Colorado’S Citizen Legislature – April 2020

Here is the status of the Colorado General Assembly taken from its website:

Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 30, 2020. 

COVID-19 Resources

Temporary Guidelines for Review and Comment Meetings

The legislature will meet in limited session on Monday, March 30th. The Capitol will be open for the duration of the session for those with essential business related to the session. The building will not be available for public tours. People without essential business are encouraged to access the session through the General Assembly website and Colorado Channel. Anybody with essential business related to the session will be required to practice appropriate social distancing measures.  

Look for updated information in the May issue of Prime Time for Seniors. 

The information for the April issue is written based on the status of bills as of 

March 27th (press time) date. 

Senate Bill 20-182: 

SB 182 concerns a wanderer recovery program which is a program whereby participants receive an electronic device that may be used to assist in locating the participants in cases where they are missing, or generally utilized for individuals with developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer and other mental impairments. 

The bill renames lifesaver programs to wanderer recovery programs. SB 182 also expands the current grant program administered by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to support both the creation and maintenance of wanderer recovery programs in local jurisdictions – current programs provide grants to county governments.

Significant in SB 182 is the elimination of the cap of $10,000 for grant awards, and removal of the cap the General assembly may annually appropriate to the wanderer recovery program cash fund. 

The CBI is directed by SB 182 to establish a website to provide local governments resource procedures, information on wanderer recovery technology, and any other information the public might need.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 20-182:  Senator Jessie Danielson (D-Jefferson), 866-4856. No sponsor as yet in the House.

House Bill 20-1331:

House Bill 1331 concerns transportation for persons who are enrolled in a Medicaid waiver program. The seven home and community based services (HCBS) waivers that HB 1331 covers are:

  • elderly, blind and disabled; 
  • individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • community mental health supports; 
  • brain injury;
  • children with autism;
  • children’s home and community bases services; and
  • spinal cord injury.

Non-medical transportation is defined by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to mean transportation services enabling clients to reach non-medical community services as required by the care plan to prevent institutionalization. 

HB 1331 requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to “work with stakeholders to develop a report identifying barriers and potential solutions to accessing transportation services within the long-term support and services system.” In plainer language, benefits vary by waiver, but generally include services such as rides for shopping, therapeutic swimming, employment, and other activities that encourage community integration. 

According to analysis by the Legislative Council, “about 36,000 individuals receive services through the waivers affected by HB 1331.”

Sponsors of House Bill 20-1331:  Representatives Colin Larson (R-Jefferson) 866-2927 and Monica Duran (D-Jefferson) 866-5522.  No sponsor as yet in the Senate.

Doris Beaver

Doris Beaver

Doris Beaver is a free lance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues. Visit her website, or e-mail her at Doris is a ten-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists.