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Bill: HB21-1042
Title: Water Storage Tanks Grant Program
Position
StatusIntroduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning the creation of the water storage tank wildfire mitigation grant program.
Background
Summary

The bill establishes the water storage tank wildfire mitigation grant
program (grant program) within the forest service. Grant recipients may
use grant money to purchase water storage tanks for wildfire firefighting
efforts. The grant program only awards grants to entities that are an
agency of local government, a county, a municipality, a special district,
a tribal agency or program, or a nonprofit or not-for-profit organization

that is registered and in good standing with the secretary of state's office.
In awarding grants, the forest service considers the potential impact of
additional water storage tanks in the applicant's jurisdiction or area.
Grant recipients are required to report to the forest service, and the
forest service is required to annually report on the grant program to the
wildfire matters review committee.
The bill also creates the water storage tank wildfire mitigation cash
fund. Money in the fund is used to implement the grant program. The
general assembly is required to transfer $5 million into the fund beginning
September 1, 2021, through and including the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Hearing Date03/01/2021
House SponsorsR. Hanks (R)
House CommitteeAgriculture, Livestock, and Water
Senate Sponsors
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/24/2021)

Bill: HB21-1043
Title: Study Underground Water Storage Maximum Beneficial Use
Position
StatusIntroduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning a study of underground water storage to maximize the beneficial use of water within Colorado.
Background
Summary

The bill directs the Colorado water conservation board (board), in
consultation with the state engineer, to contract with a Colorado
institution of higher education (institution) to conduct a study to:
  • Evaluate ways to maximize the beneficial use of water
within Colorado and implement the storage
recommendations of the Colorado water plan by storing

water underground when water is available;
  • Evaluate ways to minimize the amount of water that flows
out of Colorado to downstream states, without risking
noncompliance with applicable interstate compacts, United
States supreme court rulings, other federal law, decreed
absolute and conditional water rights, the prior
appropriation system, and Colorado's anti-speculation
doctrine;
  • Identify:
  • Specific aquifers that are hydrologically and legally
available to be used for underground storage and
subsequent beneficial use;
  • Sources of revenue that could be used to pay for the
underground storage projects; and
  • Planned potential or existing underground storage
projects that would meet the objectives identified in
the study;
  • Examine the role that various water entities might play in
financing and implementing underground storage projects;
and
  • Recommend legislative changes needed to implement
managed underground storage projects in the identified
aquifers.
The bill directs the board or the institution to submit a report
summarizing the results of the study to the water resources review
committee by August 1, 2022, which shall either have legislation drafted
to implement the study's recommendations or submit the study along with
its own recommendations to the committees of the general assembly with
jurisdiction over water resources by January 1, 2023.

Hearing Date03/01/2021
House SponsorsR. Holtorf (R)
House CommitteeAgriculture, Livestock, and Water
Senate SponsorsJ. Sonnenberg (R)
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: HB21-1045
Title: Invasive Pest Control Administration
Position
StatusHouse Second Reading Laid Over to 03/01/2021 - No Amendments (02/25/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning the department of agriculture's authority to control pests.
Background
Summary

The bill creates the emergency invasive-pest response fund (fund),
which is subject to annual appropriation. The commissioner of agriculture
(commissioner) may expend money from the fund to implement the bill
and emergency measures to control or eradicate invasive pests. The state
agricultural commission (commission) may request that, at the end of
each fiscal year, money in the plant health, pest control, and

environmental protection cash fund be transferred to the fund. The
commissioner is authorized to seek and expend gifts, grants, or donations
from private or public sources for the new fund.
The commissioner may:
  • Enter into an agreement with any person or local
government to provide pest control services. The
department of agriculture may provide pest control services
directly or through a local government and may require
remuneration for providing pest control services. The
remuneration is deposited in the fund.
  • Work cooperatively with the United States secretary of
agriculture to implement a joint phytosanitary program if
the program would economically or environmentally assist
with mitigating or eradicating the spread of a regulated
nonquarantine pest; and
  • Quarantine anything that harbors a pest if the pest has an
economically unacceptable impact and if the measures to
control the pest may achieve an acceptable level of official
control.
If the commissioner determines that a public nuisance creates an
unacceptable risk of spreading a pest, the commissioner may coordinate
with industry to, support local governments to, and make grants to take
emergency action to quarantine, control, or eradicate an invasive pest.
The commission may establish procedures for determining what
is a public nuisance.

