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Bills APA Colorado Legislative Committee Supported in the 2022 Legislative Session

by Scott Bressler, AICP, Legislative Committee Co-Chair

HB22-1013 – Microgrids for Community Resilience Grant Program

This bill creates the Microgrids for Community Resilience Grant Program in the Department of Local Affairs to provide grants for cooperative electric associations and municipally owned utilities to purchase microgrid resources for eligible rural communities located within their service territories. This bill Supports community resiliency efforts, enable greater degrees of decarbonization in communities with higher carbon content utility providers, and generally enhance community planning efforts to provide resources to utilize in case of natural disasters. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill as it supports sustainability and resiliency efforts for communities. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 2, 2022.

HB22-1051 – Mod(ification of) Affordable Housing Tax Credit

This bill continues the Colorado affordable housing tax credit that is scheduled to expire in 2024 for an additional ten years. It would increase the amount of credit that the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) may allocate each year starting in 2023. This bill decreases state General Fund revenue beginning in FY 2023-24, and minimally increases workload for state agencies and CHFA. Affordable Housing is the top priority for the APA-Colorado Legislative Committee in 2022, and this bipartisan bill provides funding to expand affordable housing options throughout the state. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 26, 2022.

HB22-1117 – Use Of Local Lodging Tax Revenue

This bill expands the allowable uses of revenue from state-collected local marketing districts and county lodging tax. The bill allows districts to use the funds for housing and childcare for the tourism-related workforce, seasonal workers, and other workers in the community. Under the bill, districts may use the revenue for capital expenditures related to these purposes. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill as affordable housing and childcare needs are significant in the state, and especially so in areas with high levels of tourism. This flexibility will be important in helping communities meet their needs. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on March 31, 2022.

HB22-1151 – Turf Replacement Program

This bill creates a turf replacement program in the Department of Natural Resources to assist with the replacement of nonessential irrigated turf on residential, commercial, institutional or industrial properties and transfers $4 million to a newly created fund to implement the program. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee worked with the Western Resource Advocates to support this bipartisan bill. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 8, 2022.

HB22-1242 – Regulate Tiny Homes Manufacture Sale and Install

This bill expands the authority of the State Board of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs to set standards for tiny homes. The bill covers manufacture, assembly, and installation and uniform foundation construction standards for tiny homes. It exempts them from sales and use tax and defines tiny homes certified by the Division of Housing in DOLA as residential improvements for assessing property taxes. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill as it is important for cities and counties to have codes and standards for tiny homes as they are a growing housing option. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 17, 2022.

HB22-1249 – Electric Grid Resilience and Reliability Roadmap

This bill requires the Colorado Energy Office, in collaboration with the Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Resiliency Office, to develop a grid resilience and reliability roadmap. The roadmap must include guidance on how microgrids may be used to improve the grid and improve grid resilience and reliability, while serving the electricity needs of customers. The bill includes engagement requirements for stakeholders and prioritizes microgrid projects for high-risk communities. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it develops a plan supported by data and requires the coordination with stakeholders, which represents good planning practices. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 2, 2022.

HB22-1282 – The Innovative Housing Incentive Program

This bill creates a program in the Office of Economic Development to provide grants or loans to new or existing businesses with fewer than 500 employees that develop manufactured homes. These may include prefabricated, panelized construction such as insulated panels or insulating concrete forms, 3D printed housing, kit homes, or tiny homes installed on foundations. The office will develop the rules and regulations for the program. The grants are limited to 20 percent of operating expenditures and must be at least $50,000, except in coal transition communities and areas with limited economic opportunity and inadequate or poor quality housing, where grants must be at least $75,000. These grants may be used for operating expenses, which may include payroll, inventory, or materials. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because as technology evolves and housing needs grow, encouraging new housing types can help fill some of the affordable housing gaps. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 20, 2022.

HB22-1287 – Protections For Mobile Home Park Residents

This bill makes various changes to the Mobile Home Park Act and the Mobile Home Park Act Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Program (DREP). It prohibits a landlord from raising rent on a mobile home park lot if the landlord’s registration is not in good standing. The bill extends many of the protections afforded to mobile homeowners to non-owner residents, and permits residents, local governments, and nonprofit organizations to file complaints with DREP. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because mobile homes are a part of the housing mix that have historically been more affordable. This bill intends to protect residents and help to ensure that mobile homes remain this way. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 26, 2022.

