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2024 Legislative Session Recap

Wrapping Up The 2024 Legislative Session

The 74th General Assembly, which adjourned on May 8, considered 778 bills, the third-highest number of bills over the past ten years. It was one for the record books! Bicycle Colorado supported six bills, four of which were high-priority, and we closely monitored five bills. We opposed no bills this legislative session.

We are excited to report that five of the six bills we supported passed, and four of the five we monitored passed. We expect the Governor will sign these bills into law.

The 2024 legislative session continued a remarkable trend: from 2018 – 2024, the Colorado legislature passed twenty-six bike-, pedestrian-, and transit-friendly bills. 

This year, three themes animated our conversations at the Capitol:

  1. Concern with rising traffic fatalities, especially of vulnerable road users. 
  2. Active and public transportation can help Colorado achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals.
  3. Land use policy impacts access to biking, walking, and public transit.

This year was particularly impactful because after five prior attempts since 2018, on the final day of the session, the Colorado Legislature passed SB24-065, also known as the distracted driving bill. The bill now heads to Governor Polis for his signature. 

Although there is much to celebrate, SB24-036 (Vulnerable Road User Protection Fund) exposed the limits of support for bike and pedestrian infrastructure funding. SB24-036 would have established a small annual fee ($5 – $10 for most Coloradans), generating $18 million annually for bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The legislators we spoke with throughout the legislative session expressed concern about rising bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities and most acknowledged the need to invest more in bike and pedestrian infrastructure. However, enough of these legislators were unwilling to walk the talk and support a new fee, thus causing SB24-036 to die in committee. The good news is that this loss paved the way for a more modest bike and pedestrian infrastructure funding bill, SB24-195, which did pass. 

We are grateful to have been able to advocate for bicyclists and pedestrians at our state Capitol. We are also thankful to all the people and partner organizations who exercised their voice by writing their elected representatives, attending Bicycle Colorado’s Safe Streets Lobby Day, and testifying at the Capitol. Democracy requires people to show up and speak up, and this community of advocates did just that in 2024! We’re so proud to be part of this movement. 

Below is a final recap of the bills we supported and monitored.

TRAFFIC SAFETY & ACCESS TO BIKING, WALKING AND PUBLIC TRANSIT

SB24-065: Mobile Electronic Devices and Motor Vehicle Driving | PASSED

SB24-065: Mobile Electronic Devices and Motor Vehicle Driving

Sponsors: Sen. Hansen, Sen. Fields, Rep. Ortiz, Rep. Froelich

Position: Active Support

Status: Passed
Senate: 28 (Y), 7 (N)
House: 57 (Y), 6 (N), 2 (Other)

What it will do:
Help reduce distracted driving by prohibiting hand-held mobile electronic devices starting on Jan 1, 2025.

HB24-1021: Motor Vehicle Minor Driver Education Standards | SIGNED

HB24-1021: Motor Vehicle Minor Driver Education Standards

Sponsors: Sen. Winter, Sen. Priola, Rep. Lindsay

Position: Actively Support

Status: Passed
Senate: 22 (Y), 11 (N), 2 (Other)
House: 43 (Y), 19 (N), 3 (Other)

What it will do:
Improve driver education for teens. Minors 18 years of age or younger must:

  • Complete a 30-hour driver education course, which may include an online course;
  • Receive a minimum of six hours of behind-the-wheel driving training with a driving instructor or at least 12 hours of training from a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult.
SB24-036: Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise | FAILED

SB24-036: Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise

Sponsors: Sen. Winter, Sen. Cutter, Rep. Lindsay, Rep. Linsdtedt

Position: Actively Support

Status: Failed
Opposition to creating a new fee.

What it will do:
This bill would have generated $18 million annually from an annual fee based on vehicle size and weight. Participation was limited to the twelve most populous counties and counties that wanted to opt in.

SB24-195: Vulnerable Road Users | PASSED

SB24-195: Vulnerable Road Users

Sponsors: Sen. Winter, Sen. Cutter, Rep. Lindsay, Rep. Linsdtedt

Position: Actively Support

Status: Passed
Senate: 22 (Y), 13 (N)
House: 45 (Y), 17 (N), 3 (Other)

What it will do:
Generate a minimum of $7M annually for bike and pedestrian infrastructure and require CDOT to establish policies prioritizing traffic safety over vehicle speed.

