Colorado legislators on Tuesday will vote on two bills that could affect Colorado drivers.
The first is a measure to give a state driver’s licensing exam to all Colorado residents by the end of the year.
The second is a bill that would require all Colorado employers with at least 50 employees to provide health insurance for employees and their dependents under the Affordable Care Act.
The bill is called the Colorado Driver’s License Examination Act of 2018, and it is sponsored by Sen. John Morse (D-Longmont) and Rep. Mike Schuette (R-Laramie).
Both bills would require the state to allow a driver’s exam to be administered in the state by Aug. 1.
The two bills are similar in concept to a similar bill in California that passed the state legislature in March, but they differ in how they would be implemented.
The Colorado State Board of Motor Vehicles will conduct a random, blind, non-comprehensive test of all applicants who apply for driver’s licenses in 2018.
The Colorado State Insurance Commission will administer the test to all drivers.
The driver’s examination will be conducted by a state-licensed, third-party organization, like the Department of Motor Vehicle.
The results will be certified by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
The measure would make Colorado the 14th state in the country with a driver exam, and the first in the nation to require a non-partisan exam.
The measure is supported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which said it expects to spend $6 million to administer the exam in 2018 and that it has a good track record with state driver exams.
“Driver’s licenses have been a reliable and affordable source of employment for millions of Americans, and they can also help improve the safety of Coloradoans by providing the necessary skills needed to safely operate their vehicles,” said Jeff Anderson, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Insurance Information Institute.
“We urge the Colorado Legislature to consider the impact of these proposed regulations on our state and on Colorado drivers.”
Morse, who is also a former Colorado secretary of state, said the driver’s test is a good way to test for mental health issues.
The test will take about 15 minutes and is conducted by an accredited, state-certified mental health counselor, he said.
“We don’t want to burden the state with the cost of providing this testing,” Morse said.
“It will cost about $2,500 to administer and the cost is justifiable in order to make sure that we can conduct a safe and effective state driver test.”
Morton County, which includes Fort Collins, will be the test site, according to Morse.
The other bill, which Morse said he hopes to get to the Senate floor before the end.
it would require employers with 10 or more employees to offer health insurance to employees and to provide the health insurance option to their dependants.
The bill also would require that all employees and children under the age of 18 be given health insurance.
“It’s important that we do not lose our residents to the Affordable Health Care Act because they do not have access to comprehensive insurance coverage,” Morse told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
“The legislation we are considering is one that will help ensure that those who are eligible for coverage will be able to afford it.”
The other measure is called “the Colorado Driver and Motor Vehicle Insurance Act,” and it was introduced by Morse and Schuett.
The legislation would require an employer to provide at least one employee with a health insurance policy through the first year of employment, and would require it to provide coverage to all employees on a nonrefundable basis.
The state would also establish a new fee for employers who do not offer health coverage to their employees.
Morse and Schutette have also proposed allowing all employers to offer tax credits to workers to help offset the cost for insurance coverage.
“This is the first time in my 30 years of practicing law that we have a bill in the Colorado legislature,” Morse explained.
“This is a step in the right direction, and this is a first step in making sure we can get this bill to the floor of the Legislature.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.