Last week, the Colorado Senate passed a bipartisan bill—House Bill 1375—requiring school districts to either develop a plan by the 2019-2010 academic year to equitably share mill levy override funds with charter schools of their districts or to distribute 95% of the per pupil amount of the revenue to those charter schools.  The bill further requires charter schools to post certain tax documents on their websites and to limit their financial waivers.

As reported in the Denver Post, roughly one-third of Colorado’s 178 school districts share mill levy override revenue with charter schools, and approximately $34 million in local tax increases are not being shared equitably with charter schools.  This is juxtaposed with the fact that, as further reported in the Denver Post, charter school enrollment in Colorado has grown by 30% since 2013, with more than 108,000 enrolled in the 2015-16 school year, and charter school students earn higher scores on state tests than their district peers.

The bill’s proponents say the bill is the first of its kind in the United States and that it “provides equitable funding for all Colorado’s children no matter what type of school they attend” while “also improve[ing] our education system by requiring additional transparency and accountability from charter schools without creating additional burdens for schools.”

After passing the House and Senate, the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

The bill can be found here.

In our April Client Alert, we reported on a possible breakthrough in construction defect reform legislation, which had passed the House and was moving to the Senate.  The Colorado Senate has now unanimously approved House Bill 1279, and sent it to Governor Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign the bill.  HB 1279 was one of six bills introduced this year in an effort to address the dearth of condominium construction in Denver.  It is the only bill to reach the Governor’s desk, and the first bill in four years of effort to make substantive changes to the existing construction defect law in Colorado.

While negotiations on construction defect legislation reform came to a halt in the Colorado Legislature last Thursday, a package of three bills aimed at increasing affordable housing in Colorado moved forward at the State Capital on May 5, 2016. Continue Reading Affordable Housing Legislation Advances at State Capital

Last week, the negotiations for a construction defects reform package fell apart, making it extremely unlikely that Colorado would see any state action on the issue this year – the fourth time such attempts at legislation have failed. Immediately after that failure, Senate Bill 213 was introduced, which would establish a ten-person study group appointed by State leaders. Continue Reading Mejor que Nada? Construction-Defect “Study Group” May Get Legislative Sanction

On Thursday, May 05, 2016 negotiations for a construction-defects reform package broke down, making it unlikely that a bill will even get introduced this year. While Denver and several other Colorado communities have passed their own ordinances, without a state-wide legislative change, the shortage of affordable housing in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado is likely to continue, as many developers are unwilling to risk such ordinances being overturned. Continue Reading Fourth Time Not the Charm: 2016 Construction Defect Legislation Reform Unlikely