It was a sprint to the finish line as lawmakers finished their work on hundreds of bills in the final days of the 2023 legislative session.
Colorado’s first regular session of the 74th General Assembly ended on May 8, 2023. Over the course of 120 days, legislators took up seven bills affecting Colorado PERA. Here’s a brief summary of the three that passed and are awaiting the signature of Gov. Polis to become law.
Senate Bill 23-016 includes multiple provisions that are meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The PERA-related provision in the bill requires a description of climate-related investment risks, impacts, and strategies to be included as part of PERA’s annual Investment stewardship Report.
Senate Bill 23-056 requires the state to make an additional payment to PERA in the amount of the remaining balance of the PERA Payment Cash Fund, plus $10 million in General Fund, which results in a total payment of approximately $14.5 million. This payment is intended to recompense PERA for the cancellation of a previously scheduled July 1, 2020, direct distribution of $225 million, in addition to the compensatory payment provided in previous legislation.
Senate Bill 23-163 modifies the definition of “State Trooper” to include wildlife officers and parks and recreation officers hired on or after January 1, 2011, by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Department of Natural Resources. It applies the State Trooper contribution rate and benefits to eligible employees and their employers effective July 1, 2023. Those individuals who qualify under this definition in state statute are commonly referred to as “safety officers” for the purposes of PERA benefits in our materials.
Four other bills affecting PERA were introduced but did not pass. Read more about them here.
PERA will continue to engage with lawmakers during the interim period between legislative sessions. That oversight process includes meeting with legislative panels on the Legislative Audit Committee, Pension Review Commission and Subcommittee, and the Joint Budget Committee. These are opportunities for PERA to provide updates on its policies, financial condition, administration of the association, and answer questions from lawmakers.
StewardshipThe practice of overseeing or managing something entrusted to one’s care. PERA’s approach to investment stewardship is focused on ensuring the financial sustainability of the fund that pays benefits to retirees and beneficiaries.StewardshipThe practice of overseeing or managing something entrusted to one’s care. PERA’s approach to investment stewardship is focused on ensuring the financial sustainability of the fund that pays benefits to retirees and beneficiaries.