Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a bill signing ceremony outside of the Capitol building in Denver, Colo. on Monday, May 16, 2022. 

Gov. Jared Polis got out his veto pen for the first time in 2022, saying no to three bills sent to him by lawmakers during the 2022 legislative session.

Polis vetoed the following:

House Bill 1387, sponsored by Reps. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada and Mary Bradfield, R-Colorado Springs; and Sens. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora and Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, on homeowners' associations.

The bill would have required HOAs to conduct studies of their reserve funds. 

In his veto letter, Polis wrote that the bill would lead to higher HOA fees at a time when homeowners are already dealing with higher costs in other areas.

"Smaller communities especially could face significant fee increases and administrative burdens," Polis wrote.

There were parts of the bill he liked, the governor wrote, such as its focus on more disclosures on shared components of an HOA for buyers and new governing boards, which he said would not drive up HOA fees. And developers should provide the most detailed information possible when a development is being turned over to a new association, for example. He encouraged the sponsors to try a bill addressing those issues next year.

The second Polis veto was House Bill 1221, another Fields bill co-sponsored with Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Aurora and which dealt with county coroners and mortuaries.

The bill would have set up a county coroner and mortuary mental health and wellness program in the newly-created Behavioral Health Administration and in funeral homes or coroner's offices that do not already provide health insurance to their employees.

Polis wrote that he disagreed with establishing a mental health program in the BHA for one particular profession. The BHA already has a heavy workload, Polis indicated, and requiring the BHA to set up a mental health program for one group of professionals would not establish a positive precedent.

The third bill vetoed by the governor was to create a deceptive trade practice under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act if a person without an active music therapist board-certified credential from the Certification Board of Music Therapists claims to be a music therapist. It was the bill's creation of a criminal penalty, a class 2 misdemeanor for claiming to be a music therapist without the credential, that drew the governor's disapproval.

House Bill 1399 was sponsored by Sen. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, and Reps. David Ortiz, D-Centennial and Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins.

Music therapy is the "clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program." Music therapists work in hospice situations, with children with developmental or intellectual disabilities, including on the autism spectrum; with adults with mental health disorders, those with dementia or who have suffered strokes; or as part of physical or mental rehabilitation from certain injuries, including severe burns

In order to be a music therapist, practitioners must completed at least a bachelor's degree in the field from an accredited college or university. Once the degree is obtained, the next step is board certification. The bill required the title to be allowed only for music therapists with board certification, which is a national requirement in the profession.

However, music therapists have never been licensed by the state of Colorado.

Polis wrote that the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice should have been consulted on the criminal penalties for HB 1399, or that civil penalties might be more appropriate.

Polis also noted that the Department of Regulatory Agencies has done two sunrise reviews of music therapy, most recently in 2019, which said the profession did not need state regulation. 

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