As of early March 2023, the Colorado legislature is considering a number of bills that will potentially affect Colorado’s seniors. Some have broad support; others do not. Here are several of them:

  • Senate Bill 108 would allow local governments to provide temporary property tax relief through tax credits or mill levy reductions. The impetus for the bill is the anticipated soaring of property evaluations due to the rapid rise in property market values in recent years. Because of the “look back” way evaluations are done, the assessed market values soon to be adopted will not be held down by the cooling of house prices due to higher mortgage rates. (NOTE: This bill passed the Senate on March 1.)
  • House Bill 1126 would prohibit consumer reporting agencies in Colorado from including medical debt in credit reports. Sponsors of this bill present the argument that medical debt is not a valid indicator of a person’s ability to pay or a person’s sense of fiscal responsibility and should not figure into general creditworthiness. In Colorado over 12% of residents are in collection for medical debt with cumulative medical debt totaling $1.3 billion.
  • As almost an unofficial companion bill, Senate Bill 93 would cap interest rates at 3% for medical debt, down from the current 8%. The bill would also pause debt collections when a patient is appealing their coverage; require debt collectors to verify the total debt owed and provide a payment plan at a patient’s request; and require health care providers to provide a cost estimate for medical services before the services are provided at a patient’s request.
  • House Bill 1115 would allow local governments to impose rent control policies if they choose to do so. Under current law, the state bars local governments from adopting such policies. This one is very controversial. Supporters say local governments should be able to pass new rent-control laws that will help put the brakes on rental prices, which have skyrocketed in recent years. Critics warn the long-term effects won’t result in more affordability, or more housing construction, and it could even discourage building of rental housing.
  • And on the subject of rental property, House Bill 1068 seeks to cap deposits renters must pay for pets, limiting such deposits to no more than 1% of the monthly rent. The bill would also cap pet-related security deposits at $300. Many animal shelters report that unaffordable pet-related rental fees are the #1 reason owners, including older persons, have to surrender their pets. The opponents of this bill argue it could backfire with landlords simply refusing to allow pets at all in their properties.
  • House Bill 1195 would allow pharmacies to use automated vending machines to dispense prescription medications to patients. The machines—said to be “exceptionally theft-proof” and monitored constantly—could be placed in hospitals, health clinics, and retail pharmacies and would allow patients to pick up their prescriptions outside of normal pharmacy hours, a key benefit for those who work long or untraditional hours. Under the bill patients would need to provide their prescription and interact virtually with a pharmacist via a video call on the machine in order to pick up their medication. Medications would be precounted and stocked in the machine. The bill has initially garnered widespread bipartisan support. Such dispensing machines are already is use in a handful of other states. (NOTE: This bill passed the House on March 3.)
  • NOTE: This bill has been passed and signed into law and will take effect in August 2023.
    House Bill 1071 allows more medical professionals to prescribe psychotropic pharmaceuticals as a way to shorten the current long waiting periods to obtain drug therapy for individuals dealing with mental health issues. Colorado’s 6 million residents include only about 600 psychiatrists. That’s one for every 10,000 residents. By contrast, the state has 3,000 licensed psychologists. A 2022 national State of Mental Health report ranked Colorado as the worst state in the country for adult mental health. Psychiatrists have more medical training than psychologists, but psychologists at the Ph.D. level are themselves highly educated specialists who understand depression, anxiety, and similar disorders. Currently health care regulations prohibit psychologists from prescribing fairly common FDA-approved drugs, so patients needing such therapy face long waiting periods to be seen and treated—a particularly problematic circumstance for someone in mental stress. The bill takes pains to ensure safety by requiring doctorate-degreed psychologists to also have a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology, pass national psychopharmacology exams, complete 750 hours of prescribing under physician supervision, and complete 40 hours of continuing education in psychopharmacology every two years to stay current with standards of care. The bill has initially had overwhelming bipartisan support.
  • Senate Bill 031 would create a multidisciplinary health-care provider access training program to improve the health care of medically complex, costly, compromised, and vulnerable older Coloradans. The University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus would develop, implement, and administer the program, which would coordinate and expand geriatric training opportunities for clinical health professions graduate students enrolled in participating Colorado institutions of higher education across Colorado studying to become advanced practice providers, dentists, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, and speech-language therapists.
  • SB 155 would implement the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies in its 2022 report by extending the regulation of nursing home administrators 5 years, to September 2028 and authorizing the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators to discipline a licensee for failing to respond to a complaint.
  • SB 144 would allow a healthcare provider to prescribe, dispense, or administer a schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substance to a patient in the course of treatment for a diagnosed condition that causes chronic pain. The bill also addresses dosage protocols, including prohibitions on a healthcare provider tapering dosages or refusing to accept or continue to treat a patient at a prescribed dosage. Under the bill, a pharmacist or insurance carrier could not refuse coverage for a drug solely on the basis of its recommended dosage.
  • HB 1002 would create an epinephrine auto-injector (“epi-pen”) affordability program to provide low-cost epinephrine auto-injectors to state residents who are not enrolled in Medicare or Colorado’s Medicaid program, or in a drug coverage program that limits the total amount of cost sharing that must be paid for an epi-pen. Under this bill, an insurer that provides coverage for a prescription epi-pen would have to limit the cost for a 2-pack of epi-pens to $60 or less.
  • HB 1026. Current law allows grandparents or great-grandparents to seek a court order granting them the right to visit grandchildren or great-grandchildren when there is or has been a child custody case or a case concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities relating to that child. This bill allows a court to appoint a child’s legal representative to represent the child’s best interests in a matter seeking to grant grandparents or great-grandparents family time with grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
  • HB 1122 would increase the amount of federal taxable income taxpayers may have and still qualify for the state income tax credit for purchasing long-term care insurance and doubles the amount of credit that may be claimed and adjusts it annually for inflation.

AgeWise Colorado will provide updates on our site when we learn of further action on these and other legislative bills under consideration that may impact our state’s senior population. We encourage you to visit often to stay current with these updates. You can also check the status of bills at any time by visiting