May 12, 2022 - News

The legislation that passed and failed in Colorado's 2022 session

Illustration of a megaphone made out of the dome of the Colorado State Capitol.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The flurry of late-night lawmaking pushed major policy changes across the finish line while others came up short.

Why it matters: The legislation will affect your life in ways big and small.

What made it: Here's a look at the major bills sent to the governor this year:

  • Property taxes: Property tax breaks would get extended with a trim in residential assessment rates the next two years. The average property owner could save about $260 a year.
  • Collective bargaining: A broad bill to allow all government workers to unionize was gutted and now would only apply to larger counties and provide nonbinding rights.
  • TABOR refunds: Taxpayers will receive $500 per person this summer under legislation that advances Taxpayer's Bill of Rights refunds a year early.
  • Unemployment insurance: Business owners will see unemployment-insurance fee breaks of $25 per employee and expanded benefits next year, when lawmakers use $600 million in federal aid to pay off the state's $1 billion unemployment insurance debt.
  • Express lanes: Toll-lane cameras will help crackdown on drivers who use the I-70 shoulder when it's closed to express lane traffic.
  • School meals: Colorado voters this November will decide whether taxpayer dollars should be used to generate more than $100 million annually to cover the cost of healthy school meals for all students.
  • Judicial overhaul: This bill creates an Office of Judicial Discipline with authority to investigate misconduct complaints against the state’s judicial department. .
  • Statewide recycling: Requires companies that use certain packaging materials and paper products to pay fees to help fund recycling services across Colorado.
  • Digital license plates: Colorado will soon allow digital license plates, a bill backed by a California company that allows motorists to customize their look.

What didn't make it: Here's a list of other policies that failed this session:

  • Cell phone while driving: A prohibition on drivers' making calls or sending texts while driving unless they use a hands-free device.
  • Flavored tobacco ban: A ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products faced opposition from the governor and business groups.
  • Psychedelic drugs: A study of the use of magic mushrooms and other plant-based hallucinogens to treat mental health disorders.
  • Takeout food: You won't need to request plastic silverware or ketchup packets from restaurants and food delivery services.
  • Porch pirates: An income tax credit for the purchase of an anti-theft device.
  • Local media: A $250 individual tax credit for print and digital news media subscribers.
  • Pot on the job: More protections for employees who use medical or retail marijuana against being fired.
  • HOA dues: The 10% cap on annual increases in homeowners' association fees.
  • TV blackouts: A requirement that cable TV providers and networks enter arbitration when facing contract disputes.

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