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Construction defects, development near transit and other housing measures considered by Colorado legislature this week

Every week is housing week in the Colorado legislature, with so many bills — addressing so many facets of the crisis — winding through the Capitol. This week is no different.

Both chambers have extensive and eye-catching housing work slated for votes in the coming days:

The House is scheduled to take a final vote Monday on a bill (HB24-1057) that would ban the use of algorithmic devices in rent setting, in the wake of lawsuits accusing landlords of price fixing.
Across the hall, the Senate’s Local Government and Housing Committee is set Tuesday to debate the first of a group of construction defects bills, intended to address lagging condo development.
The House’s Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee is set to vote Tuesday on a bill to ban parking minimums in Colorado cities — something of a white whale for land-use reformers.
On Wednesday, the same committee will weigh a bill to expand density in key transit areas.
On Thursday, the Senate housing committee will weigh a revamped for-cause eviction bill, which passed the House late last month and is a priority for progressive legislators. A similar bill died in the Senate last year, and lawmakers backing it have hinted that they’re going to unveil a new development in the bill’s negotiations ahead of its hearing this week.

Here are other bills to watch this week.

Opioid bills galore

Drug policy has been an ongoing focus for Colorado lawmakers, even predating 2022’s bitter fight over fentanyl penalties. That debate is set to return in earnest this session: Four bills intended to blunt overdoses were advanced out of an interim committee focused on the overdose crisis.

Two of those bills — addressing harm-reduction and treatment — are on the calendar this week. The harm-reduction measure, HB24-1037, is awaiting a final vote in the House before heading to the Senate; that bill would allow clean-needle exchanges to distribute smoking materials and it would clarify immunity protections for people attempting to reverse overdoses, among other things.

The bipartisan treatment bill (HB24-1045) will have its final hearing in the House Finance Committee on Thursday before heading for the floor (assuming it passes, which it likely will). That bill seeks to increase access to prescription medications used to treat substance use disorders and to bolster the treatment provider workforce, in addition to several other changes intended to improve the state’s civil and criminal treatment infrastructure.

One of the policies that didn’t make it out of the interim committee — allowing supervised drug-use sites to open in willing Colorado cities — has been resurrected, after dying in both that committee and in the Senate last year. That new effort, contained in HB24-1028, will be heard in the House’s Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday. It faces long odds to becoming law, given its two failures in the last year and varying levels of opposition throughout the Capitol.

Finally, HB24-1306 — which would further increase criminal penalties for fentanyl possession — will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. That bill is very likely doomed, too: Judiciary is stocked with progressive Democrats who shot down a similar bill last year.

Other notable bills up this week

A slew of other interesting measures are set for various votes.

On Monday, the Senate is set to vote to send to the House a bill that exempts the legislature from some of the state’s open-meetings laws.

A likely doomed Republican bill that would require more information to be shared about controversial “abortion pill reversal” treatment will be heard in the House’s Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

One of the bills aimed at addressing Colorado’s air quality problems, HB24-1330, will be heard in the House’s Energy and Environment Committee on Thursday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will hear SB24-118, which would partially eliminate indeterminate prison sentences for people convicted of sex crimes.

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