Summary of 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 Legislative Session has come to a close. The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce was hard at work and took positions on many bills related to the work of Prosper CO. In all, the Chamber took positions on three bills related to housing, seven bills related to jobs and three bills related to small business development. All of these bills passed.


House Bill 21-1028: Annual Public Report Affordable Housing

This bill requires the Colorado Division of Housing to prepare a public report providing detail on the total money that the division or the Colorado State Housing Board received from any federal, state, public or private sources during the prior fiscal year.

House Bill 21-1134: Report Tenant Rent Payment Information to Credit Agencies

This bill creates a voluntary pilot program to establish credit through rental payment.

House Bill 21-1271: Department of Local Affairs Innovation Affordable Housing Strategies

This bill offers state assistance to local governments with the goal of creating more affordable housing strategies and practices.


House Bill 21-1264: Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills

This bill creates the Stimulus Investments in Reskilling, Upskilling and Next-Skilling Workers Program as an initiative of the State Workforce Development Council and appropriates $25 million for the program, which will facilitate training for unemployed and underemployed workers during times when the statewide unemployment rate exceeds 4%.

House Bill 21-1306: Accreditation of Postsecondary Institutions

This bill expands the accreditation process for postsecondary institutions to include the Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as qualifying organizations that can accredit postsecondary institutions.

Senate Bill 21-106: Concerning Successful High School Transition

The bill requires the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to consider whether an innovative learning plan includes opportunities for students to participate in registered or unregistered apprenticeships, internships and technical training or skills programs through an industry provider, teacher training opportunities, concurrent enrollment and industry certificates. The bill also creates a fourth-year innovation pilot program to disburse state funding to postsecondary education and training programs on behalf of low-income students who graduate early from a high school participating in the pilot program prior to enrolling in the first or second semester of their fourth year of high school.

Senate Bill 21-119: Increasing Access to High Quality Credentials

This bill amends the Career Development Success Program by removing residency programs and expanding apprenticeship programs to include any industry program, not just construction programs. Additionally, the bill expands the definition of a qualified industry-credential program to include a career and technical education program that, upon completion, results in an industry-recognized credential.

Senate Bill 21-153: Department of Corrections Offender Identification Assistance Program

The bill requires the Department of Corrections to create a program to help offenders receive state-issued identification cards and other necessary identification documents.

Senate Bill 21-232: Displaced Workers Grant

This bill appropriates $15 million for the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative’s Displaced Workers Grant, which is estimated to serve at least 3,000 displaced Colorado workers across the state, as well as help institutions of higher education scale high-demand programs.

Senate Bill 21-236: Increase Capacity Early Childhood Care & Education

This bill creates four new grant programs to increase capacity for early childhood care and education, encourage employer-based child care facilities, and improve recruitment and retention rates and salaries for early childhood educators.

Small Business Support

House Bill 21-1288: Colorado Startup Loan Program

This bill creates a $30 million revolving loan program to provide loans and grants to businesses looking to start, restart or restructure. These loans must be promoted to businesses that are owned by women, minorities, veterans and businesses in rural and underserved communities.

House Bill 21-1302: Continue COVID 19 Small Business Grant Program

This bill will create a grant program for small businesses that have experienced economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding originally came from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but not all businesses were able to secure funding by the deadline of Dec. 30, 2020. This bill allocates $15 million from the state general fund to continue the program and modifies grant criteria.

Senate Bill 241: Small Business Accelerated Growth Program

This bill establishes the Small Business Accelerated Growth Program under the Colorado Office of Economic Development to provide business development support to organizations with less than 20 employees. The Program must devise a marketing strategy in tandem with the Minority Business Office, Small Business Development Center and local and regional economic development entities to promote the program.

You can review all of the Chamber’s policy positions here.