The Colorado BlueGreen Alliance Coalition worked together to ensure that quality climate solutions and licensed worker supports were the focus of a variety of bills this session.
This bill encourages the adoption of GHG reducing mechanisms by eliminating sales tax on heat pumps and any “eligible decarbonizing building materials” that are outperforming the minimum Buy Clean thresholds established in 2021 via HB21-1303 Global Warming Potential for Public Project Materials. To inform the list of materials eligible for the incentive, manufacturers are encouraged to submit data on decarbonizing building materials to the State Architect. The bill also requires any incentive-receiving installation in buildings measuring 20,000 square feet or more to use a licensed contractor who has access to a registered apprenticeship program. The incentive is available for residential, commercial, and industrial sites.
This bill allocates $5 million to the just transition cash fund and $10 million to the coal transition workforce assistance program account to support community development and worker supports in Colorado’s energy transition communities.
HB1365 – Southern Colorado Institute Of Transportation Technology At Colorado State University – Pueblo*
This bill creates the transportation technology institute at CSU-Pueblo to grow the rail sector workforce. Curriculum will encourage safety, security, and innovation of railroad, ground, and intermodal transportation. The bill includes a labor seat to the TTCI/CSU Pueblo partnership oversight committee, thereby allowing CSU-Pueblo and TTCI to develop initiatives with rail labor unions.
This bill requires the CO Energy Office along with the Department of Local Affairs and the CO Resiliency Office to create a microgrid resilience and reliability roadmap. The bill outlines the stakeholder process for developing the roadmap, defines labor’s involvement, and includes means to protect and expand unionized jobs.
This bill establishes state agency capacity to perform additional compliance checks for licensing and apprentice ratio requirements relating to electricians and plumbers which will increase the amount of enforcement data. The main bill intent to restore licensed worker-to-apprentice ratios from 3:1 to 1:1 was removed from this bill after considerable debate.
This bill started with strong goals to place drinking water filters into schools and test for elevated levels of lead in their water. The final version of the bill requires only certain schools to test for elevated lead levels and then take measures to reduce them if needed (with one of those possible measures being installing a water filter).
This bill requires local governments to adopt the latest energy efficiency building codes. Additionally, it instructs the Colorado Energy Office to appoint an energy code advisory board and to develop optional building code language relating to model electric and solar ready codes, model low energy and carbon codes, and model green codes.
This bill allows Colorado to develop a health-based standard for toxic pollutants and to regulate air toxins beyond levels established in the federal Clean Air Act by developing a future subset of “toxic air contaminants.” In implementing this program, the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment) will set up six monitoring sites (three by 2024 and three more by 2025) to track contaminants and establish the health-based standard through a public regulatory process.
*The BGA table led and/or supported these bills