April 23, Monday:
The bill prohibits a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry or a licensed, certified, or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age. A licensee who engages in these efforts is subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing board. ‘Conversion therapy’ means efforts that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
Current law sets the fees paid by stationary sources of air pollutants by statute and allows the air quality control commission to set the fees below the cap by rule as needed to comply with TABOR. The bill increases the statutory caps as follows:
Type of Fee Current Cap New Cap
Air pollutant emission notices$152.90$191.13
Per-ton fee for regulated pollutants$ 22.90$ 28.63
Per-ton fee for hazardous pollutants$152.90$191.13
Per-hour permit processing fee$ 76.45$ 95.56
The maximum statutory fees automatically increase by the rate of inflation on each January 1 from 2019 to 2028, but the actual fees collected will be set at or below the statutory cap by the commission by rule. The division of administration in the department of public health and environment shall prioritize its use of the revenues generated by the fee increases to reduce permit processing times.
The division will:
- Engage affected industries to identify and assess measures to improve billing practices, increase accounting transparency, and assess potential efficiency improvements with respect to division activities financed by the fees; and
- Report to the general assembly as part of the SMART Act presentations through 2022 to provide status updates on the stakeholder process.
The bill authorizes the director of the division of labor standards and statistics in the department of labor and employment (director) to administer and enforce the law that prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of sex and to issue awards to employees and impose penalties on employers for violations. The bill removes the director’s enforcement authority and instead permits an aggrieved person to bring a civil action in district court to pursue remedies specified in the bill. The bill allows exceptions to the prohibition if the employer demonstrates that a wage differential is based upon one or more factors including a seniority system, a merit system, or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or a bona fide factor other than sex.
The bill prohibits an employer from discharging or retaliating against an employee for actions by an employee asserting the rights established by the bill against an employer.
An employer is required to announce to all employees employment advancement opportunities and the pay range for the opportunities. The director is authorized to enforce actions against an employer concerning transparency in pay and employment opportunities, including fines of between $500 and $10,000 per violation.
The bill makes it an unfair employment practice for an employer to seek wage or salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment, unless the employer notifies the applicant of the wage or salary range for the current employment opening or the applicant agrees to discuss his or her wage or salary history.
Current law authorizes ‘forced’ or ‘statutory’ pooling, a process by which any interested person–typically an oil and gas operator–may apply to the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission (commission) for an order to pool oil and gas resources located within a particularly identified drilling unit. After giving notice to interested parties and holding a hearing, the commission can adopt an order to require an owner of oil and gas resources within the drilling unit who has not consented to the application (nonconsenting owner) to allow an oil and gas operator to produce the oil and gas within the drilling unit notwithstanding the owners lack of consent.
The bill clarifies that an order entered by the commission establishing a drilling unit may authorize more than one well. The order must specify that a nonconsenting owner is immune from liability for costs arising from spills, releases, damage, or injury resulting from oil and gas operations on the drilling unit.
Currently, a nonconsenting owner must pay the consenting owners from the nonconsenting owner’s share of production 200% of the nonconsenting owner’s proportionate share of the costs of drilling, including equipment. The bill limits this 200% cost recovery to wells 5,000 feet or less in depth and increases the cost recovery to 300% for wells greater than 5,000 feet in depth and for horizontal wells.
Current law prohibits entry of a pooling order until the mineral rights owners have been given a reasonable offer to lease their rights. The bill specifies that the offer must be given at least 60 days before the hearing on the order and must include a copy of or link to a brochure supplied by the commission that clearly and concisely describes the pooling procedures and the mineral owner’s options pursuant to those procedures.
The bill prohibits the governor from involving Colorado in any state-level climate collaboration that attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions or to otherwise promote the goals of the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Under current law, prisoners convicted of an offense and sentenced to county jail are required to work inside the jail. When no work is available inside the jail, convicted and sentenced prisoners are required to work outside the jail. The bill permits county sheriffs to allow prisoners to work outside of jail at any time, including on any public property. The bill permits a person who is confined in a county jail, but who has not been convicted and sentenced, to work while confined in the county jail.
April 24, Tuesday:
The bill creates in the department of labor and employment a purple card program that would allow certain persons who came to the United States without legal documentation to apply for a purple card allowing them to work legally in Colorado.