April 21, 2015

Crowdfunding, Medical Testing of Assault Victims, and PERA Supplemental Needs Trust Bills Signed

As the 2015 legislative session continues, Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign legislation that crosses his desk. To date, the governor has signed 136 bills this legislative session. The bills signed in the past week are summarized here.

April 10, 2015

  • HB 15-1008 – Concerning the Classification of Agricultural Land When the Land is Destroyed by a Natural Cause, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill allows agricultural land destroyed by natural causes to retain its agricultural classification for the year of destruction and four more property tax years.
  • HB 15-1256 – Concerning the Reclassification of Routt County to a Category II County for the Purpose of Establishing the Salaries of County Officers, by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill recategorizes Routt County as a category II county for the purpose of setting salaries for county officers.
  • HB 15-1073 – Concerning Allowing a Driver to Challenge the Validity of a Law Enforcement Officer’s Initial Contact With the Driver, by Rep. Joseph Salazar and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill allows drivers who successfully challenge an officer’s initial stop in an administrative hearing to avoid revocation.
  • HB 15-1197 – Concerning Limitations on Indemnity Obligations in Public Construction Contracts, by Rep. Jack Tate and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill clarifies the manner in which indemnification clauses may be used in public construction contracts.
  • HB 15-1224 – Concerning Accounting for State Moneys Received by Public Postsecondary Institutions That Do Not Participate in the College Opportunity Fund Program, by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sens. Owen Hill & Nancy Todd. The bill separates the appropriation allocation for the two local district junior colleges affected.
  • HB 15-1183 – Concerning the Admission of a Child’s Statements Describing Attempted Acts of an Unlawful Sexual Offense, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill allows admission of a child’s statements regarding attempted sexual offenses.
  • HB 15-1191 – Concerning the Addition of Dentists to the “Physician Designation Disclosure Act,” by Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill specifies that the standards and requirements for health care entities that assign designations to physicians based on performance assessments also apply to dentists.

Monday, April 13, 2015

  • HB 15-1245 – Concerning the Authority of the State Board of Land Commissioners to Use a Specified Portion of the Investment and Development Fund Moneys for Asset Maintenance, by Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill allows the State Board of Land Commissioners to spend up to $1 million from the Investment and Development Fund for certain maintenance projects.
  • HB 15-1246 – Concerning the Authorization of Crowdfunding of Intrastate Securities, by Reps. Pete Lee & Dan Pabon and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Owen Hill. The bill creates the Colorado Crowdfunding Act, which allows online investments in Colorado companies through a simple regulatory regime.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

  • SB 15-005 – Concerning Medical Testing for Certain First Degree Assault Cases, by Sen. John Cooke and Rep. Mike Foote. The bill requires a defendant in a first degree assault to submit to blood testing for communicable diseases if his or her bodily fluids contact another person.
  • SB 15-015 – Concerning a Clarification of Benefits for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Health Benefit Plans Issued in this State, by Sen. John Kefalas and Rep. Dianne Primavera. The bill allows mental health benefits under health benefit plans for autism spectrum disorders, and removes caps on the number of visits.
  • SB 15-030 – Concerning Removing Culpability for Prostitution for a Victim of Human Trafficking, by Sen. Morgan Carroll and Rep. Mike Foote. The bill creates an affirmative defense of human trafficking for those charged with prostitution and establishes a procedure to petition courts to seal records.
  • SB 15-058 – Concerning Statewide Policies and Procedures for Law Enforcement Agencies that Conduct Eyewitness Identifications, by Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Elena Kagan. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies and procedures regarding eyewitness identifications.
  • SB 15-097 – Concerning the Eligibility of a Supplemental Needs Trust to Receive Certain Public Employees’ Retirement Association Benefits, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Rep. Lois Landgraf. The bill allows a PERA member to designate a supplemental needs trust as a co-beneficiary.
  • SB 15-099 – Concerning Eliminating Certain Duties for Probation Officers, by Sen. John Cooke  and Rep. Polly Lawrence. The bill eliminates  certain duties of probation officers to conform to actual practice.
  • SB 15-105 – Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Respiratory Therapists by the Director of the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the Department in its Sunset Review of and Report on the Profession, by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Diane Primavera. The bill makes changes to licensing of respiratory therapists as recommended by the sunset review committee.
  • SB 15-126 – Concerning Medical Tests for Victims of Crimes of Assault, by Sens. John Cooke & Michael Johnston and Rep. Mike Foote. The bill requires defendants in second or third degree assault cases to undergo medical testing for communicable diseases if their bodily fluids came in contact with another person.
  • SB 15-171 – Concerning the Continuation of the “Private Occupational Education Act of 1981″, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2014 Sunset Review by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill extends the Private Occupational School Board and the Division of Private Occupational Schools.
  • SB 15-186 – Concerning the Exemption of Yoga Teacher Training from Regulation Under Statutes Governing Private Occupational Education and, in Connection Therewith, Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Laura Woods and Reps. Timothy Dore & Alec Garnett. The bill exempts yoga teacher training from the Private Occupational Education Act.
  • SB 15-187 – Concerning Authorization for the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise to Deposit Money Received as a Loan from the State Highway Fund to a Separate Account Within the Statewide Transportation Enterprise Special Revenue Fund, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dave Young. The bill allows money loaned from the State Highway Fund to the High Performance Transportation Enterprise to be deposited into the Statewide Transportation Enterprise Operating Fund.
  • SB 15-188 – Concerning the Use of the First Tier of Statutorily Allocated Tobacco Litigation Settlement Money, and in Connection Therewith, Making an Annual Statutory Allocation of Such Money to the Tobacco Settlement Defense Account of the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Cash Fund and Making an Offsetting Reduction in the Annual Statutory Allocation of Such Money to the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust, Authorizing the Department of Revenue to Use Money in the Tobacco Settlement Defense Account for Settlement Enforcement Related Activities, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill allocates tobacco settlement funds from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust to the defense fund for tobacco litigation.
  • SB 15-189 – Concerning the Repeal of Consolidated Tobacco Settlement Program Monitoring and Reporting Requirements and, in Connection Therewith, Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill repeals the current requirement that the State Board of Health monitor programs receiving funding from the state’s tobacco settlement fund.
  • SB 15-190 – Concerning the Repeal of the Requirement that the Executive Director of the Department of Personnel Promulgate Rules to Establish State Archives’ Fees, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill eliminates a statutory requirement that fees for the State Archives must be established through a formal rulemaking process.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Special District Transparency, Home Services Contracts, Recorking Wine, and More Bills Signed

