Happenings in the House This Week

The House of Representatives hit the ground running this past week, introducing around 24 bills for committee consideration. Bills introduced include updating the state’s workers’ compensation injury notices requirements, including losses declared in fire disasters in insurance coverage in Colorado, establishing a review panel for use of plant-based medicines and enacting a prescription drug program anti-discrimination act.

Description: Appeal Procedures Dependency And Neglect Cases

Sponsors: Rep. Van Beber (R)

Summary: There is a child welfare appeals workgroup established in the state judicial department that made recommendations for changes in 2021. The bill would require the child welfare appeals workgroup to monitor those changes, study changes to the child welfare appeals system and submit reports in January 2023 and July 2024. The bill would also require the district court to make written orders within 35 days after a hearing.

Description: Workers' Compensation Injury Notices

Sponsors: Rep. Daugherty (D)

Summary: Current law requires an injured employee or someone else with knowledge of the injury to notify the employer within four days of an on-the-job injury, and authorizes a reduction in pay to the injured employee if they miss the deadline. Current laws also toll the four-day period if the employer has failed to post a notice specifying the injured employee's notification deadline. The bill would change the four-day notice period to a 14-day notice period and repeal the tolling and compensation reduction provisions. The bill would also change the notice an employer is required to post in the workplace.

Description: Insurance Coverage For Loss Declared Fire Disaster

Sponsors: Sen. Rankin (R) and Rep. Amabile (D) 

Summary: The bill would establish new coverage requirements for property and casualty insurance policies issued or renewed in Colorado, and which requirements apply in the event of a loss of a residence in a declared fire disaster.

Description: Plant-based Medicines

Sponsors: Sen. Ginal (D) and Rep. Valdez (D)

Summary: The bill would create the plant-based medicine policy review panel. The panel would study the use of plant-based medicines to support mental health and would operate for one year. The panel would submit a report on its findings and policy recommendations to the House public and behavioral health and human services committee and the Senate health and human services committee, or any successor committees, the governor and the department of human services.

Description: Colorado False Claims Act

Sponsors: Sen. Winter (D) and Rep. Gray (D)

Summary: The bill would establish the Colorado False Claims Act. The act would make a person liable to the state or a political subdivision of the state for a civil penalty if the person commits, conspires to commit or aids and abets the commission of any false claims. False claims include knowingly presenting or causing presentation of a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval; knowingly making, using or causing creation or use of a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim; having possession, custody or control of property or money used or pending use by the state or political subdivision and knowingly delivering or causing delivery of less than all of the money or property, among other false claims outlined in the bill.

Description: Pharmacy Benefit Manager Prohibited Practices

Sponsors: Sen. Jaquez Lewis (D) and Rep. Will (R)

Summary: For contracts between a pharmacy benefit manager and a pharmacy entered into or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2023, the bill would prohibit the PBM or its representative from reimbursing a pharmacy for a prescription drug in an amount less than the national average drug acquisition cost for the prescription drug. The bill would also enact the Colorado 340B Prescription Drug Program Anti-discrimination Act, which would prohibit health insurers, PBMs and other third-party payers from discriminating against entities, including pharmacies participating in the federal 340B drug pricing program.

Desscription: Prior Review Of Agency Rules That Burden Industry

Sponsors: Rep. Pico (R)

Summary: Under current law, executive agency rules take effect 20 days after the agency adopts the rule, or on a later date if specified in the rule. After adoption, the office of legislative legal services at the direction of the general assembly's committee on legal services reviews agency rules on an annual cycle, commencing with agency rules adopted on or after Nov. 1 of one year through Oct. 31 of the following year, and recommends the expiration of certain rules to the committee based a determination that the rules don’t comply with statute. The bill would require the governor or the governor's designee to review each proposed rule for compliance with the agency's statutory authority and other criteria set forth in statute, and would prohibit an agency from adopting such proposed rule unless and until the governor or governor's designee determines its compliance. The bill would also create a new prior review process.

Description: Exception To Employer Sick Leave Requirement

Sponsors: Rep. Bockenfeld (R)

Summary: Senate Bill 205 passed in 2020 and required employers to offer sick leave to their employees but included an exception for employers with fewer than 16 employees. That exception was repealed Jan. 1, 2022 and the bill would recreate this exception to apply in perpetuity.

Description: Reduce Justice-involvement For Young Children

Sponsors: Sens. Bacon (D), Coram (R) and Gonzales (D) and Rep. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)

Summary: The bill would increase the age for prosecution in juvenile, county and municipal courts to 13 years of age except in the case of a homicide, which would extend jurisdiction to juveniles who are 10, 11 and 12 years of age.

Description: Family And Medical Leave Insurance Fund

Sponsors: Sen. Winter (D) and Rep. Gray (D) 

Summary: The bill would require the state treasurer to transfer money from the general fund to the family and medical leave insurance fund for use by the division of family and medical leave insurance created under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act. The money is an advance payment of premiums for state employee coverage that the state is required to pay under the act.

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