 500,000 a year? NO deduction for you! These legislators talk about wanting to help people succeed, but God forbid you actually do, because if you become successful then you go from being showered with enabling policies funded with other peoples’ money to being hunted down and plundered to fund enabling policies for other people. Here’s an idea – how about doing NEITHER of those?”

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1004: Measurable Goals Deadlines CO Climate Action Plan
Position: Oppose

Here we go, some new ideas to cripple the economy in Colorado with the ol’ Climate Control Clamps. This bill requires the state climate action plan to include specific measurable goals, the achievement of which will allegedly either reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions or increase Colorado’s adaptive capability to respond to climate change, along with associated near-term, mid-term, and long-term deadlines to achieve the goals. We can see the unicorns just beyond the fluffy clouds in the sky now… spewing their carbon… on their way to Wyoming…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
NotRatedHB16-1006: Clarify Tax Exemptions For Housing Authorities
Position: NotRated

Position: Not Rated

2/8/16 Update: Not Rated. We originally rated this bill as oppose. The principle reason for that rating was that the bill struck existing statute which clarified that the portion of a project that was exempt from taxation was only for residential use (“The portion of a project that is not used as a store, office, or other commercial facility that is occupied by persons of low income… shall likewise be exempt from taxation.”) By striking this language, we thought that the door would be thrown wide open to potential abuse of the tax code for commercial, not residential, use. We were contacted by a legislator regarding our rating on the bill, and when we explained the detail behind our position, we were told that some others had brought up the same issue. As a result, there has been an amendment to the bill to address this objection. Based on our reading and understanding of the bill as now amended, POL will change our rating from Oppose to No Rating. While we’re not excited about the underlying premise of the relevant statutes, we see the bill, as amended, as making clarifications to existing statute, and not applying principles (positively or negatively) to effect substantially new statute.

Previous rating: Oppose. Under current law, a housing authority is exempt from any taxes or fees payable to the state, any subdivision thereof, and all levels of local government. All property owned by or leased to an authority for a project that benefits low-income households is exempt from taxation. The bill clarifies that this exemption applies to property owned by or leased to any subsidiary of a housing authority, including an entity that is wholly owned by a housing authority, an entity in which a housing authority has an ownership interest, and an entity in which a subsidiary has an ownership interest. Under current law, only residential property inhabited by low-income households is eligible for the exemption. This bill repeals this eligibility requirement, expanding the exemption to all property owned by or leased to a subsidiary of an authority. Because transfer of wealth schemes shouldn’t include government (#sarcasm).

OpposeHB16-1008: Roadway Shoulder Access For Buses
Position: Oppose

This bill would authorize the department of transportation to designate an area on a roadway not otherwise laned for traffic (i.e. the road shoulder) for use by commercial vehicles designed to transport sixteen passengers or more, that are operated by a governmental entity or government-owned business that transports the general public or by a contractor on behalf of such an entity or government-owned business. Creates special privileges and advantages for government owned or controlled transportation services.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1011: Metro Dist Authority Promote Business Development
Position: Oppose

Under current law, the board of a metropolitan district has the power to provide activities in support of business recruitment, management, and development within the district if the valuation assessment of the commercial property within the district is more than$ 1.25 billion dollars. The bill removes the specified minimum valuation of commercial property for a metropolitan district’s board to provide activities in support of business development within the district. Currently only one metropolitan district, the Southwest Public Improvement Metropolitan District, has sufficient commercial valuation to qualify for business development activities. There are an additional 1,472 metropolitan districts that will qualify for business development activities. Just what we need, more government entities throwing away hard-earned taxpayer dollars picking winners and losers and “investing” in business in the name of creating jobs.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1013: Sch Dist Crime Insurance In Lieu Of Bonds
Position: Support

Current law requires the secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, and assistant treasurer of a school board and any person authorized by the board to be the custodian of money of the school district to obtain a surety bond before taking office. Additionally, a school board is required to obtain and pay for a surety bond for any person who is likely to have custody of $ 50 or more of school district money. This bill allows school districts to purchase crime insurance instead of surety bonds. Choice is good.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1014: SOS Business Intelligence Center
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the business intelligence center program within the department of state. The purpose of the program is to provide resources and access to “public business and economic data” collected by state agencies. The business intelligence center advisory board is created in the department to assist the department in the operation of the program. This bill is based on the idea that the role of government is to be a purveyor of data for businesses and the general public. While this could be useful data, collecting, packaging and giving away data is not the role of government. There is a cost to all of us as taxpayers. (We look forward to seeing the fiscal note on this one.) We’d rather see the government focus on executing its proper roles and not on providing business services for “free”.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1016: Using Multiple Measures Of Student Academic Growth
Position: Oppose

This bill creates a grant program in the Colorado Department of Education to assist local education providers (i.e. school districts, etc.) to develop and apply multiple measures of student academic growth. Grants will be used to develop multiple ways to measure student academic growth that are in addition to summative statewide assessments. The fiscal note is $ 20,000,000.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1021: Race Info ID Application
Position: Oppose

The bill requires that an application for a driver’s license or state identification card include the opportunity for the applicant to self-identify his or her race or ethnicity on a voluntary basis. The race or ethnicity information will not be printed on the driver’s license or identification card but will be included in the information on the magnetic strip on the card. The information shall not be available to a law enforcement officer when making a stop. The idea is to be able to collect data with respect to racial profiling. Given that the DL/ID database has all the information necessary to confirm an identity, there is no need for this entry. If we are to promote equal protection under the law, race/ethnicity should make no difference.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1022: Full-day Kindergarten Funding
Position: Oppose

According to data collected by the Colorado Department of Education, 168 out of 178 school districts currently offer full-day K, but pay for the program in different ways. Some districts may use operating revenue from total program funding, a general mill levy override, or other funds available to the district; some districts have a fee-based program; and two districts have a dedicated mill levy for full-day K. Under current law, students who are enrolled in kindergarten are counted as half-day students for purposes of school finance, and each school district receives an additional .08 of a full-day student for each enrolled kindergarten student. This bill increases the calculation to provide funding for full-day kindergarten. The biggest argument we’ve seen so far for this is to provide taxpayer funded babysitting so parents can work. Both sides of early education debate have their pet studies to point to, but overall, studies have been mixed, at best, as to the long term effectiveness of early ed, but there are just some bureaucratic “experts” who simply don’t believe that you, dear taxpayer, are capable of preparing your child for the 1st grade. Cost of funding for the state = $ 242,900,000 per year.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1023: Deadly Force Against An Intruder At A Business
Position: Support

But those darned unicorns better not land without flight clearance at your place of business, or else… make my day better! Last year our report stated, “POL has supported this legislation in the past and does again this year. Anyone watch the HBO Documentary on the massacre at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi in 2013? Heard of Charlie Hebdo this week? You are your own first responder.” You can fill in your own updated events for this year. You are still your own first responder.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Property Rights
SupportHB16-1024: Repeal Ammo Magazine Prohibition
Position: Support

This bill would repeal recent legislation passed to limit magazine capacities for firearms. POL opposed that legislation when run, and supports this legislation to repeal.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1025: Renewal Property Casualty Insurance
Position: Support

Multiple insurance companies that are owned or controlled by one entity are considered a group. This bill expands the definition of “renewal” or “to renew” when used with an automobile insurance policy to clarify that a policy that replaces an expired policy, may be issued by another admitted company within the same insurance group, rather than necessarily the issuer of the original policy. This bill codifies a current practice of insurance groups. Anything that makes it the slightest bit easier to do business in Colorado is a good thing.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1028: FPPA Statewide Death & Disab Plan Modifications
Position: Support

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1036: History And Culture In Civil Government
Position: Oppose

Under current law, Colorado’s public schools are required to teach the history and civil government of the United States, including the history, culture and contributions of American Indians, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans. This bill requires that schools also teach the history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans. The bill creates the 15-member History, Culture, and Civil Government in Education Commission with specific ethnic quotas. The commission must assist the CDE and local school boards with the creation of content standards and instructional programs that address the bill’s expanded requirements; participate in community forums held by school districts related to civic education; and make recommendations for revising state education standards to the CDE and the SBE. In addition, school districts are required to hold community forums on civics content standards once every two years instead of the current requirement of every 10 years, another unfunded mandate in the name of political correctness.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1037: Income Tax Credit Empl Of Persons With Disab
Position: Oppose

“Concerning the Creation of an Income Tax Credit to Incentivize the Employment of Persons With Disabilities.” The bill creates an income tax credit with 2 different incentives for employers in order to encourage the employment of persons with. It would provide a credit for a certain percentage of the employee’s gross wages for a limited period of time, and it would provide a 3-year credit for a portion of the annual costs the employer incurs for the maintenance, repair, or upgrade of assistive hardware or software technology that is specifically designed for use by the employee in order to perform his or her job. We’re surprised there was no carve out for Wal-mart. (Shhhh, don’t give them any ideas.)

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1039: Interstate 70 Motor Vehicle Traction Equipment
Position: Oppose

Here we go again. A reading of Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-106 (5) makes it clear that there are already laws on the books for the Department of Transportation to restrict travel, require chains, etc. Current law also spells out the enhanced penalties that are applied when someone doesn’t obey said restrictions and jams up traffic. This bill requires certain snow tires, equipment, etc. over stretches of I25 when “icy or snow-packed conditions are present”, as well as carrying “appropriate traction equipment if icy or snow-packed conditions are not present”, and use ““appropriate traction equipment if icy or snow-packed conditions are present.” More nanny-state from government knows best.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1041: Repeal Bonding Requirement Marijuana Businesses
Position: Support

Under current law, licensed medical marijuana businesses and retail marijuana establishments must procure and file a $ 5,000 surety bond with the Department of Revenue. Retail marijuana cultivation facilities are required to post a surety bond equal to two months of their anticipated tax liability. Since bonds for medical marijuana businesses and retail marijuana establishments are unavailable in the current marketplace (probably due to being illegal federally) this bonding requirement places an unreasonable burden on the ability of these businesses to carry out their business. This bill repeals the bonding requirement.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1042: Liquor License Exemption Higher Ed Brewing Program
Position: Support

Woo-hoo! Some common sense appears! The bill creates an exemption from licensing requirements under the “Colorado Beer Code” and the “Colorado Liquor Code” for state institutions of higher education that engage in manufacturing and tasting of beer for teaching or research purposes. The exemption applies only if the higher education institution does not offer its manufactured beer for sale and allows only students, employees, or expert tasters who are at least 21 years of age to taste the beer, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1045: Starting The Child Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

This bill title is somewhat deceptive (shocking). In 2013 the legislature passed SB13-001, which would have created a refundable Colorado child tax credit, effective upon passage by Congress of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (or similar legislation) and adoption of House Bill 13-1295 (which POL also opposed that year), which simplifies the collection of sales taxes from out-of-state retailers to meet the requirements the Marketplace Fairness Act. The Marketplace Fairness Act is a federal bill that requires out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes to states that have met minimum simplification requirements for sales tax administration. So in return for an internet tax, this child tax credit was to be the beneficiary (this is called “redistribution” – taxing from some and giving to others). That legislation, SB13-001, was passed without a single Republican vote in either chamber. Alas, the federal “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” didn’t pan out, so this tax credit has not been implemented in Colorado. This current bill, HB16-1045 says ‘oh, what the heck, let’s just start giving away the tax credit anyway.’ BTW, the fiscal note from 2013 estimated the cost at $ 23,000,000 per year. The current fiscal note estimates the cost at $ 67,000,000 in the first year an increasing from there, about 3x the expected cost. Can you say DOA…?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
SupportHB16-1047: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Position: Support

This is a bipartisan bill that enacts and authorizes the governor to enter into an interstate compact with other states to recognize and allow physicians licensed in a compact member state to obtain an expedited license, enabling them to practice medicine in Colorado or another member state. Easing licensing? Good. The bill is long (30 pages), complicated and somewhat burdensome, but it’s a step in the right direction.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1048: Expand Business Enterprise Program
Position: Oppose

This bill expands a preferential licensing program to include property owned, leased or occupied by higher education institutions or the state fair authority for priority to persons who are blind and licensed vendors to operate vending facilities through the Business Enterprise Program (BEP). The bill also expands the scope of the program to include businesses other than vending facilities on state property. This is all based on the Federal 1936 Randolph-Sheppard Act, which, among other things, created a priority for the operation of blind vending facilities on all Federal property. This is a hard one, because how can you be against legislation for any group of people with such a physical challenge? POL believes that the human spirit can indeed overcome great challenges in a free market without government mandates. The key is this part of Colorado Revised Statutes which says, “In authorizing vending facilities OR OTHER BUSINESSES on state property, the department shall give priority to persons who are blind and who are licensed by the department in order to enlarge the economic opportunities of persons who are blind by providing remunerative employment and to stimulate persons who are blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting.” Giving priority is the principle problem.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
SupportHB16-1049: Crowdfunding Escrow In Depository Institutions
Position: Support

This bill modifies (broadens) the definition of the type of institution that must be used to set up an escrow account for holding the proceeds of a sale of intrastate securities to be a “depository institution” rather than a specific type of financial institution. It also allows the escrow account to be terminated and its proceeds to be disbursed when the minimum offering amount has been raised, rather than the maximum amount.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1050: Low-income Parents Ed Child Care
Position: Oppose

This bill creates a task force to address issues relating to the child care needs of low-income parents. Its mission is to develop strategies and procedures for state and local agencies, and institutions of higher education, to use in coordinating efforts that address the child care needs of low-income parents who are seeking to advance their education. Specifically, the task force is required to identify and reduce barriers to obtaining child care; determine whether state, federal, and campus-based financial resources are meeting the needs of parents pursuing further education; review and streamline administrative processes for the provision of child care; create a plan for communicating child care availability and processes; and recommend legislation to address issues related to child care for parents pursuing further education. Because, you should be required to pay for your neighbors’ childcare.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1051: Forms To Transfer Vehicle Ownership Upon Death
Position: Support

This bill requires the Department of Revenue to create and provide a beneficiary designation form that allows a vehicle owner or joint vehicle owners to arrange a transfer of vehicle ownership to a named beneficiary upon owner’s or owners’ death. Upon death of the owner or last surviving joint owner, the beneficiary presents the notarized form, as well as proof of death and the auto title transfer fee to DOR to request a new title of vehicle ownership in his or her name. This type of transfer allows you to avoid Probate. This bill will make it easier for people to manage their property rights with less government intrusion.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1052: Wildfire Mitigation Income Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

The bill changes the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction to the wildfire mitigation income tax credit. An income tax deduction reduces a taxpayer’s taxable income. The maximum tax impact possible right now would be a deduction of $ 2,500 from income. Reducing your income subject to Colorado’s 4.63% income tax by $ 2,500 would result in a tax savings of $ 115.75. The proposed tax credit would reduce a taxpayer’s tax liability by taking a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes owed. The proposed tax credits would generate a tax savings of up to $ 2,500, with a 5 year carry forward. So a person making $ 53,996 of taxable Colorado income would have a tax bill of 4.63% x $ 53,966 = $ 2,500, completely wiped out with a $ 2,500 tax credit for spending $ 10,000 to clear brush from around their house. Going from a tax savings of $ 115.75 to $ 2,500 is more than a 2000% increase. Maybe someone should think this one through.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1055: No State Prerequisites To Sue US Federal Torts
Position: Support

This bill clarifies that there are no prerequisites in state law, other than those applicable to a tort committed by a party other than the United States, to sue the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act. This would come in handy given the Gold King Mine spill which resulted from the EPA’s management, especially since New Mexico is reportedly preparing to sue Colorado (as well as the EPA and the mine owners). Not that our governor would ever consider such a thing…

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
OpposeHB16-1060: Colorado State Patrol Roadside Memorials
Position: Oppose

While our rating is unchanged for this bill, I need to re-write this explanation. An astute lawmaker challenged my write-up last week because I had mentioned cost as a factor in my write-up, but that did not match up with our principle as cited in our worksheet/analysis, because there was not a government cost incurred by the bill. Good catch. Here is the proper write-up: This bill requires the department of transportation to erect a permanent roadside memorial for a Colorado state patrol officer who has died on a highway in the line of duty. If people want to apply to the Department of Transportation to erect memorials, the Colorado Revised Statutes provides for this in 43-2-149, which allows the department to take those applications and do just that. Individuals and Foundations can already do this. This bill would mandate that the department erect these memorials for patrol officers. It is not the role of government to mandate memorials, even if for a meaningful cause. We considered also citing our principle of Equal Protection of the Rule of Law because this bill creates a government mandate for a specific class of people, but we did not utilize that principle because even if you created this mandate for every person who dies along a Colorado highway, it is still not the role of government to erect monuments for them all. We had a surprising number of volunteers send this bill in to us stating their opposition.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1065: Income Tax Credit For Home Health Care
Position: Oppose

This bill creates an income tax credit to qualifying seniors over 75 for various costs of home modifications, home health care services, and durable and telehealth equipment related to home health care. Having gone through such costs for immediate family, we’re all too familiar with these costs, but we don’t believe that the state is responsible for subsidizing these private costs.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1067: Regional Transportation Authority Mill Levy
Position: Oppose

This bill extends the authority of Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs) to impose a property tax of five mills until January 1, 2029, if approved by voters. Under current law, they are permitted to levy this property tax only until 2019.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1070: Signature Verification In Mun Mail Ballot Election
Position: Support

Signature verification for mail ballots is currently only performed for municipal elections conducted as part of a coordinated election by a county clerk. For other non-coordinated elections under the Municipal Election Code, signature verification is not done for mail ballots. This bill requires an election judge to compare the signature on each ballot return envelope with the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system (SCORE) for every municipal mail ballot election. The use of a signature verification device for this purpose is authorized. This bill also requires that municipal clerks be given access to the digitized signatures in SCORE and that clerks provide training in signature comparison to election judges. Elections should ensure 1 person, 1 vote.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
NotRatedHB16-1073: Electrical Industry Safety And Training Act
Position: NotRated

Update 2/18: Not Rated. After reviewing the testimony in committee and dialoguing with legislators, we are moving this bill into a No Rate position. The bill does some positive things, such as easing the process of license renewal for electricians. On the other hand, the bill adds the requirement that inspectors conduct a contemporaneous review of the credentials of electricians and apprentices working at a job site and requires the state, local government, or qualified institution of higher education that employs/oversees inspectors to develop standard procedures for how to conduct those reviews. We’re still a little unclear how this is currently being done and whether this element is an easing of current processes or adding new ones.At the end of the day, not being fans of regulation in general, we are not going to go to a position of Support, but we have moved from Oppose to No Rate.

