At the 15th Legislative Breakfast hosted by Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared that the 2024 Legislative Session would be an “enormous” one for transportation shaping the future of our state. As the 2024 Legislative Session kicks off there are already two important transportation related bills under consideration to watch.
Important Bills to Watch
SB24-032 Methods to Increase the Use of Transit
Introduced on January 10 by Senators Priola and Lewis and Representative Vigil (D), SB24-032 Methods to Increase the Use of Transit would create a statewide transit pass exploratory committee, make the Ozone Season Transit Grant Program permanent, create the Youth Fare Free Transit Grant Program, and create an income tax credit for transit pass purchases. The bill, if passed would result in the following:
- Statewide Pass – Create a statewide transit pass exploratory committee within CDOT with the goal of implementing a statewide transit pass by January 1, 2028. The committee is required to submit a proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass, including recommendations for any necessary legislation in connection with the proposal, to CDOT and the members of the transportation legislation review committee of the general assembly on or before July 1, 2026.
- Ozone Season Transit Grant Program – Make the ozone season transit grant program created in 2022 permanent by repealing the statute that would repeal it on July 1, 2024.
- Youth Fare Free Transit Grant Program – Create the youth fare free transit grant program in CDOT to provide grants to RTD and other transit associations to provide fare free year-round transit services for individuals who are 19 years of age or younger.
- Income Tax Credit – Create an income tax credit allowed to any taxpayer in an amount equal to 30% of the amount spent by the taxpayer to purchase one or more transit passes for use by the taxpayer during the income tax year for which the credit is claimed.
- Appropriations – $14 million total in ongoing General Fund appropriation to support free fare during a portion of ozone season ($7 million) and year-round free youth passes ($7 million)
SB24-036 Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise
Introduced by Senators Winter and Cutter and Representatives Lindsay and Lindstedt, SB24-036 Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise would create the vulnerable road user protection enterprise in the Department of Transportation for the purpose of providing infrastructure improvements that protect vulnerable road users. If passed the bill would result in the following:
- Vulnerable Road User Enterprise – Create an enterprise in the department of transportation (CDOT) for the purpose of providing funding for transportation system infrastructure improvements that reduce the number of collisions that result in death or serious injury to vulnerable road users.
- Vulnerable Road User Protection Fee – The enterprise would impose a vulnerable road user protection fee on the registration of passenger cars and light trucks that are not commercial vehicles. Fee revenue would be credited to ta newly created fund and continuously appropriated to the enterprise.
- Provide Grants – The enterprise would be authorized to provide grants to fund eligible projects.
Both of these bills have been referred to the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee and are scheduled for hearing on February 5.
For your personal research about representatives, bills and their status, the Colorado General Assembly’s website is an excellent and timely resource for all current and past legislation.