On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 11 bills into law. To date, he has signed 113 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1046 – Concerning Authorization for the Executive Director of the Department of Transportation to Waive Department Project Cost Estimate-Based Statutory Contract Amount Limits When Awarding a Highway Project Contract, by Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Ray Scott. The bill allows the executive director of the DOT to contract for highway projects when there are fewer than three bids even if the bids are above the CDOT cost estimate.
  • HB 15-1067 – Concerning the Establishment of a Continuing Professional Development Program for Licensed Psychologists, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Lois Landgraf and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill requires licensed psychologists to complete at least 40 hours of continuing education for each two-year compliance period.
  • HB 15-1074 – Concerning the Liability of an Individual Member of a Board of County Commissioners in a Legal Proceeding in which the Board is Found Liable, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill protects board members from having judgments against the board enforced individually.
  • HB 15-1092 – Concerning the Transparency of Title 32, Colorado Revised Statutes, Special Districts, by Rep. Steve Lebsock and Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & John Kefalas. The bill makes several changes to the law regarding special districts in order to increase transparency.
  • HB 15-1145 – Concerning the Regulation of Radioactive Materials, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing an Audit Report Issued by the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Mary Hodge. The bill modifies Colorado’s radiation control statutes as required by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • HB 15-1164 – Concerning the Postponement of Jury Service for a Person who is Breast-Feeding a Child, by Rep. Brittany Petterson and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill allows a person who is breastfeeding a child to postpone jury service for up to two 12-month periods.
  • HB 15-1184 – Concerning the Operation of Charter School Networks, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill allows charter schools to work with other charters in a charter school network and establishes guidelines for charter school networks.
  • HB 15-1202 – Concerning the Ability of a Licensing Authority to Reissue Expired Alcohol Beverage Licenses, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill allows a licensing authority to reissue liquor licenses that have been expired more than 90 days but less than 180 days if the licensee pays extra fines.
  • HB 15-1213 – Concerning Clarifications in Connection with the Responsibilities of the Office of Information Technology, by Reps. Jack Tate & Max Tyler and Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Tim Neville. The bill makes changes related to the Office of Information Technology, specifically defining “enterprise agreement” and allowing procurement of enterprise facilities.
  • HB 15-1223 – Concerning the Extension of Current Standards Regarding Home Services Contracts to New Homes, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sens. David Balmer & Cheri Jahn. The bill extends the regulation of home warranty service products for preowned homes to include new homes.
  • HB 15-1244 – Concerning the Ability of Members of a Club Licensed Under the “Colorado Liquor Code” to Remove from the Club a Resealed Container of Partially Consumed Vinous Liquor Purchased at the Club, by Reps. Jonathan Singer & Dan Nordberg and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Kevin Lundberg. The bill adds clubs to the list of liquor licensees who are allowed to recork wine bottles and send them with the customer.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Regarding Vesting of Real Estate Title, Audit of Health Exchange, and More Signed

On Friday, April 3, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 13 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 102 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • SB 15-002 – Concerning an Extension of the Date by which the Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety Must Submit to the Joint Budget Committee a Report Regarding Statewide Radio Communications, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. J. Paul Brown. The bill extends the time in which the Department of Public Safety must report to the Joint Budget Committee regarding statewide radio communications.
  • SB 15-013 – Concerning Extending the Deadline for Peace Officers to Complete Dog Encounter Training to June 30, 2015, by Sen. David Balmer and Reps. Lois Court & Don Coram. The bill postpones the deadline for mandatory peace officer dog training to June 30, 2015.
  • SB 15-019 – Concerning the Authority of the State Auditor to Conduct a Performance Audit of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, by Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Cheri Jahn and Rep. Dan Nordberg. The bill gives the Office of the State Auditor authority to conduct a full performance evaluation of the Colorado health benefits exchange.
  • SB 15-043 – Concerning Clarifying Changes to the Prosecution Fellowship Program, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill clarifies that fellows in the prosecution fellowship program are contract employees.
  • SB 15-047 – Concerning Notification to Legislators About the Adoption of Executive Branch Agency Rules that Implement Newly Enacted Legislation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Beth McCann. The bill allows members of the General Assembly to opt out of notifications from the Office of Legislative Legal Services when bills they have sponsored advance.
  • SB 15-049 – Concerning the Vesting of Title to Real Estate in a Grantee that is an Entity that has Not Yet Been Formed Once the Entity Has Been Formed, by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Jon Keyser. The bill allows title to real estate to vest in an entity once the entity has been formed, prior to incorporation.
  • SB 15-051 – Concerning Legal Recourse for a Student Who is Sanctioned or Found Ineligible to Participate in an Extracurricular Activity, by Sen. Nancy Todd and Rep. Kevin Priola. The bill changes procedures for appeals by students who are sanctioned or found ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • SB 15-053 – Concerning the Ability to Furnish a Supply of Emergency Drugs for Purposes of Treating Individuals Who May Experience an Opiate-Related Drug Overdose Event, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Reps. Beth McCann & Susan Lontine. The bill allows licensed opiate prescribers and dispensers to dispense overdose prevention drugs to relatives or others who will in good faith help the opiate addict.
  • SB 15-071 – Concerning the Ability of a Pharmacist to Substitute an Interchangeable Biological Product for a Prescribed Biological Product when Certain Conditions are Satisfied, by Sens. Cheri Jahn & Owen Hill and Reps. Beth McCann & Lois Landgraf. The bill permits pharmacists to substitute similarly equivalent and interchangeable biological products.
  • SB 15-103 – Concerning Continuation of the Compliance Advisory Panel, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies as Contained in the 2014 Sunset Report, by Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. KC Becker. The bill continues the Compliance Advisory Panel until September 1, 2026, and implements the panel’s recommendations.
  • SB 15-111 – Concerning the Continuous Appropriation to the Department of Education of Moneys in the Educator Licensure Cash Fund, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill grants the Department of Education continuous appropriation of funds in the Educator Licensure Cash Fund, rather than making the appropriation annually.
  • SB 15-116 – Concerning Needle-Stick Prevention, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Alec Garnett. The bill creates an exception for arrests for drug possession or drug paraphernalia possession when a person voluntarily relinquishes hypodermic needles with drug residue.
  • SB 15-161 – Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Revenue, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Revenue.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Appropriations, Adoption Records, Crime Victim Compensation, and More Bills Signed

On Monday, March 30, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 11 bills into law. To date, he has signed 89 bills in this 2015 legislative session. The bills signed Monday are summarized here.

  • SB 15-191 – Concerning Payment of Expenses of the Legislative Department, by Sens. Mark Scheffel & Morgan Carroll and Reps. Crisanta Duran & Brian DelGrosso. This is the appropriations bill, setting the budget for the 2015-16 state fiscal year.
  • HB 15-1254 – Concerning the Elimination of the General Appropriations Act Limitation in the Definition of “Total Governing Board Appropriation” for the Treatment of Higher Education Appropriations, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill clarifies the definition of “Total Governing Board Appropriation” used in the description of higher education funding formulas.
  • HB 15-1188 – Concerning Clarifications to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program, by Reps. Su Ryden & Dianne Primavera and Sen. Tim Neville. The bill makes several changes to the state vocational rehab program for persons with disabilities.
  • HB 15-1106 – Concerning the Clarification of Access by Eligible Persons to Unredacted Adoption Records that Contain Identifying Information, by Rep. Lori Saine and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill clarifies that persons who are able to request and receive certain adoption records under the law may receive unredacted versions of those records.
  • HB 15-1035 – Concerning Changes to Crime Victim Compensation, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. John Cooke. The bill makes several changes to the crime victim compensation program.
  • HB 15-1004 – Concerning Authorization for Firefighter License Plates to be Issued for Motorcycles and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill creates a special firefighter license plate for motorcycles.
  • HB 15-1031 – Concerning a Ban on Powdered Alcohol, by Rep. JoAnn Windholz and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill prohibits the use, possession, sale, purchase, transfer, or manufacture of powdered alcohol.
  • HB 15-1048 – Concerning Authority of the Commissioner of Insurance to Adopt Principle-Based Life Insurance Reserve Requirements for Life Insurance Policies, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. David Balmer. The bill enacts National Association of Insurance Commissioners model legislation that requires the insurance commissioner to adopt the NAIC Standard Valuation Model.
  • HB 15-1209 – Concerning the Highway Maintenance Division of the Department of Transportation, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. Ray Scott. The bill updates state law to reflect actual operations of the Department of Transportation, clarifies powers and duties of CDOT’s executive director and chief engineer, and clarifies that annual reports will be filed with the highway maintenance division.
  • HB 15-1150 – Concerning Annual Tier 2 Transfers from the Severance Tax Operational Fund to an Existing Special Account in the General Fund Established by the Mined Land Reclamation Board for the Purpose of Funding Reclamation of Lands that were Obligated to be Reclaimed Under Permits Upon Which Financial Warranties Have Been Forfeited, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill provides funding for the Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety to conduct reclamation projects at mine sites with insufficient or failed bonds.
  • SB 15-128 – Concerning Reports to Law Enforcement by Medical Facilities with the Consent of a Victim of Sexual Assault, by Sen. Morgan Carroll and Reps. Lois Landgraf and Dianne Primavera. The bill adds nurses to the list of medical personnel required to report sexual assaults to law enforcement. The bill also clarifies the types of reports required and allows a victim to speak anonymously to law enforcement.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Allowing Licensed Naturopaths to Treat Young Children, Prohibiting Microbeads in Cosmetics, Permitting Earphones While Driving, and More Signed

