May 25, 2016

Bills Regarding Provision of Social Workers for Juveniles, Annual Reports for Public Benefit Corporations, and More Signed

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign legislation that cleared both houses this 2014 Legislative Session. He signed bills on Wednesday, May 14, 2014; Thursday, May 15; Friday, May 16; and Saturday, May 17. To date, he has signed 248 bills and vetoed two. Some of the bills signed each day last week are summarized here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • SB 14-164Concerning Aerial Firefighting Efforts Through the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing Recommendations Made by the Division Regarding the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps, by Sens. Morgan Carroll & Steve King and Reps. Bob Gardner & Mike McLachlan. The bill directs the Division of Fire Prevention to maximize its aerial firefighting capabilities.
  • HB 14-1010 – Concerning Corrections to Statutory Provisions Relating to the Prescribed Burning Program Administered by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. George Rivera. The bill renames “prescribed burn manager” as “certified burner” and removes persons with this credential from the list of persons who may attend a prescribed burn in a supervisory role.
  • HB 14-1023 – Concerning the Provision of Social Workers to Juveniles, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill allows
    the Office of the State Public Defender to hire social workers to assist in juvenile defense cases, and specifies that any reports generated are to be considered evidence in the case.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • SB 14-073 – Concerning the State Income Tax Credit for the Environmental Remediation of Contaminated Land in the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Cheri Jahn and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill creates an income tax credit for individuals, organizations, and “qualified entities” that perform any approved environmental remediation of contaminated property.
  • SB 14-092 – Concerning the Creation of the Crime of Insurance Fraud, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. George Rivera and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill classifies insurance fraud as a crime and identifies fraudulent actions for insurance claimants, agents, and brokers.
  • SB 14-156 – Concerning a Requirement that a Public Benefit Corporation file an Annual Report, by Sens. John Kefalas & Rollie Heath and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill requires Public Benefit Corporations to file annual reports that discuss the ways in which the corporation has promoted its specified public benefits and that assess its overall social and environmental performance against a third-party standard.
  • HB 14-1044 – Concerning Consequences for a Parolee who Tampers with an Electronic Monitoring Device that the Parolee is Required to Wear as a Condition of Parole, by Rep. Timothy Dore and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill provides that if a parolee tampers with an electronic monitoring device, he or she is subject to immediate warrantless arrest.
  • HB 14-1144 – Concerning Measures to Improve the Performance of District Attorneys, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill provides for cost-sharing of salaries for entry-level deputy district attorneys.
  • HB 14-1347 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days, by Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill continues to revise statutes so that statutorily established time periods conform to the “rule of seven.”
  • HB 14-1353 – Concerning Powers of Appointment, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill creates the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act (act), as recommended by the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws.

Friday, May 16, 2014

  • SB 14-011 – Concerning the Colorado Energy Research Authority, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst. The bill changes the name of the Colorado Renewable Research Authority to the Colorado
    Energy Research Authority and creates a cash fund.
  • HB 14-1005 – Concerning Clarification of the Requirements Applicable to a Change of Point of Water Diversion, by Reps. Jerry Sonnenberg & Dave Young and Sens. Kevin Lundberg & John Kefalas. The bill clarifies that if a ditch owner relocates a headgate to a new surface point of diversion, as long as the relocation does not physically interfere with the complete use of or enjoyment of other water rights, the owner does not need to file a change of water right application.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • HB 14-1001 – Concerning the Creation of a Property Tax Reimbursement for a Taxpayer that Owes Property Tax on Property that has been Destroyed by a Natural Cause, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson. The bill creates a reimbursement program for property taxes paid on a property that has been destroyed by a natural disaster.
  • HB 14-1159 – Concerning a State Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Components used in Biogas Production Systems, by Reps. Angela Young & Timothy Dore and Sens. Gail Schwartz & Larry Crowder. The bill creates a sales and use tax exemption for equipment used to capture biogas to be used as a renewable natural gas or the equipment used to turn biogas into electricity.
  • HB 14-1281 – Concerning the Allowance for Terminally Ill Patients to have Access to Investigational Products that have not been Approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration that Other Patients have Access to when they Participate in Clinical Trials, by Reps. Joann Ginal & Janak Joshi and Sens. George Rivera & Irene Aguilar. The bill allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs without participating in a clinical trial.
  • HB 14-1349 – Concerning the Creation of an Exemption from Property Taxes for Qualifying Business Entities Controlled by Nonprofit Organizations that are Formed for the Purpose of Qualifying for Federal Tax Credits, by Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Brian DelGrosso and Sen. Rollie Heath. The bill broadens eligibility for nonprofits for federal tax credits to LLCs and limited partnerships.

