Legislation

Each year, during regular and special legislative sessions, law makers introduce thousands of bills and resolutions at the federal, state and local levels on variety of subject areas, ranging from health and immigration to education and environmental protection. While the majority are orphaned, postponed or reintroduced in a new session, a small number go on to become laws. 

Congress works in two-year legislative sessions, with the current session called the 117th Congress. It began on January 3, 2021 and will end on January 3, 2023. In Colorado, the First Regular Session of the 73rd General Assembly convened on January 13, 2021. Denver City Council meets on Mondays on an ongoing basis. 

The legislation highlighted in the four categories below are a selected few that were introduced, discussed or deliberated during the 2019-2021 federal, state and local legislative sessions. The list is by no means exhaustive. For full accounting of the outcomes of the proposals, please visit the official U.S. federal website for federal legislative information, the Colorado General Assembly web page for Colorado legislative proposals, or the Denver City Council web portal for legislation proposed at the municipal level.   

Education

  • Federal

    H.R. 1319| American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.

    Specifically, the bill provides funding for: agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program); schools and institutions of higher education; child care and programs for older Americans and their families; COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention; mental health and substance-use disorder services; emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs; payments to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for economic relief; multiemployer pension plans; small business assistance, including specific programs for restaurants and live venues; programs for health care workers, transportation workers, federal employees, veterans, and other targeted populations; international and humanitarian responses; tribal government services; and scientific research and development.

    The bill also includes provisions that extend unemployment benefits and related services; provide a maximum recovery rebate of $1,400 per eligible individual; expand and otherwise modify certain tax credits, including the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit; provide premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage; and require coverage, without cost-sharing, of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

    H.R. 943| Never Again Education Act: This bill expands U.S. Holocaust Memorial  Museum education programming. The bill requires the museum to develop and nationally disseminate accurate, relevant, and accessible resources to improve awareness and understanding of the Holocaust. It also authorizes various Holocaust education program activities to engage prospective and current teachers and educational leaders.

    S. 1153| Sop Student Debt Relief Scams Act of 2019: This bill establishes criminal penalties for unauthorized access of certain student loan information and expands the requirements for student loan exit counseling. Specifically, the bill makes it a crime to knowingly use an access device (e.g., account number) that was issued to another person or was fraudulently obtained to access Department of Education (ED) information technology systems for commercial advantage or private financial gain. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to five years, or both. Further, the bill expands loan exit counseling requirements to require an institution of higher education that participates in federal student-aid programs to provide an explanation to borrowers cautioning them about third-party student debt relief companies. It also requires ED to prevent unauthorized access to the central database for student aid (i.e., the National Student Loan Data System) and warn borrowers of suspicious activity regarding their student loan accounts.

    H.R. 8472| Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act: This bill revises the Impact Aid Program application process for FY2022. It also revises FY2021 allocations under the Migrant Education Program. First, the bill requires local educational agencies (LEAs) participating in the Impact Aid Program to use the student count or federal property valuation data from their FY2021 program applications, as applicable, for their FY2022 program applications. The program provides funding to LEAs that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal property or to those that have experienced increased expenditures due to enrollment of federally connected children (e.g., children living on Indian lands or military bases). In addition, the bill directs the Department of Education to use school year 2018-2019 data or school year 2019-2020 data, whichever is greater, for making FY2021 allocations to states under the Migrant Education Program. States use these program funds to identify eligible migratory children and provide them with education and support services.

    S. 461| HBCU PARTNERS Act: This bill addresses the capacity of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in federal programs. Specifically, the bill requires certain agencies to submit annual plans for strengthening the capacity of HBCUs to participate in federal programs. Among other things, the plans must establish how the agencies intend to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. The agencies must provide technical assistance and information to the White House Initiative on HBCUs to enhance communication with HBCUs concerning their program activities and initiatives as well as applications for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. In addition, the bill provides statutory authority for the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

    H.R.5363| FUTURE Act (Permanently Extend Mandatory Funding for HBCU Programs): This bill permanently authorizes funding for minority-serving institutions of higher education and increases the authorization of appropriations for Pell Grants. This bill directs the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), upon the written request of the Department of Education (ED), to disclose to any authorized person, tax return information to determine eligibility for recertifications for income-contingent or income-based repayments of student loans, discharges of loans based on total and permanent disability, and the amount of student financial aid under the Higher Education Act of 1965. The IRS must also establish and implement procedures for recertifying income for purposes of this bill and for requesting tax return information. The bill requires ED and the IRS to issue joint reports to Congress on this bill, including an update on the status of implementation of this bill and an evaluation of how such implementation affected the processing of applications for financial aid and discharge of student loans.

    H.R. 133| Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 [Including Coronavirus Stimulus & Relief]: This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a major government funding bill, which also included economic stimulus provisions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • State

    Bill SB20-006| Amend Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiatives: Concerning changes to the continuing administration of the Colorado opportunity scholarship initiative.

    Bill HB20-1280| CDHE Data for Student Return On Investment Metrics: Concerning authorizing the department of higher education to collect the data necessary to calculate return on investment metrics related to student outcomes.

    Bill HB20-1407| College Admission Use of National Test Score: Concerning temporarily allowing a Colorado institution of higher education to determine whether to require a national assessment test score as an eligibility criterion for admission for first-time freshman students who graduate from high school in 2021.

    Bill SB20 – 112| College Trust Scholarship for Early Graduation: Concerning the creation of a college trust scholarship for students who graduate early from Colorado public high schools.

  • Municipal

    To Be Updated

Immigration

  • Federal

    H.R. 1044| Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2020: This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

  • State

    HB20-1409| CDPHE Inspections of Penal Institutions: Concerning department of public health and environment inspections of penal institutions.

    HB20-108| Landlord Prohibition Tenant Citizenship Status: Concerning a prohibition on a landlord engaging in certain activities related to a tenant's citizenship status.

    HB20-1188| Person Who Illegally Reentered the United States: Concerning persons who have illegally reentered the United States.

    HB20-1294| Replace Illegal Alien with Undocumented Immigrants: Concerning replacing the term illegal alien with unauthorized worker as it relates to public contracts for services.

    HB20-1088| U Visa Certification Requirements: Concerning the certification process for the purpose of application for U non-immigrant status.

  • Municipal

    To Be Updated

Sustainability/Environment

Health Care