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64C6144D06BC340E872586CB00718C08 Hearing Summary


Date May 4, 2021      
Location HCR 0112

SB21-039 - Amended, referred to House Appropriations

02:41:12 PM  
Representative Pelton,
bill sponsor, introduced and gave opening comments on SB21-039.

The bill phases out sub-minimum wage employment for private businesses;
creates a buy-in option for the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid waiver
program; makes additional changes to the services offered through the waiver
program; and continues the Employment First Advisory Partnership, as discussed

Employer phase-out of subminimum wage.
 The bill phases out subminimum
wage employment for employers that hold a special certificate from the
U.S. Department of Labor authorizing them to pay employees less than minimum
wage if their earning capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental disability,
or injury.

Employers with such a special certificate must submit a transition plan
to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) by June 30, 2022,
that describes the employer's plans to phase out subminimum wage employment
and support their subminimum wage employees in pursuing competitive employment,
supported employment, or integrated community activities related to each
individual's employment goals.  The plan must include measurable benchmarks,
be informed by evidence-based practices and effective employment models,
and be updated annually and resubmitted to the CDLE until the employer
is no longer paying subminimum wages.  CDLE must collaborate with
employers to create a process for approving transition plans.  The
process for approving transition plans must ensure that employers have
until July 1, 2025, to eliminate subminimum wage employment so that individuals
working in these jobs have time to transition.

Employers without a special certificate as of June 30, 2021, may not employ
individuals for less than the minimum wage after that date.  Regardless
of special certificate, employers may not hire any new employees at subminimum
wages after June 30, 2021.  On and after July, 1 2025, an employer
cannot pay an employee less than the applicable federal or state minimum
wage, whichever ishigher.

Employment First Advisory Partnership recommendations.  
The bill
requires the Employment First Advisory Partnership to develop actionable
recommendations for addressing barriers to phasing out subminimum wage
employment, and to deliver these recommendations to the General Assembly
by April 1, 2022.

The recommendations must address:

  • payment reform
    for employment-related services;
  • adequate reimbursement
    rates for employment-related services to ensure high-quality support services;

  • unit caps on employment-related
    services; and
  • federal Medicaid
    waiver and state regulatory barriers.In addition, the partnership, which
    is scheduled to repeal on September 1, 2021, is continued indefinitely.

Changes to state Medicaid programs.
By January 1, 2023, the Department
of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) must seek federal approval for
additional Medicaid waiver services for adults with intellectual and developmental
disabilities to support their ability to gain competitive employment. These
services include support to provide line-of-sight supervision and ongoing
benefits counseling to support higher earnings.  In addition, HCPF
must seek to remove job coaching and job development from the service plan
authorization limits, allowing these services to be authorized without
regard to an individual’s service limit.

The bill also requires HCPF to seek federal authorization to implement
a buy-in program for the Developmental Disabilities waiver by January 1,
2023, and must implement the buy-in program within three months of receiving
approval.  Services currently included in the developmental disabilities
waiver program include:

  • behavioral services;
  • day habilitation
  • dental;
  • home delivered
  • non-medical transportation;
  • peer mentorship;
  • prevocational
  • residential habilitation
    services and supports;
  • specialized medical
    equipment and supplies;
  • supported employment;
  • transition set
    up; and
  • vision.
02:43:56 PM  
Representative Caraveo, bill sponsor, gave opening remarks on the bill.
02:44:37 PM  
The bill sponsors responded to questions from committee members.
02:47:07 PM  

Ms. Jennifer Levin, The Arc of Colorado, testified in support of the bill.  Mr. Bob Lawhead, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, testified in support of the bill.  Mr. Michael Hoover, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Lloyd Lewis, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.

03:00:56 PM  

Mr. John Klausz, Mountain Valley Developmental Services, testified in support of the bill.  Mr. Brian Wilson, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.  Mrs. Ellen Jensby, representing Alliance, testified in support of the bill.  Mrs. Jensby responded to questions from the committee.

Submitted written testimony can be found in Attachment D.

03:10:26 PM  

Representative Caraveo, introduced and explained amendment L.002 (Attachment E).

03:12:08 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment E)
Moved Caraveo
Seconded Pelton
Michaelson Jenet
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:12:52 PM  
Representative Caraveo and Representative Pelton gave final comments on the bill.
03:14:18 PM  
Committee members made final comments on the bill.

03:20:22 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 21-039, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Pelton
Seconded Cutter
Bradfield Yes
Caraveo Yes
Cutter Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
Holtorf Yes
Larson Yes
Ortiz Yes
Pelton Yes
Ricks Yes
Woog No
Young Yes
Sirota Yes
Michaelson Jenet Yes
Final YES: 12   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS

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