Capitol Connections – June 12, 2020
Government Affairs Update
2020 Legislative Session Nears the Finish Line
The Colorado General Assembly is likely to adjourn this weekend if they complete their work. Despite a global pandemic, more than 700 bills were introduced in the 2020 legislative session. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® tracked 89 pieces of legislation and took a position on 49 bills with the direction of CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee to protect homeowners, property rights, and the housing industry.
From sunrise to sundown, the remaining days were filled with debate as policymakers took every opportunity to make up for lost time after the temporary pause due to Covid-19. Bills quickly move from committee hearing to the floor as policymakers try to wrap up their work. Legislative proposals have not only made headlines but sparked intensive advocacy from many organizations, all while policymakers faced the challenge of a severely reduced budget.
At the frontlines, the Colorado Association of REALTORS® worked day and night through negotiations to ensure Colorado REALTORS® were heard. It was CAR’s strategic deliberation that enabled us to pass long-sought legislation and receive substantial amendments in other legislation to protect our industry and the business operations of CAR members.
In the 2020 legislative session, CAR championed:
Unanimous approval of Remote Notarization
SB-096 Remote Notaries Protect Privacy (LPC Position: Support) – Allows a notary public to perform a remote notary using a real-time audio-video communication system that conforms to standards established by rules of the Secretary of State and protects consumer data meaningfully.
Status: On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed SB-096, and although the bill already passed by a unanimous vote of the State Senate on March 11, modifications were made in the House which required Senate consent. The Senate unanimously approved those amendments on Wednesday. The bill will go to Governor Polis for his signature.
Amendments in landlord tenant bills to protect homeowners
HB-1332 Prohibit Housing Discrimination Source Of Income (LPC Position: Amend) – Amends Colorado’s Fair Housing laws to include discrimination based on source of income as a type of unfair housing practice. “Source of income” is defined to include any source of money paid directly, indirectly, or on behalf of a person, including income from any lawful profession or from any government or private assistance, grant, or loan program.
Status: CAR obtained a five-unit single family exemption amendment and protections to allow for HUD processing delays and credit check allowances by property owners. The bill will head back to the House today for approval of the Senate’s amendments.
SB-108 / SB-224 Landlord Prohibitions Tenant Citizenship Status (LPC Position: Amend) – Prohibits a landlord from using or disclosing information regarding a tenant’s citizenship or immigration status, and allows a tenant to bring civil action against a landlord for engaging in such activity.
Status: The original bill, SB-108 was postponed indefinitely with the intent to be included in a larger Covid-19 relief bill. CAR had obtained amendments that would allow landlord to use social security and tax identification numbers to run a credit check on potential tenants without violating the legislative requirements if landlords treat all tenants the same in their processes. The new bill, SB-224, resurrected SB-108 after the larger Covid-relief bill moved toward a separate direction. CAR maintained the credit check amendment language and the bill is now in the House for their final consideration today.
Protection for homeowners from overbearing costs
HB-1200 Sunset Homeowners’ Association Information And Resource Center (LPC Position: Monitor) Continues the HOA Information and Resource Center for 5 years, until 2025. The requirement to participate in administrative dispute resolution which would have cost consumers millions of dollars was removed.
Status: The Senate approved the House version of the bill and it will go to the Governor for his signature.