Previous Position: Oppose. Under current law, an applicant seeking renewal of a license to be a journeyman electrician, a master electrician, or a residential wireman must demonstrate competency through an assessment performed by a private company in compliance with state electrical board (board) rules. This bill increases the requirements and also requires that inspections by towns, cities, counties, or a qualified state institution of higher education must include a contemporaneous review to ensure compliance with the new licensure requirements.

NotRatedHB16-1077: Recreate Statutory Revision Committee
Position: NotRated

5/5/16 Update: Not Rated.
This bill initially opposed the principle of Limited Government by creating a new committee directed to search for anachronisms or defects in the law and to recommend reforms it deems necessary to “bring the law into harmony with modern conditions.” The fiscal note estimated that the committee would introduce an average of 10-20 bills per year. In the Senate, this bill was amended to specify that the committee shall propose legislation only to streamline, reduce, or repeal provisions, and that the committee shall endeavor to recommend legislation that cumulatively has no net increase in the number of laws or pages in the Colorado Revised Statutes (Colorado state laws).

Previous rating: Oppose

This bill will clearly expand government. While the title makes it sound like it will cull out antiquated legislation, the fiscal note admits that they assume that this committee, which is exempt from the individual 5 bill limit for legislators, will introduce an average of 10-20 bills per year. There is a small cost in the fiscal note, but the cost is only calculated for the committee to meet twice a year to come up with their legislative wish list. For some reason the fiscal note assumptions do not include the actual costs of running said new 10-20 bills per year, which would be far higher than what is shown in the fiscal note, and would result in 10-20 more bills every year that will inevitably expand government far more often than not.

OpposeHB16-1079: Pesticide-free Cannabis Certification Program
Position: Oppose

This bill directs the commissioner of agriculture to create rules governing a program to enable consumers to identify medical & retail marijuana and industrial hemp that have been cultivated pesticide-free (“organically”). The department of agriculture is to certify third parties who can certify whether the marijuana or hemp cultivated or processed at a particular facility is free of pesticides and allows marijuana product labels to include a standardized notification that the marijuana has been certified as being pesticide-free. This is a perfect example of government doing what the market should be doing instead. If any company or industry wants to tout certain beneficial processes, then they should do so via self-regulatory processes. If they so choose, they should determine the standards, monitor compliance, and pay for it, all on their own. The idea that only government can do this job is absurd. Some will cry, “But only government is unbiased and can do this!” To which we reply that this very fact that government has zero skin in the game is why they have no motivation to do an excellent job. Who is more motivated to enact stringent requirements than the very players who have the most to gain from being recognized for their high standards? Quit begging for more government blessings and create your own.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1081: Obsolete Reporting Dept Health Care Policy & Fin
Position: Support

We often hear from you that you want to see legislators actually REPEAL stuff. Well, here you go! This is a bi-partisan bill that does just that. This bill repeals the requirements that the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) submit reports to the General Assembly on a number of topics. The bill reduces workload in HCPF by a minimal amount by eliminating these reports. Some of these reports deal with programs that no longer exist or startup planning for programs that have already been implemented. For other reports, information has been incorporated into different state or federal reports. One small step for reducing government!

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1084: Home Brewing By Adult For Personal Use
Position: Support

Under current law, a “head of a family” is allowed to brew beer for family use without obtaining a liquor license. This bill deletes the terminology “head of a family” and “family use” and replaces it with “adult” and “personal use”. An incremental gain in libation liberty. That’s two bills by Lebsock & Holbert – one on marijuana and one on home brewing. Are they starting a “Party Caucus”?

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1085: Simplified Name Change After Divorce
Position: Support

Under current law, persons currently involved in a divorce or separation proceeding may request restoration of a prior name as part of those proceedings without undergoing a background check or publication of the name change. For other name change petitions submitted to the court, a background check is required so that the court can ensure that the name change is not for the purposes of fraud, to avoid the consequences of a prior criminal conviction, or to facilitate future criminal activity. This bill simplifies the process for a person to restore a prior name after a divorce or legal separation has been finalized if he or she did not initially request such a name change during the divorce or separation proceedings. Specifically, the bill eliminates the need for a background check for persons requesting a post-decree restoration of a prior name.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1088: Fire Protection Dist Impact Fee On New Development
Position: Oppose

This bill authorizes the board of a fire protection district to impose an impact fee on any new construction, including oil and gas development, on improved or unimproved property within the district’s jurisdiction. The impact fee must be reasonably related to the district’s cost to provide services and imposed according to a fee schedule duly adopted by the district’s board. Want to put up a new barn, outbuilding, or add on to your house? You’ll have to pay more fees. This is like FASTER for Fires, a work-around TABOR by imposing “fees”.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1089: Endowment Or Institutional Fund Gift Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

This bill creates a tax credit of 25% of the contribution, up to a max of $ 25,000, for contributions to qualified endowments or institutional funds (but not private foundations or donor advised funds). For starters, Colorado income tax is based off of federal taxable income. That federal taxable income number will have already been reduced (assuming one itemizes, and a person who donates a lot of money to foundations will itemize) by their contribution. So a donor will already have the benefit of the deduction of their contribution from their taxable income at the state level. This is a new tax credit, which would be applied in addition at the state level, which arguably creates a 22-times bigger reduction in Colorado income tax paid than a deduction in income will create ( $ 1 / 4.63% = 21.6x). Instead of creating massive opportunities for some donors to avoid paying Colorado income tax, how about maintaining a level playing field for everyone? Benevolence should be driven by a donor’s philanthropy, not his accountant’s tax reduction schemes and subsidized by the rest of Coloradans through legislated loopholes.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1090: Excess Foreclosure Proceeds Limit Finder’s Fees
Position: Oppose

This bill limits the “finder’s fee” that a person may charge for offering assistance in recovering the balance of the purchase price of foreclosed property after all liens and claims against the property have been satisfied. The bill also voids any contract for payment of a finder’s fee during the first 6 months of the public trustee’s custody of the funds and during the first 2 years of the state treasurer’s custody of the funds, and caps the finder’s fee at 20% of the amount recovered once these periods expire. For amounts that have been in the custody of the state treasurer for 3 years or more, the finder’s fee is capped at 30%. Government, once again, intervening in private transactions.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1095: Health Insurance For Prescription Eye Drop Refills
Position: Oppose

The bill mandates that health insurance plans enhance coverage for renewing an eye drop medication prescription for under certain conditions. The required prescription eye drop coverage under the bill is subject to the same deductibles, copayment, or coinsurance established for all other prescription drug benefits under the health plan. Because mandating products/services is the role of government. /NOT

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1097: PUC Permit For Medicaid Transportation Providers
Position: Support

The bill creates a new category of limited regulation carriers that allows providers of nonemergency transportation to Medicaid clients to operate under a limited regulation permit from the public utilities commission rather than require them to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity. This bill slightly reduces government regulation.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1099: Repeal Of Mutual Consent Teacher Assignment Reqmt
Position: Oppose

Under existing law, if a tenured teacher is removed from a teaching assignment within a school district, the teacher must secure a mutual consent assignment at another school of the school district within a certain time or be placed on unpaid leave. In other words, instead of forcing that teacher who was rated as ineffective onto another school, the teacher has to find a school that will take them voluntarily. This provision was set into law in 2010 with the bi-partisan bill SB10-191 titled “Concerning Ensuring Quality Instruction Through Educator Effectiveness.” This bill takes us back to the days before SB10-191 and requires each school district to force-assign or dismiss (with due process) each teacher who was unable to find a school that would voluntarily hire them. Plus, in the new assignment, the teacher must receive the same level of salary and benefits that the teacher would have received if he or she had not been “displaced”. This bill is yet another attempt to undermine the bi-partisan legislation from 2010 that enacted some modicum of accountability in education. Because, protecting ineffective teachers is, for the children…?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1102: Drug Production Costs Transparency Requirements
Position: Oppose

The bill requires that drug manufacturers submit a report to the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care outlining a boatload of information about their drug development, expenses, profits, history of price increases, etc. – pretty much everything. Spun as “transparency”, the bill is a massive government intrusion into an entire industry.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1109: Application Of State Water Law To Federal Agencies
Position: Support

This bill states that Colorado water is a transferable property right and that the federal government must comply with state law, through the water court process, to acquire water rights. The bill prohibits the State Engineer and the division engineers in the Department of Natural Resources from enforcing or administering efforts by the United States Forest Service (USFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that require a full or partial transfer of ownership in a water right to the USFS or the BLM, restricts the use or alienability of the water right as a condition for an authorization to use federally owned lands, or requires a third party that supplies water to a federal special use permit holder to supply the water for a set period of time or in a set amount.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
SupportHB16-1111: Same Day Voter Registration With Photo ID
Position: Support

Under current law, eligible electors may register to vote at any time prior to voting, including on election day. If this bill is approved by voters in the 2016 general election, anyone who registers to vote on election day or within the 22 days prior to an election must, in addition to meeting existing requirements, provide one of several types of valid photo identification. This bill supports equal protection of law by using photo identification to help ensure citizenship, that each citizen can only vote once, and that each citizen can only vote in the state in which they reside.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1112: Training Vets To Train Service Dogs Pilot Program
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the “Training Veterans to Train Their Own Service Dogs” pilot program, as well as a fund to pay for it. Of course, pilot programs are always deemed wildly successful and lead to expansion of the program and, ultimately, more funding. This may be a nice idea for a non-profit organization, but it is not the role of state government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1116: Public Forum On Micro-credentialing
Position: Oppose

This bill directs the executive officer of the state board for community colleges and occupational education to hold a public forum to discuss a model for micro-credentialing. The bill specifies the minimum topics for discussion, including how micro-credentials would be used, the types of skills and knowledge the micro-credentials would document, the platform for hosting micro-credentials, and protocols for protecting the security of micro-credentials. What are micro-credentials, you ask? The bill states that “Within and outside of the classroom, students often engage in project-based and experiential learning by which they attain knowledge and skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, that are essential for productive employment and effective citizenship, but are not recognized or identified through an assessment score or a course grade.” So in an effort to generate some accomplishment, we need government to create micro-credentialing. We thought this was what most people called a resume.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1117: Record Custodial Interrogations
Position: Support

The bill requires all law enforcement agencies to have audio-visual recording equipment available and policies and procedures in place for preserving custodial interrogations by January 1, 2017. A peace officer must record custodial interrogations occurring in a permanent detention facility if the peace officer is investigating a class 1 or 2 felony or a felony sexual assault.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1120: Rabies Vaccinations For Dogs & Cats
Position: Oppose

This bill requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccine is to be administered by a licensed veterinarian according to national standards. The veterinarian will issue a vaccination certificate, tag, and a means for attaching the tag to the animal’s collar. A pet owner is required to have an animal vaccinated no later than 90 days after acquiring the animal or 90 days after the animal turns four months of age. We believe that current statute is sufficient. CRS 25-4-607 states that “(1) (a) When it is deemed advisable in the interest of public health and safety, the board of health of an organized health department or a county board of health may order that all dogs, cats, other pet animals, or other mammals in the county or district be vaccinated against rabies, such vaccination to be performed by a licensed veterinarian.” CRS 25-4-610 states that “It is unlawful for any owner of any dog, cat, other pet animal, or other mammal which has not been inoculated as required by the order of the county board of health or board of health of a health department to allow it to run at large. The health department or health officer may capture and impound any such dog, cat, other pet animal, or other mammal found running at large and dispose of such animal in accordance with local program policy.”

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1129: Charitable Fraud Enhanced Enforcement Measures
Position: Oppose

This bill creates enhanced penalties for committing acts of charitable fraud. The penalty for each violation is $ 10,000 with no cap for a related series of violations. The bill also requires that paid solicitors to either have a bond or a savings account, deposit, or certificate of deposit in a financial institution payable to the state of Colorado conditioned upon the performance of the paid solicitor in good faith without fraud or fraudulent representation and without the violation of any provision of the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act.” The bill makes it charitable fraud to misrepresent that a charitable organization for which a paid solicitor solicits has a significant membership of a certain type, and makes a charitable organization liable with a paid solicitor if the charitable organization knew or should have known that the paid solicitor was engaged in charitable fraud on behalf of the charitable organization. Opening the door to unlimited penalties and statutory language based on broad language like “should have known” and requiring any bond for the mere operation of a business violates the principles of limited government and free markets.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1133: HOA Managers Professional Responsibility & Disclosure
Position: Oppose

This bill consists of eight pages of new regulations. While it requires the director of the division of real estate to adopt less stringent credentialing, educational, and continuing educational requirements and lower license fees for small HOA managers, the bill also adds a host of new rules and regulations that HOA managers must obey, and requires directors to publish on the division of real estate’s website a searchable list of Community Association Managers and the HOAs they serve, including addresses, license status, and any pending complaints or disciplinary actions. It also specifies acts or omissions that constitute grounds for discipline of a licensed manager.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1134: Service-disabled Veteran-owned Bus In Procurement
Position: Oppose

In 2014, the General Assembly established a goal in the state procurement code to award 3 percent of all contracts, by dollar value, to SDVO businesses. HB 14-1224 allows a state agency to grant a preference to SDVO businesses to satisfy the procurement goal. POL opposed that bill. Under current law, there is a goal, rather than a requirement, to award 3 percent of all state contracts to SDVO businesses. This bill requires 1 percent of all state contracts, by dollar value, to be awarded to service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVO) businesses. This requirement increases to 2 percent in FY 2017-18 and to 3 percent in FY 2018-19 and beyond. The bill also expands qualifying SDVO businesses to include subcontractors.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1136: Multiple Crew Members Required For Freight Trains
Position: Oppose

The bill requires a common carrier engaged in the transportation of property by railroad to have at least 2 crew members aboard a railroad train or light engine operated in connection with carrying freight while the freight train or light engine is moving. A violation of the requirement is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $ 250 to $ 1,000 for a first offense, $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 for a second offense committed within 3 years, or $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 for a third or subsequent offense committed within 3 years.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1137: Nicotine Products Warning Label
Position: Oppose

This bill requires any packaged nicotine product that does not contain tobacco and is offered for sale in this state on or after January 1, 2017, to have a conspicuously placed warning label on the package stating that the product contains addictive nicotine. The labeling requirement expressly applies to nicotine-containing dissolvables, lotions, gels, and drinks and to liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids that are used with electronic nicotine delivery systems such as electronic cigarettes. The penalty scheme for violations of the warning label requirement is the same as for violations of the prohibition against selling nicotine products to a minor.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1141: Radon Exposure In Buildings
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to establish a radon education and awareness program to provide information and education statewide to citizens, businesses, and others in need of information. The CDPHE will work with radon contractors and citizens to resolve questions and concerns about radon mitigation systems. The CDPHE will collaborate with local governments to provide information on best practices for radon mitigation strategies. By January 1, 2017, the CDPHE is required to establish a radon mitigation assistance program to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals for radon mitigation services.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1142: Rural & Frontier Health Care Preceptor Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

