These new laws will improve the plumber and electrician apprenticeship licensure system, extend the period of time during which charitable giving options appear on individual tax forms, and create a working group to make Colorado’s schools safer, among others.
DENVER, CO– During a virtual bill signing today, Governor Jared Polis signed several bills into law, including bills that will support Coloradans by improving the apprenticeship system for trade work, extending the option to support charitable organizations through tax filings and create a commission focused on school safety.
SB20-120, sponsored by Representative Tom Sullivan, will make it easier to complete plumbing and electrician apprenticeships and fill good-paying skilled electrician and plumbing journeyman jobs. Currently, many plumbing and electrician apprentices are prevented from getting their journeyman’s licenses when their practical hours aren’t counted or when they are not allowed to test out of apprenticeships even though they already have the experience necessary. This new law will change that by requiring board-registered apprentices who have met certain requirements to test for their journeyman license every 2 or 3 years, depending on the profession, until the apprentice passes. The law requires accommodations for persons with learning disabilities to provide them the necessary support to pass the exams
“This new law will allow qualified trade workers to fill better-paying journeyman positions and free up more apprenticeship slots for Coloradans hoping to take on these crucial and promising jobs,” said Rep. Sullivan, D-Centennial. “With COVID-19 sending unemployment numbers through the roof, it’s more important than ever to support workers and create good job opportunities for hardworking Coloradans.”
Governor Polis also signed SB20-208, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Monica Duran, to extend the time that specific voluntary contribution programs appear on state income tax returns. These contribution programs, which were set to expire this year, include options to give to the American Red Cross of Colorado, the Western Slope Military Veterans’ Cemetary, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, the Colorado Domestic Abuse Program Fund, and the Pet Overpopulation Fund.
“Even in difficult times, Coloradans are caring and charitable,” said Rep. Cutter, D-Evergreen. “This simple law will make sure that taxpayers who wish to do so can easily contribute to organizations like the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, whose crucial work is more important than ever.”
“Every year, countless Coloradans make much-needed donations by simply checking a box on their individual tax returns,” said Rep. Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “The law signed by Governor Polis today will guarantee that these gifts can continue to be made with ease for years to come. I’m particularly heartened to know that Coloradans will continue to have the option to donate to the state’s domestic abuse and pet overpopulation funds, whose missions are near and dear to my heart.”
Finally, Governor Polis signed SB20-023, Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet’s bill to create a specialized, interagency working group focused on school safety. The working group, which will be comprised of 14 members and be required to meet at least four times annually, is required to study and implement recommendations of the 2019 Office of the State Auditor’s report regarding school safety. This bill was the product of the 2019 School Safety Interim Committee.
“Colorado is a national leader in school safety, but there’s plenty of work left to do to ensure our children are safe and healthy in school,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “The working group created by this law is the product of the hard work of my fellow committee members on both sides of the aisle and people all across the state who are working to make our schools safer. I am hopeful that we will be able to deliver results to keep Colorado’s students safe.”
Governor Polis also signed SB20-085, Rep. Michaelson Jenet’s bill to update the requirements for sex offenders being released on parole to be placed in community corrections programs.