Governor Polis gave a rare televised address to the state of Colorado on Monday night. The governor stressed that the sacrifice of staying at home is not easy, but when it comes to the choice of temporarily shutting down the economy or catastrophic loss of life, then the choice is easy, he said.
The governor extended the statewide “stay at home” order, slated to expire on April 11, to Sunday, April 26. The governor referenced data that lead him to this decision: Before the stay-at-home order, Colorado’s infection rate was doubling every 1 to 2 days. Current data has the doubling rate at every 6 to 7 days. Governor Polis said these numbers demonstrated that statewide social distancing efforts were working. Finally, the Governor noted that the statewide order could be released earlier, if data continues to show that hospitals can handle COVID patients.
By extending the statewide order, it appears that construction and other essential services will be able to continue through April 26.
Also, on Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock extended the city’s “stay-at-home” order to April 30. By extending the Denver order, Mayor Hancock is also allowing construction and other essential services to continue through April 30.
On Tuesday, the Governor executed several items to correspond to the stay-at-home order extension to April 26, including:
To review all of Governor Polis’s executive orders and other actions, please click here.
With the current extensions, it’s important that our industry proactively works to ensure that all workers are following social distancing practices as much as possible. Working through these extended orders is a privilege. We need to demonstrate that we have responsible jobsites so the privilege isn’t revoked.
The CAHB has several resources to ensure that your jobsites have the proper signage and information to keep workers safe and healthy. The CAHB has an English and Spanish-language handout that can be distributed at worksites and posted in key locations. The handout is available by clicking here. Please take a moment to review the content and to ask all jobsite managers to distribute this handout.
In addition, the NAHB has developed a toolkit (available by clicking here) with COVID-19 prevention, preparedness and response plans.
Our goal is to follow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines on jobsite safety—available by clicking here.
Daniel Hayes, the proponent of Initiative 122, was quoted Monday in a Colorado Sun, indicating that his petition drive for 122 is over due to the statewide “stay-at-home” order. From the Sun article:
In 2018, Hayes’ informed the media that he would not collect any signatures, but he never formally pulled the measure with the Secretary of State. The campaign against 122 will continue to monitor this closely until the June 5 signature deadline to ensure that 122 officially does not qualify for the ballot.
The CAHB and its partners have worked closely with the state of Colorado and local officials to ensure that construction remains an essential service during the current COVID “stay-at-home” orders. In order to remain working during the current and future orders, we need to work together to ensure that all workers are following social distancing practices as much as possible. Remember, working through this Order is a privilege. We need to demonstrate that we have responsible jobsites so the privilege isn’t revoked.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released guidance on worksite safety—please click here to review.
The CAHB has an English and Spanish-language handout that can be distributed at worksites and posted in key locations. The handout is available by clicking here. Please take a moment to review the content and to ask all jobsite managers to distribute this handout.
For more information, please click here for a toolkit from NAHB that will help further promote and institute COVID-19 prevention, preparedness and response plans. The toolkit can help make your company’s policies safer and demonstrate to local government partners, trade partners and the community that we are going above and beyond to promote safe and clean worksites.
CARES Act Programs:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Phase 3 economic-stimulus package passed by Congress last week includes two important programs for small business: The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
PPP will expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan program to include nearly $350 billion for payroll. The program is for companies with 500 or fewer employees. It is not provided through SBA directly, so the first step to qualifying for a loan through PPP is to find an SBA-approved lender in your community. If your bank is not an SBA lender, you can contact the SBA at 1-877-475-2435 or visit the SBA 7(a) loan program by clicking here.
The NAHB has put together FAQs on how to apply for a small business loan under the Payroll Protection Program. The FAQs are available by clicking here.
For HBAs and local associations, the NAHB has put together a Stimulus Resources for State and Local Associations guide document. Please click here to review.
According to the Treasury Department, the SBA should have this program up and running by tomorrow, April 3, so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank or credit union to apply for a loan—and be approved on the same day.
If you have questions about the SBA program, please complete an NAHB web form at https://www.nahb.org/other/forms/open/feedback-on-small-business-administration-loan-programs.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans program will allow small business owners to apply for low-interest loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19. Applicants may request an advance in the amount of $10,000 to be delivered within three days of the request. This advance must be used to:
An applicant will not be required to repay this advance if it is used for these purposes, even if they are subsequently denied a loan under the EIDL program. Qualified businesses can apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For application assistance, please contact the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAHB CARES Act Seminar:
Join NAHB for a series of member-only webinars on today and Friday to learn what the CARES Act means for home builders.
