S.B. 10-3: Higher Education Flexibility
Legislative findings: The general assembly makes legislative findings with regard to the challenges facing the state system of higher education, the need for a new master plan to address those challenges, and the need to grant institutions of higher education (institutions) greater flexibility with regard to tuition-setting and operations.
Statewide master plan: On or before December 15, 2010, the Colorado commission on higher education (CCHE) will submit to the governor and the general assembly a new master plan for the state system of higher education. The CCHE will work with the governing boards and chief executive officers of the institutions in preparing the master plan and will take into consideration the recommendations of the governor's higher education strategic planning steering committee. The master plan will address several issues and goals pertaining to alignment with elementary and secondary education, accessibility and affordability, funding, and program quality. The governing boards will have an opportunity to comment on the draft master plan.
Tuition-setting authority: For fiscal years 2011-12 through 2015-16, each governing board will set the tuition rates for the institutions it controls. A governing board may increase undergraduate, resident tuition by as much as 9% each fiscal year, except the Colorado school of mines (mines) may increase its tuition by the greater of 9% or twice the inflation rate. If a governing board wants to increase tuition by more, it must first receive authorization from the CCHE by submitting a 5-year financial and accountability plan (plan). The plan will specify the amount of tuition increase requested, the governing board's plans for ensuring accessibility and affordability, and the measures the governing board will implement to ensure academic program quality. The CCHE may approve the tuition increase for the full 5 years or may approve it for 2 years with approval for the remaining years conditional upon performance.
Financial aid: State institutions and certain private institutions will have greater flexibility in distributing state financial aid moneys, rather than being required to comply with the guidelines established by the CCHE.
Foreign student enrollment: The university of Colorado system (CU system) and Colorado state university (CSU) will not include foreign students in calculating the percentage of in-state students enrolled in a campus of the CU system or at CSU so long as the institutions meet specified requirements regarding enrollment of resident students and foreign-student enrollment does not exceed 12% of the enrollment at any campus of the CU system or at CSU in any one year.
Operational flexibility: Each institution, including the Auraria higher education center, is exempt from several statutes and rules that affect operations, including:
- Certain state controller rules, including debt collections;
- The required use of central services, such as printing, document management, mail-related services, micro-film, graphic arts, and fleet management;
- Contracting for personal services and monitoring vendor performance and concerning contractor performance evaluation reports for construction contracts; Granting employment separation incentives;
- Leasing property and acquiring property using institutional moneys; and
- Employing retirees who receive benefits through the state retirement system.
Colorado school of mines: Mines currently operates under a performance contract that will expire in July 2011. Under the act, the contract may be renegotiated and re-approved for another 10-year term. Beginning in fiscal year 2016-17, mines will have sole authority to set the amount of tuition. Beginning in fiscal year 2011-12, mines will receive an annual appropriation of moneys, in lieu of receiving moneys through fee-for-service contracts, that it must use to provide merit-based scholarships, need-based financial aid, and graduate fellowships to ensure that, no later than fiscal year 2020-21, the average discounted tuition rate for resident students at mines is 30%. Beginning with appointments made on or after July 1, 2010, the governor, when appointing members of the mines board of trustees, must ensure that no more than 2 members at any one time live outside the state and must take into account an appointee's background as it relates to the industries and fields that are pertinent to mines, an appointee's other areas of expertise, and an appointee's commitment to using personal time to serve and support mines.
Executive sessions of governing boards: The act clarifies that, in determining whether to go into executive session, a governing board requires approval of 2/3 of the board members who are authorized to vote.
Auxiliary facilities: The act adds alternative or renewable energy producing facilities to the list of auxiliary facilities that an institution may identify as an enterprise and for which an institution may issue bonds.
APPROVED by Governor June 9, 2010 EFFECTIVE June 9, 2010
View Bill: S.B. 10-3 PDF
S.B. 10-21: Volunteer Firefighter Pension Plan
The following changes are made to the "Volunteer Firefighter Pension Act:"
- Eliminating the exclusion of the reimbursement for lost wages from the definition of "compensation," as the term is used in the definition of "volunteer firefighter;"
- Permitting retired fire department members, including those who have returned to active service, to serve on the board of trustees of a volunteer firefighter pension fund (fund);
- Eliminating an investment restriction on a trustee of a fund; and
- Eliminating the requirement that the board of trustees of a fund deliver a copy of a report on the condition of the fund to the board of directors of its fire protection district.
