Capitol Closeup May 25, 2022
2022 General Assembly Session Ends; CAHB Calling on Gov. Polis to Veto Bill; Primaries Set for June
The Colorado General Assembly concluded the second session of the 73rd General Assembly on May 11, and it was definitely a very active session for the Colorado Association of Homebuilders and our industry. In total, 239 bills were introduced in the Senate, and 417 were proposed in the House. Of those bills, the CAHB’s Government Affairs Committee reviewed more than 70 bills and took a position of support, amend or oppose on 25 specific bills.
A special thanks goes out to the members of the GAC, who met regularly throughout the session and provided positions, feedback, support and concerns to the association’s lobbying team. Mary Kay Hogan, Virginia Morrison Love and Rachel Lee, along with CEO Ted Leighty, met with legislators, provided testimony and collaborated with stakeholders from the construction and housing industries and the broader business community on several bills. The CAHB also worked through coalitions, especially the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance (HOA) and Building Jobs for Colorado (BJ4C), to work collaboratively on several high priority bills.
Rachel Lee provided a review of the legislative session for CAHB that addresses GAC-position bills, other bills of interest to the state’s business climate, and the politics of the session. That review can be accessed by clicking here.
This legislative wrap up includes updates on several key bills that the GAC and CAHB lobby team worked on during the session, including:
HB22-1304 was supported by the CAHB to help create state grants for investments in affordable housing at the local level, including grants for infill infrastructure projects that support affordable housing. This bill, including several others supported by the HBA, came from recommendations made by the Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force, advising the General Assembly on ways to spend ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) dollars to support housing.
HB22-1346 was successfully amended by the lobby team and the GAC switched to neutral. The bill sought to require the State Electrical Board and the State Plumbing Board to direct enforcement of state licensing and more limited supervisor-to-apprentice ratios. The bill was amended to remove the supervisor-to-apprentice ratio, which would have artificially limited the supply of skilled workers .
HB22-1362 was successfully amended to address CAHB concerns. The bill would have required all local governments in Colorado to adopt the 2021 International Energy Efficiency Code and impose it on the construction of all new homes by 2025. Further, it sought to require the imposition of a future model code created by the Colorado Energy Office. We were able to significantly amend the bill to create a 21-member code board to develop both Energy and Solar Codes and the Low Energy and Low Carbon codes for adoption by local governments. The board will be made up of diverse stakeholders from the building industry, building trades, environmental representatives and local governments. Stay tuned for further information from CAHB about HB22-1362 – for both the timelines for adoption of the new codes and how they could affect our industry.
HB22-1363 was postponed indefinitely by the Senate State, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee. The bill would have prohibited developer-held bonded debt to finance infrastructure before a project is ready for public financing, which would require costs to be front loaded into the purchase price of a home. After significant lobbying, CAHB lobbying efforts focused on educating legislators about how metro districts allow for development to pay its way, and without the ability to issue debt, the costs for infrastructure could not be spread over time, putting that burden on buyers at the initial purchase of a home and further exacerbating the housing affordability issue in Colorado.
SB22-138 was successfully amended to remove a prohibition on small gas engines that concerned the construction industry.
SB22-159 was another Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force recommendation supported by the HBA. The proposal will create a revolving loan fund within DOLA’s Division of Housing to make investments in transformational affordable housing.
The complete list of the CAHB’s legislative positions—including bills that the GAC supported, opposed and monitored—is available at https://statebillinfo.com/SBI/index.cfm?fuseaction=Public.Dossier&id=30181&pk=142
The GAC will continue to meet regularly throughout 2022 to monitor statewide ballot initiatives, regulatory and rulemaking by state agencies, and interim legislative committees. Please be sure to look for updates over the course of the summer and fall.
CAHB calls on Governor Polis to veto HB22-1218
CAHB sent a veto request to Governor Polis for HB22-1218, Resource Efficiency Buildings Electric Vehicles. This bill will increase costs in multi-family housing developments and will cause confusion in the industry because it conflicts with HB22-1362, the energy building codes bill. The complete letter is available here.
Important primaries set for June; ballots will be mailed around June 6
Colorado will have primary elections on Tuesday, June 28. Voters will have decisions to make in the Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate, Congress, governor, county commissioner seats and countywide posts.
The primaries continue an active election season for the General Assembly. Elections will be held in 17 out of 35 Senate districts and all 65 House districts in November. With redistricting and term limits, there will be many contested primaries for both parties in House and Senate races. The CAHB’s Political Funding Committee is interviewing potential candidates in primary and general election races. For more information about the PFC’s efforts, please contact Ted Leighty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary election ballots will be mailed to all Colorado voters around June 6. Please look for your ballot and be sure to vote for candidates who share the HBA’s positions on attainable housing, job creation and building the American Dream.
Remember that Unaffiliated voters can participate in the primary elections. If you have not selected a party preference as an Unaffiliated voter, you will receive two ballots. You can only vote and return one, either Republican or Democratic party. If you vote both, neither will count. Voting the ballot of a political party does not affiliate you with either of these major political parties.