Visit the registration page to learn more and register today. There is limited capacity for these sessions, so be sure to register early. If the session you want to attend is full, the recordings will be available after the conclusion of the series.
Colorado General Assembly:
The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon issued its opinion on the adjournment of the current legislative session. The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Democrat legislative leaders who argued that the state’s Constitution doesn't explicitly count legislative days as consecutive and instead can be separate working days—especially during a public-health emergency. The majority also concluded that the constitution also does not set an end date for the 120-day session, but that it does specifically sets a session start date.
This likely means the General Assembly will continue to adjourn until the stay-at-home orders are lifted, possibly with exception of finalizing the state’s budget and other fiscal matters. Those must be completed before the first day of the state’s fiscal year on July 1. This likely means the General Assembly will reconvene in the summer, with 52 days left in the 2020 regular session.
Updates on Executive Orders from Governor Polis:
Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday that he is extending school closures through April 30, consistent with federal guidance on in-person gatherings. Gov. Polis is expected to issue an Executive Order on the extension. In addition, Denver Mayo Michael Hancock has said he is preparing an extension of Denver’s “stay-at-home” order through April 30 and will then have a phased approach to slowly reopen Denver—if the order is not extended into May.
The Governor recently signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers can perform notarizations. The EO authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules in order to facilitate remote notarization.
Colorado receives Major Disaster Status:
On March 28, the federal government approved a Major Disaster Declaration request for Colorado, unlocking access to more federal resources for the state. This designation, combined with the legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President, is welcome relief on both the emergency management front and the economic front. The Governor has held daily calls with Colorado’s federal delegation. The federal delegation also supported the request with a joint letter.
REMINDER – PPE Donations:
The CAHB and local HBAs are still working to collect excess personal-protection equipment (PPEs) for our hospitals and frontline medical providers working hard to defeat COVID-19. This equipment, specifically protective masks and eye protection, are commonly used in construction.
The Metro Denver and Northern Colorado HBAs are accepting donations at the following locations:
**At both of these sites there will be containers in the parking lots that you can simply drop your supplies into. **
For other donation locations in Colorado Springs and statewide, please click here.
After donating supplies, please let us know by tweeting us at @COHomeBuilders and use the hashtags: #doingmypartco and #HBAs4PPEs
Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday issued a statewide "stay-at-home" order, starting this morning and going through April 11. The governor noted in the order that it could be shortened or extended based on the number and trajectory of COVID-19 cases. The governor also noted that data shows the measures taken so far have made a difference; however, the state needs to do more and go farther to slow the virus spread.
The Order is similar to recent local orders in the metro counties and aligns with the current voluntary order already given on social distancing. The Public Health Order mandates that all individuals stay home, except for critical businesses including construction and home building, infrastructure, and manufacturing.
Earlier today, the Governor's Office updated and clarified the Executive Order. The updated order can be reviewed here. The order specific to construction and real estate made the following clarifications:
For updates on all state of Colorado Executive Orders and other local orders, please click here to visit the CAHB's website.
Workplace and Worker Safety:
The new Executive Order, as well as many local orders, include warnings and fines as part of enforcement.
Click here for a toolkit from NAHB that will help further promote and institute Covid-19 prevention, preparedness and response plans. The toolkit can help make your company's policies safer and demonstrate to local government partners, trade partners and the community that we are going above and beyond to promote safe and clean worksites.
It is incumbent upon our industry to demonstrate that we are going above and beyond to keep our workers and other Coloradans safe. Our industry has received the privilege of continuing to work because we provide essential work. With privilege comes responsibility, and if we are not responsible that privilege could be taken away.
Donations of PPEs:
CAHB and local HBAs are working with our members and their partners to donate any excess personal-protection equipment (PPEs) for our hospitals and frontline medical providers working hard to defeat COVID-19. This equipment, specifically protective masks and eye protection, are commonly used in construction.
The Metro Denver and Northern Colorado HBAs are ready to accept donations at the following locations:
**At both of these sites there will be containers in the parking lots that you can simply drop your supplies into. **
For other donation locations in Colorado Springs and statewide, please click here.
Last week, several HBAs called on our members and their partners to donate any excess personal-protection equipment (PPEs) for our hospitals and frontline medical providers working hard to defeat COVID-19. This equipment, specifically protective masks and eye protection, are commonly used in construction.
The HBAs are setting up several donation locations. The Metro and Northern Colorado locations should be set up by tomorrow. These three locations will have containers in the parking lots in which you can drop off your PPE donations. If you would like to use the AGC of Colorado location, please contact Ted Leighty (email@example.com) before proceeding there. The AGC location has special instructions for dropping off supplies.
