BlueGreen Alliance | Colorado Legislative Priorities 2023

Colorado Legislative Priorities 2023

July 21, 2023

By Elena Santarella, Colorado Policy Organizer

The Colorado BlueGreen Alliance Coalition secured high road labor protections for a variety of clean energy solutions including landmark legislation to ensure that all large energy-sector projects will include labor standards in line with eligibility requirements outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act’s enhanced tax credits.  

HB23-1210 Carbon Management* 

Outlines a roadmap for carbon management technology (carbon dioxide removal, carbon capture, carbon storage, and carbon utilization) and requires the Colorado Energy Office to study the technology with a qualified organization. The roadmap includes strict protections for disproportionately impacted communities, prohibits using captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery, adds labor standards on projects, and establishes guidelines for collecting data on quality job creation potential.   

HB23-1252 Thermal Energy* 

Provides pathways for utilities to expand thermal energy systems through pilot projects and allows utilities to use those projects to meet their clean heat plan requirements; establishes labor standards for thermal energy public projects that a state agency or a state institution of higher education procures or funds; and requires the Public Utilities Commission to engage in rulemaking relating to the adoption of thermal energy networks in a gas utility’s service area. 

SB23-292 Labor Requirements for Energy Sector Construction*  

Establishes clear, enforceable labor standards to be applied on energy sector construction projects regulated through the Public Utilities Commission. The lead contractor for an energy sector public works project is required to either utilize prevailing wage and registered apprentices or negotiate a Project Labor Agreement. This will ensure that developers qualify for Inflation Reduction Act investment tax credits and that projects directly benefit Colorado workers and communities.  

HB23-1212 Promotion of Apprenticeships+ 

Increases pathways from high school to registered apprenticeship programs by creating an apprenticeship navigator pilot program for one rural high school and a high school outside of a rural area. The bill also adds some other administrative procedures to expand support for registered apprenticeships such as creating an online job board and adding apprenticeship programs as an option to student career/academic plans. 

HB23-1233 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging and Parking Requirements+ 

Creates requirements for EV charging infrastructure to be installed at multi-family housing. By expanding residential EV charging infrastructure to those who do not have garages or own their houses, the bill intends to decrease barriers for EV vehicle adoption.  

SB23-146 Colorado Apprenticeship Directory Information+ 

Improves the requirements for data submitted to and provided by the Apprenticeship Directory. The apprenticeship directory was created in 2019 and has been growing in use and importance for promoting registered apprenticeship programs. The fixes in the bill require:  

  • the names of the occupations and certificates of completion awarded by programs,  
  • the credentials a program graduate will receive (additional credits, diplomas, degrees, certifications, industry certificates, interim credentials, or licenses),  
  • the percentage of enrollees who completed the program in the previous year and who are currently working in the industry for which the program provides workforce training, and  
  • the journeyworker wage range paid to program graduates.  

SB23-198 Clean Energy Plans+ 

Addresses concerns relating to distribution co-ops exiting Transmission Associations, including compelling these utilities tofollow emissions targets required by Energy Resource Plans (ERPs). The bill also addresses the lack of enforcement and specificity in ERPs by requiring utilities to provide interim GHG reduction goals with clear plans to achieve them.  

SB23-261 Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board+  

The bill creates the “Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board” in the Department of Labor and Employment to improve the decision making to benefit care workers. The board must review the direct care industry—defined as the industry of workers who provide home-based or community-based direct care to individuals who require assistance in accomplishing activities of daily living. The board is also required to investigate the direct care industry and develop recommendations to address the minimum employment standards as well as improving state communications with direct care workers about their rights and the requirements of direct care employers to protect workers. 

SB23-291 Utility Regulation+  

This bill attempts to curb the cost of utility bills by limiting the scope of how investor-owned utilities (IOU) can spend ratepayer recovered funds. As a result of this legislation, IOUs can no longer recover cost for  

  • tax penalties or fines issued against the utility;  
  • certain advertising and public relations expenses; 
  • lobbying and other expenses intended to influence the outcome of local, state, or federal legislation or ballot measures;  
  • certain organizational and membership dues;  
  • travel, lodging, food, or beverage expenses for the utility’s board of directors and officers; and
  • gift or entertainment expenses.

*BGA Coalition led this legislation  

+BGA Coalition members led on this legislation and BGA Coalition supported