Hearing Date03/01/2021
House SponsorsD. Valdez (D)
M. Young (D)
House CommitteeAgriculture, Livestock, and Water
Senate SponsorsR. Fields (D)
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/17/2021)

Bill: HB21-1046
Title: Water Share Right Mutual Ditch Corporation
Position
StatusIntroduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning the use of a water right obtained through a mutual ditch corporation.
Background
Summary

For a mutual ditch corporation, the bill creates a presumption,
which may be changed by changing the corporation's articles of
incorporation or bylaws, that the shares of stock owned by a stockholder
in the corporation represent:
  • The right to use the water rights appropriated or purchased
by the corporation; and

  • Corresponding rights to divert and deliver the stockholder's
water rights through a ditch, canal, reservoir, or other
works.
The bill also authorizes these water rights to be limited to a pro
rata amount at times when shareholder demand exceeds available supply.
A mutual ditch corporation may operate using traditional ditch operating
practices.
The bill clarifies that:
  • When a shareholder is not using some of or all of the
available water under the shareholder's rights, the right to
use the water rights does not include the right to prevent
other stockholders from using any portion of the
corporation's water rights; and
  • The statutes covering ditch and reservoir companies do not
prevent a stockholder from changing the use of the
stockholder's shares or change the standards for water court
approval to change a water right.

Hearing Date
House SponsorsJ. Arndt (D)
M. Catlin (R)
House CommitteeAgriculture, Livestock, and Water
Senate SponsorsJ. Sonnenberg (R)
R. Fields (D)
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: HB21-1050
Title: Workers' Compensation
Position
StatusHouse Committee on Business Affairs & Labor Refer Amended to Appropriations (02/24/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning the "Workers' Compensation Act of Colorado", and, in connection therewith, making changes that affect the timely payment of benefits, guardian ad litem and conservator services, benefit offsets related to the receipt of federal disability or retirement benefits, the reduction of benefits based on apportionment, the selection of independent medical examiners, limits on temporary disability and permanent partial disability payments, the withdrawal of admissions of liability, mileage expense reimbursement, the authority of prehearing administrative law judges, the reopening of permanent total disability awards, and petitions for review and appeals of orders.
Background
Summary

The bill:
  • Adds guardian ad litem and conservator services to the list
of medical aid that an employer is required to furnish to an
employee who is incapacitated as a result of a work-related
injury or occupational disease (section 1 of the bill);
  • Requires an injured worker who is claiming mileage
reimbursement for travel related to obtaining compensable
medical care to submit a request to the employer or insurer
within 120 days after the expense is incurred, and requires
the employer or insurer to pay or dispute mileage within 30
days after submittal and to include in the brochure of
claimants' rights an explanation of rights to mileage
reimbursement and the deadline for filing a request
(sections 1 and 7);
  • Clarifies that offsets to disability benefits granted by the
federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
Amendments of 1965 only apply if the payments were not
already being received by the employee at the time of the
work-related injury (section 2);
  • Prohibits the reduction of an employee's temporary total
disability, temporary partial disability, or medical benefits
based on apportionment under any circumstances; limits
apportionment of permanent impairment to specific
situations; and declares that the employer or insurer bears
the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, at
a hearing regarding apportionment of permanent
impairment or permanent total disability benefits (section
3
);
  • Adds the following conditions that must be met for an
employer or insurer to request the selection of an
independent medical examiner when an authorized treating
physician has not determined that the employee has reached
maximum medical improvement (MMI): An examining
physician must have examined the employee at least 20
months after the date of the injury, have determined that the
employee has reached MMI, and have served a written
report to the authorized treating physician specifying that
the examining physician has determined that the employee
has reached MMI; and the authorized treating physician
must have responded that the employee has not reached
MMI or must have failed to respond within 15 days after
service of the report (section 4);
  • Changes the whole person impairment rating applicable to
an injured worker from 25% to 19% for purposes of
determining the maximum amount of combined temporary
disability and permanent partial disability payments an
injured worker may receive (section 5);
  • Clarifies when benefits and penalties payable to an injured
worker are deemed paid (section 6);
  • Prohibits an employer or insurer from withdrawing an
admission of liability when 2 years or more have passed
since the date the admission of liability on the issue of
compensability was filed, except in cases of fraud (section
7
);
  • Prohibits the director of the division of workers'
compensation or an administrative law judge from
determining issues of compensability or liability unless
specific benefits or penalties are awarded or denied at the
same time (section 8);
  • Clarifies the scope of authority of prehearing
administrative law judges (section 9);
  • Increases the threshold amount that an injured worker must
earn in order for permanent total disability payments to
cease and allows for annual adjustment of the threshold
amount starting in 2022 (section 11); and
  • Clarifies the orders that are subject to review or appeal
(sections 10 and 12).

Hearing Date
House SponsorsK. Van Winkle (R)
M. Gray (D)
House CommitteeBusiness Affairs and Labor
Senate SponsorsJ. Cooke (R)
J. Bridges (D)
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: HB21-1074
Title: Immunity For Entities During COVID-19
Position
StatusIntroduced In House - Assigned to State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning civil immunity for entities that comply with applicable health guidelines related to COVID-19.
Background
Summary

The bill establishes immunity from civil liability for entities for
any act or omission that results in exposure, loss, damage, injury, or death
arising out of COVID-19 if the entity attempts in good faith to comply
with applicable public health guidelines.
The bill is repealed 2 years after the date the governor terminates
the state of disaster emergency declared on March 11, 2020.

