What They’re Saying About Bills Signed by Governor Polis to Prepare for & Respond to Wildfires, Save People Money, Protect Colorado’s Environment and Support the State’s Workforce

Friday, June 3, 2022

EVERGREEN - Governor Polis is signing bills today to prepare for and respond to wildfires, protect Colorado’s environment, save people money, support Colorado’s workforce and thriving economy. 

What people are saying about HB22-1355  Producer Responsibility Program For Recycling and  HB22-1159 Waste Diversion And Circular Economy Development Center

“Currently the lack of recycling end markets in Colorado is both a fundamental challenge to improving recycling and a substantial lost economic opportunity. Recycling creates nine times more jobs than landfilling as well as providing substantial climate and environmental benefits. We applaud the Governor and the legislature for delivering a much-needed, proactive solution to drive business investments in Colorado and improve recycling.” -- Randy Moorman, Community Campaigns Director, Eco-Cycle and Board Vice President, Recycle Colorado 

“Colorado’s non-alcoholic beverage companies applaud Gov. Polis and the Colorado Legislature for leading the way toward an improved, first-of-its-kind recycling system in the U.S. It allows producers to operate and pay for a system to get valuable packaging materials back for new products, creating a circular economy to reduce waste and litter. Colorado’s farsighted vision of EPR sets the standard for other states to follow, and our industry stands ready to work with any legislature, industry and environmental group that is willing to join us in improving our recycling systems,” said Mary Marchun, executive director, Colorado Beverage Association. 

"Good Business Colorado supports this bill because it is the best way to increase access to recycling services and bring down the cost for Colorado residents and businesses. It just doesn't make sense to be throwing away so much valuable reusable material and literally trashing the environment in the process,” - Good Business Colorado.

"There is no such thing as 'away' when we throw something out, it simply goes into the landfill. There is a better way to handle the resources we use and how we dispose of them. The circular economy is a crucial part of a regenerative future and can only be accomplished with extended producer responsibility. HB22-1159 and HB22-1355 are essential steps in Colorado's climate action!" Brenna Simmons-St. Onge, Executive Director The Alliance Center  

“Amid historic supply chain disruptions, rampant climate change, and pervasive plastic pollution, there has never been a more important time to invest in recycling. With this bill, Colorado will become the first state in the country to create a fully producer-funded and operated statewide recycling system for all consumer-facing packaging and printed paper. This policy is absolutely game-changing for both the state and the country, and could not have been possible without the broad coalition of national and state businesses, local governments, environmental advocates, recyclers, and residents. We congratulate the Governor and the legislature on this transformative solution.”  -- Kate Bailey, Policy Director, Eco-Cycle

“Environment Colorado applauds Governor Polis and the Colorado legislature for taking action to address our state’s rising tide of plastic waste. This law will help reduce the amount of plastic we produce, especially unnecessary single-use packaging, and ultimately how much plastic waste we throw away. For too long, manufacturers of plastic have put the responsibility of dealing with plastic – recycling and disposal – on the shoulders of individuals and local communities. Colorado’s producer responsibility law will make important changes to make producers responsible for cleaning up plastic waste.  Now, when manufacturers are held responsible for the plastics that can’t be reused or recycled easily, they’ll stop producing so much of it in the first place,” Environment Colorado Senior Program Director Rex Wilmouth. 

 “As a Colorado resident (Aurora), I am thrilled to see this bill signed into law. It is structured as a win/win/win where residents, producers and the environment all benefit! I'm excited to see our diversion rates increase as equitable recycling is provided across the state. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this. It's a huge success!” - Elicia Hesselgrave

“The members of Recycle Colorado celebrate the signing of these two bills, HB22-1159 Waste Diversion And Circular Economy Development Center and HB22-1355 Producer Responsibility Program For Recycling, as they represent a future for Colorado where our citizens and businesses can simultaneously protect our environment while creating new jobs.This legislation allows Colorado to craft a more sustainable system for consumer goods. These bills represent a truly collaborative effort of the various stakeholders who worked from diverse perspectives to create a solution for moving towards a waste-free Colorado,” - Recycle Colorado 

What community leaders are saying about HB22-1010 Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit

“Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) applauds the passage of the Early Childhood Educator Tax Credit (House Bill 22-1010). Early childhood professionals are the backbone of quality early childhood education, and recruitment and retention of these professionals are essential for Colorado to expand early learning opportunities. SCAN stands alongside early childhood professionals and advocates in celebrating as this recruitment and retention tool is signed into law,” - Save the Children Action Network 

"HB1010 is vital to our state’s continued pandemic recovery and families’ ability to return to work. It is essential we recognize the role that our state’s child care providers play in supporting our families and strengthening communities. These dedicated professionals serve as a strong foundation for Colorado families - and our state and economy need as many of them as possible," stated Melissa Mares, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Colorado Children's Campaign.

What community leaders are saying about HB22-1011 Wildfire Mitigation Incentives For Local Governments

“As climate change makes Colorado hotter and drier, wildfires have become a threat to our health and safety year round.” said Sabrina Pacha, Director of Healthy Air and Water Colorado. “HB22-1011 helps us address this new normal by incentivizing long term investments in local wildfire mitigation efforts that will protect us not only from the immediate danger that wildfires bring but also the serious health implications that come from breathing in the smoke and particulate matter that pollutes our air when a wildfire occurs.”

What community leaders are saying about HB22-1409 Community Revitalization Grant Program Funding

"By signing the Community Revitalization Grant Program Funding bill, you are revitalizing rural economies and investing in the future of Colorado through arts and culture. Creatives are the Einsteins, the Elon Musks, the Frida Kahlos and the Bobby LeFebres. They are the dreamers, the doers and the life changers. This bill gives creatives a home in which their dreams can become reality. Thank you, Governor Polis!" - Dagny McKinley Executive Director, Colorado New Play Festival 

“The Colorado Community Revitalization Grant Program has already benefited urban and rural communities across the state since its initial passage in the 2021 legislative session. This additional $20 million of funding through the passage of HB22-1409 will ensure other transformative projects that were already in the pipeline will receive critical gap funding to get over the finish line as well. This investment will support creative districts, historic districts, main streets and neighborhood commercial centers, as well as projects combining creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance spaces, community gathering spaces, and so much more. We are grateful for this additional funding to spur our state’s economic recovery and support the arts and creative industry sector so vital to our state.” Christin Crampton Day, Executive Director, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) 

“It has been an inspiring journey to see so many legislators from both sides of the aisle embrace the necessity of a healthy cultural landscape for all communities. HB 1408 will provide insights into the magnitude of the impact of furthering the film and media industries for our state and HB 1409 will provide much needed infrastructure for truly impactful cultural projects,” - Linda L. Weise, President Colorado Springs Community Cultural Collective at City Auditorium

"C.I.N.E.M.A. would like to thank Representatives Herod amd Esgar as well as Senators Hisey and Moreno for being the prime sponsors of HB22-1408.  We would also like to thank the House's Business Affairs & Labor and Appropriations Committee as well as the Senate Appropriations Committees for their support.  These funds will continue to prove the value of the film, TV, and videogame industries to Colorado's economy, especially in rural parts of our state.  And they provide a means for Colorado's media students to stay in Colorado after graduation and therefore provides a means for them to contribute to Colorado's tax base, which helped fund many of their educations." - David Charmatz, C.I.N.E.M.A. 

What community leaders are saying about  HB22-1055 Sales Tax Exemption Essential Hygiene Products

“Every Coloradan deserves to live with dignity. For far too many essential products like diaper, incontinence products, and period products are out of reach. The passage of HB22-1055 which exempts sales tax for these essential products will allow for Colorado women and their families to go to work, child care, and school while saving their family money.” - Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

What community leaders are saying about  HB22-1149 Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit

“Colorado BioScience Association thanks Governor Jared Polis for signing the Advanced Industries Tax Credit, House Bill 1149, into law. This legislation supports the incredible breakthroughs driving Colorado’s innovation economy. Health innovators from Colorado are developing tests, treatments, and cures that will save and change lives around the world. This work requires access to capital at all stages of research, development, and commercialization. The Advanced Industries Tax Credit is critical to efforts that bring discoveries from the laboratory bench to a patient’s bedside. It supports the growth and health of Colorado’s vibrant life sciences community. We applaud bill sponsors Representative Shannon Bird, Representative Mike Lynch, Senator Chris Hansen, and Senator Bob Rankin. CBSA also thanks our partners at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado Cleantech Association for their leadership on this legislation.” -Elyse Blazevich, President & CEO, Colorado BioScience Association

What people are saying about Qualified Retailer Retain Sales Tax HB22-1406

“The Colorado Restaurant Association is proud to have supported House Bill 22-1406, as it will provide local restaurants with much-needed financial support as they struggle in the face of a severe labor shortage and rising operational costs, the likes of which we haven’t seen in four decades. Thank you to Governor Polis for signing this important legislation into law,” - CRA Government Affairs Manager Nick Hoover.  

What people are saying about HB22-1369 Children's Mental Health Programs

“Funding allocated to the Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program through HB22-1369 will expand access to prevention and early intervention services in Colorado specifically for young children experiencing poverty and living with trauma and chronic stress. Child First ® is a program that will be eligible for these grant funds as it is an evidence-based, two-generation, home-based mental health intervention that serves young children and their families most impacted by systemic and structural inequities. Child First provides mental health and family stabilization services to caregivers of young children. It is a critical need in Colorado, and we are so grateful for the passage of this important legislation.” Lisa Hill, Executive Director, Invest in Kids

What people are saying about HB22-1356 Small Community-based Nonprofit Grant Program

“The pandemic was devastating for many in our state, but we know that communities that lacked access to resources even before the pandemic were hit hardest,” said Carlos Martinez, CLCT steering committee member and CEO of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. “During this tumultuous time, nonprofits in these communities were critical lifelines, often pivoting to meet basic needs in the community and coping with a huge increase in demand for services. I couldn’t be prouder of the work the Communities Lead, Communities Thrive coalition has done to achieve this historic win for the nonprofits that are powering our pandemic recovery.” 

What people are saying about HB22-1259 Modifications To Colorado Works Program

"All parents and caregivers need support sometimes, and we can all help to ensure that children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need, when they need them. Illuminate Colorado supports HB22-1259 because HB22-1259 will strengthen household financial security, which is a well-documented child maltreatment prevention strategy. Research suggests that more generous benefits are associated with a decrease in child neglect and out-of-home care--meaning that the increase to Basic Cash Assistance that this bill would make could help keep kids and families out of our much more expensive government systems. In short, HB22-1259 will support families to overcome and bounce back from life's challenges enabling children to achieve their potential and grow up to be good neighbors and productive community members."-- Jillian Fabricius, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Illuminate Colorado

"Children who live in stable environments and have connections to responsive caregivers have healthier development and improved life outcomes. By increasing basic cash assistance payments, improving outreach and engagement around the TANF program, and creating a smoother ramp to economic security for TANF recipients, this bill will ensure that all families can meet their basic needs and live happy, healthy lives," said Sarah Barnes, Director of Family Economic Prosperity Initiatives at the Colorado Children's Campaign.

What people are saying about HB22-1345 Perfluoroalkyl And Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals

“PFAS are introduced into the water cycle when people wash, rinse or clean products containing PFAS - those chemicals go down the drain and into the wastewater system.  Publicly owned clean water utilities are “passive receivers” of PFAS chemicals.  We do not produce, use or manufacture PFAS but, “receive” these chemicals through the wastewater that arrives at our treatment plants from homes and businesses. The best solution for Colorado is to stop PFAS chemicals from being introduced into the water cycle in the first place by removing PFAS from consumer products, this bill is a good start.” said Erin Bertoli, Metro Water Recovery.