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed ten bills into law. To date, he has signed 78 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1012 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Dyed Diesel, by Rep. Jon Becker and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill expands the sales and use tax exemption for dyed diesel, which is only used for off-road vehicles.
  • HB 15-1055 – Concerning the Participation of People Who Are Not State Employees in the State Employee Assistance Program Established by the State Personnel Director, by Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill allows dependents of state employees to participate in the state’s employee assistance program as long as the dependent’s participation benefits the employee.
  • HB 15-1075 – Concerning the Authority for a Registered Naturopathic Doctor to Treat Children, by Rep. Joann Ginal and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill allows registered naturopathic doctors to treat children under the age of 2 if certain conditions are met.
  • HB 15-1117 – Concerning the Clarification of the Application of the “Uniform Electronic Transfers Act” to the Conduct of the Internal Affairs of Domestic Entities, by Rep. JoAnn Windholz and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill allows electronic signatures under the Colorado Corporations and Associations Act.
  • HB 15-1137 – Concerning Requests for Multiple Booking Photographs, by Rep. KC Becker and Sen. John Cooke. The bill allows a person requesting multiple booking photographs to sign one release per year for the photographs.
  • HB 15-1144 – Concerning the Prohibition of Synthetic Plastic Microbeads in Personal Care Products, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill prohibits the production, sale, manufacture, or promotion of personal care products containing microbeads. The bill phases in the prohibition between January 1, 2018 and January 1, 2020.
  • HB 15-1192 – Concerning the Ability of Specified Establishments Licensed to Serve Alcohol Beverages for On-Premises Consumption to Become Part of an Entertainment District Authorized by a Local Government, by Rep. KC Becker and Sen. Tim Neville. Senate Bill 11-273 allowed municipalities to create entertainment districts. This bill allows entertainment districts to obtain liquor licenses for specific purposes.
  • HB 15-1207 – Concerning the Use of Earphones While Driving, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill allows the use of earphones while driving, as long as only one ear is covered.
  • HB 15-1211 – Concerning License Requirements for Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill makes several changes to licensing requirements for durable medical equipment providers.
  • SB 15-055 – Concerning State Engineer Administration of Tailwater Ditches, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jon Becker. The bill allows a person using an irrigation ditch system to use a tailwater ditch to return water to a stream in variable amounts.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

e-Legislative Report: March 24, 2015

legislationCBA Legislative Policy Committee

For readers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions on requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

The following bill was discussed as the only action item taken up at the meeting on Friday, March 20. Other bills of interest from that agenda are tracked and updated below.

HB 15-1272—Timely Filed Claims Not Barred By Laches
Sponsors: Rep. Daneya Esgar (D) & Sen. Chris Holbert (R)
The LPC voted to oppose this bill because Laches is an important equitable defense. Colorado has a long history with the Doctrine of Laches and this bill upsets that balance. We understand the specific nature of the concern addressed in the bill, but the approach to a solution was overbroad. Therefore we voted to oppose HB 1272.

SB 15-069—Repeal Job Protection Civil Rights Enforcement Act
Sponsors: Sen. Laura Woods (R) & Rep. Kevin Priola (R)
The Legislative Policy Committee voted to oppose this bill to maintain a consistent position with the CBA’s position on previous legislation (HB13-1136 which the CBA supported). SB 69 would have reversed the effect of that bill.

HB 15-1292—Resentence Juveniles Life Sentence No Parole
Sponsors: Rep. Daniel Kagan (D)
The LPC voted to support the Juvenile Law Section’s recommendation to support this bill. There was a great deal of discussion. The bill allows for Juveniles who were previously convicted to petition for resentencing. The bill takes into consideration many factors for both victims and offenders.

Bills that the LPC is monitoring, watching or working on can be found at this link on Priority Bill Track.

At the Capitol—Week of March 16

This past week was a slower week for Bar priority bills. A number of bills we are watching and working on have not been scheduled for hearings or debate. We are constantly watching to ensure we are represented and up to date on bills the LPC has taken action on, and expect that this section will be more full after the “Long bill” (the state budget) is passed over the next two weeks.

HB 15-1142—Public Trustee Conduct Electronic Foreclosure Sale
We successfully amended this bill per the Real Estate Sections requirements, working in conjunction with the Denver Public Trustee and Representative McCann.

SB 15-077—Parents Bill of Rights
This bill was Postponed Indefinitely by the House Committee on Public Health Care and Human Services.

New Bills of Interest

The pace of new bill introductions is now slowing down, but there are a few new bills introduced still introduced through the remainder of the session. We will highlight some of the bills we have identified for tracking or monitoring here:

SB 15-200—Private Student Loan Disclosure Requirements
Sponsors: Sen. Andrew Kerr (D) & Sen. Nancy Todd (D)

The bill prohibits a private educational lender, as defined in the bill, from offering gifts to a covered educational institution, as defined in the bill, including public and private institutions of higher education, in exchange for any advantage or consideration related to loan activities or from engaging in revenue sharing. Further, the bill prohibits persons employed at covered educational institutions from receiving anything of value from private educational lenders. The bill makes it unlawful for a private educational lender to impose a fee or penalty on a borrower for early repayment or prepayment of a private education loan and requires a lender to disclose any agreements made with a card issuer or creditor for purposes of marketing a credit card. The bill requires private educational lenders to disclose information to a potential borrower or borrower both at the time of application for a private education loan and at the time of consummation of the loan.

The required disclosures are described in the bill and include, among other disclosures, the interest rate for the loan and adjustments to the rate, potential finance charges and penalties, payment options, an estimate of the total amount for repayment at the interest rate, the possibility of qualifying for federal loans, the terms and conditions of the loan, and that the borrower may cancel the loan, without penalty, within three business days after the date on which the loan is consummated.

SB 15-210—Title Insurance Commission
Sponsors: Sen. Laura Woods (R) & Rep. Jennifer Arndt (D)

The bill creates the title insurance commission (commission). The bill establishes the powers, duties, and functions of the commission and provides for the appointment of the members of the commission. With the exception of rate regulation and licensing, which will continue to be done by the insurance commissioner, the commission participates in the regulation of the title insurance business in Colorado by concurring in rules of the insurance commissioner, proposing rules for approval by the insurance commissioner, and reviewing and concurring in disciplinary actions related to the regulation of the title insurance business. The commission is scheduled to sunset Sept. 1, 2025, subject to continuation after a sunset review as provided by law.

