Capitol Connection – March 2, 2022
Legislative Advocacy this Week at the State Capitol
Updates on State Legislation
This week at the Capitol several bills continue to work their way through the legislative process:
Senate Bill 22-099 Sealing Criminal Records was amended on February 24th in the Senate Judiciary Committee in several ways to make the bill work better for law enforcement and legal professionals that directly deal with the record sealing process. Importantly to CAR, we testified in support of an amendment to remove the references to the fair housing act.
The amendment is important because, simply put, housing providers should not be liable for litigation when the information that it would be based on is sealed, so without this amendment, this language would have spurred litigation.
Senate Bill 136 – Special District Governance died in the Senate Local Government Committee. This bill would have extended the powers of the initiative and referendum to electors of special districts. Developer-affiliated boards of special districts would be required to notify residents with board meeting materials and provide a self-nomination form to automatically replace a board position.
The introduced bill had several problems with broadness and lack of clarity which is why the LPC took an AMEND position. The bill as drafted would have made it very difficult to prevent harm to existing metro districts and created issues of governance for existing residents based on the initiative and replacement process of board positions without making the transparency work better for residents. While consumers should get increased transparency about their taxing responsibilities, this bill had more flaws than workable improvements to the system.
In Case You Missed It
Louisville Marshall Fire Victims Able to Opt Out of Green Building Codes
The Louisville City Council late Tuesday agreed to find a way for residents whose homes were destroyed by the Marshall fire to opt out of net-zero building code requirements that were implemented just weeks before the deadly Dec. 30 blaze.
Members listened to more than two hours of emotional testimony from more than 60 residents, and some nonresident interested parties, who begged the council to “show compassion” and not require those who are rebuilding to pay thousands more for the energy-efficient home requirements.
The requirements of the new code, dubbed the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code, would require electric vehicle charging ports, “electric ready” requirements, “solar ready” requirements and stringent insulation standards, among others. The new requirements, compared to the 2018 building code, would account for a “9% energy savings.” The requirements would amount to a 51% energy savings “over the predominate energy code in the early 1990s” – when most of the homes were built, according to a Louisville city staff report.
The estimates of how much extra those requirements would cost varied wildly. The city, using estimates from Group 14 Engineering, estimated it would cost a minimum of $19,867 extra for a 2,200 square-foot home. Mayor Ashley Stolzmann added that they negotiated a $7,500 rebate from Xcel Energy only for those who rebuild to the 2021 standards, among other incentives for things like rebates from heat pump manufacturers.
But several residents mentioned a letter from the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, sent to builders, fire victims and real estate agents, that showed it would cost an extra $77,000 to build that same size home under the 2021 codes. To read the rest of the Denver Gazette article click here.
Commuter E-Trip Bill Dies in Committee
DENVER – A bill aimed at getting more cars off the road by encouraging employers to provide alternative transportation options died in committee Monday.
House Bill 22-1138 had two main priorities- creating an income tax credit for employers that provide alternative transportation options for their workers and requiring businesses with 100 employees or more to complete an annual transportation survey. To learn more about what happened in committee read the rest of the article from the Denver Channel by clicking here.
Housing Industry News & Upcoming Events
Learn More: Dearfield Fund
The wealth gap between white and Black families with kids can be as large as 100 to 1, according to Gary Community Ventures, a Denver-based philanthropic organization that serves metro area families. Part of the Gary Community Ventures mission is increasing Black homeownership in the area through pay-it-forward loans.
The median wealth of a Black family is $18,000, noted the philanthropy in a statement. For a white family, it’s $170,000. Gary Community Ventures attributes that massive wealth divide to generations of discrimination and inequality.
CEO and former State Rep. Mike Johnston said his organization has a fix through its Dearfield Fund for Black Wealth: raising money to give up to $40,000 to Black families in Colorado for a down payment on a home. At any point along the way or if they sell, families can pay back the loan, which will be reinvested into the program.
The ability to secure loans is crucial as people attempt to buy instead of rent. And home ownership is an important tool in wealth accumulation and bridging the racial wealth gap, as home equity is one of the major ways families can build wealth when properties go up in value. Learn more about the program by reading the Denverite article by clicking here.
Upcoming RPAC Event
What Doesn’t Tequila Makes You Stronger!
Join us for a high-quality virtual tequila tasting class to support RPAC on Friday, March 25th, from 4:00pm – 5:00pm. We will be joined by a tequila sommelier from Host Events who will create a fun-filled educational experience, while you sip on three different smooth and perfectly crafted luxury tequilas.
The $300 cost to attend goes directly to RPAC and covers the cost the tequila tasting kit that will be shipped directly to your home. Space is limited – be sure to register before March 11th!
Attendees will receive:
- A tasting kit that includes three 375mL bottles of tequila shipped directly toyou. (Blanco, Reposado, Anejo)
- Host branded ice mold
- Tequila tasting reference sheet
To secure your spot, CLICK HERE to purchase your ticket!