SB24-230: Oil & Gas Production Fees | PASSED

SB24-230: Oil & Gas Production Fees

Sponsors: Sen. Hansen, Sen. Fields, Rep. Ortiz, Rep. Froelich

Position: Support

Status: Passed
Senate: 21 (Y), 12 (N), 2 (O)
House: 40 (Y), 18 (N), 7 (O)

What it will do:
Establish a new oil and gas production fee, directing funds to increase transit service. The fee is anticipated to result in more than $100 million a year in funding for transit service across the state, with a majority being directed to RTD in the Denver region.

HB24-1447: Transit Reform | FAILED

HB24-1447: Transit Reform

Sponsors: Rep. Lindstedt, Rep. Froelich, Sen. Winter

Position: Support

Status: Failed
Opposition from legislator in the RTD service zone effectively turned this bill into a study of how to increase RTD ridership. Nonetheless, the bill did not make it out of Senate committees in the final days of the session.

What it will do:
The bill would have overhauled the Regional Transportation District (RTD).  Among other provisions, the bill, as introduced, would have made changes to RTD’s board structure, elections, and appointment authority.

HB24-032: Methods to Increase Transit | PASSED

HB24-032: Methods to Increase Transit

Sponsors: Sen. Priola, Sen. F. Winter, Rep. Vigil, Rep. Marvin

Position: Monitor

Status: Passed
Senate: 34 (Y), 0 (N)
House: 44 (Y), 17 (N) 4 (Other)

What it will do:
Makes permanent a set of grant programs that allow transit agencies to offer free transit during ozone season and provide free transit for youth year-round. It allocates $7 million annually for ozone season transit and $7 million annually for free fares for youth. The bill also establishes a committee to develop a proposal for a statewide transit pass that can work across transit agencies in the state.

HB24-1012: Front Range Passenger Rail District Efficiency | SIGNED

HB24-1012: Front Range Passenger Rail District Efficiency

Sponsors: Rep. Mauro, Rep. A. Boesenecker, Sen. R. Zenzinger, Sen. C. Simpson

Position: Support

Status: Signed by Governor
Senate: 27 (Y), 8 (N)
House: 55 (Y), 8 (N), 2 (Other)

What it will do:
Aims to improve the efficiency of the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

LAND USE

HB24-1313: Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities | PASSED

HB24-1313: Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities

Sponsors: Rep. Woodrow, Rep. Jodah, Sen. Hanson, Sen. Winter

Position: Support

Status: Passed
Senate: 19 (Y), 15 (N), 1 (Other)
House: 40 (Y), 24 (N), 1 (Other)

What it will do:

  • Seeks to increase the affordability of housing in transit-oriented communities (TOCs). 
  • Creates an infrastructure fund grant program to assist local governments in upgrading infrastructure within transit centers and neighborhood centers. 
  • TOCs are required to demonstrate that it has met its housing opportunity goal by submitting a housing opportunity goal report to the Department of Local Affairs.
HB24-1152: Accessory Dwelling Units | PASSED

HB24-1152: Accessory Dwelling Units

Sponsors:  Rep. Amabile, Rep. Weinberg, Sen. K. Mullica, Sen. T. Exum

Position: Monitor

Status: Passed
Senate: 25 (Y), 15 (N)
House: 47 (Y), 17 (N), 1 (Other)

What it will do:
Requires certain local governments to allow accessory dwelling units and creates programs in the Department of Local Affairs to encourage the construction, conversation, and use of ADUs.

HB24-1304: Minimum Parking Requirements | PASSED

HB24-1304: Minimum Parking Requirements

Sponsors:  Rep. Vigil, Rep. Woodrow, Sen. Priola, Sen. Hinrichsen

Position: Monitor

Status: Passed
Senate: 19 (Y), 15 (N), 1 (Other)
House: 40 (Y), 22 (N), 3 (Other)

What it will do:
The final bill eliminates parking minimums for multifamily residential, residential adaptive reuse projects, and mixed-use projects with at least 50% residential, within a quarter mile of rail and bus stations that have 30-minute or more frequent service. There is a project-specific opt-out mechanism if local governments can demonstrate a significant need. DOLA will also develop best practices to help right-size parking.

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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