For a list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2014 legislative decisions, click here.

HB 14-1379: Clarifying the Applicability of Prior Statute in Claims for Spousal Maintenance Filed Before January 1, 2014

On April 15, 2014, Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Andy Kerr introduced HB 14-1379 – Concerning Clarifying the Application of Spousal Maintenance Statutes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill clarifies that the spousal maintenance statute as it existed prior to January 1, 2014, governs claims for maintenance in dissolution of marriage and other actions filed prior to January 1, 2014.

The bill clarifies that, in addition to remarriage, maintenance also terminates upon the establishment of a civil union by the party receiving maintenance.

The bill was approved by the House on April 28. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on April 30, and on May 2 the bill was approved on 2nd Reading in the Senate.

Since this summary, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the Senate, unamended, and will go next to the governor’s desk.

HB 14-1347: Modifying Various Statutes to Comply with “Rule of Seven”

On March 28, 2014, Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Linda Newell introduced HB 14-1347 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill changes time periods in certain court proceedings to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days to avoid actions being due on weekends. Similar changes to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days were made to the Colorado Revised Statutes in 2012, pursuant to Senate Bill 12-175. The CBA LPC has voted to support this legislation.

On April 25, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the Senate and is now on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for signature.


First Bill Signed by Governor Enacts C.R.S. as Colorado Statutory Law

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the first bill of the 2014 Legislative Session. HB 14-1019 – Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2013 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado, introduced by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Pat Steadman, amends C.R.S. § 2-5-126 by specifying that the 2013 Colorado Revised Statutes are the state’s official statutory law.

Governor Hickenlooper’s 2014 legislative decisions will be listed here as the bills are signed.


Colorado Supreme Court: Grandparents and Relatives Allowed to Intervene in D&N Action Without 3-Month Time-Period Limitation

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People in Interest of O.C. on Monday, September 9, 2013.

Dependency and Neglect—CRS § 19-3-507(5)(a).

In this dependency and neglect case, the Supreme Court held that CRS § 19-3-507(5)(a) permits parents, grandparents, and relatives to intervene as a matter of right. The Court further held that the statute’s three-month requirement does not apply to parents, grandparents, or relatives. The Court therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary and full case available here.

HB 13-1300: The Revisor’s Bill – Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Conflicting, or Inconsistent Laws

On April 10, 2013, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. John Morse introduced HB 13-1300 – Concerning Nonsubstantive Revisions of Statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as Amended, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Inconsistent, and Conflicting Provisions of Law and Clarifying the Language to Reflect the Legislative Intent of the Laws.  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Committee on Legal Services—Revisor’s Bill

This bill amends or repeals various statutory provisions that are obsolete, inconsistent, or in conflict with other law, clarifies the language to more accurately reflect the legislative intent of the laws, and reconstructs provisions to follow standard drafting format. The specific reasons for each amendment or repeal are set forth in the appendix to this bill.

The amendments made by this bill are nonsubstantive in nature and, as such, are not intended to change the meaning or intent of the statutes, as amended.

The bill was introduced on April 10 and was assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The bill is scheduled for committee review on April 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Since this summary, the bill was amended in the Judiciary Committee and sent to the House Committee of the Whole for consideration on Second Reading.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several Bills Into Law

Governor Hickenlooper signed the first bills of the 2013 legislative session on January 31, 2013. Since then, he has signed an additional 116 bills, for a total of 118 bills.

On March 22, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed 29 bills. Five of them are summarized here.

  • HB 13-1126 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Intervals, by Rep. Jared Wright and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill continues amending statutes in order to comply with “rule of seven” date calculations.
  • HB 13-1166 – Concerning the Repeal of Certain Crimes that Include Marital Status as an Element of the Crime, by Rep. Elena Kagan and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill repeals the crimes of adultery and promoting sexual immorality.
  • SB 13-012 – Concerning Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect by Youth Sports Organizations, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill mandates that coaches, directors, and athletic personnel for youth sports organizations report suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • SB 13-078 – Concerning Points of Diversion that are Not Located at the Physical Location Specified in the Decrees for Diverted Water Rights, by Sen. Angela Giron and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill allows owners of water rights to correct established but erroneously recorded points of diversion without having to apply for a change in water right.
  • SB 13-118 – Concerning Clarification of the Exemptions from the Laws Regulating Mortgage Loan Originators, and, in Connection Therewith, Exempting Real Estate Licensees Representing Persons Providing Seller Financing for the Sale of a Limited Number of Residential Properties Annually as Allowed by Law, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill allows a private property owner to provide seller financing to up to five properties without needing to fulfill licensing and registration requirements of mortgage brokers.

