Colorado Reconvenes for 2017 Legislative Session

Lawmakers gathered at the State Capitol Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the 71st General Assembly. Outgoing Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder) and Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) presided over the opening of session and then turned over their gavels to new leaders. The House of Representatives elected Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) as the new Speaker, a historic moment as she is the first Latina woman to hold the office. The Senate elected Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) as President of the 71st General Assembly.

Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper delivered his annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the General Assembly. Always a popular event, the House gallery was full of capitol staff and visitors. In true Hickenlooper fashion, the Governor’s tone was casual and he made several jokes throughout his 40 minute speech. He highlighted many of his top priorities for 2017, most importantly finding a solution to fix Colorado’s aging transportation infrastructure. He championed investments in the state’s roads and bridges via a combination of existing and new revenue, and urged lawmakers to explore various options, including the ongoing debate to reclassify the Hospital Provider Fee to enterprise status. Other issues that made the list include education funding, affordable housing, construction defects, access to health care and marijuana regulations, among others. All in all the speech covered a broad waterfront of issues, and offered high level insight into potential policy solutions.Links to the full text and recent press coverage is available here and here.

Today marks the last day of opening week festivities before lawmakers get down to the business of debating legislation. Colorado’s Chief Justice will deliver the annual State of the Judiciary before another joint session of the General Assembly. While the Legislature will continue to receive briefings on a variety of topics, the committees of reference will begin meeting next week and bills will continue to be introduced.

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As we begin the 2017 Colorado Legislative Session, following is our highlight-update. Thank you for your continued engagement in our statewide efforts!

Procurement

Familiar to us last Session and tabled for additional stakeholder feedback, Colorado’s Department of Personnel and Administration intends to re-introduce their procurement modernization bill in 2017.The 12-page report summarizes key components which will be addressed in the forthcoming legislation. Topics include: rules, ethics, training, grants, multi-year contracts, administrative remedies, preferences & goals and cooperative purchasing. The Department continues to solicit feedback and our channels for communicationwith them remain open.

Technology In The Classroom

CompTIA will again be engaging in efforts to support legislation to bring technology into the classroom. In partnership with legislative leadership and Colorado Succeeds, CompTIA intends to support the renewed attempt to pass last Session’s HB 16-1291 which incorporates information and communications information into the evaluation of standards and provides educator supports to improve student outcomes.

Computer Science Standards

Colorado’s Department of Education (CDE) continues their stakeholder process to develop computer science standards. CompTIA remains engaged and informed in this work.As part of this process, CDE has recently launched an online system to obtain feedback on each expectation within the Colorado Academic Standards. Your input will inform CDE’s plan for the standards review process and be provided to content area committees that will submit recommendations to the State Board of Education. A link to the system and a tutorial can be found on the standards review and revision webpage here.If you are interested, please participate by Friday, February 17, 2017.

To learn more about the standards review and revision process and if you are interested in receiving direct communications about the upcoming Colorado Academic Standards review and revision process, please sign up following this link. Also, you can find information about the process on this webpage.

Talent Pipeline Report – FINAL Edition Released

We previously shared the draft report of this annual multi-governmental agenda compilation of economic and workforce data trends. The final report has been released and can be found here. The Colorado Workforce Council’s background on this project as well as previous reports and appendices can be found here. Each of the collaborative state departments continue to use this data to evaluate, partner and improve industry engagement and employment outcomes.

Student Data Privacy:Intersection between the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

CDE hosted a forum to explain the Department’s evaluation of Colorado’s current student data privacy law (which provides much stronger protection than federal law) and the newly required ESSA. A copy of the Presentation can be found here. The goal of this work is to ensure compliance between Colorado law and Federal requirements; especially regarding the processes and protections of student and educator PII. Key areas reviewed include: accountability, assessments, transparency, educator preparation and data security training (by Fall of 2017), vendor compliance and digital literacy. CDE remains in the process of finalizing the disclosure avoidance practices and will publish these for comment soon. We will share this information with you. The Department continued to stress the importance of compliance with FERPA as well as support from the federal Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

E-Waste

As an update from last fall’s conversations, there will be no producer responsibility legislation introduced in the 2017 Session.

Autonomous Vehicles

Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs & the Senate sponsor of the 2016 student data privacy bill) plans to introduceself-driving vehicle legislation this Session. In partnership with the Governor’s Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation, his goal isto have Colorado become one of the first states to implement a regulatory and licensing structure that will create an environment for innovation and job growth in this new industry. Attached are the draft bill concepts. We plan to attend the stakeholder meeting and will report outcomes.

Broadband

Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies announced a $2.1M grant process to increase rural broadband access. Click here to read the press release as well as continued broadband grant fund updates. We anticipate broadband to be an ongoing legislative topic but do not expect any massive reform-oriented bills.

Cybersecurity

Given CompTIA’s support of balanced cybersecurity policies, the late-introduced HB 1453 garnered our support with a commitment to continued monitoring through the interim. Designed to further propel the State’s enhancement of cybersecurity protocols, HB 1453 creates a cross-functional Cybersecurity Council housed within the Department of Public Safety Public Policy in collaborative partnership with the General Assembly and higher education. The Council is comprised of only state agency members but interested parties, including industry, have avenues to provide best practice knowledge and information to this endeavor.Currently, we are awaiting an update from the Department of Public Safety on their interim progress.This will help us determine how best to evaluate and structure a potential CompTIA presentation for this council.

This legislative report was provided by CompTIA's contract lobbyist Amy Redfern. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like any additional information regarding this update. Thank you!