Last week, we brought you part 1 of the Interim Committee Recap series. Today, we’re bringing you part 2, covering the rest of the interim committees and their bills, which were all approved for introduction in the 2022 legislative session at the November 15 Legislative Council meeting.
The Colorado Youth Advisory Council Review Committee met three times during the interim. The committee heard presentations from its student members about youth mental health, higher education tuition waivers for students who have been in foster care, and the Colorado Youth Advisory Council’s enabling legislation. The committee requested the drafting of three bills, one on each of the presented subjects. The committee recommended all three bills to the Legislative Council.
- Bill A – Promoting Crisis Services to Students. The bill requires each student identification card issued to a public school student to contain the phone number, website address, and text talk number for the 24-hour telephone crisis service center (Colorado crisis services). If the school does not issue identification cards, the school shall request and display outreach materials from Colorado crisis services. The bill requires Colorado crisis services to notify each public school in the state that it can provide outreach materials explaining the services provided, how to engage the services, and the possibility of peer-to-peer counseling as part of the offered services. Colorado crisis services shall provide those materials upon request.
- Bill B – Higher Education Support for Foster Youth. The bill requires all public higher education institutions (institutions) in Colorado to waive undergraduate tuition and fees for Colorado resident students who have been in foster care, or, following an adjudication as neglected or dependent, in noncertified kinship care, in Colorado while 13 years of age or at any time since (qualifying students). Each institution must designate an employee to serve as a liaison to qualifying or prospective qualifying students. The bill requires school district and state charter school institute child welfare education liaisons to provide students in out-of-home placement with information and assistance regarding the tuition waiver for qualifying students.
- Bill C – Colorado Youth Advisory Council Updates. The bill makes changes to the structure of the Colorado Youth Advisory Council (council), including:
- Changing the deadline to appoint nonlegislative members and removing the majority-vote requirement for approval of nonlegislative members of the council;
- Requiring the council to adopt written bylaws setting forth a leadership structure for the council and clarifying that the council can elect members to serve in any leadership position described in its bylaws;
- Requiring two council meetings each year be held in person;
- Requiring that the council report to the Colorado Youth Advisory Council Review Committee (review committee) during the interim; and
- Changing the process for appointing the chair and vice-chair of the review committee and specifying duties of the review committee chair.
Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
The Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems (committee) met four times during the 2021 interim. The committee heard presentations from multiple stakeholders, mental health advocates, and representatives from state executive departments concerning the issues facing persons with mental health disorders who have been in contact, in one form or another, with the criminal or juvenile justice systems. The committee requested the drafting of 10 bills. Of those, two were withdrawn prior to the September 9, 2021, meeting, three were withdrawn at that meeting, and five bills were recommended by the committee to the Legislative Council for consideration.
- Bill A – Treatment Behavioral Health Disorders Justice System. The bill updates provisions of the enabling statute for the committee Substantive changes include:
- Broadening the name and scope of the committee and associated task force (task force) from concerning the treatment of “persons with mental health disorders” to “persons with behavioral health disorders”;
- Allowing the task force to research topics for members of the committee upon request;
- Adjusting task force membership;
- Further defining issues for the task force to study; and
- Extending the repeal date to July 1, 2027.
- Bill B – Modifications to Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. The bill requires the court to order an evaluation of a defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity to determine whether the defendant meets the criteria for inpatient hospitalization or if the defendant is eligible for conditional release in the community. The bill also specifies when, after receiving the evaluation, the court shall hold a hearing, prohibits how long a defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity may remain confined in inpatient hospitalization, specifies what information a court-ordered release examination must include, and requires the medical professional treating the defendant to develop a report certifying whether the defendant continues to meet the criteria for ongoing inpatient hospitalization. The chief executive officer of the facility in which the defendant is confined shall submit the report to the court on an annual basis.
- Bill C – Pretrial Diversion for Person with Behavioral Health. The bill expands the existing pretrial diversion program to include diversion programs that are intended to identify eligible individuals with behavioral health disorders and divert such individuals out of the criminal justice system and into community treatment programs. This expansion replaces the alternative pilot programs to divert individuals with mental health conditions that are currently set to repeal July 1, 2022.
- Bill D – Emergency Mental Health Treatment & Evaluation Standard. The bill changes the standard for an emergency 72-hour mental health commitment for treatment and evaluation to include when a person appears to have a mental health disorder or be gravely disabled and, as a result of such mental health disorder or being gravely disabled, appears to present an imminent or substantial risk of harm to self or others.