After donating supplies, please let us know by tweeting us at @COHomeBuilders and use the hashtags: #doingmypartco and #HBAs4PPEs
Metro Denver area:
Colorado Springs area:
Other statewide areas:
This post will summarize and link to all Executive Orders from Gov. Polis related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 7 Update on Executive ActionsThe Governor executed several house keeping items to correspond to the stay at home order being extended until April 26th.
April 1 Update from Gov. Polis
The Governor held a press conference on April 1, updating some of the state’s goals and actions in response to COVID-19. View the slide deck referenced during the press conference.
The state has ordered 2.5 million N-95 masks, 1 million surgical masks, 25,000 face shields, and 750 ventilators. They have also recruited 2,500 medical volunteers. He encouraged those with medical training to help bolster medical staff by signing up to volunteer at HelpColoradoNow.org
The Governor again reiterated that this is not a vacation and told citizens to not venture into the mountains for recreational activities or to visit a second home.
He also announced that he is extending the closure of schools from April 17th until April 30th. Read the extended Executive Order here.Finally, the Governor reminded the public that the special enrollment period for the state’s health care exchange is ending on Friday. Those who do not have health care coverage currently can sign up at www.connectforhealthco.com
The Governor recently signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers can perform notarizations. The EO authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules in order to facilitate remote notarization.March 25 Executive Action:
There is FAQ that was released along with the Orders.
The Governor sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado. This will make available additional federal resources.
March 22, 2020
On Sunday, March 22, 2020 the Governor issued an Executive Order aimed at containing the spread of the virus. The Executive Order is not a strict “shelter in place” order like other states have done. This Order seems to straddle the line of doing nothing at all and doing a strict stay-at-home order. In the press conference introducing this Order, the Governor noted that he must take action that will limit the spread of this disease, but that the measures taken need to be sustainable.
The Order is in effect from Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, April 10, unless amended. The Order does the following:
The Order does not specify exempt workplaces, but the Governor’s press release and the public health order states that critical workplaces that are exempt include:
The Governor also announced the launch of the state’s Innovation Response Team (IRT). The goal of this is to bring together public and private sector resources and innovations to the state’s emergency response to the COVID-19 virus. The Innovation Response team’s initial focus is ramping up a mass testing program for the COVID-19 virus, creating a suite of services for citizens under isolation or quarantine, developing mobile and other technologies to help track the spread of the virus and support infected citizens, and developing locally-sourced alternatives for constrained critical medical supplies.
Matt Blumberg, a technology entrepreneur who founded and led Broomfield-based email technology company Return Path for the past 20 years, will serve as Interim Director. The Governor has also appointed Boulder-based Venture Capitalist Brad Feld as the Chairman of the IRT’s Private Sector Task Force. The IRT will be within the State’s Emergency Operations Center command structure and reports to Stan Hilkey, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
As always, we will continue to update as more Orders come through and as we receive more information.
March 20, 2020
On March 20, 2020 Governor Polis issued several executive orders in response to COVID-19. The orders focused on economic relief for small businesses and people affected by the economic downturn associated with the health crisis.
Unemployment Insurance Directives
The Order also suspends the requirement of a physical examination for a medical marijuana card to be issued and suspends the prohibition of online marijuana sales.
Finally, the Order suspends the vehicle gross weight provisions of C.R.S. § 42-4-508(1)(c) for vehicles weighing 80,001 pounds to 84,999 pounds, to ensure the delivery of emergency goods and services to their destination in a safe and efficient manner.
This Order is in effect until April 18, 2020.
We are expecting more actions in the coming days. As always, we will continue to update on the latest happenings in Colorado.
March 19, 2020
Below is another update related to the actions in Colorado around the COVID-19 response.
Governor Polis on March 19, 2020 issued three new Executive Orders in response to COVID-19.
Given the extension of the closure of schools and now restaurants, bars, etc., it is once again quite clear the Legislature will have to have to gavel in on March 30th and gavel back out again for an extended recess.
The Joint Budget Committee was also scheduled to meet on Monday, March 23rd. They have now pushed out their meeting date to Monday, March 30th.
I will continue to keep you apprised of the latest developments here in Colorado.
March 18, 2020
As the virus continues to spread across the nation and across the state, Governor Polis and his administration meet daily to address the new challenges created by the health crisis. He and his Departments have issued several new executive actions.
