Below are short summaries of some key bills to come out of the Colorado 2024 General Assembly that have potential to affect older citizens and caregivers. These are bills singled out as particularly relevant; several have been either supported or monitored by AARP or the Colorado Center for Aging (CCA). (AARP and CCA are AgeWise Colorado Providers.) Other bills not included here may also affect seniors to a lesser degree or in small numbers. Bills that have been signed by the governor as of this writing are so noted. He has a June 7 deadline to sign or veto other bills, or let them become law without his signature. You can check the status of legislative bills and find additional details about them at Click on ‘Find a Bill’ and enter its number in the search field.

HB 24-1007. Home (Harmonizing Occupancy Measures Equitably) Act. 

This bill deals with residential occupancy limits that might benefit older Coloradans and their caregivers who need more flexibility in housing occupancy. SB 24-1007 states that a local government cannot limit the number of people who may live together in a single dwelling based on familial relationship. Local governments can limit residential occupancy limits based only on “demonstrated health and safety standards,” such as building code standards, fire code regulations, or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wastewater and water quality standards. (Signed)

HB 24-1052. Senior Housing Income Tax Credit.

This bill would reinstate a refundable income tax credit for Coloradans aged 65 or older that was initially created two years ago but applied for only one year. The credit is for a “qualifying senior,” which means a resident individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of 2024; has federal adjusted gross income (AGI) that is less than or equal to $75,000 if filing a single return, or less than or equal to $125,000 if filing a joint return; and has not claimed the senior property tax exemption for the 2024 property tax year. The amount of the credit is $800for a qualifying senior filing a single return with federal AGI that is $25,000 or less. For every $500 of federal AGI above $25,000, the amount of the credit is reduced by $8. A taxpayer who also qualifies for a property tax and rent assistance grant or heat assistance grant during calendar year 2024 is eligible to receive the credit.

HB 24-1098. Cause Required for Eviction of Residential Tenant.

With “certain exceptions,” this bill prohibits a landlord from evicting a residential tenant unless the landlord has a specified allowable cause for eviction. The bill says cause exists only when a tenant or lessee is guilty of an unlawful detention of real property under certain circumstances described in existing law, or a tenant has engaged in conduct that creates a nuisance or disturbance that interferes with the quiet enjoyment of the landlord or other tenants at the property, or where the tenant is negligently damaging the property. “No fault” evictions are still allowed when a landlord is going to sell, demolish, or convert the property or make substantial repairs or renovations, or if the landlord is no longer renting the property, or if the landlord chooses to rent the property to a family member. A tenant can also be evicted who refuses to sign a new lease on reasonable terms or who has a history of not paying rent. (Signed)

HB 24-1132. Support for Living Organ Donors.

This bill creates the “CARE for Living Organ Donors Act” to include benefits and recognition for living organ donors. The act includes a list of provisions in current law, as well as in the bill, that may benefit a living organ donor. It also includes a requirement that, at least twice before performing an organ donation recovery operation on a living organ donor when there is no identified recipient, a transplant center shall advise the potential donor that the transplant center or another transplant center in Colorado has or may have an organ voucher program or that a national-level organ voucher program exists or may exist for the organ being donated. Further, the bill requires a transplant center to provide information to all organ donors and organ recipients about benefits that may be available at each transplant center in Colorado. The bill specifically prohibits an employer from intimidating, threatening, discriminating, or taking other adverse action against an employee related to the employee doing an organ donation.

HB 24-1142. Reduce Income Tax Social Security Benefits.

This bill expands the current income tax subtraction for Social Security benefits. Current law allows any individual who is 65 years of age or older at the close of a taxable year to subtract from federal taxable income the total amount of Social Security benefits that the individual received when determining the individual’s state taxable income. The bill expands this subtraction to an individual who is 55 years of age or older but less than 65 years of age and whose adjusted gross income for the applicable tax year is less than or equal to $75,000 if filing individually or $95,000 if filing jointly.  

HB 24-1149. Prior Authorization Requirements Alternatives.

This bill requires insurance carriers, private utilization review organizations, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to adopt a program, in consultation with participating providers, to eliminate or substantially modify prior authorization requirements in a manner that removes administrative burdens on qualified providers and their patients with regard to certain healthcare services, prescription drugs, or related benefits. It also limits the circumstance under which a claim for a healthcare procedure can be denied. Plus, a carrier or PBM is prohibited from imposing prior authorization requirements more than once every 3 years for an FDA-approved chronic maintenance drug that the carrier or PBM has previously approved for a person, except under specified conditions. And the bill extends the duration of an approved prior authorization for a healthcare service or prescription drug benefit from 180 days to a calendar year. Carriers are also required to post information on their websites detailing the number of prior authorization requests that are approved, denied, and appealed. The bill applies to conduct occurring on or after January 1, 2026.

