Capitol Connection – January 10, 2020
Colorado General Assembly Kicks Off A New Decade
The Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly Opened on January 8, 2020
The first gavel of the second regular session of the 72nd General Assembly came down on Wednesday, January 8th under the leadership of Senate President Leroy Garcia and Speaker of the House KC Becker. As of this afternoon, 170 bills have been introduced and the new legislature will continue at a strong pace through early May. CAR believes it is likely to be a long session with the real estate industry involved in a few contentious issues.
There are a couple new faces at the Legislature this year and maybe a few seats that could still change. Last year Rep. Perry Will was appointed to fill the seat of Bob Rankin in HD-57 when now Senator Rankin moved over to the Senate mid-session last year. Senator Lois Court is stepping down from her seat next week as she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that will require serious treatment to battle the disease. A vacancy committee could select a sitting Representative to replace her in the Senate, but we will have to wait and see if that occurrence opens up a new seat. And over in the House in HD-64, Richard Holtorf replaced Rep. Kimmi Lewis who passed away after a battle with Cancer this past December. And in HD-50, Mary Young replaced Rochelle Galindo who resigned from office last May.
In his opening remarks, President Garcia, a Democrat from Pueblo took an untraditionally progressive turn surprising even some in his own caucus. He spoke in tones of class warfare, addressing money in politics and dysfunction in Washington D.C. more reminiscent of a campaign speech than the normal opening day speeches we are accustomed to from him in the past. While many policy areas were not covered in specific detail suggesting further negotiation is at hand, Garcia did touch on a few of the successes of last year’s session including: Full Day Kindergarten, and Pay Equity. Finally, he laid out a broader message for 2020, focusing on reducing costs of healthcare with the public option and family leave in addition to working towards a more sustainable future.
In the House, KC Becker of Boulder marks 2020 as her final year in the state legislature. Speaker Becker, opened her remarks by acknowledging the success of last year’s legislative session highlighting bills on capping the costs of insulin, oil and gas reform, creating college savings accounts, increasing investments in affordable housing, before she focused on the new agenda for 2020. Like President Garcia, Speaker Becker did make distinctions between the Presidential Administration in Washington D.C. and Colorado throughout her speech.
Based on her remarks the Democrats priorities for 2020 include: criminal justice reform, ending capital punishment, gun control, reducing teen nicotine use, climate change, promoting a paid medical leave program, reducing the costs of healthcare, and the importance of funding education and transportation among other topics.
CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee (LPC), chaired by Barb Asbury of the Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®, will start their subcommittee work next week to ensure CAR is looking at all legislation important to REALTORS® across the state. The 2020 Legislative Policy Statements approved by CAR’s Board of Directors, direct the LPC to support public policy that ensures economic vitality, provides jobs and housing opportunities, preserves the environment, protects property rights, and builds better communities. This year 41 committed REALTOR® members are volunteering their time on the LPC, representing local associations across the state to ensure REALTORS® have a strong voice at the Capitol for homeowners and the real estate industry.
Governor Jared Polis Delivers State of the State Address
Governor Jared Polis addressed the 2020 legislature on January 9th with his annual State of the State address. After an initial disruption in the gallery from environment demonstrators, the Governor highlighted some of the 2019 legislative successes and pressed for action on some of these main themes of 2019 with lengthened timeframes to the end of his first term. But Governor Polis also came out with a strong new agenda for 2020 too focusing on preschool funding, fixing education funding inequalities, addressing school safety, student debt forgiveness, criminal justice reform, retirement savings, the public option for healthcare, and income tax reform. He also plans to work towards paying down the reserves, reducing teen vaping, investing in infrastructure and addressing both climate change and the high costs of healthcare. For the full text of Governor Polis’ State of the State Address, click here.
Invest in RPAC!
It’s the beginning of a new year and with it comes a fresh start. It also means the 2020 Early Bird Campaign for the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has launched but we can’t be successful this year without your support. The purpose of RPAC is to support candidates that support REALTOR® Party issues. Our goal is to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates at the local, state, and federal levels – candidates that share our support for homeownership, protect property rights. Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business. And if you missed the first webinar of the RPAC year contact Cameron at email@example.com for more information.
REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: February 13th
Don’t miss your chance to see our state legislature in action! This is a great opportunity for you to learn about and discuss important policy issues affecting the real estate industry this upcoming year, as well as hear from and network with your legislators. The REALTOR® Day at the Capitol luncheon will feature JJ Ament, the Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Patti Silverstein, Chief Economist at Research Partners. Click here to learn more and register!
Colorado Project Wildfire
Developed by the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Project Wildfire is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.