On Monday, March 16, 2020 the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly heard the Quarterly Revenue Forecast presentations from Legislative Council’s Staff and the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budget. The news was negative from both offices. The coronvirus has had a significant impact on the Colorado economy and therefore anticipated revenues. The revenue forecast was revised downward from the forecast in December. This is forcing the JBC to reevaluate all of the budget decisions they have been making since November. Final decisions have not been made, but there is fear that the JBC will be forced to make some significant budget cuts. The forecast gives the Legislature about $24 million in extra revenue, which essentially means they have to hold the budget static. Any new program that was being contemplated is highly unlikely to get funded. Additionally, the mandated increases in certain programs will force the state to put resources towards those and other health related programs.
The JBC is scheduled to start meeting again on Monday, March 23, to continue finalizing the Long Bill (the budget bill).
The General Assembly is still on a recess due to the health emergency. They are scheduled to return to work on March 30th. However, because the health crisis does not show any signs of dissipating by that time, combined with the announcement of schools being closed through April 17th and the Capitol building being closed indefinitely, it is not likely they will continue their work on that date. The more likely scenario is they will return, gavel in to establish a quorum, and then gavel back out again on another extended recess.
Additionally, the Supreme Court has accepted the Interrogatory of the General Assembly with regard to the question on if the 120-day limit of the General Session of the General Assembly must be consecutive days, or if the General Assembly can recess and “pause” the legislative clock. Briefs on this case are due to the court by 5:00 pm on March 24th. This decision will heavily influence how the Democratic leadership handles the timing and content of this year’s general session.
I will continue to keep you apprised of the latest happenings in Colorado. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or for additional information.
March 15, 2020
The General Assembly has officially adjourned until 10:00 am on March 30th. It is still a to be determined answer on if that’s enough time for a break or not. They may extend that date, or not.
Additionally, they have passed the resolution that asks the Supreme Court for a determination on whether the recess counts against the 120-day legislative clock or not. I believe that the length of the recess will ultimately depend on that Supreme Court opinion.
In the meantime, the budget is also another complicating factor. The revenue forecast has been moved up to Monday at 1:30. While technically an open meeting, the members are encouraging the public to listen to the online broadcast of the presentation. According to early reports, the news is not good. It seems quite dire frankly. Not only are revenue forecasts down, but now the state has other obligations, such as paying more into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund because of the health crisis. The Joint Budget Committee will continue to meet during the break to finalize the Long Bill.
Additionally, the Governor on Friday, March 14th urged the cancellation of all events over 250 people, unless the event could guarantee 6 feet of separation of individuals during the event. On Saturday he also issued an Executive Order suspending all downhill ski operations for one week. The mountains appear to be the epicenter of the spread of the disease in Colorado and this effort is intended to slow the spread of the disease.
I will continue to keep you apprised of the latest developments of the Executive and Legislative branches.
March 13, 2020
As is happening with all other states in the nation, Colorado is grappling with the continued spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Here is a summary of what the state is doing to address this situation and what is happening at the state legislature.
On Tuesday, March 10th Governor Polis officially declared a State of Emergency. There are now 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the most cases currently being found in the mountains. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has also said that the virus is now likely spreading to the Denver Metro area and the Front Range, the most populous areas in the state.
As of March 13th, the Governor has also ordered the cancellation of all events over 250 people, unless those events can guarantee six feet of separation between individuals.
The Administration has also taken two emergency rule actions. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has issued an emergency rule on paid medical leave. The rule requires up to four days of paid sick leave for employees being tested for COVID-19 in specific industries to include leisure and hospitality; food service; child care; education, including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments; home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high risk individuals and; nursing homes and community living facilities. The requirement is not in addition to any paid sick leave already offered by an employer and does not cover wage replacement should an employee test positive and require quarantine.
In conjunction with this rule, the Administration is also looking at their options to allow for employees to access unemployment insurance in the event an employee tests positive for the virus.
The Division of Insurance has also issued an emergency Bulletin for health insurance coverage around COVID-19. The Bulletin directs carriers to do the following:
The Colorado General Assembly is currently halfway through their 120-day legislative session. Party leaders have been meeting daily to discuss decisions on how to handle all of the bills that we have under consideration and how to appropriately protect the public. It continues to be a very fluid situation, but as of this time, it is expected that the Legislature will take a recess of at least two weeks, but maybe three, beginning Saturday, March 14th.