For tax years 2017, 2018, and 2019, this bill creates a state income tax credit for licensed Colorado health care professionals who provide personalized instruction, training, and supervision to one or more graduate students seeking a medical degree at a Colorado institution for higher education. Instruction, training, and supervision must last at least four weeks during the income tax year in which the credit is claimed. To qualify, health care professionals must be practicing in a rural county (with a population of less than 25,000) or frontier county (with a population density of six or fewer people per square mile) of Colorado. This is similar to a bill we rated as oppose last year, trying to use tax code to manipulate outcomes that should be determined by the free market.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1143: Prohibit Red Light Cameras Photo Radar Auto ID Sys
Position: Support

This bill repeals the authorization for the state, a county, a city and county, or a municipality to use automated vehicle identification systems to identify violators of traffic regulations and issue citations based on photographic evidence and creates a prohibition on such activity. It also repeals the authorization for the department of public safety to use an automated vehicle identification system to detect speeding violations within a highway maintenance, repair, or construction zone.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1146: Born Alive Infant Protection Act
Position: Support

This bill defines, for the purposes of all statutes, “child”, “human being”, “individual”, and “person” as every infant human being who is born alive at any stage of development. This bill also defines “born alive”. This legislation appears to be modeled directly after the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002”. The “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002” was passed by Congress without a single vote against it by either R’s or D’s. It is the proper role of government to protect the lives of its citizens, and this bill ensures legal protection for the lives of newborns.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
SupportHB16-1154: Employer Definition Clarify Franchisee Status
Position: Support

This bill requires that a business have and exercise direct authority over an employee’s terms and conditions of employment in order to be classified as an employer. It also clarifies that a franchisor is not an employer of a franchisee or the franchisee’s employees, except when a Colorado court makes specific findings regarding the protection of the franchisor’s trademarks and brand. In essence, this bill says that franchise employees are employees of the franchisee, not the franchisor. So when an entrepreneur invests in a pizza or burger or dry-cleaning or whatever sort of franchise, and hires employees, then those are employees of that entrepreneur’s business, not of the corporate entity that granted the entrepreneur the franchise license.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
OpposeHB16-1160: Sunset Surgical Assistants Surgical Technicians
Position: Oppose

This bill continues the requirement that surgical technicians and surgical assistants register with the director of the division of professions and occupations in the department of regulatory agencies. Put into place in 2011, this is another regulatory experiment that has accomplished nothing other than to expand government and force the free market to ask, “Mother may I?” of the beneficent state.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1164: Transfer Immunization Exemption Duties To CDPHE
Position: Oppose

Under current law, parents or students seeking an exemption from immunization requirements are to submit the required documentation in support of the exemption to the student’s school. This bill appears to require parents of children attending public and private child care facilities, preschools, elementary or secondary schools through grade twelve and the majority of adult college students who want to delay or decline one or more of the vaccines to submit an exemption form directly to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Currently, public schools are required to get written consent from the parent before their child’s private information could be shared. Changing the submission of this information from the student’s school to the CDPHE eliminates certain protections of privacy currently afforded to students and their parents.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1166: Prohibit Seeking Salary History For Job Applicants
Position: Oppose

This bill makes it an unfair employment practice for an employer to seek salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment. Because individual’s don’t already have the ability to say no all by themselves and need the government to help them with employment negotiations (NOT).

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1167: Colorado Family First Employer Act
Position: Oppose

Quick, get out the duct tape before your head explodes. This bill directs the Department of Labor and Employment to create a taxpayer funded award program for employers who meet certain criteria, with a view to addressing the “wage gap” for women and minorities. Employers must prove that they provide equal opportunities for all employees “including women and people of color” to advance to leadership positions, have a pay system that meets specified criteria, provide childcare, offer paid leave for the birth/adoption of a child, and offer flexible work arrangements to accommodate family obligations. The certified businesses would be allowed to advertise their government certified family friendliness. Among other bad attributes, the bill’s declaration presents patently false choices such as employees having to pick between “putting their careers on hold,” or “leaving their children in unsafe or poor-quality child care.” How many times do we have to say it – if legislators are so awesome at running companies (they certainly seem to enjoy telling people how to run theirs), then why don’t they leave their current positions and start up awesome businesses producing unicorns while providing all these incredible benefits to their fabulous and adoring employees, all while somehow never going out of business or laying off a single soul? It is not the role of government to use your tax dollars to give out “gold stars” to businesses based upon legislators’ socio-political agendas.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1168: Sunset Rural Alcohol & Sub Abuse Treatment Prog
Position: Oppose

This bill extends the rural alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment program through September 1, 2025. The program provides prevention and treatment services to youth in rural areas and treatment services to persons addicted to alcohol or drugs through the rural detoxification project. It is the freedom of individuals to make choices for themselves and to own the consequences of those choices. It is also the freedom of individuals to provide charity to people in need. It is not the role of the state legislature to forcibly take money from Coloradans in order to provide taxpayer funded “charity”, because coerced charity is not charity at all.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1169: Ute Representatives For Transp Advisory Committee
Position: Oppose

The Statewide Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) provides advice to the Colorado Department of Transportation on transportation system needs, and reviews and comments on all regional transportation plans. There are currently one Southern Ute Tribe and one Ute Mountain Ute Tribe representatives who are appointed to the STAC as non-voting members. The bill alters the membership of the STAC to include one representative from the Southern Ute Tribe and one representative from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe as voting members. Anyone can already run for one of these voting positions.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1170: Sunset Division Racing Events
Position: Oppose

This bill extends the theoretical sunset (not many bills actually are allowed to ‘sunset’) of the division of racing events and the Colorado racing commission from 2016 to 2023. The Division of Racing Events is a regulatory, enforcement and pari-mutuel tax collecting agency of State Government. It is responsible for regulating all aspects of pari-mutuel horse and greyhound racing through licensing, on-site monitoring and enforcement. The racing commission is part of the Division of Racing Events, and is responsible for promulgating all the rules and regulations governing greyhound and horse racing in Colorado. The power to make laws is vested in the legislature, and the separation of the legislative and executive powers is one of the best structural safeguards against government overreach. Continuing to rule by regulatory fiat is not a role of government that POL supports.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1173: Sunset Continue Water Vessel Registration
Position: Oppose

Currently, machine or sail-powered vessels are required to be registered with the department of natural resources every year, along with the requisite fees. The law is scheduled to sunset this year. This bill extends the required annual boat registration indefinitely.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1176: Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Employee Purchase Prog
Position: Support

This bill authorizes a wholesaler licensed to sell vinous or spirituous liquors to establish a program to allow its employees to purchase directly from the wholesaler vinous or spirituous.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1178: In-state Tuition American Indian Tribes Ties To CO
Position: Oppose

This bill requires a state-supported institution of higher education to classify as an in-state student for tuition purposes a student who is a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe with historical ties to Colorado. A student classified as an in-state student pursuant to this tuition classification may be counted as a resident and is eligible for state financial aid and the college opportunity fund stipend.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
SupportHB16-1181: Local Government Fracking Ban Liable Royalties
Position: Support

The bill specifies that a local government that bans hydraulic fracturing of an oil and gas well is liable to the mineral interest owner for the value of the lost royalties. We’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating. A fundamental role of our state government is to protect life, liberty and property – that especially includes the property rights of every Coloradan. This is not a “local control” issue. It is a property rights issue. The only place that the Colorado Constitution delegates the authority of local control is for the provision of education to local school boards (there are some who would argue that this also applies to local Sheriffs, which is a reasonable point, but a somewhat different topic for another day). This bill would protect the property rights of the ultimate minority, that is the individual, from a localized tyranny of the majority.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Property Rights
OpposeHB16-1182: Sunset Commodity Metals Theft Task Force
Position: Oppose

The General Assembly created the task force in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 2011 to develop recommendations aimed at reducing the theft of commodity metals like copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. We rated HB11-1130, which established this commission in 2011, as an “Oppose” due to its expansion of government. We rate this bill’s continuation of the commission the same way.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1186: MAP-21 Rail Fixed Guideway Safety Fund Grant Match
Position: Oppose

In an effort to get more of that “free” federal money (we wonder where that money comes from…?) from the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”, this bill would divert $ 150,000 collected by the public utilities commission from the general fund to the Fixed Utility Fund to hold up as “matching” state dollars to attract the free federal money. The federal “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” is for rail fixed guideway system safety oversight.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1188: Separate Governmental Entity Transparency
Position: Support

The bill requires a separate legal entity established by a contract by a combination of political subdivisions of the state to file a copy of the contract and any amendments to the contract with the division of local government in the department of local affairs. Also, if such a legal entity issues bonds, notes, or other financial obligations, it becomes subject to the “Public Securities Information Reporting Act” and must file an annual information report, to the extent practical, as required by the act.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1191: Bill Of Rights For Persons Who Are Homeless
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the “Colorado Right to Rest Act”, which establishes ‘rights’ for persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the ‘right’ to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination, to rest in public spaces without discrimination, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property. Principles of Liberty supports the equal protection of the law for ALL citizens, including citizens that are homeless. This bill creates a special class of citizens (the homeless) who already possess the same right to the equal protection of the law afforded to ALL citizens. As we state in our definition of this principle: “It is not the role of government to create a special group or class of citizens for protection or punishment, special treatment or penalties.” Creating special classes of citizens violates the POL principle of equal protection of the law.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1194: Income Tax Deduction For Leasing Out Ag Asset
Position: Oppose

This bill creates an income tax deduction for taxpayers that lease an agricultural asset, defined as land, crops, livestock, livestock facilities, farm equipment, grain storage, or irrigation equipment, to a beginning farmer or rancher satisfying certain qualifications. In order for the lessor to receive a deduction, the beginning farmer or rancher lessee must meet several specific criteria. While we love “Ag”, our principles are pretty clear that using the tax code to specifically incent/discourage behavior or intervene in the free market is not the role of government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1196: Aspire To College Colorado Pilot Program
Position: Oppose

The bill creates the Aspire to College Colorado pilot program within the Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS is required to make an initial deposit of $ 50 into a college savings account for up to 2,000 low income, preschool-age children per year, for up to three years. DHS is required to adopt rules for the program, including eligibility, additional monetary contributions, and data collection to evaluate the program. The bill also creates the Aspire to College Colorado Pilot Program Fund (fund). The fund may also include gifts, grants, and donations, and any money transferred or appropriated to it by the General Assembly. The ol’ ‘gifts, grants and donations’ to try to help prime the pump… we’ve seen how that plays out. Too bad we’re limiting the number of applicable principles to only three this year.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1198: Computer Courses Fulfill Graduation Requirements
Position: Oppose

This bill encourages school districts to count a computer science or coding course as fulfilling a graduation requirement in a mathematics or science subject area. It directs the state board of education, when revising the preschool through elementary and secondary education standards in mathematics and science, to include knowledge and skills in computer science. The bill also directs the department of education to create and maintain a resource bank including national model standards, model programs of instruction, model curricula, and model materials for professional educator development. While the bill does avoid directly mandating local school board activity, it is a top-down approach that utilizes massive resources to create “suggestions”, “encouragement” and “models”. Education is the one thing that the state constitution delegates to local school boards, let’s leave it there.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1199: Eliminate Bill Limit Exemption Interim Committee Bills
Position: Support

Many of you will LOVE this one. A bill to limit bills! Ever wonder why we have 100 legislators who are limited to 5 bills each, but we end up with more like 650 bills or more a year instead of “just” 500? While members of the general assembly generally may not introduce more than 5 bills during a session, exceptions exist for bills recommended by various committees and such. This bill limits all those little bill factories, just like it limits the legislators. That’s a good start.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1202: Mandatory Employer E-verify Participation
Position: Oppose

Current law requires employers in Colorado to examine the legal work status of newly hired employees, within 20 days after hiring, using paper-based forms of identification. This bill will instead require all employers, upon hiring a new employee on or after January 1, 2017, to participate in the federal electronic verification program (e-verify program) to determine the work eligibility status of newly hired employees. This bill also imposes penalties of up to $ 5,000 for a first offense and up to $ 25,000 for a second offense, and the employer is subject to a fine of up to $ 25,000 and suspension of all the employer’s business licenses for up to 6 months for subsequent offenses. While we don’t disagree that this bill attempts to address a legitimate problem, and that immigration is a federal issue, imposing a questionable federal program is not necessarily the best solution.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
SupportHB16-1204: Allow Concealed Carry On Public School Grounds
Position: Support

With certain exceptions, current law limits concealed carry permit holders from carrying a concealed handgun on public elementary, middle, junior high, and high school grounds. This bill removes this limitation. No more fish-in-a-barrel, target rich environments.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1205: Motorcycle Lane-splitting
Position: Support

Currently, the driver of a motorcycle is prohibited from driving between rows of motor vehicles or overtaking on the right. This bill allows motorcycles to drive between rows of motor vehicles and to overtake on the right when certain speed and directional requirements are met. Overtaking on the right is not allowed when a vehicle is using the shoulder. Ride on in liberty, my friends.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1207: PERA Investments In Renewable Energy Companies
Position: Oppose

Under this bill, beginning January 1, 2017, and in each calendar year thereafter, the public employees’ retirement association would be required to ensure that at least one percent of pension money is invested in renewable energy companies. This is another example of government dictating winners and losers, picking pet industries and trying to promote them by playing the role of investment broker with taxpayer money. Using the force of government to take taxpayer money and fund pet causes isn’t just NOT the role of government, it is an immoral initiation of force upon the people.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1208: Create Data Privacy Subcommittee
Position: Support

This bill creates a subcommittee on data privacy and cyber-security within the joint technology committee to consider: 1) whether state governmental agencies are collecting or retaining data that exceed what is necessary and appropriate for such agencies to perform their functions, 2) who has access to such data, the extent of such access, and appropriate measures to protect sensitive data and, 3) possible measures to protect such data against unauthorized access, disclosure, use, modification, or destruction. This appears to be a reasonable inquiry into the state’s use of data. While we’re not excited about the makeup of the subcommittee (potentially partisan by 6-2) and would like to see some more balance there, the bill, on its surface, seems prudent.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1209: Working Group To Study Program Eval
Position: Oppose

The bill creates a results first working group that consists of members appointed by the governor from the governor’s office, executive branch agencies, the general assembly, the judicial branch, a nonprofit membership association whose purpose is to offer assistance to county commissioners, mayors, and council members, and local nonprofits or service providers. The working group is tasked with making legislative, policy, and budgetary recommendations to the general assembly, the governor’s office, and the executive branch agencies regarding program evaluation practices. Just what we need, more ideas on how to expand government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1210: Prohibit Conversion Therapy Mental Health Provider
Position: Oppose

This idea was floated last year as well, and some of our comments still apply… Does the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, know better than anyone else in the state what medical treatments psychiatrists and mental health providers should offer? Well, certainly they know more than you Luddites who cling to those anachronistic vestiges of parenthood, anyway. This bill would make it illegal for parents and/or persons under 18 to make this determination on their own. And, as one of our analysts pointed out last year, it only applies to outlawing “conversion therapy” going one way but not the other… that doesn’t sound equal or fair.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1217: Implement HOA Info Office Study Recommendations
Position: Oppose

This bill does makes three changes pertaining to HOA’s. 1) The bill replaces the per-HOA fee paid by HOAs to fund the HOA information and resource center with new fees to be calculated by the director. 2) The bill requires the HOA information officer to develop, maintain, and publish a statewide election monitoring referral list consisting of independent contractors who can monitor HOA elections. 3) The bill also requires the officer to develop, maintain, and publish a statewide referral list containing the names and contact information for independent contractors who provide mediation or arbitration services on HOA matters.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1226: Agricultural Innovation Grants
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Agricultural Development and Investment Partnership Program to be administered by the Agricultural Value-Added Development Board (board) in the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The grants are to be awarded for 1) proof-of-concept and feasibility study, 2) early-state capital and business-expansion grants, and 3) reimbursement of market development and promotion expenses. This is basically the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act for Farms. The Advanced Industries Act was one of the most damaging pieces of bi-partisan legislation for free markets in Colorado, ever, which was followed by several more corporatist bills, and the state regularly crows with delight when it announces how much of YOUR money it has recently given away to private companies. Like it or not, we’re all venture capitalists now… or as one legislator put it, “venture captivists”, with no upside but all the downside. This bill creates the same regime for agriculture. What’s good corporate cronyism for the technology goose must be good for the agriculture gander, right?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1231: Restricting The Use Of Red Light Cameras
Position: Support

Update 5/2: Support. When this bill was first introduced, the portion of the bill that codified the use of red light cameras in a broad range of places stood in opposition to the principle of limited government. When bills are amended so significantly that the basis of the original analysis has been changed, POL will re-evaluate the bill. Usually, a bill will swing from either Support or Oppose to a No Rate. This bill has seen enough bi-partisan modification by both chambers (House and Senate) that POL’s analysis is that the bill now supports Individual Liberty and Limited Government. This may be the first time that a rating has swung a full 180 degrees! The bill now acts as a prohibition on the use of red light cameras. It also contains a few provisions clarifying that toll road cameras can continue be used to enforce tolls and HOV lane rules.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government

Previous Position:Oppose

After a robust bipartisan discussion, we agreed to review our analysis of this bill. However, after further review (sounds like the NFL…), we continue to believe that this bill does not go far enough for freedom and locks in too much statism. The portion of the bill that codifies the use of red light cameras in a broad range of places is in opposition to the principle of limited government. However, we appreciate having the conversation, because that is the goal of POL.

