Issues and Advocacy

Advocating for our members and promoting the construction industry to legislators and policymakers is an important priority for Rocky Mountain MCA. We work with elected officials and government agencies at the state and local levels to encourage investment in building infrastructure and the development of sound policies that will lead to job creation and a thriving economy. We will continue to track, analyze and lobby bills with impact to the mechanical, plumbing and HVACR industry and keep members apprised of the issues and bills affecting their business.

As part of our efforts, Rocky Mountain MCA commissions and distributes an annual Colorado Capital Construction Report. This report serves to outline the economic impact of the construction industry in Colorado and educate policymakers about the importance of investment in capital construction and controlled maintenance.

What You Need to Know

SB24-165 Air Quality Improvements by Senators Priola and Cutter and Representatives Rutinel and Garcia includes a multitude of new emission standards and requirements for diesel-fueled automobiles as well as facilities or buildings that generate air pollutants within the 8-hour ozone Denver/front range nonattainment area. The bill also redefines ozone season as the period between May 1 and September 30. Beginning in 2025, oil and gas activity must pause during the ozone season within the nonattainment area. Moving forward, oil and gas operators must prepare several new reports including an inventory report that includes the emissions of certain air pollutants from their operations and a report estimating emissions of nitrogen oxides from the oil and gas operations in the nonattainment area. This report will be used to develop a nitrogen oxide emissions budget to set certain emission level maximums. Lastly, the bill also requires the Department of Transportation to establish vehicle miles traveled reduction targets for the nonattainment area and to develop policies and programs to assist metropolitan planning organizations to help meet targets. BBKM recommends an opposed position.

 SB24-166 Air Quality Enforcement by Senator Winter and Representatives Froelich and Velasco increases the enforcement of violations that impact the environment. This includes establishing definitions for a “repeat violator,” a person that, in 3 years, has committed 5 or more violations of certain air quality laws, and a “high priority repeat violator,” which is defined as a repeat violator that, in 3 years, has committed 5 or more exceedances of the allowable emissions of an air pollutant in a permit. The bill increases the penalties the Division of Administration in the Department of Public Health and Environment must issue for repeat violations from a warning letter or advisory to an order of compliance. The order must assess civil penalties and/or must require a high-priority repeat violator to submit a root cause analysis for their violation. In addition, the division of administration may assess civil penalties for air quality violations without going through the district courts. The bill increases the civil penalty minimums for violations by repeat violators under state air quality laws, with specific increases for violations in a disproportionally impacted community. The bill also allows a person to file a civil action against an alleged violator of air quality laws. Current law provides that a person who violates a local government’s air quality regulations is subject to a maximum civil penalty of $300. The proposal raises the maximum civil penalty to the amount provided by state air quality laws and requires a defendant to award the prevailing plaintiff any cost of litigation. BBMK recommends an opposed position.

Construction Defects/Housing

SB24-106 Right to Remedy Construction Defects sponsored by Senators Zenzinger and Coleman and Rep. Bird. This legislation is from the Homeowner’s Opportunity Alliance.  This bill looks to make changes to certain aspects of the Construction Defect Action Reform Act. The proposed bill introduces a right-to-remedy option, in which condo owners and the contractors involved in the construction defects claim work bring in a neutral third party to resolve the matter by either doing remedial work or hiring another construction professional to perform the work before it is taken to court. To bring a claim, two-thirds of the actual owners of the (condominium) units must provide their written consent. Under the act, claimants can only seek damages for 1) actual damage to real or personal property, 2) actual loss of the use of real or personal property, 3) bodily injury or wrongful death, and 3) risk of bodily injury or death, a threat to the life, health, or safety of the occupants.   RMMCA has a support position. The bill has been scheduled for March 5.

 SB24-112 Construction Defect Action Procedures sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Lundeen. The bill has not been scheduled yet.  A bill that adds disclaimers and administrative processes to the Construction Defect Action Reform Act (CDARA). This includes items such as stating that a construction professional is not vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of a licensed design professional for any construction defects and adding a list of requirements to obtain the majority approval of the unit owners before initiating a construction defect action. The bill will be heard in committee on March 5.

