Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – April 2022
By Doris Beaver ~
It seems almost surreal to be writing about legislation with the national news opening each segment about War – the war in Ukraine.
Senate Bill 22-154:
“Concerning Increasing Safety in Assisted Living Residences,” SB 154 involves both sides of the issue – residents and residences. The number one concern of most people with an elder parent or child in an assisted living residence is the safety of that individual.
SB 154 is lengthy and sets forth a detailed addition to Section 1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), 25-27-104.3 regarding involuntary discharge from an assisted living residence. Notice must be given to the resident, resident’s legal representative and any other person listed as a contact person for the resident or designated to receive notice of a discharge.
Involuntary discharge must be noticed to the resident with detailed explanation of reason /reasons for the involuntary discharge, including facts and evidence supporting each reason given by the residence, a recounting of events leading to the involuntary discharge and actions to avoid discharge and the timing of those actions.
The resident being involuntarily discharged, the state long-term care ombudsman or local ombudsman on behalf of the resident, may file a grievance challenging the residence’s involuntary discharge within fourteen days. Such can then be appealed to the executive director’s designee pursuant to subsection 3 of this Section 1 of the C.R.S..
If resident’s involuntary discharge is due to medical or physical condition resulting in a required level of care that cannot be treated with medication or services routinely provided by the residence’s staff or an external provider, as much advance notice as is reasonable under the circumstances must be given prior to the resident’s removal from the residence. Notice to the resident must also include an assessment by the resident’s physician of the resident’s current needs in relation to the resident’s medical and physical condition.
The residence must give as much advance notice as reasonable if the resident demonstrates a danger to him/herself or others. Notices are still required to all parties and if not given at least thirty (30) days before the discharge, resident is entitled to the grievance process set forth in subsection 2 of Section 1 of the C.R.S.
Section 2 of SB 154 sets forth requirements for all residence administrators, on or after January 1, 2024 to meet or exceed the minimum educational training, and experience standards established by the state board regardless of hire date. Other requirements include a fine for the residence’s administrator if administrator fails to meet the standards. The residence owner or residence is required to conduct a check of the Colorado protective services data system for any person responsible for the care and welfare of residents of the residence. The residence administrator must comply with provisions concerning involuntary discharge of residents and establish a range of fines for violations, including violations that result in harm or injury.
SB 154 provides for suspension, revocation or refusal of renewal of license should a resident be subject to mistreatment that results in injury to the resident, if such injury was caused by residence’s owner or administrator mistreatment directly, or failure of administrator to adequately train or supervise employees, or if residence’s administrator does not meet or exceed the educational, training, and experience standards for administrators established by the state board pursuant to Section 25-27-104. SB 154 is yet to have its first committee hearing.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 22-154: Senator Jessie Danielson, D-Jefferson, 866-4856; and Representatives Karen McCormick, D-Boulder, 866-2780, and Mary Young, D-Weld, 866-2929.
House Bill 22-1205:
“Concerning the Creation of an Income Tax Credit to Help Income-Qualified Seniors Afford Housing,” the General Assembly recognizes:
- Colorado’s housing shortage is hurting Seniors, making it more difficult for many Seniors to afford housing;
- the Senior Property Tax Exemption was adopted by Colorado voters in 2000 in order to help Seniors afford to stay in their homes;
- many Seniors are ineligible due to owning their homes less then ten years or they rent; and
- property tax rebates or tax equivalent rebates only assist Seniors with incomes below very low thresholds.
HB 1205 provides that the General Assembly intends to “establish a refundable income tax credit for income-qualified Seniors who do not qualify for the Senior property exemption to help them afford the high cost of housing.” (Note: “Credit” means a credit against income tax that is created in this section.”
HB 1205 further provides that the purpose of the tax expenditure created in this section is to provide tax relief for income-qualified Seniors. The amount of the credit is one thousand dollars for a qualifying Senior with Federal adjusted gross income that is twenty-five thousand dollars or less; credit is reduced by ten dollars for every five hundred dollars of adjusted gross income above twenty five thousand dollars.
There is a restriction of only one credit that may be claimed for each separate address, and can be claimed by only one of the qualifying Seniors. Other restrictions apply so look for HB 1205 to go way beyond the normal discussion, and it is yet to have its first committee hearing.
Sponsors of House Bill 22-1205: Representatives Chris Kennedy, D-Jefferson, 866-2951, and Mike Weisssman, D-Arapahoe, 866-2942; and Senators Chris Hansen, D-Arapahoe and Denver, 866-4861, and James Coleman, D-Denver, 866-4864.
Doris Beaver is a freelance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues, and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.. Visit her website www.dorisbeaver.com, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.