DENVER, CO – House Speaker Julie McCluskie today introduced the first five House bills of the 2023 legislative session, which highlight key agenda priorities of the House Democrats: building a Colorado everyone can afford, investing in schools and students, meeting our climate goals and protecting our water and air.
“From making housing more affordable to reducing the cost of health care and child care, Colorado Democrats have governed responsibly for the people of Colorado – and we’re ready to continue to build upon that great progress,” said Speaker Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “This session, we’ll pass legislation to protect our water and air, invest in our schools, improve public safety, and make our state more affordable. Our first five bills are just the beginning, and we’re excited to get to work building a Colorado where everyone can thrive.”
“The first bills introduced this session highlight our commitment to making Colorado more affordable for everyone,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “While we’ve made great progress, Coloradans continue to struggle with the high cost of living in our state. Our legislative priorities this year continue our efforts to prioritize students and teachers, save Coloradans money on everything from housing to health care, fund crime victim services and reduce gun violence. We’re ready to step up and serve the great people of Colorado.”
Saving educators money (HB23-1001)
Representatives Cathy Kipp, Barbara McLachlan and Senator Rachel Zenzinger
This bill builds upon last year’s work to save student educators money by expanding eligibility for financial assistance and offering loan forgiveness to a larger pool of educators who qualify for these state programs. This bill aims to address Colorado’s teacher shortage, retention and workforce challenges to ensure every student can thrive.
Saving Coloradans money on health care (HB23-1002)
Representative Javier Mabrey and Senator Dylan Roberts
This bill creates an epi-pen affordability program that will provide low-cost epi-pens to Colorado residents with a prescription and who are not enrolled in health care coverage. This bill aims to save Coloradans’ money on life-saving prescription medication by making itmore accessible to those without health insurance. This bill requires insurance carriers that provide coverage for epi-pens to cap the out-of-pocket cost to $60 for a 2-pack.
Prioritizing youth mental health (HB23-1003)
Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Senator Lisa Cutter
This bill creates a Mental Health Assessment Program for Colorado students in grades sixth through twelfth. If schools opt-in to this new program, it will help identify student mental health concerns early and provide additional services or referrals for students, including to the successful iMatter program. This bill aims to prioritize student behavioral health in schools and connect students with the help they need.
Promoting language access and equity for Colorado consumers (HB23-1004)
Representative Elizabeth Velasco and Senator Julie Gonzales
This bill protects Colorado consumers by requiring insurance providers that issue auto, home, and renters insurance to offer the policy, policy application and related documents in the same language they use in advertisements for the policy. The bill allows Coloradans’ to select their preferred language for all insurance documents and ensures policy documents are translated by a professional, so Coloradans understand the coverage they’re entitled to in their first language.
Improving Colorado’s energy and water efficiency (HB23-1005)
Representatives Jenny Willford, Brianna Titone and Senator Jaquez Lewis
This bill protects our environment and water resources by improving Colorado’s water and energy efficiency in commercial properties. Specifically, it makes improvements to the successful C-PACE financing program by enabling certain property owners to more effectively invest in water efficiency and resiliency upgrades.