Bill to Add Judge in 12th Judicial District and More Signed

On Friday, March 20, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed ten bills into law. To date, he has signed 68 bills into law. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1059 – Concerning the Board of Directors of the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, by Rep. Alec Garnett and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill adds two board members to the Denver Health and Hospital Authority board, removes outdated language, and dictates a new process for removing board members.
  • HB 15-1122 – Concerning Limiting Eligibility for Parole, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending Certain Provisions Concerning the Revocation of Parole for Certain Inmates, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. John Cooke. The bill aligns procedures for parole of offenders under the statute to current DOC practice.
  • HB 15-1029 – Concerning Coverage Under a Health Benefit Plan for Health Care Services Delivered Through Telehealth in Any Area of the State, by Reps. Perry Buck & Joann Ginal and Sens. John Kefalas & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires all health benefit plans in Colorado to provide telemedicine options when telemedicine is considered an equal standard of care.
  • HB 15-1034 – Concerning an Increase in the Number of District Court Judges in the Twelfth Judicial District, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill adds a district court judge in the Twelfth Judicial District.
  • HB 15-1032 – Concerning the Addition of Licensed Mental Health Professionals as Authorized Providers of Mental Health Services to Minors who are At Least Fifteen Years of Age, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill expands the definition of qualified mental health providers for involuntarily committed minors to include licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed addiction counselors.
  • HB 15-1078 – Concerning Immediate Reporting of Missing Children who are in the Custody of a State Agency to Law Enforcement for Inclusion in National Crime Databases, by Reps. Dan Nordberg & Beth McCann and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Laura Woods. The bill requires reporting of missing children to law enforcement within 24 hours of noticing the child is missing when the child is in the custody of county or state departments of human services.
  • HB 15-1174 – Concerning the Confidentiality of Personal Information for Participants in the Address Confidentiality Program and, in Connection Therewith, Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking, by Rep. Terri Carver and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill prevents the state from knowingly disclosing the address of a person in the address confidentiality program, including unique identifying information about his or her residential, work, or school address.
  • HB 15-1070 – Concerning Changes to the Crime Profits Distribution Statute, by Rep. John Buckner and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill makes several changes regarding the distribution of crime profits.
  • HB 15-1094 – Concerning Restorative Justice, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sens. John Cooke & Linda Newell. The bill makes several changes to the judicial department’s restorative justice programs, including adding members, allowing gifts to support restorative justice, and expanding eligibility to juveniles.
  • HB 15-1060 – Concerning Protection Orders in Sex Offense Cases, by Rep.  Millie Hamner and Sen. John Cooke. The bill requires a defendant in a sexual offense case to acknowledge any protection orders in court and in writing prior to release on bond.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Regarding Trustee Notification, Recorded Documents, and More Signed

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed nine bills into law. Governor Hickenlooper has now signed 58 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1010 – Concerning a Presumption that a Trustee has Notified a Beneficiary when the Trustee has Adopted a Beneficiary Notification Procedure, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying that a Trustee May Deliver Information to Beneficiaries Electronically, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Dan Nordberg and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill creates a presumption that a beneficiary of a trust has received notifications about the status of a trust when the trustee has notification procedures in place, and also allows electronic notifications for beneficiaries who elect electronic notifications.
  • HB 15-1022 – Concerning Juveniles Charged with Certain Minor Offenses, by Rep. Beth McCann and Sens. Pat Steadman & John Cooke. The bill allows police officers to issue petty offense tickets to juveniles if certain conditions are met.
  • HB 15-1028 – Concerning Repeal of the Mercantile Licensing Standards, by Rep. Jon Keyser and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill repeals licensing requirements for merchants because the requirements are not enforced.
  • HB 15-1062 – Concerning Increasing the Penalties for Persons who Engage in Animal Fighting, by Reps. Jovan Melton & Steve Lebsock and Sens. David Balmer & Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill requires mandatory fines for convictions for animal fighting.
  • HB 15-1064 – Concerning Access to the Safe Deposit Box of a Decedent, and, in Connection Therewith, Limiting the Obligations of Custodians who Access the Box, by Rep. Dan Nordberg and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill clarifies who has access to a decedent’s safe deposit box under the Colorado Probate Code and and clarifies that the custodian is not deemed to have knowledge about the contents of the box.
  • HB 15-1069 – Concerning Information Required to be Included in Recorded Written Instruments Filed with the County Clerk and Recorder to Claim a Homestead Exemption, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill adds a requirement that a property owner’s name be included on a homestead exemption document.
  • HB 15-1071 – Concerning Clarification that, Following a Merger of Entities, the Surviving Entity is Entitled to Control the Premerger Attorney-Client Privileges of a Constituent Entity, by Rep. Jon Keyser and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill specifies that a corporation that merges with another entity inherits the attorney-client privilege from the other entity.
  • SB 15-057 – Concerning the Reporting Requirements of the Colorado Clean Claims Task Force, by Sen. David Balmer and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill changes the reporting requirements for the Colorado Medical Clean Claims Task Force so that the reports will go to the Commissioner of Insurance and the business committee of the General Assembly.
  • SB 15-142 – Concerning a Change in State Law to Make Requirements for Moneys Held in Escrow for the Payment of Ad Valorem Property Taxes the Same as the Requirements of the Federal “Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974″, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill conforms state law to the requirements of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, specifically repealing May 30 date for final settlement and changing the provision to reference RESPA.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Rule of 7, Wind Energy Development, Government Audit, and More Bills Signed by Governor

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 25 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 49 bills into law during this 2015 legislative session. Some of the bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1021 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days, by Rep. Yeulin Willett and Sen. Michael Merrifield. The bill continues amending the Colorado Revised Statutes to conform statutorily prescribed time periods to the Rule of 7.
  • HB 15-1023 – Concerning the Age Limitation for Persons Served in a Day Treatment Center, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill changes the age limits for people served by day treatment behavioral health programs to 3 to 21 (previously, the age limits were 5 to 18).
  • HB 15-1039 – Concerning the Donation of Prescription Medications by Licensed Health Care Facilities, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. Tim Neville. The bill allows licensed facilities to donate unused medications to other licensed facilities and removes the requirement that the expiration date be more than six months after the donation date.
  • HB 15-1121 – Concerning Agreements Between Landowners and Wind Energy Developers, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying the Rights and Duties of Parties to those Agreements and the Effects of Recording an Agreement in County Land Records, by Rep. Jon Becker and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill requires wind energy agreements to be recorded in order to be binding on the parties, defines the wind energy developer of record, and imposes time limits for performing wind energy development.
  • SB 15-010 – Concerning Augmentation Requirements for Wells Withdrawing Water from the Dawson Aquifer, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush. The bill repeals a requirement that would have been effective July 1, 2015 requiring calculations based on actual depletions and instead continues the current practice of replacing out-of-priority depletions.
  • SB 15-024 – Concerning Updates to the Local Government Audit Law to Maintain Consistency with Audit Standards, by Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Cheri Jahn and Rep. Su Ryden. The bill increases the annual fiscal audit exemption amount from $500,000 to $750,000 and updates certain terminology.
  • SB 15-025, -026, -027, and -028 – Establish statutory requirements for statewide Fire and Police Pension Association Plans.
  • SB 15-082 – Concerning the Authority of Counties to Establish a County Workforce Development Program, by Sens. Vicki Marble & Mary Hodge and Reps. Dominick Moreno & Polly Lawrence. The bill allows counties to establish workforce programs to provide grants to high school graduates who pursue higher education.

Several bills were also signed regarding supplemental appropriations and transfers from the General Fund to various programs. For a complete list of legislation signed by Governor Hickenlooper on March 13, 2015, click here. For a list of all of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

e-Legislative Report: March 11, 2015

legislationWelcome to the “halftime” report for the 2015 Session of the Colorado Legislature. There are 120 days in each legislative session and this past Saturday marked day 60 of the current year. I wanted to use this eLeg report as an opportunity to let you know where things stood with the bills that have been considered by the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC).

We welcome your feedback. We welcome your questions. Or just drop me a line on how we are doing or raise an issue on a piece of legislation. Contact me at jschupbach@cobar.org.