HB 24-1152. Concerning Accessory Dwelling Units.

This bill creates a series of requirements related to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in certain municipalities, based on population figures. Such municipalities are generally found along the Front Range and in the Grand Junction area. The bill requires such jurisdictions to allow, subject to an administrative approval process, one accessory dwelling unit. It prohibits jurisdictions from enacting or enforcing certain local laws that would restrict the construction or conversion of an accessory dwelling unit. And the bill would also create state grant and loan programs to help finance the construction of ADUs built by low-to-moderate income homeowners units. The purpose of this grant program is to provide grants to supportive jurisdictions for offsetting costs incurred in connection with developing pre-approved ADU plans, providing technical assistance to persons converting or constructing ADUs, or waiving or reducing ADU-associated fees and other required costs.  (Signed)  (Note: A complementary bill, SB 24-154) was introduced in the Senate, but it appears no action was taken on it.) 

HB 24-1211. State Funding for Senior Services Contingency Fund.

This bill creates the State Funding for Senior Services Contingency Reserve Fund to aid the State Office on Aging in addressing unforeseen circumstances experienced by an Area Agency on Aging (AAA) or a provider of eligible services. The bill sets criteria that must be met for an AAA or a provider of eligible services to receive money from the fund. It requires the General Assembly to annually appropriate money in the fund and requires an annual report detailing who received money from the fund and how it was used. The fund can be repealed, effective September 1, 2029, subject to a sunset review before that date. (Signed)

HB 24-1229. Presumptive Eligibility for Long-Term Care.

Beginning January 1, 2026, this bill removes the requirement that the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing fully assess a person in need of long-term services and supports for the appropriate level of care before the person is presumed eligible for the medical assistance program. The bill authorizes the Department to make any necessary changes to any other federal authorizations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in order to implement the presumptive eligibility requirements for persons in need of long-term services and supports.

HB 24-1268. Financial Assistance for Certain Low-Income Individuals.

This bill changes the “Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit Rebate” (PTC). Under current law, the PTC is available to qualifying seniors and individuals with a disability who earn income below a threshold amount and who pay real property tax (homeowners), or a tax equivalent through rent (renters), or heat or fuel expenses, or an equivalent through rent. Under current law, two sections of statute provide for the PTC. The first section provides for PTC assistance in the payment of real property tax and the second section provides for assistance in the payment of heat or fuel expenses. This bill combines both types of PTC into one section. The bill also updates certain dollar values used to calculate the PTC to their current levels. Additionally, the PTC, for tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2025, will be available only to qualifying seniors. Qualified individuals with a disability for tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2025, are allowed an income tax credit ranging from $1,200 down to $400 depending on whether there are single or joint filers and what their adjusted gross income is. An individual who is a qualifying senior and a qualified individual with a disability and would meet the eligibility requirements to claim both the income tax credit and the PTC can claim only one or the other in the same income tax year.

HB 24-1312. State Income Tax Credit for Careworkers.

This bill creates a refundable income tax credit for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2025 for a qualifying resident working in the care workforce in the amount of $1,200 for a single filer and $2,400 for two joint filers. To be eligible for the credit, an individual must have an adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 as a single filer or $100,000 as a joint filer and be employed in the care workforce as a child care worker or a qualified direct care worker. A key goal of the legislation is to expand the caregiving workforce, which is known to be suffering from a shortage.

HB 24-1322. Medicaid Coverage Housing and Nutrition Services.

This bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (DHCPF) to conduct a study to explore the feasibility of seeking federal authorization to provide nutrition, housing, and tenant supportive services that address Medicaid members’ health-related social needs (HRSN). The study’s findings are to be reported to the Joint Budget Committee on or before November 10, 2024. The study and report must address integrating HRSN services with existing housing-related, nutrition-related, and tenant supportive services. If DHCPF determines that providing these services is budget neutral to the General Fund due to offsetting reductions in medical services and other expenditures, the Department must seek federal authorization to cover the services by July 1, 2025.

HB 24-1335. Sunset Continue Mortuary Science Code Regulation.

