Capitol Update: Progress on access to eviction hearings and a new state budget

Written by: Riley Kitts
Date Posted: April 7, 2023

Things sure are moving under the Gold Dome, and the Children’s Campaign is right there in the mix! This week, the House of Representatives wrapped up much of its work on the annual state budget, otherwise known as the Long Bill. State senators and representatives offered more than 120 amendments to the Long Bill, either to increase or strip funding for certain programs. We have been advocating alongside many partners in the reproductive health space to make sure next year’s state budget increases funding for family planning services. We aren’t done advocating yet, but are confident that it will be included when legislators put their final stamp on the budget sometime next week.  

One of our priority bills around increased access to eviction proceedings had its first Senate Committee hearing on Tuesday. HB23-1186 allows all parties in an eviction hearing to participate remotely if that works best for their circumstances. Our Director of Family Economic Prosperity Initiatives, Sarah Barnes, spoke in support of the bill before the Senate Finance Committee – and it passed with bipartisan support. We are thankful for Senate sponsors, Sens. Jaquez Lewis and Exum, for being tremendous champions and shepherding this bill through their chamber. There are just a few votes left before this priority is off to the governor’s desk for signing. Onward! 

Our dedicated policy and advocacy team tracks hundreds of bills that impact Colorado kids and families every legislative session. To view the bills we are tracking so far in this legislative session, click here. 

 

Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights: 

HB23-1095 (Woodrow & Lindsay/ Hinrichsen & Winter) Prohibited Provisions in Rental Agreements 

This bill would update current law that prohibits certain provisions from being included in a residential lease, including prohibition of waivers of the right to a jury trial, the right to join a class action lawsuit, the right to good faith and fair dealing, and the right to quiet enjoyment. 

After successfully passing the House, this bill passed its first committee in the Senate – the Housing & Local Government Committee. 

HB23-1186 (Lindsay & Jodeh/ Exum & Jaquez Lewis) Remote Participation in Residential Evictions 

This bill would allow parties in an eviction proceeding to choose to participate in person or virtually. Renters who cannot attend their eviction hearing automatically lose their housing and incur a “default judgment” on their record, which limits their future housing opportunities. This is not meaningful access to the court process or a responsible use of government resources. 

After successfully passing the House, this bill passed its first committee in the Senate – the Finance Committee. 

To learn more about these bills and their journeys through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page. 

 

The Children’s Campaign in the news 

 

Riley Kitts

About Riley Kitts

Riley Kitts serves as the Sr. Director of Policy & Government Affairs for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Riley has spent several years in Colorado politics, working both inside and out of the State Capitol. Riley spent three legislative sessions with the Colorado Department of Human Services spearheading the agency’s legislative and budgetary agendas. Prior to that, he spent several years with the Colorado House Democrats serving in various roles from Executive Assistant to the Speaker to Field and Outreach Directors. He earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.