Weekly Policy Update: Two State Bills Move Forward That Could Adversely Impact Life Sciences Ecosystem
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 06/01/2021
The end of the 2021 Colorado legislative session is quickly approaching. The last possible day (June 12) is less than two weeks away and it’s possible that the General Assembly could even wrap up before their hard deadline. With just a few days to go, there are still several priority pieces of legislation for Governor Polis and the Democratic majorities in both chambers that are still pending.
Governor Polis has made healthcare legislation a top priority for this legislative session and he, along with his allies in the legislature, are plowing ahead with two bills that will negatively impacts for Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem. Those bills are Senate Bill 175, the prescription drug affordability review board, and House Bill 1232, the public option. Both bills are nearing the finish line in the legislative process and could soon be sent to Governor Polis for his signature.
The legislative process is a long journey. After introduction, a bill gets at least one committee hearing. Both of these bills had committee hearings stretching on for hours. Then the bill goes the floor for debate. That’s when the legislators can offer as many amendments and speak for as long as they want on the bill. Once again, both of these bills had lengthy floor fights.
Then the bills goes to a final vote, but that is just the first chamber and then it needs to repeat the process all over again.
Senate Bill 175 is now just pending one last floor debate and final vote, which will likely happen soon. Because the bill sponsors have refused any and all reasonable amendments to the bill, once it passes the House this week it will be sent directly to the Governor for his signature and to become law.
House Bill 1232 is only pending one final action in the House. The bill has already passed the House and the Senate, however the Senate did make some changes to the bill. That means that the bill will go back over to the House, where the bill sponsors are expected to concur in the changes and the repass the final version of the bill.
Despite intense opposition that highlighted the real-world impacts that these policies could have on access to healthcare, CBSA anticipates both of these bills will be passed and signed into law by Governor Polis.