Both chambers are currently working to clear calendars of necessary legislation before that recess. They did introduce one bill specifically because of the coming recess that they are fast-tracking to pass both chambers and be signed into law in three days - the fastest a bill is allowed to pass. This bill is HB 1359 dealing with ballot counting. The primary for Colorado was just completed and the political parties are gearing up for their various assemblies to be held over the next few months. The bill is intended to allow flexibility for political parties to allow for electronic voting, or proxy voting, for instance, as to not encourage the gathering of hundreds of people in school gyms across the country. This bill is expected to pass and be signed tomorrow.
Additionally, there have been some constitutional questions with regard to the 120-day session. Per the state constitution, the General Assembly shall not meet for more than 120 days. There appears to be different interpretations of the law on whether the Legislature can temporarily recess or adjourn and then come back on the same session day, or whether the days of the recess count against the 120-day clock.
Therefore, the House will introduce a Joint Resolution to ask the Colorado Supreme Court - via an interrogatory - to clarify the General Assembly’s ability to count legislative days non-consecutively. Clarification from the Supreme Court will avoid potential risk of litigation on this point.
Finally, a Joint Resolution is also being drafted and is forthcoming that will allow both the Senate and the House to adjourn temporarily in an effort to reduce and/or stop the spread of the disease.
The Colorado Department of Public Health, the entity in charge of the response, has a website with more information. It contains pertinent information and phone numbers.
We will keep you apprised as things evolve in this fluid environment. Please let us know if you have any questions.
The Colorado Association of Home Builders is actively representing our members and industry throughout the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response to ensure that our industry is supporting this health care and public response, while also ensuring that our industry continues working to keep jobs and the economy moving forward.
Through this pandemic, the CAHB will provide up-to-date industry information, alerts and community resources to help your businesses continue working as productively as possible. We will be doing that through the CAHB Blog and Facebook and Twitter.
For questions and additional resources, please contact Ted Leighty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-910-7419.
Resources for CAHB members:
The 2019 General Assembly session ended on May 3, and many would say that it was one of the most contentious and difficult sessions in recent memory. For business interests, such as the Home Builders and our industry partners, the session was marked by many bills that sought to change labor laws and to impact the state's business climate. The Colorado Association of Home Builders lobbying team of Virginia Morrison-Love and Mary Kay Hogan worked with CEO Ted Leighty, Government Affairs Committee chair Scott Smith and committee members to review and take positions on more than 65 pieces of legislation. Thank you to the GAC and CAHB's lobbying team for their dedication and hard work representing Colorado's home builders over the past five months.
Colorado Consumer Protection Act
Two bills -- House Bill 19-1289 and Senate Bill 19-237 -- sought to make changes to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.
HB19-1289 passed after many amendments. The GAC opposed HB1289, legislation sponsored on behalf of Colorado AG Phil Weiser. The AG's office sought to create additional protections in the Colorado consumer code and enforcement of the CCPA for reckless acts. The GAC was especially concerned about Section 4 of the bill, which dealt with standard form contracts, which could have undermined arbitration, hurting our efforts to address construction litigation and housing affordability. Fortunately, CAHB successfully worked with House members and AG Weiser to remove Section 4 and to make other amendments in order to lessen the impact of HB1289 on the industry. As introduced, the bill would have permitted a private right of action. CAHB worked successfully in limiting actions on these new CCPA components to the AG or a district attorney.
SB19-237 was opposed by CAHB and was defeated. It attempted to increase the penalties allowed under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Under current law, damage is awarded the greater of $500, actual damages or treble damages where a clear and convincing bad faith violation is proven. This bill tried to increase to a minimum statutory damage of $500 per violation, even for minor violations that don't cause actual damages. It sought to incentivize class actions for smaller classes by making attorney fees available in class action lawsuits as opposed to only being able to get them in individual claims as it is currently. CAHB opposed SB237 over concerns of potential misuse by trial lawyers and an unnecessary change.
Working with allies, we were able to effectively kill the bill in the House. The House sponsor, understanding he did not have the votes to pass the bill out of committee, allowed it to die on the calendar.
Colorado Labor Laws
Several bills were introduced that sought to radically change Colorado labor laws. The business community worked together to oppose and amend these bills. The CAHB opposed both Senate Bill 188 and House Bill 1210 and monitored Senate Bill 85 as other organizations took the lead on that bill.
SB19-188 -- also known as the FAMLI Bill -- attempted to create a paid family and medical leave insurance program as an enterprise in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The bill directed employees and employers to contribute to a monthly premium based on wages, with workers paying 60 percent of the premiums. The program would have funded a leave benefit for individuals to care for themselves or family members-and would have required employers to hold a position for a worker on leave. The CAHB joined the large business coalition opposed to this measure, and after months of lobbying and doubt raised by Governor Polis and legislative fiscal analysts, SB188 was amended and passed as a one-year study with a 13-member working group. We should expect a new version of SB188 in the next legislative session.