SupportHB16-1232: Sunset DOR Private Letter Ruling & Gen Info Letter
Position: Support

Currently, the executive director of department of revenue (department), or the executive director’s designee, is charged with issuing private letter rulings (binding determinations regarding the tax consequences of a proposed or completed transaction) and information letters (nonbinding statements providing general information regarding any tax administered by the department) upon written request from a taxpayer. This duty is currently scheduled to sunset on September 1, 2016. The bill continues the requirement of the department to issue these letters until September 1, 2023.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1234: State Assess Selection & Local Flexibility
Position: Support

This bill directs the department of education (department) to investigate methods for and costs of creating or selecting state assessments in the subjects of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies, including the methods and costs to allow local education providers to create or select assessments in these subjects and to enable the state to use the locally selected assessments as part of the state accountability system. The bill also requires the department to apply to the federal department of education for innovative assessment and accountability demonstration authority. In simple terms, this bill says let’s apply to opt out of federal mandates and come up with our own solutions for education that empower local school districts. Good idea.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
OpposeHB16-1236: Sunset Infection Control Advisory Committee
Position: Oppose

This bill continues the ‘infection control advisory committee’ until July 1, 2021. The advisory committee exists to advise hospitals based on data on hospital-acquired infection rates. Health care providers already have a vested interest in keeping down hospital-acquired infection rates, and they do not require a government-mandated committee in order to pursue that objective. The continuation of the advisory committee mistakenly assumes the necessity of government involvement in order for the private sector to function effectively.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1262: Law Enforcement Background Check Employment Waiver
Position: Support

This bill says that each law enforcement agency in the state that interviews a candidate for a peace officer position who has worked at another law enforcement agency or in private security shall require the candidate to execute a waiver. The waiver will allow the candidate’s previous law enforcement agency or private security company employers to disclose all files pertaining to the applicant, including internal affairs files, to the interviewing agency and releases them from any liability related to the use and disclosure of the files. The bill also requires a P.O.S.T. certification applicant who has worked at another law enforcement agency to execute the same waiver. Under current law, the P.O.S.T. board must deny certification to a person who was convicted of any felony and certain misdemeanors. The bill gives the P.O.S.T. board the authority to deny certification to a person who entered into a deferred judgment, deferred prosecution, diversion agreement, or deferred adjudication for any of those crimes or had a juvenile adjudication for any of those crimes. Basically, this bill would allow those who are hiring law enforcement personnel to see the applicant’s past records at other agencies, making it harder for bad actors to simply hop from agency to agency by hiding their past from prospective employers.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1263: Racial Profiling Prohibition
Position: Oppose

Under current law, there is a prohibition against racial profiling by a peace officer. This bill updates the definition of profiling to include race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. It also expands prohibited activities from the current scenarios of 1) selecting a person to be subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities, including interviews, detentions, traffic or pedestrian stops, frisks or other bodily searches, or searches of personal or real property, and 2) determining the scope, substance, or duration of an investigation or law enforcement activity to which a person will be subjected, to adding 3) not using profiling in making routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions, except using listed characteristics in a specific suspect description, and 4) not using profiling in all incidents other than routine or spontaneous law enforcement activities except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the location or time frame, that links a person with a listed characteristic to an identified criminal incident, scheme, or organization. One of our principles is that all citizens deserve equal protection under the law, and there are legitimate concerns regarding racial profiling – which is why it is currently prohibited by law. However, this bill is so broad and expansive that it seems the only way to enforce this law would be by reading the minds of police officers.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1264: Ban Law Enforcement Use Of Chokehold
Position: Oppose

This bill prohibits a peace officer from intentionally using a chokehold against another person, making it a class 1 misdemeanor. The bill makes an exception if the officer believes his or her life is in danger or that he or she or another person is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. While it is understandable that this form of restraint could pose an issue, there are already laws on the books to redress grievances should they occur. While a close relationship exists between the legislative and executive branches, we don’t expect to see the legislature writing every single rule in the book for LEO policy. Oversight? Yes. Micro-management? No. The use of deadly force is already covered in Colorado statute. The judicial system has all the ability it need to prosecute anyone, law enforcement or not, who uses deadly force illegally. We opposed last year, and continue to do so this year.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1265: Expunge Arrest Records Based On Mistaken Identity
Position: Support

The bill requires law enforcement to file a petition to expunge the arrest record of a person who is arrested as a result of mistaken identity and with no charges filed with the district court in the judicial district where the person was arrested. The law enforcement agency shall file the petition within 90 days after determining that the person was arrested based on mistaken identity and no charges were filed. The bill prohibits employers, educational institutions, state and local government agencies, officials, and employees from, in any application or interview or in any other way, requiring an applicant to disclose information contained in expunged records. Basically, you should be treated as if the mistake never happened. Let’s not let the state’s mistakes besmirch an innocent citizen’s reputation? Good idea.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1266: DOR Seize Destroy Marijuana Unauthorized Pesticide
Position: Oppose

This bill allows the department of revenue to seize and destroy medical and retail marijuana that testing shows contains harmful contaminants, as “determined by the department of public health and environment”, or unauthorized pesticides. There are a couple of concerns with this bill, which boil down to leaving too much latitude with the state, including language such as, “…the determination of the presence of quantities of any substance determined to be injurious to health as determined by the department of public health and environment”, and “the state licensing authority may immediately quarantine the products and document and properly destroy the adulterated product.” We know it’s a novel concept, but a truly free market provides its own incentive for sellers to self-regulate in an effort to highlight competitive advantages such as product safety, product consistency, quality standards, etc. Having the state bring its heavy hand of inartful regulation simply bollixes it up.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1267: Colorado Veterans’ Service-To-Career Pilot Program
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Colorado veterans’ service-to-career pilot program to enhance work force center services. Work force centers would develop and expand programs to provide work force development-related services for veterans, spouses, and other eligible participants such as their dependents and caregivers. The services provided by the program would include skills training, apprenticeship placements, internship placements, work placements and support services. Of course there will also be a grant program to go along with it. Money for the internships and apprenticeships may come from the employer, federal money, and grant money through the Colorado general fund. More of your tax money (federal and/or state) paying for the employee costs of select employers. This bill picks a particular group of citizens for whom to provide a special service.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
SupportHB16-1271: Limited Winery Direct Delivery Personal Consumers
Position: Support

This bill allows a limited winery to deliver its vinous liquors directly to personal consumers without the use of a “common carrier”. With liberty and free market wine delivery for all. Stay thirsty, my friends!

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1273: Authorize Parking Fees At CDOT Parking Facilities
Position: Oppose

This bill authorizes the department of transportation (CDOT) to charge fees for parking at a park-n-ride lot or any other CDOT parking facility for more than 24 hours or in a reserved parking space. It specifies that CDOT may set aside up to 15% of the spaces at a CDOT parking facility for reserved parking and may establish rules that prohibit an individual from parking at a CDOT parking facility if the individual is not using mass transit that is accessible from the facility. Any motor vehicle for which a penalty is assessed and which is left unattended at a CDOT parking facility for more than 4 days is considered a motor vehicle abandoned on public property for purposes of existing laws that address the removal, storage, and disposal of such motor vehicles. In addition to the fact that our tax money is being taken to pay for these facilities and services, they now want to force us to pay again to use the services we’ve already paid for?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1274: ID Documents Unlawful Presence
Position: Oppose

Currently, a person who is not lawfully present in the United States may obtain a driver’s license or identification card if certain requirements are met. This was set into law in 2013 through SB13-251. One of the requirements of that bill/law is that the person must present a taxpayer identification card. This bill would allow a social security number to also meet this requirement. This bill also allows such a license to be reissued or renewed by the same processes used by other licensees. An appropriation will made to open additional offices to perform these functions – the Fiscal Note is yet to be seen. Currently, a footnote in the long bill states an intention that the number of offices offering these licenses will be decreased when the appropriation is spent. This bill repeals this footnote. This bill, allowing a social security number to be sufficient for a person who is “not legally present” in the U.S. is similar to a bill run last year trying to do the same thing, SB15-066, which did not pass out of the Senate. Back in 2013, SB13-251 was a very contentious bill with zero bi-partisan support. That bill/law created a number of requirements, including that a federal individual taxpayer identification number be provided. This bill would allow for a social security number instead. On March 10, 2015, National Public Radio (NPR), reported a story under the headline of “6.5 Million Social Security Numbers Linked to Those 112 or Older (And Likely Dead)” So, does it make any sense at all to lower the bar on this accommodation of illegal activity to such a ludicrous level?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1275: Taxation Of Corp Income Sheltered In Tax Haven
Position: Oppose

In the never-ending attempt to plunder, this bill requires corporations filing a Colorado combined income tax return to add income from affiliated corporations incorporated in “tax haven jurisdictions.” The Department of Revenue (DOR) will determine tax havens through administrative rule. Nice. The director of the DOR may allow corporations with subsidiaries incorporated in tax havens to not report tax haven income if the subsidiary is incorporated in the tax haven for “legitimate” business purposes. Because only unelected government bureaucrats whose job is to collect a maximum amount of much plunder could possibly be qualified to make such a determination of your business legitimacy.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1279: Creation Of Sister-state Relationship Program
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the Colorado office of economic development to establish and maintain an international sister-state relationship program. This is not the role of state government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1287: CDLE Pre-apprenticeship & Apprenticeship Study
Position: Support

This bill requires the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to review existing rules that have been created by the department as well as divisions within the department such as the division of unemployment insurance, division of workers’ compensation, division of labor, etc. and determine what rules and regulations might be impacting the use of apprenticeship programs by Colorado businesses. An analysis of existing rules and regulations that inhibit businesses from establishing apprenticeship programs is a good start. Hopefully the report will identify government hurdles that legislature can clear out the way for business to be able to operate more freely and, more importantly, the legislature will do so. We only hope that the report stays within the confines of the proposed legislation, and doesn’t wander into a project to create a wish list of additional government “help”.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1288: Industry Infrastructure Grant Program
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the industry infrastructure grant program (program) within the state work force development council (council). The council will award grants to entities that develop and maintain industry competency standardization to support businesses in their implementation of work site training programs. The bill also creates the industry infrastructure fund to pay for the program. The fund consists of general fund money, a donation from the authorized nonprofit entity, and any other gifts, grants, or donations that the council receives. So we’re (taxpayers) going to pay grants to do for industries what they will benefit from and what they could be doing for themselves. Is it really your job to turn over your hard-earned money to pay to develop and maintain industry standards for industry work training programs and to “assist businesses and industry associations with human resources training and development”? Apparently there is a bi-partisan group that thinks so. We don’t. And in a laughable twist, the bill includes a “pay to play” provision that mandates that an “Authorized Nonprofit Entity” must donate at least $ 300,000 to qualify to run the program. At least the rent-seekers will have to put up something before plundering the rest of us of $ 500,000 for starters. Small consolation – plunder and redistribution to selected winning industries is still crony corporatism.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1289: Incentives To Complete Career Development Courses
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the career development success pilot program to provide money for school districts and charter schools to get students to complete identified industry-certificate, internship, and pre-apprenticeship programs related to “top jobs” and to pass computer science advanced placement (AP) courses. The state work force development council must annually identify the level of regional and state demand for various jobs and the qualifying programs that go along with those “top jobs”. The program will cost at least $ 1,000,000 per year. The program will give schools $ 1,000 for each student who completes an identified industry-certificate program, an identified internship or pre-apprenticeship program, or passes a computer science AP course in the preceding school year (in that order of priority). So the state will identify the “right” jobs each year, and pay schools to have students chase after the appropriate job training programs. And you thought our description of central planning was an exaggeration…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1290: Extend Transitional Jobs Program 
Position: Oppose

This bill extends the Transitional Jobs Program and will continue to provide money to employers to hire eligible persons to June 30, 2022. What’s the Transitional Jobs Program, you ask? Well, in 2009 as part of the stimulus package (ARRA of 2009), the federal government gave Colorado lots of money (you’ll recall those “shovel-ready jobs…), so Colorado created a program to give all that “free” money away. The federal money dried up in 2011. Colorado created its own version of this “jobs program” in 2013 with HB13-1004. POL opposed that bill in 2013. That bill in 2013 was passed with exactly zero Republican votes in the House and zero Republican votes in the Senate. This bill, which will simply extend that program, is now co-sponsored by a Republican who had voted against it in 2013. We suppose some would call that “progress”. It will be interesting to see how many others embrace this bill that they voted against in 2013.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1291: Modern Technology Education In Public Schools
Position: Oppose

This bill directs the department of education to create a resource bank of materials pertaining to computer science programs, including model standards, samples of curricula, and materials for professional educator development. In addition, the bill creates a grant program that awards grants to school districts or public school teachers in Colorado who wish to pursue additional education that will enable the teachers to teach computer science courses. The grant may be used for tuition, fees, training program costs, and books for postsecondary computer science course work that leads to mastery in a computer science content area, computer science training programs, computer science degrees, or industry-recognized certificates in computer science. Said grants are to prioritize public school teachers in schools with high poverty, minority, or rural populations. The statutes being proposed look like they were lifted from a similar set of statutes enacted in 2005 on financial literacy. That’s the only other place we could find (although we don’t have unlimited resources and there are LOTS of statutes, so we could have missed something) such a direct intervention/mandate from the legislature to the state school board of education. The state board is supposed to exercise general supervision over public school education, but the ultimate responsibility remains constitutionally at the local school board. This is a heavy hand from the legislature to mandate that the state board implement a program that is “optional” at the local level. Is computer science important? Sure it is, that’s old news. In fact, as a former teacher, I (Rich) came out of college in the mid 80’s in Ohio with high school teaching certifications in math, physics, and computer science. However a real solution to continuously updated curriculum and innovation would be a more free market approach that allows for consumer choice and producer competition, not a mandate from the legislature that’s decades behind the times.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1292: Income Tax Credit For Sandwich Generation
Position: Oppose

This bill creates a refundable income tax credit for middle- and low-income taxpayers who claim exemptions for dependents on their federal income tax return for both qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Taxpayers will receive the full $ 3,600 if they qualify for the credit under this bill as refundable tax credits, which are not limited to a taxpayer’s income tax liability. Pay attention here – a refundable tax credit means that a person could pay ZERO taxes, yet still receive $ 3,600 in payments from those who DO pay taxes (the state has to get its money from somewhere, and it ain’t unicorns). Cost to Colorado taxpayers (emphasis on ‘payers’)? Over $ 100 million a year. Is this situation a challenge for families? Absolutely. Is it a moral reason to initiate government force to redistribute your wealth? No.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1294: Contraception Coverage Public & Private Insurance
Position: Oppose

This bill requires medicaid managed care plans and health benefit plans that are required under the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (i.e. Obamacare) to provide contraceptive coverage as a preventive health service to cover, at no cost to recipients, all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and other products for women, voluntary sterilization procedures, patient education and counseling on contraception, and follow-up services including management of side effects, counseling for continued adherence, and device insertion and removal. Health insurers and medicaid managed care entities are prohibited from restricting or delaying coverage for contraceptives and must make the coverage available to all persons. This is being done in the name of “gender equity”, “women’s health” and “greater contraceptive equity,” but using the force of government to take your property to provide products and services for others is nothing less than plunder and redistribution. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1295: Chicano Special License Plate
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Chicano special license plate. A person becomes eligible to use the plate by providing a certificate confirming that the person has made a donation to an organization chosen by the Department of Revenue (DOR), based on the DOR’s assessment of the organization’s service to the Latino community. The organization may also fulfill the bill’s requirements by making grants to other organizations that also qualify under the DOR’s standards. Criteria include being a Colorado-based 501c3 that has a staff of at least 50% Latino and has a governing board that is at least 50% Latino. Usually we don’t get involved in license plate bills. However, this bill allows the state Department of Revenue to decide who qualifies as a qualified organization based in large part on the racial profile (Hey, didn’t we just look at a bill that was AGAINST racial profiling…?) of that organization and whether that organization serves a particular racial group.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1296: Penalties For Unlicensed Automobile Sales
Position: Oppose

This bill increases the penalties on unlicensed car dealers because, you know, the state must regulate everything for your protection. So if the hammer of regulation isn’t working, get a bigger hammer!

