Weekly Policy Update: State Legislature Resumes – Week One Round Up
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 05/29/2020
On May 26, the Colorado state legislature resumed the 2020 session with a condensed list of bills. Here’s a quick recap of key bills that were heard this week.
House Bill 1195, Consumer Digital Repair Bill of Rights
HB20-1195 would require the manufacturer of digital electronic equipment to provide the tools, manuals, and resources so consumers and independent servicers have the ability to repair their own technology. Since the bill was introduced in February, CBSA has had concerns about the impact on medical device manufacturers and took the position of ‘Oppose Unless Amended’, urging the bill sponsor to exempt device companies from the requirements.
Leading up to the hearing this week, CBSA, AdvaMed, and several Colorado device companies reached out to members of the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee to express opposition to the bill and raise critical issues about patient safety and device system security. On Wednesday, the Committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely, which is a victory for CBSA and our members.
House Bill 1346, Extend Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program
HB20-1346 would extend the Innovative Industries Internship Program for 5 years. The program has been successful in incentivizing employers to find, hire, and train students and recent graduates by awarding matching grants of up to $5,000 per intern in one of the eight innovative industries. Extending the program has been a top legislative priority for CBSA, as it is highly utilized by our life sciences ecosystem.
Since the bill’s introduction, CBSA has worked closely with other innovative industries, partner organizations, and state policymakers to build support. When the COVID-19 outbreak began to escalate, CBSA adapted quickly and collaborated with the lead bill sponsor to offer amendments that would create the best opportunity for the bill to advance. Unfortunately, the state is facing an unprecedented economic downturn, and legislative leadership has been forced to reprioritize and reduce the bills moving forward. As a result, HB 1346 was postponed indefinitely this week.
While we are disappointed with this outcome, we understand the difficult decisions the state legislature is facing during this time. CBSA will continue to cultivate a talent pipeline for our ecosystem and partner with state policymakers to champion workforce development initiatives for life sciences.
House Bill 1232, Equity in Access to Clinical Trials in Medicaid
HB 1232 would expand access to clinical trials for Medicaid enrollees by ensuring that routine costs associated with clinical trials are covered, including costs for physician visits or lab tests.
CBSA supports this legislation, as it would begin to close a coverage gap, reducing health disparities and improving access to high-quality, high-value care for all Coloradans. The bill passed the House on Wednesday and passed the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee on Thursday. It will now go to the Senate Floor, likely sometime next week.
As a result of the protests around the Capitol on Thursday night, the Colorado legislature will not be meeting on Friday and Saturday. We expect they will be back to work on Monday, June 1.
CBSA continues to monitor developments at the state Capitol and keep our members updated on the issues impacting our life sciences community.