For more information about SB188 and what it means to businesses, please click here.
HB19-1210 -- which was amended and approved by the General Assembly -- will allow individual communities, including cities and counties, to establish higher local minimum wages, despite statewide voters recently approving a minimum-wage increase as part of a ballot measure. The CAHB joined with business stakeholders to oppose HB1210 because it will likely create a patchwork of different minimum wages, especially in the metro areas, that may force communities to compete for workers. It will also likely create discrepancies for employers and increase regulatory-compliance costs for companies. HB1210 was heavily amended to get out of the Senate, and that allowed for some protections for business-including a delay in implementation to after 2020, cap increases in a local minimum wage, and rules on calculating wages for workers who travel through different jurisdictions during their workday.SB19-85 -- called the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act -- seeks to ensure gender pay equity by requiring employers to publicly post job openings with estimated salaries, prohibiting employers from asking about salary history and allowing an employee to sue over wage discrepancies. The business community successfully amended SB85 to ensure that mediation was not banned to resolve a claim, reduce the years of potential back pay to three from six if a claim was awarded, and delay the start date to 2021.
Colorado's General Fund, or state budget, is subject to limitations set in the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. As such, TABOR limits the budgets annual growth -- and prevents the state from investing in roads, infrastructure and education in strong economic times. In 2005, the state passed Referendum C to allow a 5-year timeout from TABOR for the state to catch up from a previous recession.
House Bills 19-1257 and 19-1258 will seek a similar solution as 2005's Referendum C by sending to statewide voters Proposition CC for the 2019 ballot. Proposition CC, if passed, will permanently exempt the General Fund from TABOR limits and direct that one-third of any additional revenue go equally to K-12 education, higher education and transportation -- with a transportation split to the state, local governments, and transit projects.
The GAC supported the legislation creating Proposition CC as part of the industry's commitment to transportation and infrastructure to help fuel our state's economy and address growing congestion. With a more than $9 billion backlog of critical roadway projects, Proposition CC represents the best opportunity to pump additional funds toward transportation.
The legislature in one of its most significant bipartisan efforts of the 2019 session put an additional $300 million toward road projects in the state budget for the next fiscal year.
Oil & Gas Regulation
SB19-181, opposed by the Colorado Association of Homebuilders, received quite a bit of political, media and statewide attention this session. The bill will fundamentally change Colorado's approach to oil and gas regulation by ceding more authority from the state to the local governments where drilling occurs, while changing the makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). The legislation also will make health and safety the preeminent consideration for all development for the COGCC.
SB181 did have some amendments that will soften concerns for surface-rights interests. Unfortunately, CAHB's efforts to amend SB181 to ensure protection of surface rights and builder/developer investments were not successful. SB181 will soon begin a lengthy -- and likely contentious -- rulemaking process at the COGCC. The CAHB will be engaged in that process and will keeps members updated.
SB19-107 sought to allow an electric utility or supplier to install and maintain above-ground broadband internet infrastructure for internal and external use to provide broadband service, or for lease of any excess capacity to a broadband internet service provider. The bill, as originally introduced, wanted to allow utilities to use existing electricity easements for commercial and other broadband services, in some cases without changing the easement.
The GAC opposed this legislation and was successful in amending SB107 to preserve private-property rights-primarily through adherence to existing easement agreements-and to ensure that any use of below-grade utilities is restricted to activating existing fiber-optic lines and not permitting trenching to lay new fiber.
CAHB, HBA Colorado Springs Successfully Pass House Bill 1274
Despite the challenges to home building and Colorado's business climate during the 2019 session, there were several successes for home builders, including the passage of House Bill 19-1274. This legislation, awaiting Governor Polis's signature, was developed by the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs and El Paso County and introduced last year. HB1274 passed this year after continuing to fine tune the bill and work with stakeholders.
HB1274, which had bipartisan sponsorship and support throughout the process, allows a Board of County Commissioners to delegate subdivision platting to county staff. Currently, counties are required to have all subdivisions steps heard and approved by their Board of County Commissioners. This creates an unnecessary delay in what should be a technical and engineering process. The additional steps and time that it takes for BOCC review often results in decreased lot availability and corresponding increases in housing costs.