Among the provisions of this bill are • continue the registration of funeral establishments and crematories; • require the inspection of funeral homes and crematories on a routine basis; • repeal the limitation on the authority of the director of the Division of Professions and Occupations to inspect funeral homes and crematories only during business hours; • adds that failure to respond to a complaint within the appropriate time is grounds for discipline. The bill also requires funeral establishments to maintain a sanitary preparation room, refrain from taking custody of more human remains than the funeral establishment has capacity to refrigerate, and obtain and maintain professional liability insurance of $1,000,000. It additionally requires a cremationist to remove all of the recoverable residue of the cremation process from the crematory and place the residue in a separate container so that the residue does not commingle with the cremated remains of other individuals.

(See SB 24-173 below for another bill also dealing with mortuary issues.)

HB 24-1337. Real Property Owner Unit Association Collections.

This bill caps attorneys’ fees that a homeowners association (HOA) can charge a homeowner facing eviction at half of the homeowner’s unpaid assessments and any other money owed to the association, or $5,000, whichever is less. There would be an exception for people who are able to pay higher amounts but willfully did not pay their debts to the HOA. Importantly, the bill would also impose a “first right of redemption” on HOA-foreclosed homes sold at auction, giving homeowners, tenants, affordable housing nonprofits, a community land trust, a cooperative housing corporation, and/or the state or local government — in that priority order — 30 days to file an affidavit stating their intent to purchase the property. They would then have 180 days to complete the purchase. This bill is partly a response to investigative reports that found Colorado HOAs had filed roughly 3,000 foreclosure cases since 2018, with a number of those properties being auctioned off, often at a fraction of their market value.

HB 24-1438. Implement Prescription Drug Affordability Program. 

This bill makes it a deceptive trade practice under the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act” for a manufacturer to fail to comply with:

  • The manufacturer requirements under the insulin affordability program; and
  • The manufacturer requirements for the emergency supply of prescription insulin; and
  • The epinephrine auto-injector affordability program.

The bill also stipulates how applications for the programs are to be handled and how the programs should be promoted. The bill also increases the amount of a fine for a manufacturer’s failure to comply with the requirements of these programs.

SB 24-040. State Funding for Senior Services. 

No later than August 2024, and each August every three years thereafter, this bill requires the Department of Human Services, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, and representatives from Area Agencies on Aging to review the adequacy of the appropriation for senior services for the prior three fiscal years to address the needs of senior citizens who request services pursuant to the “Older Coloradans Act.” The Department is required to report the findings of the adequacy review to the General Assembly.

SB 24-093. Continuity of Health-Care Coverage Change.

This bill allows an enrollee in the state Medicaid program or with a private health insurance carrier whose coverage has been terminated or not renewed to receive continued care with the enrollee’s same healthcare provider or healthcare facility under the enrollee’s new health benefit plan at the in-network level under the enrollee’s new health benefit plan for specified time periods if certain conditions exist. (Signed)

SB 24-068. Medical-Aid-in-Dying.

This bill makes changes to the state’s existing End of Life Options Act, first created in 2016. Current law already authorizes an individual with a terminal illness to request, and the individual’s attending physician to prescribe, medication to hasten the individual’s death, an action called medical-aid-in-dying (MAID). This bill modifies the MAID law by a) providing an advanced practice registered nurse with the same authority to evaluate an individual and prescribe medication as a physician, and b) reducing the waiting period between two oral requests for medications from 15 days to 7 days, and c) allowing attending providers to waive the mandatory waiting period if the patient is unlikely to survive more than 48 hours and meets all other qualifications. The bill also prohibits certain insurers from denying or altering healthcare or life insurance benefits otherwise available to a covered individual with a terminal illness based on the availability of medical-aid-in-dying or attempting to coerce an individual with a terminal illness to make a request for MAID medication.

SB 24-094. Safe Housing for Residential Tenants.

This legislation updates Colorado’s earlier habitability law by clarifying when a breach of habitability exists and imposing certain obligations and time frames on landlords to ensure safe conditions for tenants. Among its provisions are: • when a landlord must communicate with the tenant and commence remedial action after having notice of a condition related to habitability; •  a presumption that a landlord has failed the landlord’s duty to remedy or repair a condition if the condition continues to exist either 7 or 14 days after the landlord has notice of the condition; •  requires a landlord to provide a tenant with a comparable dwelling unit or hotel room for up to 60 days while the landlord addresses any uninhabitable conditions that impact the tenant’s life, health, or safety; •  requires record-keeping of tenants’ claims; •  requires that rental agreements feature a statement regarding where a tenant can report or deliver written notice of an unsafe or uninhabitable condition. The bill also establishes legal standards and procedures for a landlord’s defense to a claim and limitations on a tenant’s claim. And it prohibits retaliation and specifies what tenant actions are protected. (Signed)

SB 24-111. Senior Primary Resident Property Tax Reduction.