HB 15-1011 – Restrict Revealing How Person Votes
Sponsor: Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D)
CBA Positon: Support
For elections conducted under the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”, current law, which applies to any person, makes disclosing how or for whom an elector has voted a misdemeanor. The bill narrows this provision to those persons who, in the course of performing any elections-related duty or function, obtain any knowledge as to how a person has voted. Additionally, both the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” and the “Municipal Election Code” prohibit a voter from showing to anyone else his or her ballot in such way as to reveal its contents. The bill repeals this provision.
Status: (01/28/2015) House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1022 – Juvenile Petty Offense Contracts
Sponsors: Sen. John Cooke (R), Sen. Patrick Steadman (D) & Rep. Elizabeth H. McCann (D)
CBA Position: Support
For a juvenile 10 years of age or older alleged to have committed a petty offense, the bill allows a peace officer to issue a petty ticket requiring the juvenile to appear before a law enforcement officer, an assessment officer, or a screening team (screening entity). If the screening entity finds certain conditions have been met, the screening entity shall offer a petty offense contract to the juvenile and his or her parent or legal guardian. If the juvenile satisfies the conditions of the contract, the prosecuting attorney shall not file charges with the court.
Status: (03/09/2015) Sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper

HB 15-1025 – Competency To Proceed Juvenile Justice System
Sponsors: Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D) & Sen. Linda Newell (D)
CBA Position: Support
Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems. The bill establishes a juvenile-specific definition of “incompetent to proceed” for juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as specific definitions for “developmental disability”, “intellectual disability”, “mental capacity”, and “mental disability” when used in this context. The bill clarifies the procedures for establishing incompetency, as well as for establishing the restoration of competency.
Status: (02/26/2015) House Committee on Judiciary: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1034 – Add Judge In Twelfth Judicial District
Sponsors: Rep. Edward Vigil (D) & Sen. Larry Crowder (R)
CBA Position: Support
Effective July 1, 2015, the bill increases the number of district court judges in the twelfth judicial district from 3 to 4.
Status: (03/06/2015) Senate Third Reading Passed—No Amendments

HB 15-1041 – Protect Human Life at Conception
Sponsors: Rep. Stephen A. Humphrey (R)*, Rep. Kim Ransom (R) & Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R)
CBA Position: Oppose (if Necessary)
The bill prohibits abortion and makes a violation a class 3 felony. The following are exceptions to the prohibition: A licensed physician performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother, if the physician makes reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice; and A licensed physician provides medical treatment to the mother that results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child. The pregnant mother upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted is not subject to a criminal penalty. The sale and use of contraception is not prohibited by the bill. A conviction related to the abortion prohibition constitutes unprofessional conduct for purposes of physician licensing.
Status: (02/26/2015) House Committee on Judiciary: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1053 – Ages For Compulsory Education
Sponsor: Rep. Kim Ransom (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
Under current law, a child who is at least 6 years of age and under 17 years of age must attend school. The bill changes the ages of compulsory education to at least 7 years of age and under 16 years of age.
Status: (01/26/2015) House Committee on Education: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1069 – Homestead Exemption Recorded Instrument Requirements
Sponsors: Rep. Su Ryden (D) & Sen. Chris Holbert (R)
CBA Position: Support
Colorado law requires that a document claiming a homestead exemption only include a legal description of the real property and not the name of the owner of the property. The indexing system for real property ownership in the land records of Colorado is based on the names of the grantor and grantee of real property. The bill adds a requirement that the name of the owner of real property be included in a recorded document claiming a homestead exemption.
Status: (03/09/2015) Sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper

HB 15-1071 – Surviving Entity Owns Attorney-client Privilege
Sponsors: Rep. Jon Keyser (R) & Sen. Owen Hill (R)
CBA Position: Support
Existing law specifies that when entities merge, all of the privileges of each of the merging entities vest as a matter of law in the surviving entity. The bill clarifies that the attorney-client privilege is among the privileges that vest in the surviving entity.
Status: (03/09/2015) Sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper

HB 15-1091 – Policies On Juvenile Shackling In Court
Sponsors: Rep. Susan Lontine (D) & Sen. Michael Merrifield (D)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill requires each judicial district to develop and implement a policy regarding juvenile shackling by Dec. 31, 2015. The policy must be developed with input from the judicial department, law enforcement agencies, public defenders’ offices, and district attorneys’ offices and must consider research, legal precedent, and recognized best practices regarding shackling juveniles. The state court administrator shall report to the house and senate judiciary committees, or to any successor committees, by Jan. 31, 2016, regarding the policies developed by each judicial district.
Status: (02/25/2015) House Third Reading Passed—No Amendments

HB 15-1101 – Public Defender ADC Records Open Records
Sponsors: Rep. Rhonda Fields (D), Rep. Polly Lawrence (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
Current law exempts the judicial department from the Colorado open records act (act). The bill makes the records of the state public defender and office of alternate defense counsel in the judicial department subject to the act, except for records that are privileged attorney–client records.
Status: (02/12/2015) House Committee on Judiciary: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1121 – Wind Energy Generation
Sponsors: Rep. Jon Becker (R) & Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R)
CBA Position: Support
Current law declares that the right to wind energy is a property right appurtenant to the surface estate and governs the creation of agreements between an owner of surface rights and a wind energy developer. The bill amends and adds relevant definitions, including the definition of a wind energy developer of record, which is the wind energy developer named in an agreement that is recorded in county land records. The bill also specifies that:

  • Like other agreements affecting the title to real property, until a wind energy agreement is recorded, it is not binding on anyone other than the parties and those with notice of the agreement.
  • Rights under a recorded wind energy agreement executed on or after July 1, 2012, expire after 15 years unless the agreement provides otherwise or unless wind-powered energy generation has occurred on the subject property.
  • Once a wind energy developer has determined to begin construction of generating facilities under a wind energy agreement, the developer may record an affidavit stating when construction will begin. If no affidavit is recorded, the developer’s rights will expire after 15 years unless the agreement provides otherwise.
  • A wind energy agreement, as well as any release due to the termination or expiration of rights under the agreement, must be recorded in both the grantor and grantee indices and under the names of all parties. If a recorded wind energy agreement expires or is terminated, the wind energy developer of record is required to record a release. If the developer fails to do so within a specified period, the developer and any transferee of the developer’s rights under the agreement are jointly and severally liable for any damages to the surface owner that result from the failure to record the release.

Status: (03/05/2015) Sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper

HB 15-1135 – Terminally Ill Individuals End-of-life Decisions
Sponsors: Rep. Lois Court (D), Rep. Joann Ginal (D) & Sen. Lucia Guzman (D)
CBA Position: No Position
The bill enacts the “Colorado Death with Dignity Act” (act), which authorizes an individual with a terminal illness to request, and the individual’s attending physician to prescribe to the individual for self-administration by ingestion, life-ending medication intended to hasten the individual’s death. The individual must: Be a Colorado resident; Be an adult who is able to make and communicate health care decisions; Have a terminal illness; and Voluntarily request life-ending medication to self-administer by ingestion. The act outlines the manner by which a terminally ill individual must request life-ending medication to self-administer by ingestion, which includes: A requirement to make the request orally on 2 separate occasions and by a written, signed, and witness-verified request; A waiting period between the oral requests, the written request, and the time the attending physician may write the prescription; and The individual’s right to rescind the request at any time and in any manner. Any person who participates in the life-ending process, including a physician who prescribes life-ending medication to an individual with a terminal illness, is protected from civil and criminal liability and professional disciplinary action if the physician or other person acts in good-faith compliance with the requirements of the act. The attending physician is required to: Determine that an individual is suffering from a terminal illness, is capable, is making the request voluntarily, and is a Colorado resident; Inform the individual of his or her medical diagnosis and prognosis, the potential risks and probable result of taking the medication, and feasible alternatives; Refer the individual to a consulting physician for medical confirmation of the diagnosis, prognosis, and a determination that the patient is capable and is acting voluntarily; Refer the individual for counseling, if appropriate; Inform the individual of his or her right to rescind the request for life-ending medication at any time; and Document in the individual’s medical record the procedures followed and related facts. The bill requires the physician to either dispense the medication directly to the patient or, with the patient’s consent, contact a pharmacist about the prescription and personally deliver, mail, or electronically transmit the prescription to the pharmacist, who can dispense the medication to the patient, the patient’s expressly identified agent, or the physician. A health care provider cannot discipline a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider for actions taken in good-faith compliance with the act or for refusing to act; however, a provider that has a policy prohibiting other health care providers from participating under the act while on the provider’s premises and that notifies providers of that policy may sanction a provider who violates the policy. A person who is present when a terminally ill individual self-administers by ingestion life-ending medication is not subject to criminal or civil liability for failing to prevent the patient from self-administering the medication. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, or other health care providers have no duty to participate in providing life-ending medication to a terminally ill individual. The bill specifies that life, health, or accident insurance or annuity policies cannot be affected by a terminally ill individual’s request for or ingestion of medication to end his or her life. The act does not authorize a health care provider to end an individual’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing, or active euthanasia and clarifies that a health care provider does not engage in those prohibited activities when he or she participates under the act to assist a terminally ill individual in obtaining life-ending medication. A person commits a class 2 felony if he or she: Without the permission of the terminally ill individual, willfully alters or forges a request for life-ending medication or conceals or destroys a rescission of the request; or Coerces or exerts undue influence on a terminally ill individual to request life-ending medication or to destroy a rescission of the request.
Status: (02/06/2015) House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1142 – Public Trustee Conduct Electronic Foreclosure Sale
Sponsors: Rep. Beth McCann (D) & Sen. Lucia Guzman (D)
CBA Position: Support (if Amended)
The bill authorizes the public trustee of a county to conduct foreclosure sales through the internet or another electronic means, and allows for the collection of a specific fee for sales that are conducted electronically. The trustee shall publish information related to such sales electronically as well as through traditional means such as posting a physical document.
Status: (02/24/2015) House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor Refer Amended to Finance