Once HB1274 becomes law, it would apply only to the subdivision platting process-subdivision plats, amendments to plats and subdivision improvement agreements-but does not apply to land-use decisions by counties. For example, zoning decisions would still be made by the BOCC, and the zoning process would still provide opportunity for public input. Importantly, HB1274 does not authorize delegation to administrative staff the power to grant waivers from state or county requirements concerning the subdivision of land.
The bill is permissible since it grants counties additional flexibility concerning the subdivision process but does not require counties to make any changes. In addition, the bill allows counties to utilize their staffs' expertise, thereby preserving the commissioner's time to focus on other pressing issues.We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Representative Marc Snyder and Senator Dennis Hisey for sponsoring HB1274
The Colorado Association of Home Builders participated in a stakeholder process this past fall that sought to address affordable housing. That process led to several following bills that were approved by the General Assembly. Several of these bills had the CAHB's support, as well as more than 80 other stakeholders
HB19-1319 will allow private and nonprofit developers to initiative financing and building of affordable housing projects. Affordable housing developers are having difficulty obtaining financing from lenders because the claw back gives lenders too many restrictions. The bill would require an inventory of Public Lands Suitable for Affordable Housing Development and then would limit claw backs of property-tax exemption funds for affordable housing projects to enable lenders more ease to finance projects.
HB19-1322 establishes a new state fund in the Division of Housing to provide sustainable funding for programs and projects that improve, preserve or expand the supply of affordable workforce housing in Colorado. Revenue sources include General Fund, Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, Marijuana Cash Funds, and Gifts, Grants and Donations. The fund will not use new taxes or fees on real estate to help fund affordable housing. HB1322 in its first year allocates about $38 million, with most of the funds coming from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. The Division of Housing is required to consult with stakeholders from urban and rural communities to determine how to meet the needs of local communities, serve populations with the greatest unmet need, and optimize the funds allocated.
HB19-1228 increases the amount of state affordable housing tax credits for 2020 through 2024 that the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) may allocate each year. By doing so, CHFA will have additional funds to leverage federal dollars for affordable housing.
HB19-1245 requires the state treasurer to credit a portion of state sales taxes attributable to a vendor fee change to the Division of Housing's housing development grant fund. This fund is used to make grants and loans to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in the state. HB1245 will help increase the supply of affordable housing across Colorado.
Several bills were introduced on the legal relationships between landlords and tenants. The CAHB opposed these bills and worked with industry stakeholders to either defeat or amend each bill. The bills include:
SB19-225 -- opposed by CAHB and several other industry stakeholders -- was defeated. The bill sought to establish local rent control by removing the prohibition in current law barring local government from enacting ordinances that control rent on private residential housing units, and then permits local governments to enact local laws or regulations that stabilize rent on private residential property.
HB19-1170 -- awaiting the governor's signature -- will significantly modify the implied warranty of habitability in a residential lease between a landlord and a tenant. The bill adds mold to the description of an uninhabitable residence and the absence of functioning appliances; and requires that a landlord move a tenant to a reasonably comparable unit, pay for incidental moving costs, or pay for the tenant to reside in a temporary location when a property is hazardous or uninhabitable and conditions are being remedied.
The bill was amended to find common ground on defining the types of conditions that would trigger property owner responsibilities to mitigate any safety concerns for the resident and help define a time period that allows the property owner to properly address these concerns with any potential work that must be completed to improve the habitability for a resident. Changes include: definition of mold, an exemption for buildings with five or fewer units, and an extended time frame to address claimed breaches of the warranty of habitability from 24 hours to 96 hours.
HB19-1118 -- also awaiting the governor's signature -- was successfully amended to require a landlord to provide 10 days' notice of insufficient rent prior to beginning eviction proceedings, and 10 days' notice prior to terminating a lease agreement for a subsequent violation of terms. Current law provides 3 days for a tenant to pay unpaid rent or vacate the property before a landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
HB19-1106 prevents a landlord from charging a rental application fee unless the entire amount of the fee is used to cover the landlord's cost to process a rental application. It prohibits landlords from charging two or more prospective renters different amounts for applications to rent the same property. HB1106 also requires that a landlord provide a tenant with specified notifications if the landlord rejects or places additional requirements in a rental application.
DENVER (March 6, 2018)—The Colorado Association of Home Builders today released the following statement recognizing Colorado Senator Michael Bennet’s co-sponsorship of S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. This National Association of Home Builders-supported legislation addresses the challenging credit conditions that home builders and home buyers continue to face and will come to a vote on the U.S. Senate floor this week.
MEMBERSHIP AT THE Colorado Association of Home Builders is strong and healthy. As of July 2017, CAHB membership is at 1,985 builder, associate and affiliate members from across the state.
