Our 2021 Legislative Priorities
The 73rd General Assembly of the Colorado Legislature “gaveled in” on Jan. 13, 2021 to address urgent business and swear in new members. Due to concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature is scheduled to reconvene on Feb. 16 to carry out the rest of the 120-day lawmaking term. Colorado Center on Law and Policy will periodically update this webpage to reflect its priorities throughout the session.
On Jan. 7, CCLP hosted its 2021 Legislative Preview virtual event, during which content experts shared their legislative priorities for the session ahead. You can learn more about this year’s agenda in our focus areas of Food, Health, Housing and Income by viewing the series of short, recorded webinars from the event. Videos from all four sessions are available on our YouTube channel.
SB21-018: Continuation of Necessary Documents Program
A key priority this year, working in partnership with Metro Caring, is to renew the 2016 Necessary Documents Program. CCLP led the legislative effort for the Colorado Collaborative ID Project to get funding to pay for documents necessary to obtain a government issued ID. Such official ID is now necessary to get a job, rent and apartment, cash a check or obtain most medical care, open a bank account or apply for public benefits.
HB21-1198: Healthcare Billing Requirements For Indigent Patients
CCLP supports HB21-1198. This bill will repair Colorado’s Hospital Financial Assistance Law, benefiting Coloradans by improving patient experience, establishing clear and consistent billing and collection practices across providers, improving access to health coverage and discounted care, by reducing administrative burden and requiring screening, reducing the number of Coloradans sent to collections for receiving necessary health care, and improving utilization of care at the right time and the right place, especially for communities denied access to coverage.
SB21-173: Rights in Residential Lease Agreements
Everyone benefits when all Coloradans have a place to call home. However, the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted and exacerbated the challenges many Coloradans face in securing and maintaining healthy, safe, and stable housing. CCLP supports SB21-173, which will increase fairness in the eviction court process and reasonably limit late fees to prevent housing instability, eviction, and homelessness.
Keep Coloradans housed. Learn more about SB21-173 with this Fact Sheet (PDF).
HB19-1223: Social Security Disability Application Assistance
Applying for federal disability income (SSI/SSDI) involves mountains of paperwork and specialized knowledge. People must collect years of medical and vocational documents, keep multiple appointments, and respond regularly to the SSA through the months-long process. The requirements can be insurmountable for many with the greatest need – people with severe mental or physical disabilities who are living in poverty or homelessness.
HB19-1223 will help more Coloradans receive the federal disability benefits they need to survive while boosting Colorado’s economy. Learn more about the bill with our HB19-1223 fact sheet (PDF) and this Supplemental Security Income and Colorado’s Aid to the Needy and Disabled (AND) Infographic.
HB21-1214: Record Sealing Collateral Consequences Reduction
There are more than 1.8 million Coloradans listed on the state criminal record database. For many of these people, involvement with the justice system has led to perpetual unemployment, housing insecurity, and the loss of income for themselves and their families.
HB21-1214 would open the process for adults and juveniles to file motions for relief from the collateral consequences of criminal records. It would also establish an automated sealing process for arrest records that do not lead to a charge ever being filed, with some exceptions. By removing barriers to employment and housing, HB21-1214 will give people a chance to move on with their lives and become more productive citizens, while lowering recidivism and strengthening public safety.
CCLP supports HB21-1214. Learn more about the bill with this Fact Sheet (PDF).
Other Legislative Priorities
2021 State Legislation List
Throughout the legislative session, CCLP compiles a list of bills concerning economic opportunity and poverty reduction. This list includes bill sponsors, assigned committees, and the organizations that have expressed their support for or opposition to each bill.