 HB24-1230 Protections for Real Property Owners sponsored by Reps. Parenti and Bacon.  This proposal is coming from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) which doubles down on the litigation landscape. Their bill expands the statute of limitations to file a claim from six years to 10, requires the defendant to pay prejudgment interest on top of damages, and makes any attempt to waive or limit legal rights or remedies under the Colorado Construction Defect Action Reform Act a direct violation of the CCPA. 

 HB24-1267 Metropolitan District Covenant Enforcement Policy by Representatives Jodeh and Bacon and Senators Coleman and Hansen prohibits a metropolitan district from foreclosing on any lien based on a resident’s delinquent fees or other charges owed to the metropolitan district. The bill also imposes certain procedural requirements regarding court actions filed by or against a metropolitan district based on an alleged violation of the metropolitan district’s declaration, rules and regulations, or other instrument. It also requires a metro district engaging in covenant enforcement to design and review services to comply with procedural requirements. RMMCA should review the bill to determine if it’s of interest.

 HB24-1304 Minimum Parking Requirements by Representatives Vigil and Woodrow and Senators Priola and Hinrichsen The bill prohibits a county or municipality, on or after January 1, 2025, from enforcing minimum parking requirements for real property that is within a metropolitan planning organization. The bill also allows a municipality or county, on or after January 1, 2025, to impose the following requirements on a motor vehicle parking space that is voluntarily provided in connection with a development project: allow motor vehicle use of the space and allow for vehicle charging stations. Local governments must submit a report detailing their compliance. BBMK does not recommend taking a position.

 Tax

 HB24-1014 Deceptive Trade Practice Significant Impact sponsored by Reps. Weissman and Mabrey and Senator Gonzales. The bill establishes that evidence that a person has engaged in an unfair or deceptive trade practice constitutes a significant impact on the public.  The bill cleared the Judiciary Committee after hours of opposed testimony. There are no amendments to make the bill substantially better. The strategy is to begin to count the Senate. The governor has also signaled his opposition. RMMCA is in an opposed position, and the bill is scheduled for Senate Judiciary on March 11.

 HB24-1041 Streamline Filing Sales & Use Tax Returns sponsored by Reps. Kipp and Taggart and Senator Bridges and Van Winkle.  The bill modifies tax filing thresholds for any sales and use taxes collected by jurisdictions that do not use the state sales and use tax simplification system (SUTS). It also requires that all home rule jurisdictions use the SUTS system beginning July 1, 2025. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary with a relatively small fiscal note. The bill should pass but appropriations committee members will just need more nudging. RMMCA is in a support position, and the bill will be heard in Senate Finance on February 29.

 HB24-1050 Simplify Processes Regarding Certain Local Government Taxes sponsored by Reps. Taggart and Kipp and Senator Bridges and Van Winkle.  The bill expands the scope of the Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force, requires reporting of local lodging taxes and sales and use taxes integrated with building permits, and requires the Department of Revenue to issue a request for information for an electronic lodging tax system. RMCCA supports the bill.

 SB24-023 Hold Harmless for Error in GIS Database Data sponsored by Senators Van Winkle and Bridges and Reps. Kipp and Taggart.  The bill holds harmless any vendor for an underpayment of a tax, charge, or fee liability that results solely from an error or omission in the Colorado Department of Revenue’s GIS database.  RMMCA is in a support position.

 SB24-025 Update Local Government Sales & Use Tax Collection sponsored by Senator Bridges and Van Winkle and Reps. Kipp and Taggart.  Similar to SB23, this one is stalled in committee while they work through amendments with CML.  RMMCA is in a support position.

 SB24-092 Cost-Effective Energy Codes sponsored by Senator Pelton and Rep. Pugliese this bill requires a cost-effective analysis to be made ahead of proposing new energy efficiency standards on or after January 1, 2026. The analysis would use the existing energy efficiency standards and requirements as a baseline comparison and assess whether the proposed economic benefits of the proposed energy efficiency standards would exceed the economic costs of those standards. RMMCA is in a support position, and it will be heard on February 29.