HB22-1304 – State Grants Investments Local Affordable Housing

The bill creates two grant programs to support affordable housing by leverages funding from American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. It creates the Transformational Affordable Housing Grant Program, which includes funding for the development of housing infrastructure, gap financing, maintaining existing and building new affordable housing stock, and land banking. It also creates the Infrastructure and Strong Communities Grant Program, which provides funding that is focused on infill infrastructure that enables and supports the development of affordable housing. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because as the supply of affordable housing falls short of the needs, this grant program will advance projects to increase the supply of affordable housing. With a focus on infill, it also helps leverage and upgrade existing infrastructure, impacting the sustainability of communities. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 1, 2022.

HB22-1316 – Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund Project

This bill funds water projects in the Department of Natural Resources and transfers funds between cash funds devoted to water-related projects. The bill appropriates $17,080,000 from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Construction Fund to the CWCB and the Division of Water Resources for specified water-related projects. In addition, the bill transfers $3.0 million between water-related cash funds and authorizes the CWCB to loan up to $13,130,000 from the CWCB Construction Fund to the town of Breckenridge to rehabilitate the Goose Pasture Tarn dam. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it funds much needed water projects in the state. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 23, 2022.

HB22-1379 – Wildfire Prevention Watershed Restoration Funding

The bill transfers $20.0 million from the Economic Relief and Recovery Cash Fund to cash funds in the Colorado State Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resources. This includes $3.0 million to the Healthy Forests and Vibrant Communities Fund to support wildfire risk mitigation and watershed resilience; $2.0 million to the Wildfire Mitigation Capacity Development Fund for wildfire mitigation and fuel reduction projects; and $15.0 million to the Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund for watershed restoration and flood mitigation project grants, administering the grant program, and to provide grants and assistance in applying for grants to local governments. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it supports community needs to reduce wildfire risks, fund restoration and flood mitigation projects, and it assists in applying for federal funding. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 2, 2022.

HB22-1392 – Contaminated Land Income Tax & Property Tax Credit

This bill makes changes to the state income tax credit for environmental remediation of contaminated land, and to state property tax exemptions for certain low-income housing developments. The credit is scheduled to expire after tax year 2022 under the current legislation. The bill extends the credit for two years to include tax years 2023 and 2024. Currently, claims for the credit are required first to be certified by the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division in the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The bill increases the amount of credit that the CDPHE may certify each year from $3 million to $5 million. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because it helps fund affordable housing. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 7, 2022.

HB22-1409 – Community Revitalization Grant Program Funding

This bill transfers $20.0 million from the General Fund to the Community Revitalization Fund. The Community Revitalization Grant Program provides grants to create or revitalize mixed-use commercial centers, including projects that would combine revitalized or new commercial spaces with public or community spaces. The program is administered by the Division of Local Government in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Money transferred to fund for the program is continuously appropriated to DOLA, and must be used for grants, with up to four percent for administrative costs. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it helps support community revitalization projects. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 3, 2022.

HB22-1413 – Remote Testimony Before Legislative Committees

This bill authorizes the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council to consider, recommend, and establish policies allowing legislative committees to take remote testimony. It also repeals provisions in statute for taking remote testimony at centralized remote sites outside the Denver metro area. The bill increases state expenditures in the Legislative Department to fund personnel to staff remote testimony. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it allows more people from around the state to be able to more easily provide testimony on proposed legislation. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 7, 2022.

SB22-028 – Groundwater Compact Compliance Fund

This bill creates Groundwater Compact Compliance and Sustainability Fund for groundwater compact compliance and groundwater resource sustainability and conservation purposes. The CWCB will disburse funds based on recommendations from the board of directors of either the Rio Grande Water Conservancy District or the Republican River Water Conservation District, after approval by the State Engineer. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it funds water conservation. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 23, 2022.

SB22-030 – Expand Water Resources Review Committee To Include Agriculture

This bill expands the scope of the Water Resources Review Committee to include identifying, monitoring, and addressing agriculture issues, and renames it the Water Resources and Agriculture Review Committee. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it combines agriculture with water resources and has no added fiscal implications. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on March 30, 2022.

SB22-151 – Safe Crossings For Colorado Wildlife And Motorists

This bill creates the Colorado Wildlife Safe Passages Fund and transfers $5 million from the General Fund to support projects by the Department of Transportation (CDOT) that provide safe road crossings for wildlife and reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. The fund is continuously appropriated to CDOT for project needs including feasibility studies, maintenance, matching federal funds, and administrative and personnel costs. CDOT must consult with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Wildlife and Transportation Alliance concerning the distribution of money from the fund. CDOT must prepare annual reports regarding the total amount spent, and the amount spent for each project during the prior fiscal year. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bipartisan bill because it supports transportation safety, especially in rural areas of the state. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 1, 2022.