Hearing Date03/11/2021
House SponsorsM. Bradfield (R)
House CommitteeState, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs
Senate Sponsors
Senate Committee
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: HB21-1095
Title: 811 Locate Exemption For County Road Maintenance
Position
StatusIntroduced In House - Assigned to Transportation & Local Government (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning excavation notification requirements for underground facility location in connection with county road maintenance, and, in connection therewith, specifying that excavation does not include routine or emergency maintenance of right-of-way on county-owned gravel or dirt roads that does not lower the existing grade or elevation of the road, shoulder, and ditches and that does not disturb more than six inches in depth during maintenance operations.
Background
Summary

Current law requires an individual or entity to notify the statewide
notification association of all owners and operators of underground
facilities of its intent to engage in excavation so that any underground
facilities that the excavation might affect, such as water and sewer pipes,
gas lines, and electric or cable lines, can be located and marked before
excavation begins. Underground facilities are often located beneath
county gravel and dirt roads, normally at a depth of at least 18 inches
below the road surface. Counties maintain the profile and surface
condition of such county roads and county road rights-of-way by
engaging in routine and emergency maintenance activities that do not
disturb more than 6 inches in depth. These maintenance activities
currently trigger the excavation notification requirement, and the related
requirement that the location of underground facilities be marked, even
though they occur above the levels where underground facilities are
located. To prevent such activities from triggering the excavation
notification requirement, the bill specifies that excavation does not
include routine or emergency maintenance of right-of-way on
county-owned gravel or dirt roads performed by county employees that:
  • Does not lower the existing grade or elevation of the road,
shoulder, and ditches; and
  • Does not disturb more than 6 inches in depth during
maintenance operations.

Hearing Date
House SponsorsM. Baisley (R)
C. Kipp (D)
House CommitteeTransportation and Local Government
Senate SponsorsJ. Ginal (D)
R. Woodward (R)
Senate Committee
Fiscal Notes 

Bill: HB21-HJR1002
Title: Water Projects Eligibility Lists
Position
StatusHouse Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (02/24/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning approval of water project revolving fund eligibility lists administered by the Colorado water resources and power development authority.
Background
Summary

CONCERNING APPROVAL OF WATER PROJECT REVOLVING FUND
ELIGIBILITY LISTS ADMINISTERED BY THE COLORADO WATER
RESOURCES AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

Hearing Date
House SponsorsJ. Arndt (D)
House CommitteeAgriculture, Livestock, and Water
Senate SponsorsK. Donovan (D)
Senate CommitteeAgriculture and Natural Resources
Fiscal Notes 

Bill: SB21-005
Title: Business Exempt From Public Health Order To Close
Position
StatusIntroduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning exemptions from orders requiring businesses to close.
Background
Summary

The bill exempts a business from a public health agency order or
executive order requiring businesses to close if:
  • The products sold or services offered by the business are
also available at a business that has not been required by
the applicable order to cease or limit operations and the
open business is operating at a physical location in the

geographical area that is subject to the order; and
  • The business that is required by the applicable order to
limit or cease operations complies with any safety
precautions that the order requires of businesses that are
permitted to continue operations.

Hearing Date03/09/2021
House SponsorsC. Larson (R)
House Committee
Senate SponsorsR. Woodward (R)
Senate CommitteeState, Veterans and Military Affairs
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: SB21-080
Title: Protections For Entities During COVID-19
Position
StatusIntroduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning protections for entities that comply with public health guidelines related to COVID-19.
Background
Summary

An entity is not liable for any damages that result from exposure,
loss, damage, injury, or death arising out of COVID-19 unless:
  • A claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that
the exposure, loss, damage, injury, or death was caused by
the entity's failure to comply with public health guidelines;
or

  • The exposure, loss, damage, injury, or death was caused by
gross negligence or a willful and wanton act or omission of
the entity.
The bill is repealed 2 years after the date the governor terminates
the state of disaster emergency declared on March 11, 2020.

