Capitol Close Up 1-23-18
Introduction: 2018 Legislative Session Begins

The 2018 legislative recently kicked off with the annual opening day speeches that set agendas for each party. The 2018 opening day speeches were noticeably different from those from 2017, which emphasized bipartisan objectives—like construction-litigation reform and transportation funding.  This year’s speeches emphasized the differences between the parties, rather than their points of agreement.

Chief among the issues discussed by Republicans and Democrats, as well as Governor Hickenlooper, were transportation funding, reform of the state’s pension system, housing affordability and school funding. With Republicans controlling the state Senate and Democrats leading the House, compromise will be critical to moving meaningful legislation forward on these and many other issues.

Senate Republicans are focusing on transportation funding with Senate Bill 1 with the state set to receive an additional $300 million in revenue stemming from federal tax reform. GOP members want that money to exclusively go to roads without any further tax increase, and Senate Bill 1 would make that happen. Democrats, on the other hand, want to portion out that money, sending some to roads while increasing funding for K-12 education and higher education. Democratic leadership and the Governor prefer a measure that allocates $100 million or more in General Fund dollars to transportation, and then asks the voters for a tax increase for transportation this November.  This divergence will likely play out through the entire session.

Click here to read Senate President Grantham’s opening day speech.

Click here for House Speaker Duran’s speech.

Governor Hickenlooper delivered his final State of the State address on the second day of session, echoing many of the same priorities as Democratic legislative leadership. While looking back at his 8 years in office, the governor made an ambitious challenge to legislators to tackle transportation funding, state pension reform, opioid abuse, rural broadband and oil and gas safety.

Click here to read the Governor’s speech.

CAHB Government Affairs

With the opening of session, the association’s Government Affairs Committee likewise began its work tracking and weighing in on legislation impacting our industry and members. The GAC met this past Wednesday and looked at the first few bills that the lobby team identified as relevant. The first order of business was to elect the association’s previous CEO, Scott Smith, as chair of the 2018 GAC. The GAC will now meet every two weeks during the session, and a members-only legislative report will be sent out by the CAHB afterward. Additional as-needed legislative alerts and calls-for-action may come from the association, depending on future bills and General Assembly actions. The GAC reviewed a handful of early bills at the first meeting and took action on those listed below.

SB18-006: Recording Fee to Fund Affordable Housing – Position = Monitor

A bill to increase the surcharge on real estate recording documents to $5, with the additional funds to create a statewide housing fund. The CAHB and other stakeholders have previously opposed efforts to increase document fees. These fees are highly regressive, and it is hard to reconcile making housing more affordable by making it more expensive.  The bill is slated to die soon in a Senate hearing.

Click here to read SB18-006.

SB18-007: Affordable Housing Tax Credit – Position = Support

This bipartisan bill extends for five years an existing affordable housing tax credit administered by CHFA. The CAHB has regularly supported this tool to help low-income Coloradans address their housing needs.  The state LIHTC program has directly supported the development of 4,263 affordable rental units, and enabled CHFA to support 10,496 units from 2015 through September 2017. The development of the 4,263 units directly supported with state LIHTC is estimated to generate over $1.57 billion in economic impact in Colorado.

Click here to read SB18-007.

HB18-1039: Change Date of Regular Special District Elections – Position = Monitor

This legislation would change the date of regular special district elections from odd-numbered years to even years. This would better allow special districts to work with county clerks to coordinate their elections. CAHB will monitor this bill since special districts are critical to our members as they develop communities and build infrastructure.

Click here to read HB18-1039

HB18-1069: Reclaimed Water Use for Toilet Flushing – Position = Monitor

This bill would establish a pilot project to set toilet flushing in multi-family and commercial buildings as allowable uses for reclaimed domestic wastewater. The bill also authorizes a commission to establish categories of water quality standards and to recategorize any use of reclaimed domestic wastewater to a less stringent category of water-quality standard.

Click here to read HB18-1069

CAHB Legislative Guide

Be sure to check out CAHB’s 2018 legislative priorities document, which outlines the association’s positions on oil and gas regulation, growth limitations, water resources, public finance for development infrastructure, impact fees, and several other issues that affect our industry. To review the entire document please visit the CAHB website, login, and navigate to documents and files.

To register/log in please click here:

If you have any questions or would like additional information on GAC actions and any legislative issues, please contact CAHB. Also, please remember to follow and interact with the CAHB on social media at and


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