APPROVED by Governor March 10, 2010 EFFECTIVE August 11, 2010
View Bill: S.B. 10-21 PDF
S.B. 10-22: FPPA Defined Benefit Member
The board of directors of the fire and police pension association (board) is authorized to increase the member contribution rate for the statewide defined benefit plan (plan) if the increase: Does not require an increase in the employer contribution rate or adversely affect the plan's status under federal law; and Is approved by a supermajority of active plan members and a majority of the employers.
The board may eliminate the increase in the member contribution rate so long as the requirements for an increase are met. Conforming amendments are made to ensure that the increase in the member contribution rate does not change other requirements related to the plan.
APPROVED by Governor March 10, 2010 EFFECTIVE August 11, 2010
View Bill: S.B. 10-22 PDF
S.B. 10-60: Rule Review Bill
Based on the findings and recommendations of the committee on legal services, the rules and regulations of state agencies that were adopted or amended on or after November 1, 2008, and before November 1, 2009, are extended; except that certain rules and regulations listed in the act shall expire as scheduled on May 15, 2010.
APPROVED by Governor April 29, 2010 EFFECTIVE April 29, 2010
View Bill: S.B. 10-60 PDF
H.B. 10-1210: Residistricting Process
The permanent statutes relating to redistricting are updated by requiring the Colorado reapportionment commission (commission) appointed in 2011 to designate in its plan which senatorial districts will stand for election in 2012 and which in 2014.
If a senator elected in 2010 vacates his or her seat prior to the start of the 2013 regular legislative session, the vacancy shall be filled from the district from which the senator was elected; however, any election in 2012 shall be from the newly drawn district. If such senator vacates his or her seat on or after the start of the 2013 regular legislative session, the vacancy shall be filled from the newly drawn district.
The redistricting account in the legislative department cash fund (account) is created, and the allowable uses of moneys in the account are specified.
The general assembly declares that, because 2012 is a presidential election year and precinct caucuses may be held on February 7, 2012, the time for the commission to complete its final plan is shortened. The declaration urges the commission and the Colorado supreme court to approve a final redistricting plan by December 14, 2011.
The legislative council will compile specified information and computer databases for use by the reapportionment commission and the general assembly in redrawing district boundaries. The director of research of the legislative council will acquire a computer system to prepare legislative districts. The election and voter registration information from the 2008 and 2010 general elections to be included in the computer database are specified. The executive committee of the legislative council is authorized to adopt a policy, including fees, for public access to the computerized database.
The act makes arrangements for commission staff, offices, and meeting rooms and for assistance from state agencies.
The state treasurer is directed to transfer $1,129,607 from the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund to the account.
APPROVED by Governor June 7, 2010 EFFECTIVE June 7, 2010
View Bill: H.B. 10-1138 PDF
H.B. 10-1271: Date of Registration for Nomination
Effective for the 2012 general election and thereafter, the period during which a person seeking nomination must be affiliated with a major or minor political party, or unaffiliated if reaching the ballot by petition as an unaffiliated candidate, as shown on the books of the county clerk and recorder, is shortened. The act specifies that such a person must be shown as affiliated with the major or minor party, or unaffiliated, as applicable, no later than the first business day of the January immediately preceding the election at which the person desires to be placed in nomination, unless otherwise provided by party rules.
APPROVED by Governor May 27, 2010 EFFECTIVE May 27, 2010
View Bill: H.B. 10-1271 PDF
H.B. 10-1367: Legislative Appropriation
The act appropriates $33,359,408 for matters related to the legislative department for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Any general fund appropriations to the legislative department that are unexpended and unencumbered as of the close of the 2009-10 fiscal year are required to be transferred by the state treasurer and state controller to the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund. The act appropriates $8,472 to the youth advisory council cash fund.
APPROVED by Governor April 15, 2010 EFFECTIVE April 15, 2010
View Bill: H.B. 10-1367 PDF
H.B. 10-1408: Repeal Congressional District Criteria
When adopting or reviewing congressional districts, prior law prohibited courts from considering political factors concerning the outcome of an election. This prohibition is repealed.
Prior law directed courts, when adopting or reviewing congressional districts, to utilize certain criteria in a specified order of preference. Under the act, courts are required to consider population equality and compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and may consider the following factors, without weighting any factor:
- Preservation of political subdivisions;
- Preservation of communities of interest;
- Compactness; and Minimization of the disruption of prior district lines.
APPROVED by Governor June 7, 2010 EFFECTIVE August 11, 2010
View Bill: H.B. 10-1408 PDF