Gov. Jared Polis's marathon bill signing sessions will continue for a few more days, and will be capped off with the governor's signature goal of this year's legislative session, full-day funding for kindergarten.
Today, the governor will sign nearly two dozen bills, including a measure designed to ensure tenants have livable rental homes.
Under HB1170, new time limits would be established requiring landlords to repair rental homes that exceed the basic definitions for "fit for human habitation." If a landlord fails to meet such limits, a tenant can request to be relocated to a comparable living space with the landlord paying moving costs, or pay for the tenant to live elsewhere while repairs are being made.
Called the Safe and Healthy Homes Act, the bill is the product of a coalition of several health care professionals, renters' rights groups and affordable housing advocates.
"Housing that is safe, stable and good quality is key for Colorado families trying to live healthy lives," said Aubrey Hill, director of health system change for the Center for Health Progress. "By protecting renters from having to live with mold or other toxins, this new law brings critical investment in the health and future of our communities."
Another measure to be signed by Polis today includes a bill to place more transparency on what lobbyists do.
Currently, lobbyists are required to register with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, list what bills they are working on, who they are working for and whether they are in support or opposition to a measure, or are just monitoring it.
But the requirement to disclose who has hired them can be a bit vague, sometimes it can be nothing more than some front group created to hide who is actually footing the bill of their services. Current law also doesn't require them to note a change in their position of a measure as it works its way through the Colorado Legislature.
House Bill 1248 would change that.
Under the measure, lobbyists would have to be more specific who their clients are, and would require them to post any new position on a bill within 48 hours.
Later this week, the governor is to sign SB85, a measure designed to help bridge the pay gap between men and women.
Under the measure, introduced by four Democratic women lawmakers — Sens. Jessie Danielson of Wheat Ridge and Brittany Petterson of Lakewood, and Reps. Janet Buckner of Aurora and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez of Denver — employees with wage-discrimination cases no longer have to file their complaints with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment first.
Instead, they can go directly to court, and, if they prove their cases, can get up to three years worth of back pay.
The bill also requires employers to post advancement opportunities to all current employees, they can't ask for wage history of potential employees and they must post the wage range for all job postings.
In proven cases, employers found violating these provisions can be held liable for economic damages and equitable relief of the employee, and could have to pay reasonable costs for that lawsuit, including attorney fees and other legal expenses.