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1300: Mail Ballot Return Options Reqmnts & Procedures
Position: Oppose

This bill gives counties exclusive authority to determine the location and security of a voter ballot drop-off location, while allowing the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) to provide specifications on the installation of drop boxes and accessibility of drop-off locations for persons with disabilities. Counties are encouraged to utilize state-owned property and to enter into public-private partnerships for the placement of drop-off locations on commercial property that is conveniently located. Counties must file a plan with the SOS for how the county will work with the post office to ensure the delivery of ballots. This bill also requires the SOS to use federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds to purchase one twenty-four hour secure drop box for each county in the state, unless a county submits a waiver requesting not to receive the new equipment. Additionally, under current law, if a voter returns their mail ballot by mail they must pay for postage. This bill removes that requirement and requires counties to work with the U.S. Postal Service to provide efficient delivery of mail ballots, including ballots with insufficient postage.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1301: Business Income Tax Credit Offer Apprenticeships
Position: Oppose

This bill provides an income tax credit to qualified Colorado businesses that meet certain criteria and retain pre-apprentices or apprentices. The credit is administered by the Colorado department of labor and employment. Once again, the state shall post a list of “top jobs” every year that the state deems in the greatest demand and offers tax credits to companies that offer “high-quality apprenticeships” in those “top jobs”. The department can issue up to $ 1,000,000 in tax credits per year, in chunks of up to $ 2,500 for a “pre-apprentice” and $ 5,000 for an “apprentice”. The tax credits can be carried forward. So a favored company dealing in “top jobs” for a given year can pay for an apprenticeship and get a tax credit $ 5,000, which would be enough to shelter $ 5,000 / 4.63% = $ 107,991 of company income from Colorado Income tax. Let’s all get into to the “top jobs” business and get some corporate welfare. It’s this concept of the state intervening in the free market and trying to pick winners and losers that collides with POL’s principles. If you simply wanted to offer a modest tax credit as an incentive to ANY company that creates apprenticeships, then at least that would be a policy that could be applied to all businesses equally. This, not so much. This is using the force of the state government to drive employment decisions based upon the all-knowing state’s ability to anticipate the needs of the market.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1302: Align With Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act
Position: Oppose

This bill is part of the ongoing effort to use the Colorado state legislature to implement a top-down approach to Colorado’s economy. The bill summary says that the bill aligns the current state statute with the federal “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (federal act), removes requirements that existed in state law that no longer apply due to the changes in federal law, and clarifies the roles that specific entities within Colorado play in work force development programs. What the summary fails to mention is that the bill affirms the state government’s role in meddling in the free market by encouraging programs for “in demand” industries, i.e. picking winners and losers in industry (#cronyism).

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1305: Educator Training To Assist Students In Crisis
Position: Oppose

This bill requires that local boards of education provide training for all newly hired district educators and periodically for other district educators to explain the district procedures for assisting students who are identified as experiencing emotional distress or are otherwise in crisis and may need referral for behavioral health services. This bill requires school districts to provide information to their professional educators concerning the district’s procedures and policies related to assisting students in emotional distress, or who might require behavioral health services. More mandates for a constitutionally designated function of local government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1307: Threats To Persons At Postsecondary Institutions
Position: Oppose

Under current law, it is a class 1 misdemeanor for a person to knowingly make a threat of death or bodily injury to anyone. This bill makes it a class 6 felony if the threat involves death or serious bodily injury and the person is a student, official, employee, or guest of an institution of higher education. As we say in our definition of the principle of Equal Protection/Rule of Law: “It is not the role of government to create a special group or class of citizens for protection or punishment, special treatment or penalties.” This bill creates a special penalty for making a threat to a person at an educational institution, while permitting a lesser penalty for threats made against individuals at other types of institutions.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
SupportHB16-1309: Right To Counsel In Municipal Court
Position: Support

This bill declares that at the time of first appearance on a municipal charge, if the defendant is in custody and the charged offense includes a possible sentence of incarceration, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the defendant for purposes of the initial appearance unless the defendant knowingly waives his or her right to counsel. If the defendant remains in custody, the appointment of counsel continues until the defendant is released from custody. If the defendant is released from custody, he or she may apply for court-appointed counsel, and the court shall appoint counsel if the court determines that the defendant is indigent and the charged offense includes a possible sentence of incarceration.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1310: Operators Liable For Oil And Gas Operations
Position: Oppose

In a property right lawsuit or arbitration, current law requires that the owner of surface property rights demonstrate that an oil and gas operator’s use of the surface land materially interfered with the surface owner’s use of the land. This bill lowers that standard to allow the owner of surface rights to demonstrate that the operator’s oil and gas operations harmed the surface owner’s use of the land, or caused bodily injury to the surface owner or any person residing on the property, or damaged the surface property. Oh, and the bill also holds oil and gas operators strictly liable if oil and gas operations cause an earthquake that damages surface property or injures an individual. The protection of property rights should apply for everyone, not be a one-sided racquet designed to throttle an industry.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1311: Procedures When Orders Require Monetary Payments
Position: Oppose

When a court imposes a sentence requiring a defendant to pay a monetary amount, the court may make arrangements for payment at a future date or in installments and must provide certain instructions to defendants. This bill specifies that these same rules apply when the court enters a judgment or issues an order requiring payment. If the bill were to stop there, POL wouldn’t oppose. However, the bill goes on to create a significant increase in the work a court must do to impose a monetary obligation, creating a large increase in workload, cost and delays. The fiscal note assumes that courts are already accounting for defendants’ ability to pay when imposing monetary sentences. There is also included in the bill a rebuttal presumption of undue hardship if the defendant lives in public housing or receives public assistance. This bill would move the bar so low as to significantly weaken the court’s ability to administer justice.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1312: Licensed Professional Redundant Disciplinary Action
Position: Support

Under current law, licensed professionals holding more than one professional license can be investigated simultaneously by different regulators regarding a particular act or transaction. This bill requires that if there are redundant disciplinary actions by different state authorities due to the same act or transaction, then once one of those authorities takes action to resolve their investigation, the other authority has wrap up their investigation within 160 days after the conclusion of the first authority’s action. After 160 days, then too bad, so sad, the second regulator can’t take any action on that same matter. So, this bill would require the sate regulatory agencies to either get their work done in a timely manner, or hang it up. This helps to protect individuals from a long, drawn out double-jeopardy situation.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1313: Auth Local Gov Master Plan Include Water Plan Goal
Position: Oppose

This bill authorizes local government master plans to include goals specified in the state water plan and to include policies that condition development approvals on implementation of those goals. We’ve already seen some pretty egregious state bills attempting to restrict development in past yars. For example, there was that bill that would have mandated only a certain %-age of land that may contain grass on a person’s property, the rest being xeriscaped or something, etc. before certain housing developments would be allowed. Pushing this power down to the local level is a recipe for disaster. The role of the state is to protect property rights of the individual, not empower a local tyranny of the majority.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1315: Allow Seaplanes In State Parks Like Motorboats
Position: Support

Current state park law excludes seaplanes from the definition of a “vessel”, and applicable park rules essentially prohibit seaplanes from landing in or taking off from state park water bodies. This bill includes seaplanes in the definition of a “vessel” and prohibits the commission’s rules and those of municipalities and special districts from arbitrarily excluding the operation of a seaplane from waters of the state that are open to the operation of motorboats. Because Seaplanes are vessels, too! I believe I can flyyy…

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1317: Motor Vehicle Service Contract Products & Services
Position: Support

This bill is a bit wonky, and we probably wouldn’t have rated it at all except that we started out thinking that it was a bad bill, and then ended up digging into it so deeply that we put a fair amount of work into it, coming to the conclusion that the bill actually protects some services/products from being over-regulated by being misclassified as insurance. The bill clarifies regulation for service products that allow individuals to take care of common auto problems. By making this clarification, the bill essentially protects this type of service product from being regulated as “insurance.” And since insurance is very highly regulated, that’s a good thing. Avoiding the hassle of dealing with overregulation? That’s limiting government.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1318: Charitable Solicitations Regulation
Position: Oppose

This bill imposes additional requirements on charitable organizations. The bill clarifies that a charitable organization’s registration with the secretary of state must be renewed on an annual basis if the charitable organization intends to solicit in Colorado, and an organization may not continue to solicit donations if it fails to renew its registration. The bill also requires an organization to update information in its registration within thirty days after any change as opposed to the current requirement of annual updated filings. The bill allows the secretary of state, after a hearing, to issue a cease-and-desist order to enforce provisions of law prohibiting soliciting contributions, acting as a paid solicitor, or acting as a professional fundraiser without registering with the secretary of state as provided by law. The bill also specifies that if an organization fails to file its actual financial report to replace estimated financial reports, the organization is subject to statutory fines.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1321: Medicaid Buy-in Certain Medicaid Waivers
Position: Oppose

This bill directs the department of health care policy and financing to seek federal authorization for and to implement a Medicaid buy-in program for persons who are eligible for home- and community-based services under the supported living services Medicaid waiver. Massive Medicaid expansion the last several years is what has ballooned the state budget.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1322: Health Coverage Prescription Contraceptives Supply
Position: Oppose

This bill requires health benefit plans that are required under the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” to provide contraception coverage as a preventive health service for women, to reimburse providers or dispensing entities for dispensing prescription contraceptives in a 3-month supply for the first dispensing to the insured person and for a 12-month supply for subsequent dispensing of the same prescription contraceptive to the insured person. Because we just can’t get enough government mandates, it’s really bending the cost curve on health care incredibly effectively… or not.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1324: Veterinary Access Compounded Pharmaceutical Drugs
Position: Support

Under current law, a veterinarian cannot maintain an office stock of “compounded” drugs for distribution or administration to patients. This bill authorizes a pharmacy to give such drug(s) to a veterinarian without a specific patient indicated, and allows a veterinarian to dispense the drug(s) which were maintained as part of the veterinarian’s office supplies in limited doses if a patient has an emergency condition and the veterinarian can’t otherwise access the needed drug through a pharmacy in time. Letting doc’s doctor… sounds good.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1325: Caucus & Election Dates On Variable Message Signs
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the department of transportation (CDOT) to display messages about the date of upcoming precinct caucuses and general, primary, or statewide odd-year elections on its variable message signs, provided that CDOT receives federal approval from the U.S. department of transportation (USDOT) or one of its agencies and that USDOT or one of its agencies does not advise CDOT that displaying the messages will result in the reduction of federal aid highway funds to the state, of course. CDOT must display the messages for the week up to and including the date of the caucus or election, and the secretary of state must notify CDOT of each upcoming precinct caucus and election date and the message display requirement no later than 21 days before the precinct caucus or election date. Don’t even get us started on those highway signs. What’s next, PSA’s to floss?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1326: Consumer Access To Physical Rehab Services
Position: Oppose

This bill sets various requirements for contracts between health insurance carriers that provide benefits for physical rehabilitation services and intermediaries that are contracted to perform certain cost and utilization management duties on behalf of a carrier. In addition, the bill prohibits the inclusion of certain provisions in contracts between a carrier and an intermediary. The bill includes requirements on how to authorize health care determinations, disclose the process to the carrier’s policyholders, and requires that care for a recurring condition only be categorized as a new episode if the same provider has not treated the policyholder within 30 days. More government mandates on what used to be a private market.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1327: Financial Responsibility For Dental Hygienists
Position: Support

The State Dental Board can establish lesser financial responsibility requirements for professional liability insurance for dentists that meet certain criteria. This bill allows the State Dental Board to establish lesser financial responsibility requirements for dental hygienists as well, aligning the statute for dental hygienists with that of dentists. This bill would help reduce the regulatory burden and insurance requirements for dental hygienists.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1331: Policies On Juvenile Shackling In Court
Position: Oppose

This bill requires restraints on a juvenile to be removed prior to any court proceeding unless the situation meets certain criteria. The prosecution, sheriff, or any other detention or pretrial personnel may request that an individual juvenile be restrained in the courtroom, however the court must provide the juvenile’s attorney an opportunity to be heard before the court allows the use of restraints on a juvenile. While every juvenile that appears in court might not require physical restraints, the criteria specified in the proposed statute restrict the court’s discretion to a point that might endanger other individuals in the courtroom. As we said last year when we opposed a similar bill, HB15-1091, we think that the security of the court should not take a back seat to someone’s feelings getting hurt.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1334: Inclusionary Zoning County Unincorporated Areas
Position: Oppose

This bill authorizes the board of county commissioners of any county to establish and create a program that implements inclusionary zoning within an unincorporated area of the county. What is an “inclusionary zoning program,” you may ask? The bill defines “inclusionary zoning program” to mean a program adopted by a county government that encourages or requires a given share of the housing units in a proposed development to be priced in a way that is affordable for low- and moderate-income households. The impact of this would be similar to that of SB16-059, which POL has analyzed as opposing the principles of property rights, free markets and limited government. The write-up for that bill also applies here, where we said that the bill would essentially allow municipalities to hold developers hostage to their demands for “affordable housing”, requiring them to provide certain numbers of affordable housing units, impose deed restrictions, payment of fees, or turning over chunks of their land as ransom for allowing them to actually build and create.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1338: Extend Repeal Of Early Childhood Leadership Commn
Position: Oppose

Under current law, the early childhood leadership commission is scheduled to repeal on September 1, 2018. The bill extends the repeal date to September 1, 2020. Among other tasks that aren’t the role of government, the committee is charged with monitoring the ongoing development, promotion, and implementation of professional development and career advancement systems, comprehensive early learning standards, and developing strategies and monitor efforts concerning increasing participation in and access to child care and early education programs. Perpetuating programs that have no proven record of lasting results, because you aren’t qualified to raise a kindergartner without government guidance.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1342: Reporting Database For Motor Vehicle Sales
Position: Oppose

This bill requires licensed automobile dealers who sell salvage, non-repairable, flood-damaged, junk, or similarly branded motor vehicles to report each transaction to a third-party data consolidator within two days of the sale. The consolidator must be approved by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) and must forward the report to NMVTIS by the following day. The consolidator may charge the dealer a per-transaction fee. The report must be maintained electronically by the dealer for three years and must contain the motor vehicle’s make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and current odometer reading, the name and address of the purchaser and the seller, a copy of the purchaser’s driver’s license or other government-issued identification document, and proof of the purchaser’s in- or out-of-state automobile dealer license, if applicable. Violating the reporting requirements under the bill is punishable by a fine of $ 500 per transaction, credited to the Auto Dealers License Fund. In addition, the bill increases penalties for unlicensed automobile sales. Under this bill, a violation will result in a fine of no less than $ 1,000 and 25 hours of public service, neither of which may be suspended by the court with a second conviction resulting in a fine ranging from no less than $ 5,000 to no more than $ 25,000, neither of which may be suspended by the court for individuals. For corporations, fines jump to no less than $ 5,000 to no more than $ 25,000 for each separate offense. The kicker? Fines for unlicensed automobile sales are awarded half to the law enforcement agency that conducted the investigation and issued the citation and half to the Auto Dealers License Fund. So there’s some extra incentive for law enforcement to go bounty hunting for violators. Nice.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1344: Special Offender When Death Results After Use
Position: Oppose

Under current law there are certain circumstances that if present in a drug crime elevate the crime to special offender offense, which carries a drug level felony 1 penalty. This bill adds the circumstance of a person dying as a result of the use of a distributed controlled substance to the list of special offender circumstances. This bill places “extra” blame on the drug distributor if the person who chose to buy and use the drugs dies as a result of using those drugs. There are already quite a number of options for law enforcement to bring multiple charges in the event of death. According to the fiscal note, the state charged only one individual with the overdose death of another person in conjunction with a level 2 drug felony charge in 2014-15. The Fiscal Note also states that, “The bill requires the state to prove that a death resulted from the use of a controlled substance manufactured, distributed, or sold by an individual in order to charge that individual as a special offender. Given the difficulty of proving a direct connection, this analysis assumes that the number of individuals charged as a special offender will be very low.” It undermines personal responsibility to pile on additional legal penalties for the choices that someone else makes.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1347: Employer Information Concerning Wage Law Violation
Position: Oppose

We believe that the bill summary on the bill as posted by leg services very much misses the mark, focusing too much on the “trade secret” element of the bill. Current law requires employers to give information to the division of labor and allows the division to have access to employers’ premises and all books, records, and payrolls of employers. The DOL director can make this information confidential for any reason. The statute posits 3 instances of information: 1) The information contained in the reports lawfully required to be furnished by the employer in CRS 8-1-114, 2) other information furnished to the division by employers and employees in pursuance of the provisions of this article, and 3) information obtained through inspections or other proceedings of this article that reveals a trade secret. The statute then goes on to state that, “The director may treat and file the information or any part of the information as confidential…” So the director has leeway to treat pretty much all of this employer information reported as required by law as confidential or not. This bill says that any reported information that relates to a wage law violation is a public record and SHALL be publicly available via CORA process, removing any decision by the director, with the sole exception if the information would reveal a trade secret. So this bill would target employers for harsher treatment specifically for wage law violations.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1348: Crime Of Cruelty To Law Enforcement Service Animal
Position: Oppose