Hearing Date
House SponsorsS. Bird (D)
M. Bradfield (R)
House Committee
Senate SponsorsR. Woodward (R)
Senate CommitteeBusiness, Labor and Technology
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2021)

Bill: SB21-087
Title: Agricultural Workers' Rights
Position
StatusIntroduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology (02/16/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning agricultural workers' rights.
Background
Summary

The bill:
  • Removes the exemption of agricultural employers and
employees from the Colorado Labor Peace Act and
authorizes agricultural employees to organize and join
labor unions; engage in protected, concerted activity; and
engage in collective bargaining;
  • Removes the exemption of agricultural labor from state and
local minimum wage laws;

  • Requires the director of the division of labor standards and
statistics to promulgate rules to establish the overtime pay
of agricultural employees for hours worked in excess of 40
hours per week or 12 hours in one day;
  • Grants agricultural employees meal breaks and rest periods
throughout each work period, consistent with protections
for other employees;
  • Requires agricultural employers to provide agricultural
employees with access and transportation to key service
providers;
  • Authorizes agricultural employees to have visitors at
employer-provided housing without interference from other
persons;
  • Requires agricultural employers to provide overwork and
health protections to agricultural employees;
  • Prohibits the use of the short-handled or long-handled hoe
for agricultural labor except in specific circumstances;
  • During a public health emergency, requires an agricultural
employer to provide extra protections and increased safety
precautions for agricultural employees;
  • Creates the agricultural work advisory committee to study
and analyze agricultural wages and working conditions;
and
  • Creates rights, remedies, and enforcement actions for
aggrieved agricultural employees, whistleblowers, relators,
and key service providers.

Hearing Date
House SponsorsY. Caraveo (D)
K. McCormick (D)
House Committee
Senate SponsorsJ. Danielson (D)
Senate CommitteeBusiness, Labor and Technology
Fiscal Notes 

Bill: SB21-119
Title: Increasing Access To High-Quality Credentials
Position
StatusIntroduced In Senate - Assigned to Education (02/23/2021)
Category
Bill Position
DescriptionConcerning increasing access in high school to high-quality credentials within the career development success program.
Background
Summary

The career development success program provides financial
incentives for participating school districts and participating charter
schools to encourage pupils enrolled in grades 9 through 12 to enroll in
and successfully complete qualified industry-credential programs;
qualified internship, residency, or construction industry

pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs; and qualified advanced
placement courses (programs and courses). The bill amends the list of
qualified programs by removing residency programs and expanding
pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to include any industry
program, not just construction industry programs.
The bill expands the definition of a qualified industry-credential
program to include a career and technical education program that, upon
completion, results in an industry-recognized credential with labor market
value aligned with a high-skill, high-wage, in-demand job.
Current law requires the work force development council (council)
to identify the programs and courses by identifying the jobs included in
the Colorado talent report with the greatest regional and state demand,
including jobs in in-demand industries. The bill requires the council to
consult with relevant industries to identify the programs and courses by
identifying high-skill, high-wage jobs in in-demand industries that have
labor market value. Any programs and courses the council determines do
not demonstrate labor market value may be removed from the council's
website.
Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, and each school year
thereafter, the department of education (department), in coordination with
the department of labor and employment, the department of higher
education, the Colorado community college system, and employers from
in-demand industries, shall identify the top 10 industry-recognized
credentials that may be awarded to high school students. For each
identified credential, the department shall specify how the courses taken
to earn the credential align with the state academic standards.
The bill requires each participating school district, each
nonparticipating school district on behalf of its participating charter
schools, and the state charter school institute on behalf of each
participating institute charter school to report to the department the total
number of pupils who successfully complete a program or course,
disaggregated by the student's race, ethnicity, and gender, and whether the
student is a student with a disability, an English language learner, or
eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Current law requires each participating school district and each
participating charter school to regularly communicate to all high school
students the availability of programs and courses and the benefits a
student receives as a result of successfully completing one of the
programs or courses. The bill expands this requirement to all middle
school students and the students' families.
The bill requires each participating school district and each
participating charter school to communicate how industry-recognized
credentials and guaranteed-transfer pathways courses that are included in
such credentials are aligned with postsecondary degrees and high-skill,
high-wage, in-demand jobs, and the top 10 industry-recognized
credentials identified by the department. The communications must be
provided in a language that the students and the students' families
understand.
The bill updates the department's annual reporting requirements to
the general assembly to include:
  • Whether the students participating in the programs and
courses enlisted in the military or entered the workforce
after graduation;
  • How money received under the career development success
program was used to promote the availability of programs
and courses; and
  • How the participating school district or participating
charter school determined which programs and courses to
offer, including how the programs and courses are aligned
with local workforce needs.
No later than July 1, 2022, the department, in collaboration with
the Colorado community college system, shall publish and disseminate
materials through existing and relevant platforms used to engage with
districts that include, at a minimum, the top 10 industry-recognized
credentials and a sample communications plan for how a participating
school district or participating charter school may communicate the value
of credentials and experiences to students and families.
The bill requires participating school districts and participating
charter schools to utilize program funding to promote access to programs
and courses.

Hearing Date
House Sponsors
House Committee
Senate SponsorsP. Lundeen (R)
J. Bridges (D)
Senate CommitteeEducation
Fiscal Notes 
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