- Bill E – Programs to Develop Housing Support Services. The bill establishes and expands programs within the division of housing in the department of local affairs to build the capacity of communities across the state to provide supportive housing services to individuals with behavioral, mental health, or substance use disorders who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and who have contact with the criminal or juvenile justice system.
The Transportation Legislation Review Committee (TLRC) met at the capitol twice to hear reports and consider legislation and took a few trips to fulfill its statutory authority to review the planning and construction of highway projects. At the hearings, the TLRC heard reports from the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, the Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation District, the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Transportation Commission, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Public Safety, and the North West Mayors and Commissioners Coalition. The committee also heard reports about public highway authorities, hydrogen development for zero-emission vehicles, and local government use of federal rescue plan funds.
The committee considered and recommended the following legislation:
- Bill A – Fluid Milk Product Not Divisible Load. Current law has weight limits for vehicles. One of the factors that determines a vehicle’s weight limit is whether a load is divisible, which means that the load can be divided up to lower its weight. The bill deems that a load of fluid milk products carried by a vehicle is not a divisible load.
- Bill B – Statewide Regulation of Controlled Intersections. An existing statute allows a municipality or county to adopt an ordinance or resolution specifying that a person riding a bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or electric scooter may make a safety stop, rather than a full stop, under certain circumstances when approaching an intersection that is controlled by a stop sign or a traffic control signal. The bill amends the statute to make the substantive requirements uniform statewide for most persons who are not operating a motor vehicle, including pedestrians and operators of low-speed conveyances, approaching a controlled intersection.
- Resolution A – Study State and Interstate Highway Vehicle Weight. The resolution asks the United States Congress:
- To allow the Colorado Department of Transportation to conduct an analysis of increasing the gross vehicle weight limit for the Interstate Highway System in Colorado to harmonize it with other state highways where 85,000 pounds is the maximum weight; and
- If the completed study determines it is in the best interests of Colorado to harmonize the weights for these types of highways, that Colorado be permitted by state statute to increase the gross vehicle weight limit to 85,000 pounds for vehicles traveling on the Interstate Highway System in Colorado.
The Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force (SUTSTF) met four times during the 2021 interim and heard briefings and presentations from the Office of Legislative Legal Services, the Colorado Department of Revenue, the Colorado Municipal League, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, the Coalition to Simplify Colorado Sales Tax, and members of the public on a variety of topics, including:
- The ongoing progress toward widespread adoption of and potential areas of improvement for the electronic sales and use tax simplification system;
- Municipal business licensing requirements; and
- Sales and use taxes for motor vehicle purchases.
The SUTSTF requested the drafting of five bills but recommended only the following three bills to the Legislative Council for introduction:
- Bill A – Business Licensing. To streamline the imposition, collection, and administration of local sales and use taxes imposed on retail sales made by retailers through the streamlining of application requirements for and elimination of fees for local general business licenses, the bill requires the department of revenue (department) to require sufficient information to be collected from a qualifying retailer and made available to local taxing jurisdictions to ensure that concerns of local taxing jurisdictions are addressed. The department must accomplish these tasks expeditiously so that no later than July 1, 2023, and sooner if feasible, a qualifying retailer that has a state standard retail license and either does not have physical presence or has only incidental physical presence within a local taxing jurisdiction can make retail sales within the local taxing jurisdiction without having to obtain a general business license from the local taxing jurisdiction.
- Bill B – Destination Sourcing Rule Exemption. Under current law, state sales tax is generally calculated based on the buyer’s address when a taxable product or service is delivered to a consumer, and this is known as destination sourcing. An exemption from destination sourcing that allows a small retailer with less than $100,000 in retail sales to source its sales to its business location regardless of where a purchaser receives the taxable product or service is scheduled to expire on February 1, 2022. The bill delays the repeal of the exemption to October 1, 2022.
- Bill C – Simplify Sales Tax Exemption Forms. The bill requires the department of revenue to examine the forms that it requires to be completed by persons claiming certain exemptions from state and state-collected local sales and use taxes and its requirements relating to the use of the forms and, to the extent feasible without impairing the proper administration of the exemptions, simplify the forms and related requirements. Exceptions to existing statutory requirements relating to certain forms are made for any simplifications the department makes.