Governor Hickenlooper signed 12 bills into law on March 29, 2013. Four of them are summarized here.

  • HB 13-1016 – Concerning the Distribution to Beneficiaries of Amounts on Payable-on-Death (POD) Financial Institution Accounts Pursuant to Written Designation in the Records of the Financial Institution, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill  specifies that funds held in a payable-on-death account may be distributed in an unequal manner if such intent is clearly written in the records of the financial institution.
  • HB 13-1168 – Concerning an Expansion in the Ability of a Ditch to Operate as an Acequia Ditch, by Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Gail Schwartz. The bill allows acequia ditch corporations to operate on properties other than long lots.
  • SB 13-008 – Concerning Elimination of the Waiting Period for Children’s Eligibility Under the Children’s Basic Health Plan, by Sen. Linda Newell and Rep. Beth McCann. The bill removes the waiting period for CHP+ health insurance, in hopes that removing the waiting period will encourage people to leave group plans and join CHP+.
  • SB 13-177 – Concerning Changes to the Juvenile Corrections Programs Resulting in Cost Reductions and Reducing the Juvenile Detention Bed Cap, Reducing the Appropriation for Commitment Beds and Assessment Services, and Making an Appropriation for Transportation, by the Joint Budget Committee. The bill reduces the maximum number of beds available in the Division of Youth Corrections due to a decreased number of youth offenders.

Finally, Governor Hickenlooper signed one bill on April 1, 2013. It is summarized here.

  • SB 13-194 – Concerning a Repeal of a Telephone Assistance Program for Low-Income Individuals and Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill repeals the Low-Income Telephone Assistance Program.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plain Language of Statute Requires Sex Offender Registration to Continue for 10 Years After Final Release

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Sheth on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Declaratory Judgment—Sex Offender Registration—CRS § 16-22-113.

In this declaratory judgment action, petitioner Parag Sheth appealed the district court’s judgment denying his request for equitable relief to discontinue the requirement that he register as a sex offender. The judgment was affirmed.

In 2008, petitioner pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit Internet sexual exploitation of a child, a class 5 felony. He was sentenced to thirty-six months’ probation, which included a number of conditions, such as undergoing sex offender treatment and refraining from all contact with minors. He also was required to register as a sex offender under the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act (Act). In 2011, the district court reduced petitioner’s probationary sentence to two years, and his probation ended as a matter of law on that date.

Petitioner filed a CRCP 57 action seeking a declaratory judgment determining that his registration duties terminated when his probation terminated. The district court concluded that CRS § 16-22-113 was the relevant statutory section and that it requires a person to wait ten years after final release from the jurisdiction of the court for the offense triggering the registration duties before petitioning the court for termination of those duties.

On appeal, petitioner argued that the sentencing court has discretion to set the length of time that the petitioner is required to register, pursuant to its sentencing authority. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the language of CRS § 16-22-113 is unambiguous and there are no exceptions to the waiting period.

Summary and full case available here.

The Intersection of Lawful Off-Duty Activities and Employment Discrimination

A few years ago, the national and local news ran a story about a man who was employed by a company that distributes Budweiser beer and was fired for drinking a Coors (click here for the Denver Post story). The man said that the company president’s son-in-law saw him sipping the Coors, and he was terminated two days later.

We know there are two sides to every story, and the article focused on the man’s story, not the employer’s. However, if what the man said was true, the employer violated the Lawful Activities Statute, C.R.S. § 24-34-402.5. This statute provides “It shall be a discriminatory or unfair practice for an employer to terminate the employment of any employee due to that employee’s engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours. . . .” The statute applies only to employees, not job applications.

The statute enumerates three exceptions to this rule, if the conduct: (1) relates to a bona fide occupational requirement; (2) creates a conflict of interest; and (3) is rationally related to the employment activities.

In the beer case, the employer claimed that the employee’s activity fell under all three exceptions–the employer stated that the employee was terminated to avoid a conflict of interest, and that his conduct was rationally related to a bona fide occupational requirement.

The beer case never went to trial, but the issue is not uncommon in employment disputes. Very few cases have interpreted the statute, however; Marsh v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1458 (D. Colo. 1997) provides most of the guidance on the issue.

To learn more about the intersection of lawful off-duty activities and employment discrimination, don’t miss CBA-CLE’s Employment Law Conference April 4 and 5 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Click the links below to register online or call (303) 860-0608.

CLE Program: 2013 Employment Law Conference

This CLE presentation will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, 2013, at the Denver Marriott City Center. Click here to register for the live program.