Just when you think you’ve seen all possible violations of equal rule of law… This bill creates a special penalty (class 6 felony and restitution for any vet bills or replacement of the animal if necessary) for cruelty to a law enforcement animal. Cruelty to law enforcement animals can already be prosecuted under the existing laws against the same animal cruelty laws that protect your animals. We consistently oppose the creation of special classes and special protections, and this bill creates special protections for law enforcement dogs. Do people have a right to prosecute those who injure their doggy “property”? Absolutely! Do the state’s dogs deserve extra legal protections your dogs don’t get? No. Plus, according to the Judicial Department, there were no charges filed under existing law between 2013 and March 2016, which makes us wonder why on earth legislators are running a bill (which costs between $ 5,000-$ 15,000+ taxpayer dollars) on this in the first place. #alldogsmatter

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1352: History Colorado Cash Fund
Position: Oppose

Well this one got out of the barn quickly. This bill allows money in the State Museum Cash Fund to be appropriated for exhibit planning, development, and build-out at other State Historical Society facilities, and, for FY 2016-17, appropriates an extra $ 2 million from the fund for those purposes. The State Historical Society has four years to spend the appropriation. Despite constant cries that there’s never enough money in the budget, we usually seem to be able to cough up a few million bucks for pet projects, because… history.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1355: Affirm Local Gov Siting Auth Oil & Gas Facilities
Position: Oppose

Current law specifies that local governments have so-called “House Bill 1041” powers, which are a type of land use authority, over oil and gas mineral extraction areas only if the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission has identified a specific area for designation. This bill repeals that limitation. This bill specifically grants the board of county commissioners and municipalities the authority to regulate the siting of oil and gas facilities. The bill also specifies that the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission’s authority to regulate oil and gas operations, including the siting of oil and gas facilities, does not exempt oil and gas facilities from local governments’ siting authority and that oil and gas operators must ensure that the location of oil and gas facilities complies with city, town, county, or city and county siting regulations. This bill is another attempt to allow a tyranny of a local majority to infringe upon property rights. The role of the state is to protect the property of the individual, especially from mob rule.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1357: Implement STEMI Task Force Recommendations
Position: Oppose

This bill requires hospitals that are recognized as heart attack receiving centers to report to a specified national heart attack database data that is consistent with nationally recognized guidelines on individuals with confirmed heart attacks within the state. Upon receipt of quarterly reports from the heart attack database, hospitals must submit those reports to the department for Colorado-specific data analysis. The bill also establishes a heart attack advisory committee in the Department of Health and the Environment to provide general technical expertise on matters related to heart attack care and data analysis, and allows the department to share blinded data from the database with the heart attack advisory committee. Because government can’t find enough ways to intervene in health care.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1358: Protect Privacy Of Substance Use Disorder Patients
Position: Support

Under current law, each approved public and private treatment facility must file with the unit in the Department of Human Services that administers behavioral health programs and services (unit), on request, data, statistics, schedules, and information the unit reasonably requires. This bill states that the unit is not authorized to collect information or records that disclose an individual patient’s name, social security number, or other personal identifying information. Additionally, on or before December 1, 2016, the unit shall take sufficient actions to ensure that none of the data, statistics, schedules, or information that it has collected and retained include any information or records that disclose an individual patient’s name, social security number, or other personal identifying information.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1359: Use Of Medical Marijuana While On Probation
Position: Support

Under current law, a court may not prohibit the authorized possession or use of medical marijuana as a condition of probation unless 1) the defendant was convicted of a medical marijuana-related crime, or 2) the court determines, based on a substance abuse assessment, it is necessary and appropriate to accomplish sentencing goals. This bill eliminates #2 – the exception based on a substance abuse assessment.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
NotRatedHB16-1360: Continue Regulation Direct-entry Midwives
Position: NotRated

Update 2/18: Not Rated. After some excellent dialogue with legislators, we decided to move our rating from an Oppose to a No Rate. Due to the existing statutes, if this bill doesn’t pass it will effectively make the practice of midwifery illegal. While we would like to see the statutes that are causing this problem amended, that is not the issue being addressed in this bill. Until the existing healthcare statutes are changed, ending the licensure program would effectively end the practice of midwifery. We think that this practice should be “allowed” to continue, and with less regulation, but the current status of being allowed to practice if “properly” registered is better than outlawing the practice of midwifery. As a result, we are moving to a No Rate on continuing the licensure program.

Previous Position:Oppose

In this bill, as usual, the state tries to regulate citizens to safety. It imposes a host of new reporting requirements and regulations on midwives, creates a working group to investigate ways to manage risks in the practice of midwifery, and creates a task force to review direct-entry midwives’ data reporting requirements. The bill changes existing law to allow midwives to perform stitches and administer local anesthetics, but they can only do so if they apply to the director for permission to perform stitches and pay any fees the director imposes. Why do we assume that women are incapable of interviewing and selecting a competent midwife to deliver their baby? It’s not like women are choosing midwifes over hospitals because of the practices hospitals have to force on you due to government overregulation of healthcare… oh, wait…

OpposeHB16-1361: Patient Choice In Pharmacy
Position: Oppose

This bill would directly limit and dictate the terms of how a “Health Benefit Plan” or a “Pharmacy Benefit Management Firm” may offer prescription drug coverage. The bill would preclude said companies from imposing co-payments, fees, or other cost-sharing requirements unless they apply those charges to everyone (pg 2, lines 14-18, pg 3, lines 1-2). This would inhibit firms’ abilities to price its products/services in the manner the deem best suited to the market and their business model in that market. The bill further restricts firms’ abilities to manage the terms of their product offerings through a very broad prohibition on “conditions” that a firm could impose on pharmacy selection (page 3, lines 3-6). The bill goes so far as to assert a “right to participate” in any pharmacy network in the state (page 3, lines 8-11). A free market is based upon property rights, not any sort of an asserted right of participation. A “right to participate” is a claim upon others, forcing them to associate, which is the opposite of a free market, which is conducted through a free exchange between mutually willing parties. Finally, there are the usual carve-outs and exceptions, in this case for 1) in-patient care, 2) “A carrier that offers managed care plans and and provides a majority of covered professional services through physicians employed by the carrier or through a single contacted group”, 3) self-funded plans under ERISA, and 4) plans for state and federal employees, making it an inconsistent intervention into a specific market.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1363: Med Marijuana Advertising Rule-making Authority
Position: Oppose

This bill allows the state licensing authority to promulgate rules related to advertising that is likely to reach underage persons for medical marijuana. Protecting an individual’s right to life from direct violation by other individuals is a legitimate role of government. Protecting people, even minors, from the choices they might make if they see ‘Joe Camel’ is not the role of government. As much as we’d like to blame fast food advertising campaigns for the weight we’ve gained this winter… the Personal Responsibility required to live in a free society is a core Principle of Liberty.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1366: Hearing Aid Users Enhanced Protections
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the director of the division of professions and occupations in the department of regulatory agencies to adopt rules requiring hearing aid providers and audiologists to explain to prospective and current hearing aid users the different communication options available via technological advances for different environments used by the hearing aid user, and to disclose hearing aid pricing, including the separate prices of any parts, attachments, or accessories to hearing aids and any related services. The rules must require that hearing aid users be permitted to purchase the different components and services involved in hearing aids separately. The bill makes the violation of these rules a deceptive trade practice under the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act”. The increasing burden of state demands for how to do business in what used to be a free market continues to grow, but trust them, it’s for your own good!

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1369: Eliminate Criminal Penalty Self-disclosure Ballot
Position: Support

For elections conducted under both the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” and the “Municipal Election Code”, an elector who shows his or her ballot after it is prepared for voting in such a way as to reveal its contents is subject to a criminal misdemeanor penalty. Under the bill, a voter who makes available an image of the voter’s own ballot through electronic means after it is prepared for voting is deemed to have consented to the transmittal of that image and such transmittal does not constitute a violation of either code. Secret ballots have been used by every state in the U.S. since 1891. The purpose of the secret ballot is to ensure that people can vote without being worried about outside influence, peer pressure, intimidation, bribery, etc. The argument for the current law was that by making it illegal to share your vote publicly, it takes away the possibility that someone might later coerce the voter to reveal his vote after the fact and that this possibility could influence an individual’s vote ahead of time. Proponents of this bill might argue that there are other statutes that provide protection from voter coercion (1-13-711 Interference with voter, 1-13-713 Intimidation, 1-13-715 Liquor in or near voting service and polling center, etc.). While we can see both sides, when we look at the issue in light of the Principles of Liberty we must conclude that if someone wants to display how they voted, they should be able to do so.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1370: Nicotine Product Retailers Registry
Position: Oppose

This bill, like many, is the result of competing government (and private) interests to use regulation and taxation as means of controlling behavior. While the intent of the bill is to head off increasing regulation and taxation of OTP’s (Other Tobacco Products) by local governments, the method of accomplishing that is to increase regulation at the state level. Here’s the deal: the state collects cigarette tax money and then gives a portion of that tax money to the local governments based on where the state collected the tax money within the boundaries of local governments. If the local government decides to impose fees, licenses or taxes on cigarettes, then they would lose that state tax money. So the localities are incented to NOT impose fees, licenses or taxes on cigarettes. However, now we have Other Tobacco Products (OTP’s) that aren’t technically covered under this setup. In addition, the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment), is actually giving grant money to local governments to encourage and help set up OTP licensing. So the pressure is on (from well intentioned people who want to make it hard for you to use tobacco) to get the local governments to impose fees, licenses or taxes on OTP’s. This bill is a compromise that would expand regulation over cigarettes to include OTP’s, create a registry for retailers of tobacco and nicotine products, increase fines, etc., all in return for including OTP’s in the deal that says that if they impose their own fees, licenses or taxes, then they’ll lose the state tobacco tax money, thereby incenting them not to create their own licenses, taxes and fees. Got it? This is the tangled web of government regulation that has been woven so deeply into the fabric of the free market that we really struggle to believe that we actually still have a free market. Enacting regulation, even in a strategy to prevent other regulations, still works against the principles of free markets and limited government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1371: Multiple Methods For Receipt Of Income Tax Refunds
Position: Oppose

This bill will cost approximately $ 100,000 in state funds next year, and decreasing 5 digit expenditures in following years, in order to facilitate something that people can already do without the government’s help. Currently, a taxpayer may opt to receive his or her income tax refund in the form of a check, or may elect to have his or her income tax refund directly deposited into one of the following: a savings account, a checking account, or a college savings account administered by CollegeInvest (a division of the Colorado department of higher education). This bill requires the department of revenue to provide a taxpayer the opportunity to apportion his or her income tax refund among up to 4 such methods. While you absolutely have a right to utilize your hard earned money however you wish once the government finally returns it, we’re confident you can handle apportioning it without the government’s help.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1372: Colorado Work Opportunity Income Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Colorado Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a state income tax credit. For three years, the credit would be available to businesses who hire certain targeted who typically claim one or more forms of government support. Employers receive a tax credit per targeted employee hired, based on the employee’s wages up to certain amounts. Any credits above the taxpayer’s liability may be carried forward to future tax years for up to five years. Targeted employee groups include unemployed and disabled veterans, individuals receiving long-term unemployment benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, food stamp (SNAP) recipients, vocational rehabilitation referred individuals, ex-felons, supplemental security income (SSI) recipients, designated community residents living in empowerment zones or rural renewal counties, and summer youth employees living in empowerment zones. Under this bill, taxpaying Coloradans would get to fund the payroll for employers who hire employees who fit a certain profile. We guess that corporate cronyism is ok if government takes your money to give it out for the right reasons… said POL never.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1374: Required Notice & Disclosures Freestanding ER’s
Position: Oppose

This bill requires a freestanding emergency room that provides emergency services in a facility, charges a facility fee, and is not attached to a hospital to post notices throughout the facility indicating that the facility is an emergency room that provides emergency services to treat emergency medical conditions. Additionally, a freestanding emergency room must provide patients with a written statement warning them that the facility charges rates comparable to those charged by a hospital emergency room, that the freestanding emergency room or a physician providing medical care at the center may not be a participating provider under the patient’s health benefit plan, that the physician providing medical care at the freestanding emergency room may bill the patient separately from the center and that for nonemergency medical conditions the patient may wish to confer with his or her primary care physician or other primary care provider. The freestanding emergency room must explain the contents of the written statement to the patient, obtain the patient’s signature on the document, provide the patient with a copy of the signed document, and maintain the signed document in the patient’s medical record. If you don’t see the words “emergency room” and make the determination that you should probably go somewhere else if this isn’t an emergency (or risk paying an arm and a leg for treatment there), it’s not the role of government to try and make you think it through.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1376: Expand Authority Office Of Consumer Counsel
Position: Oppose

This bill expands the authority of the OCC to also represent customers of every provider of telecommunications, water, taxi and bus service, and all other services defined as public utilities under the “Public Utilities Law”. An expansion of government because only Big Brother can protect you from Big Brother.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
NotRatedHB16-1378: Court To Collect And Transfer Costs Of DUI Tests
Position: NotRated

Update 4/26: Not Rated. Our analysis that HB 1378 opposed the principle of Limited Government was based on its failure to allow courts to take into account the facts and circumstance of an individual case, so the bill codified fixed/mandatory fines/punishments. During the bill’s hearing in the House Finance Committee Representative Kevin Van Winkle proposed an amendment that struck the portion of the bill requiring the court to collect the costs resulting from the collection and analysis of any chemical test upon the defendant. The legislators on the Finance Committee voted unanimously to adopt the amendment, and the bill no longer opposes the principle of limited government. HB 1378 will move to a No Rate.

Previous Position:Oppose

Under current law, upon a motion by a prosecuting attorney and at the discretion of the court, a convicted DUI defendant may be required to reimburse a law enforcement agency for any costs resulting from the collection and analysis of any chemical test upon the defendant. This bill requires the court to collect such costs from the defendant and transfer them to the law enforcement agency. So either way, the prosecutor must make the motion to recover these costs. Currently, the court can assess the convicted DUI the cost of the DUI chemical tests. This bill removes that decision from the judge and makes it mandatory. This is somewhat analogous to mandatory sentencing, but call it mandatory fining. This ignores the rest of the facts and circumstances of the individual case, which seems to be the purview of the court. Mandating government force does not strike us as the best way to go about something.

OpposeHB16-1381: Health Care Coverage For Cancer Screening
Position: Oppose

This bill requires annual health care coverage for breast cancer screening using the breast imaging modality appropriate for each individual as determined by the individual’s physician or radiologist, and adds a new mandate that, “A covered individual is not subject to cost sharing when an imaging modality has been recommended by the individual’s radiologist for the purpose of obtaining a breast cancer screening.” More government telling healthcare providers what they must provide for “free”. The entire premise of this argument is that there is a “public cost” created by cancer and every other disease, and that by forcing you to provide more preventive care for everyone, you’re actually saving yourself money in the long run. POL believes that an individual’s health care is not responsibility of the taxpayer – that is, there is no right of government to plunder some citizens in order to provide health care for others. No Virginia, there really is no “right” to free health care.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1383: Child Welfare Predictive Analytic Pilot Program
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the department of human services to develop a big data program across multiple agencies dedicated to calculating a child’s risk for abuse or neglect, and select a vendor for the pilot project at a cost of $ 500,000. The bill states that the collected data is to be shared with the state department. This is “Big Data Meets Child Welfare.” Protecting the right to life is a legitimate role of the state. However, that role is limited to the immediate protection of the right to life and the adjudication of crimes against life. It does not encompass something as broad as a data program created to predict problems, particularly one that does so via methods as invasive as utilizing technology to determine the “hidden relationships” a child might have, “text mining”, geospatial analysis, etc. We seem to referencing “Minority Report” way too often this year…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1385: Definition Child Abuse Substance Exposure
Position: Oppose

This bill wildly expands the definition of “child abuse” to include any case in which substance use or substance exposure threatens or results in harm to the child’s welfare as suggested by any one of the following: A) a statement or behavior suggesting impairment of a parent, guardian or any person in charge of the child B) exposure to or ingestion of any legal or illegal substance that is purposefully or negligently accessible to the child, or C) the manufacture, distribution, production, possession, cultivation, or use of a legal or illegal substance that creates an environment that is purposefully or negligently injurious to the child. This bill is incredibly broad. What is a negligent use of a legal substance? Forgetting to put the cap on a bottle of Advil? Leaving an open beer on the table? Having a poisonous decorative plant like a poinsettia on a low shelf (what – you didn’t know that poinsettia’s are poisonous?!) This bill should be re-titled “Redefining the state’s ability to take your kids.”