 Labor and Employment

HB24-1008 Wage Claims Construction Industry Contractors sponsored by Majority Leader Duran and Rep. Froelich and Senator Danielson.  Under the bill, a general contractor and a subcontractor who is the direct employer of an employee are jointly liable for debts owed based on a wage claim or investigation. The bill requires that a subcontractor that receives a written demand for payment forward the demand to the general contractor within three business days. Subcontractors that fail to do this will be fined $2,000, paid to the general contractor, plus any other owed amounts. The bill also allows a general contractor to require that a subcontractor provide pay data and contact information for employees of the subcontractor, plus an affidavit attesting to whether the contractor has participated in a civil or administrative proceeding within the last five years and the outcome of the proceeding.  There were several amendments adopted in the committee to help the bill. Led by AGC, the amendments streamlined some of the language to make it more applicable to business operations. Upon the adoption of the amendment, RMMCA moved to a neutral position.

HB24-1260 Prohibition Against Employee Discipline by Representatives Duran and Hernandez and Senator Danielson. The bill prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to attend meetings, listen to speech, or view communications concerning religious or political matters. The bill creates a private right of action for employees seeking lost wages, front pay, compensation, costs, and attorney’s fees should their employer violate this policy. Certain employer communications are exempt from the prohibition, including communications required by law or that are necessary for an employee to perform the employee’s job duties. Lastly, each employer is required to post a notice of the employee rights outlined in the bill at the employer’s workplace. RMMCA has an amendment position to work on the private right of action language. The bill has not been scheduled for committee.

 HB24-1263 Licensure of Electricians by Representative Wilson and Senator Pelton makes broad changes to definitions under the Electrician’s Practice Act and adds new definitions. It changes the number of hours to demonstrate apprenticeships and requires written evidence that the applicant has practical experience in wiring family dwellings. It also allows the substitution of training in photovoltaic system installation. RMMCA has an opposed position on the bill, and the bill will likely face challenges in committee.

 Energy

 SB24-159 Mod to Energy and Carbon Management Processes by Senators Jaquez Lewis and Priola and Representatives Boesenecker and Marvin looks to reduce the number of oil and gas wells between now and 2032. The bill would prohibit issuing new oil and gas permits after January 2030. It also will add certain conditions to any permit issued after July 2024 to end certain operations of the well before December 2032. In addition, if the Energy and Carbon Management Commission determines the operations of a certain oil & gas well are adversely impacting the environment, the commission can issue an order requiring the responsible party to mitigate their impact. Noncompliance will result in the commission suing the impacting party. RMMCA has an opposed position, and the bill will likely die in committee.

 Workforce

 SB24-104 Career and Technical Education and Apprenticeships sponsored by Senator Danielson.  The bill requires that the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Colorado Community College System align high school career and technical education programs and the registered apprenticeship system for certain industries.  The bill has support from the Community College System, Colorado Bioscience Association, and Colorado Succeeds. 

SB24-143 Credential Quality Apprenticeship Classification sponsored by Senators Coleman and Zenzinger and Rep Herod.  Current law requires the Department of Higher Education (department) and other higher education institutions to develop a framework for evaluating the quality of nondegree credentials. The bill formally recognizes the resulting quality and in-demand nondegree credentials framework (quality non-degree credentials framework) as the primary tool for assessing the quality of nondegree credentials offered in the state.  The bill requires the department to collaborate with various agencies to ensure the effective integration of the quality non-degree credentials framework within the state’s education and workforce systems and to evaluate nondegree credentials offered through state-recognized programs to ensure the credentials meet the framework’s quality standards.  The bill is supported by the Colorado Education Association. RMMCA successfully amended the bill in its first Senate committee.


                                                                                                                   2024 Bill Position

 

Support:

HB 24-1041: Streamline filing Sales & Use Tax Returns

HB 24-1050: Simplify Processes Regarding Certain Local Government Taxes 

SB24-023: Hold Harmless for error in GIS Database Data

SB24-025: Update Local Government Sales & Use Tax Collection

SB24-094: Safe Housing for Residential Tenants 

SB24-106: Right to Remedy Construction Defects

Oppose:

HB 24-1014: Deceptive Trade Practices Significant Impact Standard 

 

Questions or comments regarding the advocacy positions please send to [email protected]