HB 15-1161 – Public Accommodation First Amendment Rights
Sponsors: Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill specifies that neither the civil rights division, the civil rights commission, nor a court with jurisdiction to hear civil actions brought under the public accommodations laws may compel involuntary speech or acts of involuntary artistic expression or involuntary religious expression by a person when such speech or acts of artistic or religious expression would lead to that person directly or indirectly participating in, directly or indirectly supporting, or endorsing or impliedly endorsing an ideology, ceremony, creed, behavior, or practice with which the person does not agree.
Status: (03/09/2015) House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1171 – State Freedom Of Conscience Protection Act
Sponsors: Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R), Rep. Patrick Neville (R) & Sen. Tim Neville (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill: Specifies that no state action may burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to a person’s exercise of religion is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest; Provides a claim or defense to a person whose exercise of religion is burdened by state action; and Specifies that nothing in the bill creates any rights by an employee against an employer unless the employer is a government employer.
Status: (03/09/2015) House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs: Postpone Indefinitely

HB 15-1174 – Information Protections Domestic Violence Victims
Sponsors: Rep. Terri Carver (R) & Sen. Laura Woods (R)
CBA Position: Amend
The bill extends the protections related to confidentiality of personal information on the internet that are currently in place for law enforcement officials and their immediate family to participants in the address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (participants). The bill clarifies the term “actual address” to include any unique identifying information related to a participant’s residential, work, or school address. Private business entities are encouraged to accept a participant’s substitute address. Disclosure of unique identifying information of a participant in criminal and civil proceedings is limited to those circumstances where the potential harm to the participant is substantially outweighed by the public interest in the disclosure and when no other alternative would satisfy the necessity for disclosure.
Status: (03/06/2015) Senate Third Reading Passed—No Amendments

HB 15-1189 – Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets
Sponsors: Rep. Jonathan Keyser (R) & Sen. Patrick Steadman (D)
CBA Position: No Position
Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws. The bill enacts the “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act”, as amended, as Colorado law. The bill sets forth the conditions under which certain fiduciaries may access:

  • The content of an electronic communication of a principal or decedent;
  • A catalog of electronic communications sent or received by a decedent or principal; and
  • Any other digital asset in which a principal has a right or interest or in which a decedent had a right or interest at death. As to tangible personal property capable of receiving, storing, processing, or sending a digital asset, a fiduciary with authority over the property of a decedent, protected person, principal, or settlor may access the property and any digital asset stored in it and is an authorized user for purposes of computer fraud and unauthorized computer access laws. “Fiduciary” means a personal representative, a conservator, an agent, or a trustee. A custodian and its officers, employees, and agents are immune from liability for an act or omission done in good-faith compliance with the provisions of the bill.

Status: (02/19/2015) House Committee on Judiciary Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

HB15-1216 Basis For Expert Opinion Testimony
Sponsors: Rep. Kevin Priola (R) & Sen. John Cooke (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill prohibits a person from testifying concerning the person’s expert opinion unless certain conditions are met.
Status: (02/10/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to Judiciary

HB 15-1246 – Crowdfund Intrastate Securities On-line
Sponsors: Rep. Pete Lee (D), Rep. Dan Pabon (D)*
CBA Position: Support
Current securities law restricts businesses’ ability to raise capital through crowdfunding, which is the raising of money on-line through small contributions from a large number of investors. The bill enacts the “Colorado Crowdfunding Act” to facilitate crowdfunding by authorizing on-line intermediaries to match a Colorado investor with a Colorado business that wishes to sell securities (an “issuer”) pursuant to a simplified regulatory regime, including the following:
During any 12-month period:

  • The aggregate amount sold to any single investor cannot exceed $5,000 unless the investor is an “accredited investor” as defined by the federal securities and exchange commission; and
  • The sum of all consideration paid for an issuer’s securities cannot exceed $1 million unless the issuer submits audited financial statements to the securities commissioner, in which case the cap is $2 million;

Issuers must:

  • Inform investors, in plain, nontechnical language, that the securities have not been registered pursuant to federal or state securities law and that the securities are subject to limitations on resale, and the investor must acknowledge the risks associated with the purchase; and
  • Provide a free quarterly report to investors that includes an analysis of the business operations and financial condition of the issuer and compensation to officers and directors, which report can simply be posted on the on-line intermediary’s web site;

On-line intermediaries cannot offer investment advice or handle investor funds or securities, and must:

  • Maintain records of securities transactions, which are subject to inspection by the division of securities; and Be compensated only by a fixed amount for each offering, a variable amount based on the length of time that the securities are offered by the on-line intermediary, or a combination of the fixed and variable amounts. Crowdfunding cannot begin until the securities commissioner adopts rules to implement the Act.

Status: (02/24/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to Business Affairs and Labor

HB 15-1253 – Uniform Voidable Transactions Act
Sponsors: Rep. Pete Lee (D)
CBA Position: Oppose
Uniform Law Commission approved a set of amendments to the “Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act” (act). The amendments changed the title of the act to the “Uniform Voidable Transactions Act”. The amendment project was instituted to address a small number of narrowly defined issues and was not a comprehensive revision. The principal features of the amendments are:
Choice of law. The amendments add a new provision that sets forth a choice of law rule applicable to claims for relief of the nature governed by the act.
Evidentiary matters. New provisions add uniform rules allocating the burden of proof and defining the standard of proof with respect to claims for relief and defenses under the act.
Deletion of the special definition of “insolvency” for partnerships. The act as originally written set forth a special definition of “insolvency” applicable to partnerships. The amendments delete the original language, with the result that the general definition of insolvency now applies to partnerships. One reason for this change is that the original provision gave a partnership full credit for the net worth of each of its general partners. That makes sense only if each general partner is liable for all debts of the partnership, but such is not necessarily the case under modern partnership statutes. A more fundamental reason is that the general definition of insolvency does not credit a nonpartnership debtor with any part of the net worth of its guarantors. To the extent that a general partner is liable for the debts of the partnership, that liability is analogous to that of a guarantor. There is no good reason to define insolvency differently for a partnership debtor than for a nonpartnership debtor whose debts are guaranteed by contract. Defenses. The amendments refine in relatively minor respects several provisions relating to defenses available to a transferee or obligee, as follows:
As originally written, the act created a complete defense to an action for a fraudulent transfer (which renders voidable a transfer made or obligation incurred with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor) if the transferee or obligee takes in good faith and for a reasonably equivalent value. The amendments add to the act the further requirement that the reasonably equivalent value must be given to the debtor.
The act created, in a provision derived from the federal “Bankruptcy Code”, a defense for a subsequent transferee (that is, a transferee other than the first transferee) that takes in good faith and for value, and for any subsequent good-faith transferee from a person. The amendments clarify the meaning of the defense by rewording it to follow more closely the wording of the federal “Bankruptcy Code”, which is substantially unchanged as of 2014. Among other things, the amendments make clear that the defense applies to recovery of or from the transferred property or its proceeds, by levy or otherwise, as well as to an action for a money judgment. The act as originally written created a defense to an action for a fraudulent transfer or to avoid a transfer if the transfer results from enforcement of a security interest in compliance with the secured transactions provisions of the “Uniform Commercial Code”. The amendments exclude from that defense acceptance of collateral in full or partial satisfaction of the obligation it secures (a remedy sometimes referred to as “strict foreclosure”). Series organizations. A new provision of the act provides that each “protected series” of a “series organization” is to be treated as a person for purposes of the act, even if it is not treated as a person for other purposes. This change responds to the emergence of the series organization as a significant form of business organization. Medium neutrality. In order to accommodate modern technology, the references in the act to a “writing” have been replaced with “record” and related changes made. Style. The amendments make a number of stylistic changes that are not intended to change the meaning of the act. For example, the amended act consistently uses the word “voidable” to denote a transfer or obligation for which the act provides a remedy. As originally written, the act sometimes inconsistently used the word “fraudulent”. No change in meaning is intended. Likewise, the retitling of the act is not intended to change its meaning.
Status: (03/02/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to Business Affairs and Labor