This bill provides that a senior homeowner wouldn’t lose the property tax break known as homestead exemption if they move (also referred to as portability.) For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2025, the bill creates a new subclass of residential real property called qualified-senior primary residence real property. This includes residential property that as of the assessment date is used as the primary residence of an owner-occupier, as defined in the bill. The homeowner must:

• be an owner-occupier who applies to the county assessor for the classification;

• have previously qualified for the property tax exemption for seniors for a different property (note that the state constitution currently allows an exemption only for a senior who has owned and occupied his or her primary residence for 10 years, or the surviving spouse of such a senior; this exemption is for 50% of the first $200,000 of actual value of the primary residence);

• and the circumstances that qualify the property for the classification have not changed since the filing of the application.

The bill also treats as qualified-senior primary residence a property that might otherwise be classified as multi-family residential real property, if the property contains a unit that qualifies as qualified-senior primary residence.

SB 24-124. Health-Care Coverage for Biomarker Testing.

This bill requires all large grouphealth benefit plans to provide coverage for biomarker testing to guide treatment decisions if the testing is supported by medical and scientific evidence. The bill defines “biomarker testing” as an analysis of a patient’s tissue, blood, or other biospecimen for the presence of an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a specific therapeutic intervention. (The required testing under the bill does not include biomarker testing for screening purposes or direct-to-consumer genetic tests.) Biomarker testing is subject to the health benefit plan’s annual deductibles, copayment, or coinsurance but is not subject to any annual or lifetime maximum benefit limit. The bill requires that there be a clear, easily accessible appeals process if biomarker testing is denied.

SB 24-173. Regulate Mortuary Science Occupations.

The bill requires an individual to obtain a license to practice as a funeral director, a mortuary science practitioner, an embalmer, a cremationist, or a natural reductionist. To be licensed, an individual must submit an application, pay an application fee, obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history record check, not have been subject to discipline in another state or convicted of a disqualifying crime. Applicants must also meet specific qualifications, which vary somewhat based on their occupational role (funeral director, embalmer, cremationist, etc.) These can include having graduated from a mortuary science school, passing certain national board exams, having served apprenticeships, and having official certifications with professional associations. A minimum level of work experience is also required for some applicants, as well as continuing education to maintain licensure. The regulation sunsets on September 1, 2031, at which the regulation will undergo a sunset review and report. (See HB 24-1335 above for another bill also dealing with mortuary issues.)

SB 24-228. TABOR Refund Mechanisms.

This bill will give Coloradans temporary income tax cuts in years when the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) surplus exceeds a certain level under this measure, which will also create two new taxpayer refund mechanisms. The bill will temporarily cut income taxes from 4.4% to 4.25% this year, the maximum cut allowed under the bill. The legislation triggers cuts only if there’s $300 million left over after a senior property tax break is funded. In years where the leftover surplus is larger than $1.5 billion, the sales tax rate would also be cut.

SB 24-233.  Property Tax Reductions.

This bill reduces property tax assessment rates for homeowners and owners of commercial buildings. Like SB 24-228, this one drew bipartisan support. The tax calculations in this bill get quite complicated, but an analysis by The Colorado Sun news outlet said the measure would likely save the average homeowner several hundred dollars annually. The Sun added that while residential and commercial property tax rates would be held steady this year, for taxes owed in 2025, it is after that when “the real changes would begin.” The measure would also enact a new cap on local government property tax collections, limiting them to 5.5% growth in any given year. “It’s difficult to say how the changes would affect individual homeowners and business owners,” The Sun concluded, “because property taxes depend so heavily on local mill levy rates.”

The bill also makes changes to the state property tax deferral program, which allows homeowners to defer a portion of their property tax to be paid with interest when the property is sold or transferred. For those over 65 and those who are active-duty military personnel, any tax may be deferred, subject to limits relating to the value of the home. For other homeowners, tax deferral is allowed only for the increment by which property taxes increase by more than 4 percent from the average of the person’s property taxes for the two prior property tax years. The bill removes the 4 percent cap for these homeowners starting with the 2025 property tax year.