SB22-159 – Revolving Loan Fund Invest Affordable Housing

This bill creates the Transformational Affordable Housing Revolving Loan Program to provide flexible, low-interest, and below-market-rate loan funding to make investments in transformational affordable housing. The bill is focused on infrastructure to maintain or rehab affordable housing, gap financing, energy improvements, and more to maintain and increase affordable housing stock. The bill transfers $150 million to the Transformational Affordable Housing Revolving Loan Fund. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because it helps fund affordable housing. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 26, 2022.

SB22-160 – Loan Program Resident-owned Communities

This bill establishes a revolving loan and grant program to provide assistance and financing to mobile home-owners seeking to organize and purchase their mobile home parks. It establishes the Mobile Home Park Resident Empowerment Loan Program in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The department must contract with one or more administrators to finance acquisitions or capital improvements for homeowners to purchase their mobile home park. DOLA must also establish two grant programs; one for nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance to eligible homeowners seeking to organize and purchase their mobile home park and the second for eligible homeowners to maintain the long-term affordability of a resident-owned mobile home park. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because housing choice is important throughout the state. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 17, 2022.

SB22-176 – Early Stage Front Range Passenger Rail Funding

The Front Range Passenger Rail District was established by Senate Bill 21-238 to implement an interconnected passenger rail system along the Interstate 25 corridor. This bill transfers money from the General Fund to support development of the Front Range Passenger Rail corridor, including funding for rail district operations and to develop the Burnham Yard property, which will be used to consolidate and expand rail lines in the Front Range Passenger Rail corridor through Denver. Development of the Burnham Yard property will include development planning, conceptual design work, analysis of impacts to surrounding communities, and stakeholder engagement related to moving the existing rail line. This work is required by the Federal Railroad Administration before a full National Environmental Policy Act analysis can occur. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because transportation choice is important along the Colorado Front Range. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 7, 2022.

SB22-180 – Programs To Reduce Ozone Through Increased Transit

The bill creates the ozone season transit grant program in the Colorado energy office. The program provides grants to the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and transit associations in order to provide free transit services for at least 30 days during ozone season. A transit association receiving a grant may use the money to make grants to eligible transit agencies. The eligible transit agencies may use the money to provide at least 30 days of new or expanded free transit services during ozone season. The RTD may use grant money to cover up to 80% of the costs of providing free transit for at least 30 days on all services offered by the RTD during ozone season. Eligible transit agencies and the RTD can use the money to cover lost fare box revenues and to pay for other expenses necessary to implement the program, including expenses associated with an increase in ridership as a result of the program. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because many transit officials are beginning to discuss this around the country and this pilot program represents a good first step in this direction. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 26, 2022.

SB22-193 – Air Quality Improvement Investments

This bill creates several grant programs in the Colorado Energy Office and the Department of Public Health and Environment with the purpose of reducing air pollution. It also modifies certain definitions, form and filing requirements, hearing deadlines, and the legislative review process for revisions to the state implementation plan in the department’s air quality control program. The programs include the Industrial and Manufacturing Operations Clean Air Grant Program, Community Access Electric Bicycles, Cannabis Resource Optimization Cash Fund, Electrifying School Buses Grant Program, Air Quality Control Program, Eco Passes, and Aerial Surveying. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because it helps fund air quality improvements. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 2, 2022.

SB22-206 – Disaster Preparedness And Recovery Resources

This bill establishes the Disaster Resilience Rebuilding Program to provide loans and grants to eligible applicants to rebuild their community after a declared disaster, the Sustainable Rebuilding Program to provide loans and grants to eligible homeowners and businesses seeking to rebuild high-efficiency homes and buildings after a declared disaster, and the Office of Climate Preparedness to coordinate disaster recovery efforts for the Governor’s Office, as well as the development and implementation of the statewide climate preparedness roadmap. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill as it supports sustainability and resiliency efforts for communities. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 17, 2022.

SB22-232 – Creation Of Colorado Workforce Housing Trust Authority

This bill creates the Middle Income Housing Authority as an independent statutory public entity to acquire, construct, rehabilitate, own, operate, and finance affordable rental housing projects for the middle-income workforce. The authority will be governed by a thirteen-member board of directors, which includes the director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the director of the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs. The APA-Colorado Legislative Committee supported this bill because it helps fund affordable housing for middle income earners. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 3, 2022.

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