CAHB is part of the three level Homebuilders “Federation” that is comprised of the 10 local associations, the state association and the National Association of Home Builders. Members join their local association and are then afforded the benefits of membership in both the state and national associations.
At that national level, membership is over 140,000 with over 700 local and state associations. NAHB’s members construct about 80 percent of the new homes built in the United States, both single-family and multifamily. Since it was founded in the early 1940s, NAHB has served as the voice of America’s housing industry, working to ensure that housing is a national priority and that all Americans have access to safe, decent and affordable housing, whether they choose to buy a home or rent.
The Colorado Association of Home Builders was founded in 1974, as the unified voice of the Colorado Home Building Industry primarily at the Colorado legislature and in the rules and regulations promulgated by the various state agencies and boards impacting the home building industry.
CAHB is an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders and has 10 local home builder associations across Colorado. The statewide membership of nearly 2,000 represents over 40,000 jobs, and the industry adds over $11.5 billion annually to the Colorado economy; the Colorado Association of Home Builders plays a crucial role in providing housing for Coloradans.
Membership at CAHB has been very stable over the past four years as the economy has improved, showing that members have had the capacity to negotiate the many challenges and obstacles to provide for the Colorado housing demand. Membership is expected to grow as the economy continues to expand and remains stable into the future.
Recent statistics show that building permits issued in Colorado for 2016 totaled about 35,700. 19,200 of those were for single family detached homes and then 16,500 were for attached homes (apartments, condos and townhomes). Similar to the national engagement level, CAHB members construct nearly 80 percent of the new homes built in Colorado.
CAHB is about home building and home builders, with those entities making up about 30 percent of the statewide membership. Builder members are those that are specifically engaged in the construction of new homes but are also comprised of remodelers, community developers and commercial contractors.
The other often overlooked aspect of membership include the associate and affiliate members. Those members are engaged in businesses that are an important part of the delivery of housing and include suppliers, realtors, title companies, mortgage companies, banks, subcontractors, insurance companies and professional consultants to name a few. Associate members are strong supporters and contributors to the Association in fulfillment of the Association objectives serving on the Board, the standing committees and task forces. Likewise, Associate members serve on boards and committees at the local and national levels.
Most of the building activity in Colorado takes place along the Front Range from Pueblo to Fort Collins and Greeley.
In the past five years, approximately 90 percent of the new housing occurred in the 10 counties making up the “Front Range”. Similarly, 70 percent of the CAHB membership is represented on the Front Range.
The west slope has 6 local associations starting in Four Corners in Cortez; the Southwest HBA in Durango; the Western Colorado HBA in Grand Junction; Mountains to Mesa HBA in Glenwood Springs; Summit County HBA in Breckenridge, and the Grand County HBA in Granby.
Participation in CAHB is strong from all across the state. Local associations from all over Colorado alert CAHB to current issues and concerns and are encouraged to provide expertise, the fruit of experience, input, and guidance on decision making.
Joining your local association is how you can to participate to make a difference to your business and the industry. Get involved to understand the processes and then engage in advocating for the rules and lawmaking and advocate for the ability to construct the housing that is required by your friends and neighbors.
The National Association of Home Builders is opposing the tax plan unveiled last Thursday by House Republicans. The association and its members have long advocated to protect and enhance the American Dream of homeownership—and this tax plan would likely put homeownership in jeopardy for many Coloradans.
NAHB’s chairman Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder from Texas, commented on the plan:
Colorado’s housing market has become one of the more expensive in the nation, with median single-family home prices well over $350,000. In the metro Denver region alone, the median single-family home price is $400,000. That means many Coloradans, including middle class homebuyers, are purchasing homes with mortgages above this $500,000 cap arbitrarily placed into the Republican tax plan. Furthermore, doubling the standard deduction puts homeownership tax incentives beyond the reach of more than 90% of American families.
Americans need a meaningful incentive for homeownership in the tax code, and NAHB believes several parts of the tax plan will hurt homeowners and actually reduce the value of homes for millions of Americans.
To better understand why NAHB is opposing the tax plan, please visit the following links:NAHB's Tax Reform Page
Let your Member of Congress know this plan doesn’t work, it only takes a minute.
NAHB will be leading this effort and communicating to all members nationwide with action alerts and policy updates. Please look for those in your email and take action when they arrive. CAHB will provide support and assistance to help NAHB’s efforts and to ensure that Colorado’s housing market stays strong and accessible.
Please contact me at 303-691-2242 or email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.