Weekly Policy Update: Legislative Session Closes Today

The 2023 legislative session, the First Regular Session of the 74th General Assembly closes today, Monday, May 8th, the 120th day of session.  During the final weeks of session, the CBSA team, the Colorado Legislative Strategies team, our members, and our partners have continued to actively weigh in on key legislation and advocate on behalf of our life sciences ecosystem.  Legislators burned the midnight oil through the weekend to advance important policies before session adjourns at midnight tonight.    

Here is a brief recap of where CBSA’s priorities stand as the session concludes. 

Supported Legislation: Passed Awaiting Governor’s Signature 

SB23-066: Advanced Industry Acceleration Programs 

Sponsors: Sen. Cleave Simpson, Sen. Chris Hansen, Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Mike Lynch  

CBSA is proud to lead the advocacy efforts to reauthorize the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Programs this session through SB23-066, working with our advanced industries partners and Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).   

The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Programs, run by OEDIT, provide critical capital for these innovation industries. The non-dilutive capital fuels success for early-stage companies. The bill extends these programs by 10 years. 

Status as of May 7, 2023: The bill passed the legislature with one amendment that extends the mechanism to fund the advanced industries acceleration cash fund through income tax withholding growth by 2 years. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.   

HB23-1130:  Drug Coverage for Serious Mental Illness 

Sponsors: Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Sen. Robert Rodriguez, Sen. Chris Kolker 

CBSA supported HB23-1130, a bill that aims to help people suffering from a serious mental illness by addressing private payers’ step therapy requirements and Medicaid’s Preferred Drug List review process. These are both “[b]arriers impeding timely access to cutting-edge and physician-recommended psychiatric treatments,” as bill sponsor Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet explained in an opinion piece in the Denver Post. 

The bill prohibits state-regulated insurance plans from requiring more than one alternative drug trial as part of a step therapy protocol before covering a drug prescribed by a provider to treat select mental health conditions.  The bill also allows a provider to attest a prescribed drug is necessary, without undergoing step therapy, and the insurance plan must cover the drug. Lastly, the bill requires HCPF to review newly FDA-approved drugs for certain mental health conditions within 90 days for coverage of the drug under Medicaid. 

Status, as of May 7, 2023: The bill passed the legislature with amendments.  The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

HB23-1136:  Prosthetic Devices for Recreational Activity 

Sponsors: Rep. David Ortiz, Rep. Anthony Hartsook, Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Larry Liston 

CBSA supported HB23-1136, Prosthetic Devices for Recreational Activity, which will require health insurance plans regulated by the state to provide coverage for an additional prosthetic device for a covered person if their treating physician determines that it is necessary for them to engage in physical and recreational activity. 

Status, as of May 7, 2023: The bill passed the legislature with amendments.  The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

HB23-1198:  Teacher Externship Program for Scient Technology Engineering and Math Disciplines 

Sponsors: Rep. Brianna Titone, Rep. Meghan Lukens, Sen. Janice Rich 

CBSA supported HB23-1198, Teacher Externship Program for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Disciplines, a bill sponsored by Representative Brianna Titone. It requires the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to establish a teacher externship program to allow K-12 teachers to participate in experiential learning opportunities with employers, outside of the school environment, to gain knowledge and expand their curriculum in the STEM disciplines.    

Status, as of May 7, 2023:  The bill passed the legislature with amendments that shorten the program to a two-year pilot and remove the tax credit in the orginal bill for costs incurred and paid by the employer for placing and retaining a teacher in an externship.  The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

HB 23-1260:  Advanced Industry and Semiconductor Manufacturing Incentives 

Sponsors: Rep. Matt Soper, Rep. Alex Valdez, Sen. Mark Baisely, Sen. Kevin Priola 

CBSA supported HB23-1260, Advanced Industry and Semiconductor Manufacturing Incentives. Among other things, the bill creates an Advanced Manufacturing and STEM Industries Task Force to:  

  • Study the effectiveness of existing financial incentives and development strategies for advanced manufacturing and other STEM companies in Colorado;  
  • Examine other states’ approaches to attracting and promoting the development of advanced manufacturing and other STEM companies; and  
  • Identify any recommended legislative or regulatory changes to make Colorado’s advanced manufacturing and other STEM industries more nationally competitive. 

Status, as of May 7, 2023: The bill passed the legislature with amendments.  The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

Supported Legislation – Lost 

HB23-1110:  Health-care Coverage for Biomarker Testing  

Sponsors: Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Rep. Anthony Hartsook, Sen. Kyle Mullica, Sen. Janice Rich 

CBSA supported HB23-1110, an important bill introduced in Colorado this year that would require insurance coverage for biomarker testing supported by nationally recognized clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, and disease management. Biomarker testing is recognized as the key to unlocking precision medicine. Efforts to pass this biomarker testing bill were spearheaded by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) following the passage of similar bills in Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, and Rhode Island. 

Status, as of May 7, 2023: This bill passed out of the House Health & Insurance Committee on February 21st on a vote of 10-1. Unfortunately, though, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee informed the bill sponsors on April 17th that the bill cannot move forward without first undergoing the SB22-040 actuarial review process for new insurance mandates over the summer and fall of 2023, so the bill died on the calendar this year.    

Opposed Legislation – Lost 

HB23-1118: Fair Workweek Employment Standards 

Sponsors: Rep. Emily Sirota, Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Sen. Julie Gonzales, Sen. Faith Winter 

CBSA joined a coalition of diverse business and industry groups in opposition to HB23-1118, Fair Workweek Employment Standards, which would have required certain employers to follow strict rules related to employee scheduling.  

Status, as of May 7, 2023: This bill was killed in the House.   

Opposed Legislation – Passed with Amendments to Remove Most Harmful Provisions, Awaiting Governor’s Signature 

HB 23-1225: Extend And Modify Prescription Drug Affordability Board 

Sponsors: Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy, Rep. Ruby Dickson, Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, Sen. Janet Buckner 

CBSA opposed HB23-1225, which extends and expands the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) established in 2021 (SB21-175) by pushing back the repeal date from 2026 to 2031, expanding the eligibility criteria for affordability reviews, and increasing the twelve-drug limit on upper payment limits (UPLs) that can be set by the PDAB. 

Status, as of May 7, 2023: This bill passed the legislature with amendments that remove some of the most harmful provisions and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

Following the conclusion of the legislative session scheduled for today, May 8th, the legislature will take a much-needed rest before the new session of the Colorado General Assembly begins in January of 2024. 

Categories: CBSA News