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1386: Necessary Document Program
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Necessary Document program in the Office of Health Equity in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Did you even know that the state has an office of Health Equity? Well, now you do! The purpose of the program is to help Colorado residents who are victims of domestic violence, impacted by a natural disaster, low-income, disabled, homeless, or elderly pay the fees to acquire a necessary document. Necessary documents are defined as social security cards, driver’s licenses, identification cards, birth certificate, death certificate, or marriage certificate. The bill requires an annual appropriation of at least $ 300,000 to CDPHE from the General Fund to implement the program. The Office of Health Equity is required to annually make at least one grant or contract with a nonprofit organization to implement the program and may expend up to $ 15,000 for their own costs.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1387: Health Insurance For Protein Allergic Conditions
Position: Oppose

This bill requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for severe protein allergic conditions including: immunoglobulin E and nonimmunoglobulin E-mediated allergies to multiple food proteins, severe food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome, eosinophilic disorders as evidenced by the results of a biopsy, and impaired absorption of nutrients caused by disorders affecting the absorptive surface, function, length, and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. This includes coverage for amino acid-based elemental formulas. Now that’s a mouthful! This is why we can’t have nice things, or in this case, why health care costs continue to skyrocket (remember all that talk about Obamacare bending the cost curve”, LOL?!) When government intervenes in the free market and mandates what conditions health insurance companies must cover, it invariably increases the cost of healthcare. It is not the role of government to tell companies what products they must provide.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1388: Employer Hiring Criminal History Employee
Position: Oppose

In case you’re not already sick of legislators telling you how to run your business… this bill generally prohibits an employer from: advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position, placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position, or making an inquiry about a candidate’s arrests or criminal convictions until the candidate has been offered an interview or a conditional offer of employment. Exceptions are made for when the law forbids a person from being employed on account of a criminal conviction or requires an employer to consider a candidate’s criminal history for the job—because obviously only the government should be allowed to determine when criminal history disqualifies you from holding a particular position—and when the employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories, or when the job requires a fidelity bond and the criminal history would disqualify the candidate. If you violate this law, you’re subject to civil penalties. So let’s make sure we get this straight: YOU can’t ask about criminal history, but GOVERNMENT can prevent those with criminal histories from holding certain jobs, and YOU become a CRIMINAL if you violate this double-standard. Got it.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1390: Immunity When Overdoses Reported
Position: Support

Current law provides immunity, with certain exceptions, from criminal prosecution for a person who overdoses or one person who, in good faith, reports an overdose. The reporter must remain at the scene of the event until law enforcement or emergency medical personnel arrive; they must also identify themselves to, and cooperate with, the law enforcement officer or emergency medical responder. This bill expands the language from “immune from criminal prosecution” to “immune from arrest and prosecution”. The fiscal note states that, “Because arrests during overdose events are rare, the revenue impact will be minimal.” So while this doesn’t seem to be a huge problem, if you can’t prosecute, then why arrest? LEO’s still have the abilities needed to deal with the situation, including detention, etc. This is a small step towards individual liberty (being able to do the right thing without fear of state coercion) and limiting government.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1391: Immigration Consultants Deceptive Trade Practice
Position: Oppose

This bill establishes that no one except for a licensed attorney or someone who has been authorized under federal law may represent others in “immigration matters”. Violations shall be prosecuted as a deceptive trade practice. In addition, if a notary public advertises in a language other than English, he must provide additional disclaimers that he is not an attorney or immigration consultant. Hmmm, doesn’t that sound like profiling to have a different set of rules based upon someone’s language…? We guess it’s ok when it’s “for your own good.” More of government assuming that individuals can’t possibly offer good services without a government issued license, not to mention assuming that individuals are incapable of making intelligent choices about whom to consult without the help of the beneficent governmental licensure system.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1393: Search Warrant For Communicable Disease Testing
Position: Support

Current law provides that a person may be required to submit to a medical test for communicable diseases if the person’s or another person’s bodily fluid came into contact with another person related to a conviction or finding of probable cause related to an assault in the first, second, or third degree. The bill repeals these provisions and substitutes a provision authorizing a court to issue a search warrant for a person’s bodily fluid if probable cause exists to believe that 1) assault has been committed and 2) that the person’s or another person’s bodily fluid came into contact with another person. So this bill appears to dial the state coercion back a little bit, requiring a court approved search warrant.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1394: Concerning Clarifying Definitions Related to At-Risk Persons
Position: Oppose

Pro Tip – whenever you see the word “Clarifying” in the bill title, substitute the word “Expanding”, and that will be the better descriptor 99% of the time. POL has consistently explained that the principle of “Equal Application of the Rule of law” means that whether you harm person A or person B, since every person is equal under the law, then either situation should result in the same response. The legislature, however, consistently treats some folks as more “equal” than others. The theory behind singling out certain groups of people for special treatment is that the role of the state is to plunder the public in order to raise the funds to initiate the force of government to help people. Therefore, it is entirely logical that some people need more help than others. POL believes that the role of government is to protect the rights of the individual, which boils down to protecting your rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness – equally for everyone. In this regard, POL believes that all lives matter equally. This bill expands the definitions of people who are “at-risk”. The bill also expands the mandatory requirement to report “mistreatment” to nearly everyone. In addition, the law forces additional financial penalties as well as “surcharges” that the state Department of Human Services gets to dole out to qualifying organizations for helping said at-risk people.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1398: Implement Respite Care Task Force Recommendations
Position: Oppose

Once again, the legislature wants to coerce, er help, another industry that it believes can’t function optimally without its help. This bill implements recommendations from the “Respite Care Task Force”. It directs the Department of Human Services to contract an entity to conduct a massive study of the respite care industry, create an online inventory of existing training opportunities for respite caregivers, and provide information on how to become a respite care provider. It also mandates that this entity develop a “centralized community outreach and education program” and develop a “more robust statewide training system for individuals wishing to provide respite care,” that will eventually include things like training in cultural competency. Yes, you read that right – cultural competency. Of course, the bill never defines “cultural competency” – we guess that everyone’s just supposed to know such things? The bill also creates a respite care fund in order to finance this endeavor, using the tried and true “gifts, grants and donations” ploy to prime the pump for future appropriations of your hard earned money.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1401: Retail Food Licensure and Inspection
Position: Oppose

Let’s start with a brief history lesson. Last year, HB15-1226 was proposed and passed. POL rated that bill as opposing the principles of Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility. Here’s our review on that bill from last year: “This bill removes the annual license fees for these retail food establishments from statute and requires the state board of health to establish the fees by rule instead. The legislation states that the current process, ‘… does not allow for regular, necessary increases to address rising costs due to inflation, population growth, or growth in the retail food establishment industry.’ Well now, that IS a problem – the government can’t raise taxes, er fees, whenever and however it likes? We all know that only the state can keep our food safe, and it has to be able to easily increase fees every year. Not.” Now, let’s see this year’s result from last year’s bill. Surprise – the bill increases the annual licensing fees paid by retail food establishments beginning January 1, 2017. Additional increases on January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019, are contingent upon compliance with requirements on the Department of Public Health & Environment.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
NotRatedHB16-1402: Prohibit Device Wager Previous Sporting Even
Position: NotRated

Our interns are at it again, assaulting the forces of statism, one pithy one-liner at a time! One of our interns had a few things to say about this bill, so we’re going to let you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth… pun intended.

“Our beloved state legislature is back at it again protecting our most cherished liberties, unless of course those liberties may lead to negative consequences. But who can blame them? After all, the Constitution does say, ‘legislators, train up your constituents in the way they should go.’ This bill prohibits the use of a device that allows wagering on sporting events that have already taken place. Generally, instant racing is basically a racing slot machine. These machines usually have a library of about 60,000 races and they do not show any date or location indicators. There is a skills graph based upon the jockey’s and horse’s winning percentage. A player then chooses the top three placers and wins money based upon the results. This form of gambling has been banned, unbanned, and banned again in states all over the country.”

His assessment of the bill is spot on, and we’re giving this bill a No Rate for one reason: Unfortunately, crony corporatist gambling policies are codified in our state constitution. The Colorado Constitution restricts “limited gaming” (gambling) to 3 areas of the state—Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Since it’s an arguable legal position (other states have been litigating back and forth on this issue) that these “racing slot machines” are gambling, this bill’s prohibition on the operation of these machines at racetracks simply continues the protectionist racket, er, reaffirms what is already codified in the state constitution. Undoubtedly slipped into the constitution under the guise of limiting gambling in the name of “the public health and welfare,” the provision really just grants a government sanctioned gambling monopoly to specific businesses in these areas. While we abhor that type of cronyism, we don’t want our ratings to penalize legislators because they have taken an oath to uphold the constitution.

Although this bill is a No Rate, this legislation, and in this case, the Colorado Constitution, opposes:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1403: Colorado Secure Savings Plan
Position: Oppose

Stating that individual savings plans “have proved risky and unreliable,” this bill establishes the “Colorado Secure Savings Plan” –a mandated retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. The bill would establish a state board to oversee the plan, mandate all the rules, and of course subsidize the plan, stating that the board would “Determine any nominal and reasonable assistance that may be provided to businesses to offset the initial costs of enrolling employees in the plan.” Employees would be auto-enrolled, having to opt-out if they don’t want to be in the plan. Because the government is so great at fiscal responsibility and knows how to run your business, employers with a specified number of employees in the state are required to participate in the plan. As one of our interns dryly pointed out: “Because [government-run retirement programs] are working out so well.” We can’t wait to see the fiscal note on this one, but apparently the legislature can, as they’ve scheduled the bill for committee for this Wednesday with no fiscal note reported as of yet, but we’re sure they’ll drop it in plenty of time for legislators to give it a serious review (or not). If Colorado implements a government run retirement program like this, as well as a state run health care plan like what’s being proposed on the ballot this November, then the draft from the mass of productive people leaving the state will clash with the draft from freeloaders rushing into the state, creating a massive economic tornado that will absolutely devastate Colorado.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1404: Regulate Fantasy Contests
Position: Oppose

Wow, did our crew blow some gaskets on this one, especially our sports loving interns! This bill says that a person must be licensed by the newly created “office of fantasy contests” in the department of regulatory agencies to be able to run a fantasy league. Fantasy contests may be conducted by a fantasy contest operator at licensed gaming establishments, class B horse racing tracks, and at a licensed facility at which pari-mutuel wagering may occur. A licensed fantasy contest operator must: submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check, must not use a device that replicates or qualifies as limited gaming (got to protect those casinos!), must contract with a third party to annually perform an independent audit to ensure compliance and submit the results of the audit to the state, and keep daily records of its operations and maintain the records for at least 3 years. A fantasy contest operator who violates the act is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $ 1,000 for each violation. Some comments from our interns included, “The function of this bill is to stifle us and our fellow subject’s ability to have fun,” and, “I rule the XXXXX Football League with an iron fist and I forcefully tax my subjects $ 50 for having the privilege of being in my league. Am I breaking this law?” and “The title of this bill is ‘Regulate Fantasy Contests’. I think that says it all.” They identified 4 principles that the bill opposes, but since we’re limiting the number of principles per this year to 3, we cut out “Limited Government”, since it’s already been the most over-abused principle this year.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Property Rights
  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1414: Funding Base For Telecom Relay Services
Position: Oppose

This bill was run through committee and the House last week just 4 days after it was introduced, but it did receive significant opposition. The Colorado Disabled Telephone Users Fund pays for the PUC to provide telecommunication services to Coloradans who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, deaf-blind, and those with central nervous system disabilities, as well as similar programs in the CDE and DHS. The fund receives revenue from a surcharge on landlines, which is currently set at a rate of $ 0.05 per line per month, generating approximately $ 2.9 million in FY 2016-17. This bill will apply a monthly surcharge on all mobile wireless and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers in Colorado raising more than another $ 2,200,000 a year in “fees”. The additional surcharge revenue will be used for the Reading Services for the Blind Cash Fund in the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Cash Fund in the Department of Human Services. In addition, this bill removes the current 3.0 percent statutory cap on the PUC’s administrative costs associated with developing, implementing, and administering telecommunications relay services. But don’t worry, it’s just a new surcharge on cell phones and VOIP service, so this isn’t a TAX increase!

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1420: CO Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enter
Position: Oppose

You knew it was coming and here it is – a bill to make the hospital provider fee an “enterprise” in order to exempt it from TABOR. Millions more for government, millions less for you. Bi-partisan, no less. Because the need to plunder is strong at the capitol.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
SupportHB16-1423: Student Data Collection Use Security
Position: Support

A bi-partisan bill that supports the Principles of Liberty! This bill requires that the State Board of Education, the Colorado Department of Education, and school districts, etc. take actions to increase the transparency and security of student Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The bill imposes requirements on companies that provide school services. The bill also recognizes a parent’s right to inspect and review his or her child’s student PII, request a paper or electronic copy of his or her child’s student PII, and request corrections to factually inaccurate student PII.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1427: Multi Serving Liquid Marijuana Products
Position: Support

In 2014, HB14-1366 was passed with the intent to ensure that marijuana items were clearly marked so that children or others didn’t unintentionally consume them. The Marijuana Enforcement Division, a division of the Department of Revenue, subsequently promulgated a rule that marijuana products that can’t be stamped are subject to a single serving rule that will go into effect this October. This rule would limit retailers to selling only single serving sized quantities of marijuana infused liquids, although under new law you may be able to purchase multiple single-serving sized quantities at a time, making the rule entirely superfluous and a big expense for the businesses because the rule would force them to pay for more packaging per unit sold. This bill essentially overrides the division, exempting a multi-serving liquid retail marijuana product from the existing limit on equivalency sales if the product complies with all statutory and rule requirements regarding packaging, has a single mechanism to achieve both child-resistance and accurate dosing of each liquid, the servings are in increments equal to or less than 10 milligrams per serving with no more than 100 milligrams total per package, and the dosing component is within the child-resistant cap or closure of the bottle and not a separate component. While the restrictive qualifications don’t support our principles, the bill remedies the Marijuana Enforcement Division rule that would prevent retailers from selling multi-serving bottles of liquid at all.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1430: Oil & Gas Operators Share Dev Plans With Local Gov
Position: Oppose

This bill re ects another attempt to permit localized tyranny of the majority over the private property rights of individuals in the name of “local control.” Let’s get something straight: you do not have a right to “local control” of your neighbor’s property. You have a right to not have your property rights violated, but a majority does not give you a right to violate or limit the life, liberty, or property rights of others. Using a majority in order to control your neighbor’s property is called a tyranny of the majority. In a constitutional republic, we strive for majority rule limited by individual (sometimes referred to as “minority”) rights. The role of government is to protect the rights of
the ultimate minority – the individual. This bill requires oil and gas operators to register with the local governments in which they plan to drill. In addition to mandating that operators comply with the registration processes established by local governments, the bill explicitly authorizes the local government to request the number of wells the operator plans to drill in the next five years, a map of the existing well sites within the operator’s jurisdiction, sites in which the operator has submitted or approved drilling and spacing orders, and sites the operator has identi ed for development even if no applications to drill have been led yet.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1431: OED Small Business Endeavor Program
Position: Oppose

Awesome –yet another government “program” in the Colorado Office of Economic Development— said POL never. Small businesses can get into the program and learn how to best compete for contracts from government. The program will also provide training and information to small businesses on the tools necessary to successfully conduct business with government. Of course, there is the obligatory report back to the legislature in 2018 detailing the grand success of the program by quantifying how many little piggies they can round up to the trough so that the program can be expanded. How awesome is that? Then, come the legislative session in 2019, POL will be reporting on a new bill to “Clarify” (i.e., expand) the program, and we’ll quote this review in our future review in 2019. Stay tuned.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1432: Personnel Files Employee Inspection Right
Position: Oppose

As Yogi Berra would say, it’s Déjà vu all over again. Last year it was House Bill 1342. This year it’s House Bill 1432. Last year the bill made it out of committee, but languished in the House, never getting a final vote (that’s another way to kill a bill). Last year’s version of the bill would have exempted the state of Colorado, state political subdivisions, and financial institutions from the bill’s requirements. It also required that the employee may provide written rebuttal information and required that the employer add and retain that rebuttal in the employer’s personnel file. This year’s version of the bill drops those requirements, and requires an employer to allow an employee or former employee to inspect or request copies of the employee’s or former employee’s personnel file at the employer’s office and at a time convenient to both the employer and the employee or former employee, at least annually, upon request. This is called the incremental approach. When you can’t get the whole enchilada the first time, you try again in an effort to get your nose under the tent. It’s much easier to “clarify” legislation (remember our comment on clarifications from last week) in future years. This is why principle needs to be applied consistently, regardless of how “big of a deal” it may or may not seem to be at the time. Incrementalism is, unfortunately, effective, and over the years accumulates massive damage to freedom by expanding government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Property Rights
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1434: Disclosure Political Party Communication Activity
Position: Oppose

Under current law, any person who spends $ 1,000 or more per calendar year on electioneering communications must disclose the amount spent to the Secretary of State (SOS), and the name and address of any person who donated more than $ 250 to the person who purchased the electioneering communication. This bill makes political party communication activities subject to the same disclosure requirements as electioneering communications. Colorado’s restrictions on free speech around campaigns are already over-reaching, and this is extension of those restrictions. Because the state must not allow free speech without the ability to respond with intimidation…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1435: Low Wage Employer Corporate Responsibility Act
Position: Oppose

Wondering why the cost of goods and services have skyrocketed in the past several years? Look no further than bills like this. This bill, known as the “Corporate Responsibility Act”, creates the employment-related public benefits enterprise (enterprise) as a government-owned business. (After reading that sentence, we wanted to stop reading and Oppose it already, but we soldiered on). The enterprise is required to impose an employment-related public benefits fee on employers based on a per-hour worked basis for each employee of a low-wage employer that employs 250 or more employees in Colorado in order to force them to shoulder their “fair share” of the costs of healthcare. The fee must be somewhere between 25 cents and a dollar per hour worked by a low-wage employee. According to the calculations of one of our excellent interns, assuming 8-hour workdays and 251 workdays in a year (as there were in 2015), the annual cost of this bill to a business of 250 workers could be up to $ 502,000 (although “a low-wage employer may credit health care expenditures to or on behalf of a low-wage employee against the public benefits fee for each low-wage employee’s hours). Naturally, the bill then ties the hands of employers so that they can’t take measures such as reducing the number of employees to a number they can afford to subsidize. Redistribution is not a hallmark of fiscal responsibility. Wondering why this bill creates an enterprise instead of simply levying the fee directly? Enterprises are exempted from TABOR. Legislators don’t want to bother with your pesky taxpayer rights!

