Health insurance, background checks, state cuts top legislative list

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Bills introduced in the opening days of the General Assembly:

– House Bill 10-1023
Sponsored by Mark Waller (R-El Paso)

This bill carries civil liability for employers who hire people with criminal records. The bill prohibits information regarding an employee’s criminal history from being introduced as evidence in a civil action against an employer if the nature of the criminal history has no bearing on the civil action, the court record has been sealed, or the arrest did not result in a conviction. This bill does not eliminate criminal history background checks.

– House Bill 10-1029
Sponsored by Cindy Acree (R-Arapahoe, Elbert)

This bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to negotiate agreements with suppliers of high-quality durable medical equipment and medical supplies so that people receiving public medical benefits can purchase equipment and supplies at the lowest cost.

– House Bill 10-1002
Sponsored by John Kefalas (D-Larimer)

This bill increases the threshold necessary to trigger temporary income tax rate reductions under TABOR, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Under the state constitution, taxpayers receive an income tax rate reduction as a method to provide required refund of excess state revenue. This bill would increase the threshold so that the rate reduction does not occur unless there is also an earned income tax credit refund.

– House Bill 10-1008
– Sponsored by S. Schafer (D-Jefferson)

This bill prohibits carriers from using gender as a basis for varying premium rates for individual health insurance policies and declares premium rates based on gender to be unfairly discriminatory.

– Senate Bill 10-029 – spending cuts
– Sponsored by Joshua Penry (R-Mesa)

The bill cuts pay for all government workers making more than $125,000, by 10 percent, cuts the executive directors’ office of the Department of Local Affairs, and repeals the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

It also requires a two-year statewide hiring freeze and allows the governor to sign off on all new hires.

No state employees will receive bonuses for the next two years, and the personnel budget for the governor, executive directors and departments will be reduced to 2005-2006 levels.

It cuts full-time state employees’ salaries by 3 percent within 5 years. And it limits the governor’s energy office to spending no more than 10 percent of its budget for personnel.

It also removes the requirement that cars have a front license plate.