What people are saying about SB22-232 Creation of Workforce Housing Trust Authority

“This Middle Income housing Authority is so vital to Colorado’s vibrancy and preserving housing options  for the future, providing a tool that will expand affordability for middle income families and individuals, it will also assist in neighborhoods that have seen the largest erosion in the spectrum of affordability” – Haroun Cowans, Goshen Development

“Women and families, particularly those of color, have been disproportionately impacted by soaring house prices in our community. The lack of middle-income housing options has exponentially increased the financial stress on families who were already stretched too thin. It has also made the path to home ownership, one of the key steps to building financial stability and generational wealth, untenable. The Middle Income Housing Authority will help level the playing field by improving, preserving, and expanding the supply of housing options in our community. It also provides a much-needed intervention in the displacement and destruction of communities who add so much to the cultural richness and diversity of our city.” -- Nneka McPhee & Tanaka Shipp, SPIN, Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs 

The Middle Income Housing Authority will deliver an essential tool to support creating new housing to increase the supply for those that need it. -- Jice Johnson CEO/CVO Black Business Initiative 

We are extremely concerned about the affordability challenges we face across the State, which are adversely affecting our employees and our ability to recruit talent at income levels across our businesses and represents a significant proportion of employee dissatisfaction. The Middle Income Housing Authority is an innovative idea that will result in a significant expansion of capital available to build new middle income workforce housing across the State. We need to continue to address this challenge with urgency. We believe that the creation of tax-exempt bonds through the highly regulated municipal finance market can lead to a transformative change to our crisis. The Act can add a meaningful new supply of desperately needed rent stable apartments by quickly mobilizing the existing capacities of private apartment developers already working in the State. Further, these properties will be kept perpetually affordable in service of key workforces(including our hourly wage earners as well as moderate-income essential workers, particularly in healthcare), as the buildings will be owned by the state authority, and never revert back to private market owners. -- Erin Trapp, Executive Director, Colorado Thrives

 “These workforce efforts are critical for the continued growth of the aerospace industry in Colorado. Lockheed Martin currently has 1,162 job openings in Colorado that range from technicians to engineers and requiring education ranging from high school diplomas to PhDs.  These bills along with the other workforce legislation recently adopted will go a long way to ensuring student success and providing businesses with the talent necessary to keep Colorado a great place to live and work.” – Nick Spain, Vice President of Human Resources, Lockheed Martin Space

“I’m thrilled with the successful passage of SB22-232, which creates a significant new tool in the struggle to find high quality, affordable housing options for middle-income citizens in our State. This will give Coloradans the opportunity to live where they work and allow families to keep their children in the neighborhoods and school districts of their choice. This bill also represents a powerful new financing vehicle for addressing the dire housing challenges in our region and I am particularly thankful for the relentless leadership of Sen. Jeff Bridges on this along with his co-sponsors Sen. Dominick Moreno, and Rep. Leslie Herod. – Mark Falcone, Continuum Partners

What people are saying about SB22-140 Expansion Of Experiential Learning Opportunities

“The Expansion Of  Experiential Learning Opportunities Bill, SB22-140, will  lead to more

Employer-sponsored work-based learning programs by offsetting some of the indirect costs associated with these programs, including the training needed to successfully run a work-based learning program internally and with external educational partners.  Learners will benefit with increased opportunities to high quality work-based learning and employers benefit with added support to address acute and long term talent needs,Kelly Caufield, Vice President of Government Affairs for Colorado Succeeds

What people are saying about HB22-1315 Colorado 2-1-1 Collaborative Funding

“When callers contact the 2-1-1 Help Center, they are connected to a trained Navigator, who has access to a comprehensive database of 4,000 agencies and can connect callers to more than 7,000 services to assist them. These calls are free and confidential.”  -  State Rep. Rep Janice Rich

“In signing House Bill 1317, Governor Jared Polis is signaling to Coloradans that we hear you and recognize the struggles many of you have experienced in navigating available resources during times of need,” said Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way. “With this financial commitment from the State of Colorado, Mile High United Way will continue to address this need through our 2-1-1 Call Center, which connected over 100,000 individuals to resources in their communities last year.” - United Way Denver

What community leaders are saying about  HB22-1349 Postsecondary Student Success Data System

Roger Low, CEO, Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (CEEMI): "House Bill 1349 is an exciting bipartisan step forward for Colorado learners. The bill brings us closer to a Colorado where learners across the state can make informed choices about their postsecondary and career pathways, equipped with data about projected earnings and other relevant outcomes. I appreciate the final bill's inclusive, cross-cutting vision, encompassing both colleges and alternative job-training providers. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves and make this vision a reality."