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1436: No Edible Pot Products to Entice Kids
Position: Oppose

How to regulate thee? Let us count the ways. House Bill 1363 would regulate product advertising for MMJ that may reach kids. No “Joe Camel” ads for you! This bill goes after product production itself. It requires the state to set rules that prohibit the production and sale of edible marijuana products that resemble the form of a human, animal, or fruit. That leaves shapes (could be marketing to geometry students!) or plants (eat your veggies, kids!) or… who knows what? As one of our volunteers said, “They forgot cartoon characters.  Have you eaten sponge bob?  I mean, those can be some tasty looking treats.” You can’t make this stuff up, folks. The well-intentioned protective state ever at your enslavement, er, service. It is the job of parents and guardians to keep dangerous items out of the hands of their children. The same principles that apply to knives, bottles of alcohol, sugary cereal, and anything else a guardian might want to keep away from their child apply to marijuana edibles. As one of our interns said, “I am going to oppose this bill because it diminishes the role of personal responsibility. It is the job of parents to ensure that their children do not have access to these products. This is just another example of government intrusion in the name of protecting the children.” Our college interns get it.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1437: School Bus Stop Arm Safety Enforcement
Position: Oppose

Currently, law enforcement may issue a citation to an individual who violates the school bus stop arm law if the driver of the school bus follows a procedure that includes notifying the driver’s school district transportation dispatcher of the color, basic description, and license plate number of the vehicle involved in the violation, information pertaining to the identity of the alleged violator, and the time and the approximate location at which the violation occurred. This bill would allow law enforcement to “issue a penalty assessment notice on the basis of information obtained by law enforcement to the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the violation.” Allowing citations based on “information” is incredibly broad. A few of the concerns raised in committee were that the registered owner of the car would be cited, even if he wasn’t the one driving the car, and that the bill opens the door to “red light cameras 2.0” (some buses already have cameras, and this would allow citations based on cameras).

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1438: Employer Accommodations Related To Pregnancy
Position: Oppose

This bill makes it an unfair employment practice if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations for an applicant for employment or an employee for conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. The bill requires each employer to provide a notice of rights regarding the unfair employment practice to his or her employees. While the bill provides a lot of exceptions to the specifications an employer must make—including if the accommodations would require employers to hire new employees that they wouldn’t otherwise have hired, create a new position for the employee, or cause “undue hardship” on the business—the bill nevertheless interferes in the relationship between employer and employee.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1441: PUC Consider Full Cost Carbon for Elec Generation
Position: Oppose

Colorado already is one of the few states with a carbon tax already in effect on coal. Besides being poorly written and making assertions that have been completely discredited, this bill would also give us an effective tax on all electric power generation based upon “the likelihood of new environmental regulations” and “both present and future costs associated the emission of greenhouse gases… based on the cost per ton of greenhouse gas emissions.”

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1443: Youth Sports Orgs Background Check Notice
Position: Oppose

This bill requires youth sports organizations to notify a parent or legal guardian of each participating child concerning the organization’s policies relating to criminal history background checks for adult employees and volunteers who work directly with children. Youth sports organizations must provide the notice within 30 days of a child registering with the organization. In addition, the bill requires youth sports organizations to supervise all adult employees and volunteers who work directly with children but who have not had a background check conducted in the preceding 12 months. Youth sports organizations are defined in the bill as private, for-profit or not-for-profit corporations that provide sports activities for youths under age 18 as part of its core function. The bill excludes neighborhood youth organizations, public and private K-12 schools, public and private institutions of higher education, organizations providing unscheduled sporting events on a walk-in basis, and short-term classes or lessons on a walk-in basis from the definition of youth sports organization. That sounds consistent.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1445: Prohibit Persons Under 21 At Liquor Stores
Position: Oppose

This bill makes it unlawful for a person licensed to sell alcohol beverages at retail for off-premises consumption to allow a person under 21 years of age to enter the licensed premises unless the person is accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years of age. Maybe it’s the “Bouncer Full Employment Act”?


We’ll just go with some of our interns’ analysis here… “Watching the government attempt to keep minors away from alcohol is not unlike a 12 year old babysitting for the first time that has completely lost control. It is kind of adorable and sad at the same time.” And then there’s this, “What exactly does this bill seek to do? Let’s go over the scenario this seeks to solve for. Scenario 1: I am a bright eyed and bushy tailed 19 year old and I want to get drunk. Here is a good idea, I will go to the local liquor store to see if the clerk will sell me alcohol without an ID. Oh wait, I just remembered that the Colorado Legislature just passed HB 16-1445 and I am not allowed to go into a liquor store without being accompanied by someone 21 or older. Blast, the government has foiled my plans yet again! Scenario 2: I am 19 and I am feeling pretty cool because I just ordered a fake Vermont ID and now I am going to get hammered. Oh wait, I remembered my parents talking about HB 16-1445 and how it is illegal for someone under 21 to be in a liquor store without being accompanied by someone 21 or older. I guess the 50 bucks I spent on my fake is a sunk cost. The devilishly clever government has won this round.” And finally, “Definitely opposing this on the grounds that it expands the government. It also creates a law that punishes behavior that does not infringe on other’s rights. Another problem with this bill is that it adds an undue burden to the store owner. Are they going to begin carding at the door?” There’s more, but you’ll have to become a POL volunteer and be in our Slack community to enjoy all the hilarity.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1446: K-3 English Learner Reading Assessment Language
Position: Oppose

Under current law, local education providers are required to measure each early grade student’s reading competency using interim reading assessments throughout the school year. This bill permits education providers to choose the language in which it will test certain students. For students enrolled in kindergarten through third grade whose native language is Spanish, the bill specifies that school can decide whether the student takes the required reading assessments in English or Spanish. While we’re at it, what about other languages? We’re all for learning multiple languages, but for a school that is supposed to be teaching kids how to read, to measure their reading comprehension in a different language than that in which the class is taught seems a bit off track. This could require additional sets of standards, capabilities, and testing procedures on the part of schools and open the door to a number of new demands upon school systems.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Equal Protection/Rule of Law
OpposeHB16-1447: State Fair Funding
Position: Oppose

This bill makes a one-time general fund transfer in the 2016-17 state fiscal year to the Colorado state fair authority cash fund for the purpose of renovating and enhancing the horse show arena area facilities used at the Colorado state fair. Love horses (some of us have them), love 4H (spent years in the program), enjoy the fair (have actually been), but not big on the redistribution.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1449: Safe Contracting For School District Services
Position: Oppose

This is a massive protectionist bill that makes changes to state law regarding contracts for professional services entered into by school districts. The bill requires a review of all bids in a regularly scheduled school board meeting, unless a special meeting is authorized to give an opportunity for the union of the affected employees to counter the bid (kind of defeats the purpose of a competitive bid, no?). The bill also requires at least one public hearing conducted by the school district prior to soliciting bids to provide professional services and before entering into a contract for professional services. The bill also requires proof of liability insurance equivalent to that provided by the school district for the contracting activity. The bill also forbids a school district from entering into a contract with a contractor who has “committed unfair labor practices” (which isn’t defined) within the 5 years preceding the date that bids are solicited. In addition, the school district shall not enter into a contract that takes effect prior to the expiration of an existing collective bargaining agreement concerning the employees impacted by the new contract, and if, after all that, if the school does hire a new service provider, the bill requires the contractor to offer available employee positions to the existing employees (which would kind of defeat the purpose of hiring a new company to begin with). Must be an election year.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1452: Hotel Wine Permitted Sales
Position: Support

Currently, hotel restaurants can’t sell a bottle of wine like a free-standing restaurant might. This bill creates a “wine-expanded permit” that allows a hotel with a valid hotel-restaurant liquor license to sell sealed containers of wine for consumption on or off the premises. Permitted hotels must follow the same hours of restrictions as other licensed retailers, restrict sales to a specifically designated area of the premises, and ID consumers who appear to be under 35 years old.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Free Markets
OpposeHB16-1453: Colorado Cybersecurity Initiative
Position: Oppose

This bill creates the Colorado Cybersecurity Council in the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The council is comprised of specified officers from the Governor’s office, executive branch agencies, military organizations, institutions of higher education, the Attorney General’s office, and the State Auditor’s office. The DPS may coordinate entities to support requirements for the fusion of cyber defense, cyber surveillance, and international and domestic intelligence and law enforcement operations. Uh-oh, this isn’t about securing the state’s systems… The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), in partnership with a nonprofit organization that supports national, state, and regional cybersecurity initiatives, may establish and expand higher education programs in cybersecurity and establish cyber education and training laboratories in specified subject areas. In furthering efforts to establish cyber education and training, UCCS and the nonprofit organization may coordinate with national entities to certify cyber courses and curricula, coordinate educational planning with other institutions of higher education, and establish a public policy think tank as an academic research center. A state sponsored and funded think tank… what could go wrong? The bill creates the continuously appropriated cybersecurity gifts, grants, and donations account, and of course, the regents of the University of Colorado may seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, or donations from private or public sources, as well as seek out federal funding. Naturally, once any gifts grants and donations run out (remember how this is one way to help get a program started, then drop it off on the state’s doorstep?), they’ll be back demanding money from the state so as not to have to cut such a critical program. Start up costs are $ 8 million for our very own government cybersecurity compound. Because the free market would never see a need for cybersecurity and provide competitive products and services. You know how easy those iPhones are to crack into…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • States vs. Federal Balance of Power
OpposeHB16-1454: Primary Participation Act
Position: Oppose

Wow, has this one generated a lot of response. Never let a crisis go to waste. There are some developments behind the scenes that are providing fuel for this fire, namely, the threat of ballot initiatives for open primaries. So the response is, quick, let’s take the gun away from the bad guy who is threatening to kill us and shoot ourselves in the foot so that we can somehow control the damage. This is a long, complicated bill with some constitutionally questionable elements. We’d be surprised if it weren’t shopped to the Attorney General for an opinion, or if it were challenged legally if passed, which would mean those ballot initiatives could still be put into play. The biggest issue for POL on this bill is the coercive force of the state against private political groups, in this case Parties, by forcing terms of affiliation upon them, giving the state the ability to make some pretty broad rules, and treating “minor” parties disproportionately as well. Panic buying is rarely a good idea, and this bill is no exception.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Individual Liberty
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1455: Metropolitan Football Stadium Dist Administration
Position: Oppose

This bill makes some changes to the makeup of the board of the metro football stadium district and establishes term limits for board members. Current law allows the board to sell or lease the name and other intangible assets related to its stadium. The current language is “Prior to making a determination to sell or lease the name of the stadium, the board shall assess the costs and benefits of such sale or lease and specifically consider the public sentiment and any other benefits associated with retaining the name “Mile High stadium” or with using any other name that reflects the geographical, historical, cultural, spiritual, or other qualities of the state.” The new law would mandate that any future sale, lease, or other agreement regarding a new name ‘must provide that the name of the stadium contains the phrase “Mile High”.’ Last time we checked, it’s not the role of the state government to mandate the names of stadiums. Of course, POL would argue it’s not the role of government to be involved at all in funding private organizations, but that’s not the topic of this bill…

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1457: Sales & Use Tax Exemption Residential Energy
Position: Support

Energy sources are exempt from taxation when sold for the purpose of powering residential fixtures and appliances. Technically, the exemption applies to energy sources sold to occupants of residences and only when the energy sources will not be resold. The Department of Revenue previously interpreted this exemption to also apply to multifamily residential properties and other situations. Now it seems that the revenuers at DOR are looking for any way they can skin taxpayers for more money by changing their rules, so this bill is a response to their exuberance. This bill codifies the exemption for all sales of energy sources for residential use, specifically the exemption from taxation on energy sources that are purchased for a multifamily residential property and resold to individual resident households. Additionally, the bill clarifies that residential use is presumed when an energy source is sold at a residential utility rate. The bill also clarifies that the state sales and use tax exemption for residential uses of electricity, coal, wood, gas, fuel oil, and coke applies when energy sources are resold or sold to persons who are not occupants of the residence.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1461: Tenancies One Month To One Year
Position: Oppose

Under current law, a tenancy of one month or more but less than 6 months may be terminated by either party with 7 days’ notice. The bill extends the notice to 28 days. The bill also requires 28 days’ notice for a landlord to increase rent in tenancies of one month or longer but less than one year. Because nothing says big brother is looking out for you like intervening into free market contracts.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
SupportHB16-1463: Breakfast After The Bell Authority To Charge
Position: Support

Under current law, public schools with at least 70 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch must offer free breakfast to each student in the school. The bill allows those schools with between 70 and 80 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch to charge students who are not eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch for breakfast as long as they do so in a way that doesn’t create a distinction between a student who is charged for breakfast and a student who receives a free breakfast.

This legislation supports the principles of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1465: Modifications Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
Position: Oppose

In 2014, House Bill 14-1017 (which POL rated as Opposing the principles of Free Markets, Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility) restored an income tax credit to owners of qualified low-income housing developments. The bill allowed CHFA to issue $ 30 million of income tax credits in 2015 and 2016, 1466 or a total of $ 60 million. This bill extends the number of years, from two to five years, in which the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) may allocate low-income housing income tax credits.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government
  • Fiscal Responsibility
OpposeHB16-1466: Promoting Affordable Housing
Position: Oppose

This bill requires the state treasurer, on or before June 30, 2016, to transfer million from the state’s unclaimed property trust fund (unclaimed property moneys) to the division of housing in the department of local affairs (division) and to the Colorado housing and finance authority (authority). Of the moneys to be transferred, the bill requires million to be deposited by the division into the housing development grant fund (HDG fund) to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado, which includes rental assistance for persons in households with low and very low incomes, and million to the authority to be deposited by the authority into the affordable housing assistance fund (affordable housing fund) to support new or existing programs that provide financial assistance to persons in households with an income of 80% or less of the area median income for the purpose of allowing such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes as well as to provide financial assistance to any nonprofit entity and political subdivision that makes loans to persons in such households to enable such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes. Letting government bureaucracy get in between charity and its beneficiaries sounds ultra efficient. Not. Section 2 creates the affordable housing fund in the authority, which fund is to be administered by the authority, and gives the authority the sole administrative discretion to determine how best to expend moneys deposited into the affordable housing fund that support the programs that it administers under the bill. Sections 3 and 4 direct the division to administer all new or existing programs to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado that are supported by the million transfer from the unclaimed property trust fund to the HDG fund under the bill.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
OpposeHB16-1467: First-time Home Buyer Savings Acct Tax Deduction
Position: Oppose

This bill allows for the creation of first-time home buyer savings accounts, and starting tax year 2017, allows an income tax deduction for account holders equal to the interest and other income earnings on account contributions. The savings account holder must designate a qualifying beneficiary of the account who must have never owned a single-family, owner-occupied residence (including a condo, manufactured home or mobile home). Allowable contributions to a savings account are limited to $ 14,000 per year for individuals and $ 28,000 for joint filers per year. The maximum principal in the account is limited to $ 50,000 and maximum amount in an account is limited to $ 150,000. Using the tax code to incentivize actions in private markets is intervention in free markets, which is not a role of government.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

  • Free Markets
  • Limited Government