SB 15-016 – Marriages By Individuals In Civil Union
Sponsors: Sen. Patrick Steadman (D)
CBA Position: Support
The bill addresses issues that have arisen in Colorado regarding marriages by individuals who are in a civil union or who will enter into a civil union after recent court decisions have declared same-sex marriage bans, such as section 31 of article II of the state constitution, unconstitutional. The bill amends the statute on prohibited marriages to disallow a marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier civil union of one of the parties, except a currently valid civil union between the same 2 parties. The executive director of the department of public health and environment is directed to revise the marriage license application to include questions regarding prior civil unions. The bill states that the “Colorado Civil Union Act” (act) does not affect a marriage legally entered into in another jurisdiction between 2 individuals who are the same sex. The construction statute for the act is amended to clarify that it must not be construed to create a marriage, including a common law marriage, between the parties to a civil union. Two parties who have entered into a civil union may subsequently enter into a legally recognized marriage with each other by obtaining a marriage license from a county clerk and recorder in this state and by having the marriage solemnized and registered as a marriage with a county clerk and recorder. The bill states that the effect of marrying in that circumstance is to merge the civil union into a marriage by operation of law. A separate dissolution of a civil union is not required when a civil union is merged into a marriage by operation of law. If one or both of the parties to the marriage subsequently desire to dissolve the marriage, legally separate, or have the marriage declared invalid, one or both of the parties must file proceedings in accordance with the procedures specified in the “Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act”. Any dissolution, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of the marriage must be in accordance with the “Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act”. If a civil union is merged into marriage by operation of law, any calculation of the duration of the marriage includes the time period during which the parties were in a civil union. The criminal statute on bigamy is amended, effective July 1, 2015, to include a person who, while married, marries, enters into a civil union, or cohabits in this state with another person and to include a person who, while still legally in a civil union, marries, enters into a civil union, or cohabits in this state with another person.
Status: (01/21/2015) Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs: Postpone Indefinitely

SB 15-031 – Reciprocity To Practice Occupation Or Profession
Sponsors: Sen. Owen Hill (R)*
CBA Position: Oppose
Current law allows a military spouse to practice an occupation or profession during the person’s first year of residence in Colorado if the person is authorized to practice in another state, there is no basis to disqualify the person from practice, and the person consents to the jurisdiction of the disciplinary authority of the appropriate agency. The bill expands this practice to all persons during their first year of residence in Colorado.
Status: (01/28/2015) Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology: Postpone Indefinitely

SB 15-042 – Mandatory Reports Of Animal Abuse
Sponsors: Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) & Rep. Jon Becker (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill specifies persons who are required to report abandonment, mistreatment, or neglect of an animal to the owner or law enforcement. It creates a class 3 misdemeanor for such a person who: Fails to report abandonment, mistreatment, or neglect of an animal within 48 hours after seeing the incident; or Knowingly files a false report of abandonment, mistreatment, or neglect of an animal.
Status: (02/09/2015) Senate Committee on Judiciary: Postpone Indefinitely

SB 15-049 – Real Estate Title Vests Once the Entity is Formed
Sponsors: Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik (R) & Rep. Jonathan Keyser (R)
CBA Position: Support
Current law specifies that when a grantee of a deed is a corporation whose incorporation papers have not yet been filed, title to the real estate vests in the corporation once the papers are filed. The bill expands this law to apply to all entities, specifying that title vests once the entity is formed.
Status: (03/09/2015) House Third Reading Passed—No Amendments

SB 15-059 – Concerning the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Limited Circumstances
Sponsors: Sen. Newell, Sen. Lundberg, Sen. Guzman, Sen. Lambert
CBA Position: Amend
The bill permits law enforcement to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under the following circumstances:

  • When it receives a search warrant authorizing the use prior to the use;
  • When it is needed to prevent imminent harm to life or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence; and
  • When there is a high risk of a terrorist attack determined by the department of homeland security. A law enforcement agency must receive federal aviation administration authority prior to using a UAV, and the UAV may not exceed 25 pounds. The bill creates parameters for individual, recreational, civil, and industrial use of UAVs.

Status: (02/25/2015) Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely

SB 15-060 – Preventing Multiple Voter Registrations
Sponsors: Sen. Chris Holbert (R) & Rep. Justin Everett (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
In an effort to eliminate multiple voter registrations by the same elector, the bill permits the secretary of state to forward any information obtained from the division of motor vehicles in the department of revenue to the appropriate county clerk and recorder who shall then update an elector’s voter registration record in the master list of registered electors.
Status: (02/10/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs

SB 15-077 – Parents’ Bill of Rights
Sponsors: Sen. Tim Neville (R) & Rep. Patrick Neville (R)
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill establishes a parent’s bill of rights that sets forth specific parental rights related to education, health care, and mental health care of minor children.
Status: (02/17/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services

