Capitol Connection – January 24, 2023
Legislative Advocacy this Week at the State Capitol
The 2023 legislative session kicked off on January 9th and there are already 120 introduced bills. It is going to be a very big housing legislative session and our Legislative Policy Committee members will be very busy reviewing lots of legislation this year. In fact, in the Governor’s State of the State Address on January 17th, Governor Polis focused the first big section of his speech on housing priorities. With a significant swing to Democratic majorities in both chambers of the State House and State Senate after the November election, and many new legislators entering the building after redistricting opened new seats there are lots of new faces under the Gold Dome this year.
Legislative leaders in all 4 caucuses gave opening day speeches focusing on public safety, housing, education, the environment and the economic impacts of a high cost of living in Colorado. Below are links to their opening day speeches.
Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder – https://www.senatedems.co/newsroom/releasenbsptext-of-senate-president-fenbergs-opening-day-address
Senate Minority Leader Paul Lundeen, R-Monument – https://www.coloradosenaterepublicans.com/minority-leader-paul-lundeens-opening-day-remarks/
Speaker Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon – https://www.cohousedems.com/news/speaker-mccluskie-delivers-opening-day-remarks-
House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, R-Wellington – https://www.coloradohouserepublicans.com/press-releases/aexj64s2xdzalu9pgk0wqpyx9iivor
Governor Polis Delivers State of the State Address
On January 17th, Governor Polis delivered the State of the State Address to the General Assembly, outlining his legislative priorities and some of the goals achieved in his last term. The address used the theme of the upcoming 150th birthday of Colorado to highlight his major goals such as addressing inflation, investing in wildfire prevention and mitigation, increasing public safety, addressing water scarcity challenges, while defending the state’s existing water rights moving towards achieving 100 percent renewable energy with a focus on affordable, reliable, and clean geothermal energy and tax credits to move the state away from a fossil fuel-based economy, and housing for all income levels. Housing policy actually took center stage in the address and CAR is very proud to see our legislation that we wrote with Habitat for Humanity in 2021 (HB21-1271) that incentivizes the creation of affordable housing in a statewide approach highlighted as good public policy. The Governor also focused on concepts such as the need for housing near jobs and transit-oriented development to combat climate change while also creating better quality of life. Some of the specific mentions of policy in the speech including: Expediting approval processes for modular housing, removing zoning barriers, reducing property taxes, making senior homestead tax exemption portable, and reducing the income tax rate.
The Legislative Policy Committee is actively reviewing bills and taking positions on legislation that impact the real estate sector.
SB23-001 – Public-Private Partnerships
Sponsored by Senators Roberts (Western slope) & Zenzinger (Adams, Jefferson), and Reps. Bird (Adams, Jefferson) and Lukens (Western slope)
The bill expands the capacity of the public-private partnership state authority to finance housing projects. The authority can accept financial contributions from public and private sources to allocate to public projects that provide housing. Additionally, the bill authorizes the authority to purchase, transfer, exchange, sell, or dispose of state-owned real property.
CAR supports this legislation because the state of Colorado is working together with the private sector to create more housing and when we work together to increase the supply of housing across our state that helps impacts affordability concerns for so many citizens.
SB23-047 – Confirmed Funds for Closing & Settlement Process – Sponsored by Senator Van Winkle (Douglas County)
The bill would significantly affect real estate closings because it requires funds to be confirmed as deposited one business day in advance of the closing date and only five hundred dollars would be allowed to be advanced to pay for incidental fees.
CAR is opposed to this bill because it jeopardizes real estate transactions, creates possessory interest issues, and is not being well-received by real estate industry groups. Moreover, it will cause a significant downstream logjam of contingent details that often take place the same day or has a domino effect on several property transaction that can have serious unintended consequences. CAR will ensure legislators are informed of the devastating impact this bill will have for home buyers and sellers and work to show that this proposed negative change to Colorado’s table closing way of business in real estate transactions is not a good path.
SB23-005 – Forestry and Wildfire Mitigation Workforce
Sponsored by Senators Jaquez-Lewis (Boulder, Broomfield, Weld) and Cutter (Jefferson)
The bill creates an educational attainment pathway and timber, forest health, and wildfire mitigation workforce development program in the state forest service. For-profit and nonprofit entities can be partially reimbursed for the cost of hiring interns who will be trained in technical fields with critical value to the Colorado landscape and communities where people live, work, and play. CAR proudly supports increased efforts to build a talent pipeline of qualified workers who can reduce the threat of wildfire and maintain good forest health, all while creating good primary jobs. CAR’s Colorado Project works collaboratively with industry and wildfire mitigation professionals to educate property owners about the importance of wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts throughout the state to protect lives and property. This workforce development program will enhance our efforts to bring expertise and jobs to the monumental effort to continue to invest in a bright Colorado future in the wildland urban.
In Case You Missed It
Economic Summit & REALTOR Day at the Capitol is on Wednesday, February 8th – 9th. Learn about the Colorado and national economy and predictions for 2023, discuss attainable housing solutions in our state, enjoy breakfast with some of your state legislators, and mix and mingle with CAR and NAR leadership. Please click the link for more event information.
CAR Spring Business Meetings are on April 25th – 27th.
Don’t forget to register for the RPAC Reception at Economic Summit on February 8th. CLICK HERE (https://ai360.aristotle.com/AI360FormBuilder/Form.aspx?dbid=2e166870-894a-423a-a6f7-6560a8904c6c&page_id=10401) to purchase your $50 ticket to the reception.
RPAC Raffle! Purchase your tickets using the link below to be entered into a raffle to win 1 of 3 prizes. $500 Amazon gift card, $300 airline gift card, or $100 Visa gift card. Drawing will take place at the RPAC Reception on February 8th, but you do NOT have to be present at the reception to win.
$100 = 1 Ticket
$300 = 5 Tickets & Pledge to be Major Investor in 2023