Can’t make the live program? Click here to order the homestudy.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several Bills Into Law

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign bills into law as they make it through the House and Senate. To date, he has signed 46 bills into law since January 31, 2013. Most recently, he signed 15 bills on March 8, 2013. Five of these bills are summarized here.

The governor also signed four bills on February 27, 2013, which are summarized here.

Prior to this, the governor signed 23 Joint Budget Committee bills and two other bills on February 19, 2013.

For a complete list of the governor’s legislative decisions to date, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Juvenile Justice System is Separate Statutory Framework from Adult Criminal Justice System and Provisions Are Not Interchangeable

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re People in the Interest of W.P. on Monday, February 11, 2013.

Competency to Proceed in the Juvenile Justice System—Availability of Second Competency Evaluation as of Right—Indigent Alleged Juvenile Offender—Rule Discharged.

In this original proceeding, the Supreme Court considered whether an indigent alleged juvenile offender was entitled as of right to a second competency evaluation at state expense. Two days after W.P.’s arrest on allegations of sexual assault on a child, and one day after the juvenile division of the Adams County District Court appointed a public defender to represent him, the court ordered W.P. to undergo a competency evaluation at state expense. After receiving the evaluation report, the court made a preliminary finding that W.P. was competent to proceed in the case. Citing ongoing concerns about her client’s mental health, the public defender objected, requesting a competency hearing pursuant to CRS § 19-2-1302(2) of the Colorado Children’s Code and filing a motion for a second competency evaluation at state expense pursuant to CRS §§ 16-8.5-106 and -107 of the Colorado Code of Criminal Procedure. At the motion hearing, the public defender stated that “[b]ecause the juvenile code is silent, they are referring to the adult code,” which entitles a criminal defendant to a second competency evaluation at state expense. Concluding that the Children’s Code was “specifically silent on that issue,” the district court determined that the adult competency provisions did not apply to this case.

The Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the public defender’s request for a second competency evaluation pursuant to CRS §§ 16-8.5-106 and -107, because these adult competency provisions do not apply in juvenile justice proceedings either explicitly or by implication. The Court concluded the General Assembly created two distinct competency frameworks: (1) promoting the criminal justice system’s goal of just punishment; and (2) advancing the juvenile justice system’s goal of appropriately sanctioning juvenile offenders, taking into consideration their own and society’s best interests. The juvenile competency provisions require a court to order an evaluation at any stage of the proceedings if it develops doubts about the alleged juvenile offender’s competency that are not satisfied by available information. The Court discharged the rule and returned the case to the district court for further proceedings.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plain Meaning of C.R.S. § 12-47.1-521 Gives Court of Appeals Exclusive Jurisdiction to Review Rule-Making Actions of Gaming Commission

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Board of County Commissioners of Gilpin County v. City of Blackhawk on Thursday, October 11, 2012.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction—Rule-Making Proceeding—CRS § 12-47.1-521.

Plaintiffs, the Board of County Commissioners of Gilpin County, Forrest Whitman, Bruce Schmalz, and Connie McLain (collectively, Gilpin County) and defendant, the City of Black Hawk (Black Hawk), appealed the district court’s order dismissing their claims against defendants, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (Commission), the Colorado Division of Gaming (Division of Gaming), Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the Board of County Commissioners of Teller County (Teller County), the City of Cripple Creek (Cripple Creek), and the City of Central (Central), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to CRCP 12(b)(1). The order was affirmed.

This case arose from a rule-making proceeding before the Commission. The proceeding addressed the interpretation of the phrase “gaming revenue” as used in the Colorado Constitution.

At a Commission hearing, the Division of Gaming proposed an amendment to the Commission’s Rule 24 that reflected its interpretation of “gaming revenue” and, in response, Gilpin County proposed its own amendment. The Commission adopted the Division of Gaming’s amendment.

Gilpin County then filed a complaint against defendants, seeking judicial review of the Commission’s rule-making proceeding. Defendants, excluding Black Hawk, filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under CRCP 12(b)(1), which was granted by the district court.

On appeal, Gilpin County argued that CRS § 12-47.1-521 does not give the Court of Appeals exclusive jurisdiction to review the rule-making actions of the Commission. The Court, relying on the plain meaning of the statute, held that it does. Therefore, the district court was correct that it lacked jurisdiction to review the Commission’s rule-making actions.

The Court also considered whether Gilpin County and Black Hawk had claims for declaratory relief under CRCP 57, because review under CRS §§ 12-47.1-521 and 24-4.106 do not provide adequate relief for their constitutional challenges to the Commission’s rule-making actions. The Court held they do not have claims for declaratory relief because the statutory sections provide adequate relief in these circumstances. Here, adequate relief was provided because Gilpin County and Black Hawk were parties to the rule-making proceeding. The order was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.