RECAP OF 2022 COLORADO LEGISLATIVE SESSION
May 12, 2022
By Kip Kolkmeier
The Colorado General Assembly wrapped up its regular 2022 session on May 11th. Legislators considered over 650 individual bills, and this update summarizes mediation bills and other bills of note that passed.
Three bills passed that referred to mediation services (more description provided below):
- Senate Bill 230 requires mediation if county employees reach an impasse in collective bargaining.
- Senate Bill 19 allows an attorney to review a suppressed court record for mediation.
- Senate Bill 77 requires disputes under the Interstate Compact for Licensed Professional Counselors to be resolved through mediation or binding dispute resolution.
Other bills of note that passed include:
- Senate Bill 233 will deliver cash to Colorado taxpayers of at least $400 for single tax filers, and at least $800 to those filing jointly.
- Senate Bill 238 will reduce property taxes by $700 million between 2023 and 2024 by limiting property tax assessments.
- House Bill 1329 contains the State’s $36 billion budget. The budget increases funding for K-12 education and gives state employees a 3% raise. It also expands efforts to improve public safety and monitor air quality.
- House Bill 1279 puts in statute the right to abortion and contraception services regardless of how the United States Supreme Court may rule regarding abortion rights.
There were also bills passed to address water conservation, wildfire mitigation, manufacturer responsibility for recycling, expansion of mental and behavioral health services, and naming Juneteenth as an official State Holiday.
More Detail about the Mediation Bills:
Senate Bill 230 allows county employees to bargain collectively. The bill comprehensively describes the dispute resolution process that the employees’ representative and a county must follow if an impasse arises during the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement. The Division of Labor Standards and Statistics must partner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to offer training in interest-based bargaining upon the mutual request of an employee organization and the county. If the parties reach a bargaining impasse, either may request mediation. Mediation may continue for up to sixty days unless the mediator determines that mediation is no longer necessary or useful. Mediators must be chosen from those registered with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Senate Bill 19 allows an attorney, with the approval of a person named in a suppressed court record, to review the record for specific purposes. One identified purpose is to evaluate whether the matter is suitable for mediation, or in preparation for mediation between the parties included in the court record.
Senate Bill 77 adds Colorado to an Interstate Compact allowing Licensed Professional Counselors to practice in any state joining the compact. The legislation includes the obligation of the governing Commission to promulgate rules to resolve disputes between states through mediation or binding dispute resolution.
As a service to our members, the MAC regularly monitors state legislation affecting the profession. The MAC provides expert testimony before legislative committees, and advises legislators and legislative staff regarding the value of mediation. The MAC encourages legislators to require mediation where appropriate and seeks to expand opportunities for qualified mediation professionals.
Voices of Ukrainian Mediators
Please join us April 14th at 8:30 AM MDT (4:30 PM CET) to hear personal stories and engage in dialogue with mediator colleagues from Ukraine. Svitlana Stadnyk, President of the Association for Family Mediators of Ukraine, and Tatyana Bilyik, co-founder of League of Mediators of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Association of Family Mediators, and other Ukrainian mediators will be our guests.
MAC Board Member, Mike Maday, met Svitlana, Anna Zubachova and other mediators from Ukraine through his involvement with MiKK Mediators, a world leader in cross-border mediation and training. Due to that relationship, theMAC has conducted joint Zoom seminars, and MAC members have developed connections with Ukrainian mediators over the past two years.
The brutal war in Ukraine creates challenges difficult to imagine and anticipate. One of our guests, Tatyana Bilyik, tells her story about the struggles she faces and what sustains her. Read about her here. Our other guest, Svitlana Stadnyk has reached safety in Germany. Colleague Anna Zubachova and her baby are in Poland, and thanks to a fundraiser conducted by MiKK Mediators, Anna’s mother who was gravely injured has reached safety and is receiving the medical care that she needs.
These colleagues, and many others still in Ukraine, have urgent needs for assistance. MiKK Mediators has set up a fundraiser for these individual families through betterplace.org. A link to the fundraiser is here. Please consider making a donation.
Our Connections in Ukraine
As we watch the horrific events occurring in Ukraine, our thoughts are with our mediator colleagues with whom we have been networking over the past couple of years. The day before Russia attacked Ukraine, we were Zooming with our Ukrainian colleagues, planning another joint education and networking session. These conversations have been postponed. Svitlana Stadnyk, Chair of the Association of Family Mediators of Ukraine, who lives in Kyiv, just sent a message that she and her family are in western Ukraine, having escaped the place they initially evacuated to because “it got dangerous, it’s safer here.”
Like many, we have been searching for ways we can help our colleagues, friends and fellow citizens of the world caught up in this horrific war and its burgeoning humanitarian crisis. Here are a few resources and suggestions of ways you can help.
Razom’s mission is to foster Ukrainian democracy and civil society through a global network of experts and organizations supporting democracy activists and human rights advocates throughout Ukraine.
They maintain a relentless focus on the needs on the ground in Ukraine to increase civic engagement and amplify voices from Ukraine in conversations in the United States. Razom’s list of suggested ways to help in Ukraine can be found here.
Ukrainians of Colorado is a non-profit organization formed to unite and preserve Ukrainian heritage. Their Facebook page lists events happening throughout the state.
Support Ukraine NOW describes ways that persons from other countries can help Ukraine, including identifying charitable organizations and sources of reliable news.
TheMAC stands with Ukraine!
Call for Board Members
Are you looking for a unique leadership opportunity? Have you been yearning to put your talents to use in building the professionalism, knowledge and use of mediation in Colorado?
The Mediation Association of Colorado (theMAC) has long been the advocate of high-quality, widespread mediation throughout Colorado, and we are making structural and cultural changes demanded by the social upheaval of recent years.
TheMAC is looking for active-minded, forward-thinking members to join our board of directors. The time commitment is 3-5 hours per month.
We are looking for members with talents and/or demonstrated interest in:
- Building and strengthening a culturally competent community
- Supporting and promoting members
- Developing new mediators
- Increasing demand for mediation
- Developing business and community relations
We are looking for members who bring a wider range of backgrounds, perspectives and information than has been on the Board in the past.
We are looking for members who can expand theMAC’s linkages, opportunities and increase the diversity of membership.
We are looking for members who have ideas and/or experience in removing barriers to Board and Association participation.
We are looking for energetic and motivated mediators, who are not already overextended with other commitments, and who are eager to put their enthusiasm for changing the world of mediation to work.
If you meet these criteria, please email a 1-2 page letter and your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your qualifications and interest. The deadline for these Letters of Interest is Sunday, February 6, 2022.
The Board will review the Letters of Interest, ask questions of those interested, and distribute ballots to members no later than February 24, 2022. Members will vote on the ballot at the Annual Member Meeting on March 26, 2022.