The Legislative Update is a quick explanation of bills we are actively following in the Colorado State Legislature. CRA updates this list as new bills are introduced or as the status of the listed bills changes.
In addition, we send out email notices and special “ALERTS” to members when we need help on issues or need you to contact certain legislators. It is extremely important that your member record at CRA contains your best contact email address. You can be sure we have it by sending your contact information to CRA at firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise not to share your email address with anyone. We will use it only for important CRA issues.
Auction Alcohol at Special Events
Senate Bill 67 by Sen Zenzinger (D-Westminster) and Sen Priola (R–Brighton) allows charities to utilize silent auctions containing sealed bottles of alcohol at on-premises liquor licensed locations. Currently, these types of events happen often in the State of Colorado, but were technically a violation of the Colorado Liquor Code. This bill codifies in law a practice that is already occurring. This legislation was signed into law by the Governor and was immediately effective.
Transfer Alcohol on Surrendered License
Senate Bill 138 by Sen Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) and Sen Kerr (D–Lakewood) allows a restaurant or bar to sell their remaining alcohol stock to another liquor license with common ownership if their liquor license is surrendered or revoked. The licensee would have to offer the wholesalers the opportunity to purchase back any alcohol they may want and the selling location will have to pay for any alcohol that has not been paid for yet. Currently, when a business has to surrender their license, any alcohol not purchased back by the wholesaler becomes the personal property of the license holder and cannot be used at another location. This legislation was signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect in August.
Local Minimum Wage
House Bill 1638 by Reps Melton (D-Aurora) and Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) would allow local governments to set minimum wage for employees working in that jurisdiction higher than the state minimum wage. Additionally, local jurisdictions would have the ability to access fines, penalties and fees at rates higher than set in state law. This legislation passed out of the House of Representatives and will now be heard in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.
Sale of 3.2 Beer
Senate Bill 198 by Sen Scott (R-Grand Junction) would create a new liquor license allowing any retailer currently selling 3.2% beer to serve full strength beer. This would apply to convenience stores, grocery stores, and other businesses that currently only sell 3.2% beer “to go”. Because this bill would not allow on-premises establishments currently selling 3.2% beer to apply for the license to sell full strength beer, the CRA is opposed. This bill will be heard in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.
Sale of 3.2 Beer
Senate Bill 243 by Sen Holbert (R-Lone Tree) and Sen Guzman (D-Denver) would make significant changes to the sale of Fermented Malt Beverages by businesses licensed for off-premises sales. We are monitoring this legislation to ensure that the bill doesn’t have a negative impact on the restaurant industry in Colorado. This legislation passed on second reading in the Senate, the bill will now go to third reading and final passage before going to the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1258 by Rep Singer (D-Boulder) and Rep Melton (D-Aurora) would give any retail marijuana shop the ability to have a consumption permit. This consumption permit would be a separate business, within the same jurisdiction as their original license where customers would have the ability to purchase marijuana to be consumed on site. They would only be able to consume marijuana that is cultivated by the business that owns the consumption location. This location would not have the ability to serve alcohol or prepared food. The CRA is monitoring this legislation to prevent allowing dual consumption of marijuana and alcohol. This bill passed out of the Senate with amendments and will now go back to the House of Representatives for consideration of Senate amendments.
Family and Medical Leave Insurance
House Bill 1001 by Rep Winter (D-Westminster) and Rep Gray (D–Broomfield) would create a new program, funded by workers in the State of Colorado, which would provide wage replacement benefits to employees who qualify for Family and Medical Leave. The program would be funded by a premium based on a percentage of the employee’s yearly wages, not to exceed .99%. Additionally, the Department of Labor would have the ability to issue a solvency surcharge if needed to ensure the soundness of the fund. This bill passed out of the House Business and Labor Committee and will now be heard by the House Finance Committee.
Senate Bill 211 by Senator Marble (R-Broomfield) would allow for the creation of marijuana consumption club license. This license would allow the license holder to sell marijuana they have purchased from licensed marijuana stores or cultivation facilities for customers to consume on the licensed premises. These establishments would not have the ability to serve alcohol or food that is prepared on site. The CRA is monitoring this legislation to prevent allowing dual consumption of marijuana and alcohol. This was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee.
Homeless Bill of Rights/Right to Rest
House Bill 1067 by Rep Melton (D-Aurora) and Rep Salazar (D–Thornton) creates the “Colorado Right to Rest Act” which establishes basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in public places and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Local Government Committee.
Business Personal Property Tax
House Bill 1036 by Rep Leonard (R-Evergreen) would have increased the amount of business personal property a business can count as exempt from business personal property tax from $7,500 to $50,000 in tax year 2018. The bill would have also adjusted for inflation for subsequent property tax years. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.
County Lodging Tax Revenue Use
House Bill 1084 by Rep Thurlow (R-Grand Junction) and Rep Hamner (D–Breckenridge) would allow a local government to determine how the jurisdiction will use the revenue from their lodging tax collected, which can currently only be used for tourism purposes. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Finance Committee.
Beef Country of Origin
House Bill 1043 by Rep Lewis (R-Lamar) would have required retailers in Colorado, including restaurants who sell dishes containing raw beef, to post a placard at the location of sale identifying the country of origin of the beef being sold. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee.
PLEASE NOTE: You can access the full list of bills we track at The CRA Bill Tracker