SB 15-087 – Foster Care & Kin Care Placement Background Checks
Sponsors: Sen Linda M. Newell (D) & Jonathan Singer (D)
CBA Position: Support (if Amended)
The bill reorganizes statutes regarding the regulation of foster care homes, kinship foster care homes, and noncertified kinship care to clarify the responsibilities for background checks between the state department of human services (state department) and county departments of human or social services (county departments) and licensed child placement agencies. The bill defines “kin”, “kinship foster care home”, “noncertified kinship care”, and “informal kinship care”. “Kin” is a relative or a person who has a family-like relationship or significant relationship with a child. A “kinship foster care home” is a foster care home certified by a county department or licensed child placement agency where the foster care is provided by kin and the kin is eligible for foster care reimbursement. “Noncertified kinship care” is where care of the child is provided by a relative or kin who has not met the foster care certification requirements for a kinship foster care home or has chosen not to pursue certification and the relative or kin is not eligible for foster care reimbursement but may apply for temporary aid to needy families. “Informal kinship care” is an arrangement made within the family or with friends to care for a child in cases that do not involve child welfare services or foster care. The bill revises the definition of “foster care” to clarify that it includes a kinship foster care home and does not include informal kinship care or noncertified kinship care. The bill revises the definition of “county department” to reflect that county departments are referred to as county departments of human or social services. The bill repeals the definition of salaried foster parent related to a pilot program repealed in 2009. A county department or child placement agency shall not certify or recertify a foster care home until a thorough background check is performed on the applicant or any person residing with the applicant to determine whether he or she has been convicted of certain specified crimes, is a registered sex offender in the state’s sex offender registry, has been identified as having been directly involved in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect through a check of the automated TRAILS system, or has been determined by a court to be insane or mentally incompetent. While some of these requirements are in existing law, the bill consolidates the requirements into one place. The requirement to check the applicant and any person residing with the applicant against the state’s sex offender registry is a new requirement. The bill requires that the background checks be performed for any adult residing in the foster care home, not just those who reside in the home and are acting as a caregiver for the child. The bill requires that the county department or child placement agency perform and document that the following 5 types of background checks have been performed of the applicant or any adult residing in the foster care home prior to placing a child in a foster care home: A fingerprint-based criminal history record check with the CBI; A fingerprint-based criminal history record check with the FBI; A comparison check of the criminal history record on the ICON system at the state judicial department or any other source; A check that the individual is not a registered sex offender on the state’s sex offender registry; and A check through the TRAILS system that the individual has not been found to have been directly involved in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect. The bill requires the county department to perform the same 5 types of background checks that are required for a certification for a foster care home prior to placing a child in a home with a relative or kin in noncertified kinship care. This requirement does not apply to informal kinship care, which does not involve child welfare services or foster care. The state board of human services (state board) shall adopt rules governing the background checks and documentation for foster care homes and for persons providing noncertified kinship care and concerning what the county department or child placement agency must do if the background checks expose a negative history. The rules must also specify sanctions that the state department may place upon a county department or child placement agency that fails to perform or document background checks for foster care homes or for persons providing noncertified kinship care. The bill locates the rule-making provisions relating to foster care homes in one place. The rules do not apply to informal kinship care. Under current law, when a child is taken into temporary custody by a local law enforcement agency and placed in an emergency placement with a relative, a county department may elect to collaborate with the local law enforcement agency to conduct an initial criminal history record check prior to placing the child in temporary custody followed by a requirement that the relative self-report to a local law enforcement agency within a certain number of days for a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. The bill amends this provision to mandate that the county department must request that the local law enforcement agency perform the initial criminal history record check prior to placing the child in temporary custody with the relative and perform a fingerprint-based criminal history record check to determine if the child may remain in that placement. The bill imposes a requirement upon the county department to confirm within 15 days that the relative has self-reported to a law enforcement agency to obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history record check and, if the relative is found to have committed certain crimes, the county department or law enforcement agency must remove the child from the relative’s care. The bill requires the county department to conduct other background checks of the relative and any person residing with the relative and to remove the child from the relative’s care if any negative history is found from those checks. The bill directs the court to inquire whether there is documentation that a foster care provider or family member who is seeking to care for a child and any person residing with the foster care provider or family member have had the required 5 types of background checks when a child is in out-of-home placement and the court is placing a child in the legal custody of a family member or, after termination of the parent-child legal relationship, when the court is placing the child in the legal custody of a county department for placement in a foster care home, or when a family member requests that a child be placed with the family member.
Status: (03/03/2015) Introduced In House—Assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services

SB 15-129 – Preserving Parent-child Relationships
Sponsor: Sen. Kevin Lundberg
CBA Position: Oppose
The bill amends provisions relating to best interests of a child in domestic relations actions and certain other actions in the juvenile code. With respect to such actions, the bill: Amends the legislative declaration to emphasize the fundamental liberty interest of both parents and children in maintaining the parent-child relationship; With respect to temporaryorders hearings, if there has been a temporary or permanent protection order entered against one or both parties either prior to or in conjunction with the domestic relations action, requires the court to grant an expedited hearing at the request of either party for purposes of modifying provisions in the protection order relating to parenting time, communication, and access to a child. The court shall order substantially equal parenting time and access to the child unless it finds that such orders are clearly not in the child’s best interest. The court shall also enter any orders necessary for the safety of the protected party relating to the restrained party’s parenting time with the child. Changes the nature of an investigation by a court-appointed child and family investigator (CFI) from evaluation and recommendations to investigation and fact-finding. CFIs will conduct an objective investigation of issues as specifically directed by the court and will provide written factual findings to the court that are supported by credible evidence. A CFI’s report will not make recommendations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities but will provide the court with the factual findings the court deems necessary to make such determinations. Amends language in the legislative declaration regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities relating to the best interests of the child. Also, the bill requires the court to allocate substantially equal parenting time unless the court finds that doing so would endanger a child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development. In addition, the court shall award mutual decision-making responsibilities with respect to the child unless the court finds that such an order is clearly not in the child’s best interest. For purposes of temporary orders in a domestic relations action, requires the court to award substantially equal parenting time to the parties unless the court finds that doing so would endanger a child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development. In addition, the court shall order mutual decision-making responsibilities unless mutual decision-making is clearly not in the child’s best interest. Changes the nature of an evaluation by a court-appointed parental responsibilities evaluator to an investigation by a mental health professional. The mental health investigation is limited to mental health diagnoses, assessments of relevant addictions, or other mental health-related issues that are relevant to the court’s allocation of parental responsibilities for the child. The investigator’s report shall contain findings of fact but shall not contain conclusions or recommendations relating to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. Clarifies that the 2-year restriction on filing motions that request a substantial change in parenting time and that also change the party with whom the child resides the majority of the time do not apply to moderate changes to parenting time when the existing parenting time order awarded substantially equal parenting time to the parties; and Amends the provisions relating to modification of decision-making responsibility for a child from requiring the court to retain the prior decision-maker unless certain criteria are met to permitting the court to change the decision-maker after considering certain criteria, including whether an award of mutual decision-making responsibilities is now in the child’s best interest.
Status: (02/11/2015) Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB 15-174 – Uniform Substitute Decision Making Documents Act
Sponsors: Sen. Patrick Steadman (D)
CBA Position: Oppose
Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws. The bill adopts, with amendments, the “Uniform Substitute Decision-making Documents Act” as Colorado law. The bill establishes the circumstances under which a substitute decision-making document (document) executed outside this state is valid in this state. A person may assume in good faith that a document is genuine, valid, and still in effect and that the decision-maker’s authority is genuine, valid, and still in effect. A person who is asked to accept a document shall do so within a reasonable amount of time. The person may not require an additional or different form of document for authority granted in the document presented. A person who refuses to accept a substitute document is subject to: A court order mandating acceptance of the document; and Liability for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in an action or proceeding that mandates acceptance of the document. A person is not required to accept a substitute document under certain described conditions.
Status: (02/24/2015) Senate Committee on Judiciary: Postpone Indefinitely

Bills Regarding Volunteer Fire Department, Military Relief Fund, and Supplemental Appropriations Signed

On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 21 bills. To date, the governor has signed 24 bills this legislative session. Most of the bills signed Wednesday were supplemental appropriations bills. These included supplemental appropriations for the departments of agriculture, corrections, education, law, health care policy and financing, human services, local affairs, natural resources, public health, regulatory agencies, state, and transportation, as well as the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor.

The two non-appropriations bills signed are as follows:

  • HB 15-1017Concerning Nongovernmental Volunteer Fire Departments in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the “Volunteer Fire Department Organization Act,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Perry Buck and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill establishes the “Volunteer Fire Department Organization Act” to regulate volunteer fire departments. 
  • HB 15-1052Concerning Eligibility to Receive a Grant from the Military Family Relief Fund, by Reps. Terri Carver & Jovan Melton and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill makes slight amendments to the statutes regarding military family relief grants.

For the complete list of bills signed on March 11, 2015, click here. For all of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs First Bills of 2015 Legislative Session

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed three bills into law. These three bills are the first bills of the 2015 legislative session to be approved by the governor. The three bills are

  • HJR 15-1006Concerning Approval of Water Project Revolving Fund Eligibility Lists Administered by the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. By Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The joint resolution adopts additions to the Drinking Project Eligibility List.
  • SB 15-035Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2014 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado. By Sen. Michael Johnston and Rep. Elena Kagan. The bill enacts the 2014 Colorado Revised Statutes.
  • SB 15-098Concerning the Codification of Certain Phrases Previously Included in Appropriation Clauses. By Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill attempts to omit superfluous language in appropriation clauses by codifying language.

Stay tuned for more information about Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions.