January 12, 2022

FIRST 10 BILLS SAVE COLORADANS MONEY, IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY, PREPARE STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS

DENVER, CO — House Speaker Alec Garnett today introduced the first 10 bills of the 2022 legislative session, which highlight key agenda priorities of the House Democrats: saving families money on everything from child care to driver’s license costs, helping Coloradans start a business, and improving public safety through smart crime prevention initiatives.

“Families, businesses and teachers are all going to save money with the bills we introduced today,” said Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “I’m excited to continue moving Colorado forward by focusing on key priorities like making quality health care accessible and affordable and preparing our students for success. We’re laser-focused on creating a healthier, safer, more affordable Colorado for everyone.”

“The first bills introduced this session highlight our dedication to saving Coloradans money, improving public safety and preparing our students for success,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “The pandemic has been challenging for families and businesses across Colorado. We are committed to delivering transformational changes that address the most pressing needs in our communities. The bills introduced today are going to put more money back into Coloradans’ pockets, boost our health care workforce and improve public safety by preventing crimes from happening in the first place.”

Cutting Fees to Start Your Own Business (HB22-1001)

Representatives Lisa Cutter and Tom Sullivan, Senators Brittany Pettersen and Chris Kolker

This bill will help save money for Colorado small businesses that have faced adversity and uncertainty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill will save businesses and entrepreneurs money by cutting fees to start your own business and other costs associated with business filings.

Preparing Students for Success by Expanding Concurrent Enrollment Opportunities (HB22-1002)

Representatives Mike Weissman and Jennifer Bacon, Senator Janet Buckner

This bill will prepare students for success by expanding the number of students who can participate in the ASCENT concurrent enrollment program. The ASCENT program gives students an accelerated opportunity to earn a postsecondary credential, coordinating school districts and community colleges to help prepare students for quality jobs.

Preventing Youth Violence and Crime (HB22-1003)

Representatives Lindsey Daugherty and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Senator Julie Gonzales

This bill will provide grants to local governments and school districts to improve public safety, prevent crime and reduce recidivism. The bill focuses on youth support and interventions, and services to prevent crime from happening and prevent juveniles from entering the criminal justice system in the first place.

Saving Coloradans Money at the DMV (HB22-1004)

Representatives David Ortiz and Mary Young, Senators Rhonda Fields and Chris Kolker

This bill will freeze DMV drivers’ license fees for next year, saving Coloradans money when they go to renew their licenses.

Boosting the Health Care Workforce (HB22-1005)

Representatives Julie McCluskie and Perry Will, Senator Bob Rankin

The bill will extend the state income tax credit for health care “preceptors,” mentors who help and encourage people to enter the health care workforce. The bill will allow more of these mentors to access the credit and expands the program to include addiction counselors and registered nurses. The bill would extend the credit until 2033. It is currently set to expire in 2023.

Saving Parents Money on Child Care (HB22-1006)

Representatives Dylan Roberts and Kevin Van Winkle, Senators Kerry Donovan and Jim Smallwood

This bill will save parents money by expanding access to affordable child care. The bill will expand the types of child care facilities that are exempt from property taxes, saving child care centers money and making child care more affordable.

Saving Homeowners Money on Wildfire Mitigation (HB22-1007)

Representatives Donald Valdez and Mike Lynch, Senators Pete Lee and Cleave Simpson

This bill will save homeowners money on wildfire mitigation measures performed on their property. With climate change bringing ever more destructive and frequent wildfires like the Marshall Fire to Colorado, this bill will help prevent future destruction and costly rebuilding through expanded mitigation. The bill will create a grant program to support outreach efforts to landowners in high wildfire hazard areas and change a state income tax deduction to a state income tax credit worth up to $625 of a landowner’s wildfire mitigation expenses.

Saving Families Money on Infertility Diagnosis and Treatment (HB22-1008)

Representatives Kerry Tipper and Mark Baisley, Senators Steve Fenberg and Faith Winter

This bill will help Coloradans looking to start a family save money on fertility treatment. The bill will update legislation passed last year to ensure that insurance plans cover infertility diagnosis and treatment, which is often a prohibitively expensive health care treatment for people wanting to start or expand their family.

Extending Skills Training Proven to Prepare Students for Success (HB22-1009)

Representatives Matt Gray and Tom Sullivan, Senator Rachel Zenzinger

The bill will prepare students for success by extending the workforce diploma pilot program originally established in 2019 and set to be repealed later this year on July 1, 2022. Program participants earn certificates and industry recognized credentials, unlocking economic opportunities to help them provide for themselves and their families.

Saving Educators Money and Expanding Child Care Options (HB22-1010)

Representatives Emily Sirota and Tonya Van Beber, Senators Janet Buckner and Barbara Kirkmeyer

The bill will save educators money and prepare our youngest learners for success by creating a refundable income tax credit for early childhood educators. Educators working in or leading a child care program would be eligible for the credit for the next five years.