Capitol Connection – March 6, 2020
Limiting Statewide Growth: Initiative #122
Four petition firms have registered to gather signatures to put Initiative 122 on the November ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Proponents have until June 5th to gather at least 150,000 valid signatures.
If you are approached and asked to sign a petition, please be aware of and fully understand what it is that you’re signing. Initiative 122 would arbitrarily cap housing permits in 11 Front Range counties. This type of limit on the percentage of houses, apartments, townhomes, condos or that can be built would raise the cost of housing. As any economic course will tell you, when proposed policy would limit the supply of housing the end result drives up the price of homes for everyone. If passed by Colorado voters, Initiative 122 will devastate any efforts to build the affordable housing that Colorado desperately needs to meet the demands of our workforce and civil servants.
If this gets on the ballot for November it could allow for example, Pueblo to decide for Greeley how many houses they should build each year. In Colorado we have a strong tradition that local decisions should be made locally. Shouldn’t all Coloradans have the opportunity to buy an affordable house rather than only allowing the people who already own a home to be the only ones able to pursue the American dream?
Fill Out Your Census Form
The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the country every 10 years. The tally must include people of all races and ethnic groups, all citizens and non-citizens, all adults and children, regardless of age.
As a result, the Census provides important information that can determine our representation in the U.S. Congress. Responding to the Census is really important because it establishes funding levels for education, transportation, and healthcare. Census data is used to determine where schools, roads, hospitals, childcare centers, senior centers, and other services should be built. It also is the basis for how the federal government determines how over $675 billion dollars of funding is distributed to states and local governments.
Starting this month, every household will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau with instructions on how to respond. This year, for the first time, you will be able to respond online, by phone, and via mail. Every person, including children, residing in the household needs to be included on the form in order to be counted. And importantly, all of the information provided cannot be shared with law enforcement or other government agencies because that is against the law. The Census takes extraordinary precautions to protect your data privacy.
CAR encourages you to share this information with your networks and the Census asks for your responses by April 30,2020. For more information, visit census.gov.
Government Affairs Update
Change of Position: HB20-1155: Higher Efficiency New Construction Residence (LPC Position: Oppose to Amend)
Rep. Valdez (D-Denver), Rep. Weissman (D-Aurora), and Rep. Hansen (D-Denver)
Summary: HB-1155 requires a home builder to offer a buyer of a newly built single-family home the option of either an electric vehicle charging system, prewiring for the future installation, or a plug-in receptacle in a place accessible to a vehicle parking area. A home builder must also offer an electrical heating system. But in the current market consumers do not have the education about how an energy efficient improvement such as solar installations could affect their financial capacity to become a homeowner.
Status: CAR worked with the bill sponsors and other stakeholders in the solar industry to amend the bill to provide education to consumers about solar lease and purchase options that can impact the ability of many Coloradans to be able to afford the option of buying a home with energy-efficient features. Therefore, CAR’s LPC has changed their stance from oppose to amend.
Change of Position: SB20-139: County Loans for Public Infrastructure Projects (LPC Position: Oppose to Monitor)
Sen. Foote (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Gray (D-Broomfield)
Summary: SB-139 permits a county board of commissioners to authorize the county treasurer to make a loan to a governmental entity for infrastructure projects within the county. The loan recipient is required to pay interest on the loan equal to or greater than the rate of return earned on all county financial investments for the preceding 12 months.
Status: On Feb. 27th, SB-139 passed its first committee of jurisdiction. In committee the bill was significantly amended in several ways. First, the authority will move to the county board of commissioners in consultation with the county treasurer. Second, an 8% cap will ensure spare funds are available to the county for emergencies and any potential interest rate risks. Finally, open meetings are required to inform local communities of the debt associated with each loan the County administers. CAR’s LPC moved from an oppose to monitor position on SB 139 because these amendments provide better accountability and the needed public guardrails. The bill passed the Senate yesterday, and will next go to the House for their consideration.
SB20-184: Add to Public School Financial Literacy Standards (LPC Position: Support)
Sen Bridges (D-Greenwood Village), Sen. Lundeen (R-Monument), Rep. Kipp (D-Fort Collins), and Rep. Buck (R-Windsor)
Summary: SB-184 requires the State Board of Education to include financial literacy in ninth through twelfth grade curriculum, including methods for saving for retirement, managing credit card debt, and costs associated with acquiring a postsecondary degree or credential. Additionally, the bill specifies that curriculum related to paying for postsecondary education must include understanding and assessing the costs to attend in-state and out-of-state, student loans and other ways to pay for higher education, potential career wages, and available programs to manage student loan debt.
Status: CAR is working with the bill sponsors to amend the bill to include education on the importance of credit and other financial needs to pursue homeownership. Yesterday, the bill passed out of its first committee of jurisdiction and will next be heard on the Senate Floor.
You Won’t Want to Miss CAR’s Spring Summit – April 21-23
The 4th Annual Drinking for Diamonds RPAC Reception will take place during CAR Spring Summit on April 22nd in Vail. Join us for drinks, appetizers, and great conversation. A $25 RPAC investment is suggested to attend, this includes a drink ticket. For $99 you can enter for the chance to win a diamond. Each additional $99 is another chance to win. You can pre-pay for the reception and drawing when you register for Spring Summit. If you’ve already registered, you can pre-pay for the reception here. We hope to see you there!