May 27, 2015

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Entitled to Crim. P. 35 Hearing on Justifiable Excuse or Excusable Neglect in Counsel’s Advice

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Martinez-Huerta on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Crim.P. 35(c)—Immigration—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Affirmative Advice—Justifiable Excuse—Justifiable Neglect.

In April 2007, defendant, a citizen of Mexico and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, pleaded guilty to vehicular eluding, a class 5 felony. At that time, he also admitted to violating the terms of his deferred judgment and sentence on an unrelated 2006 felony. In July 2007, the court sentenced him in both cases. In August 2013, defendant was placed into removal proceedings pursuant to § 237(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as a noncitizen who, after admission, was convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct. He was ordered removed from the United States in December 2013. In 2014, defendant filed a Crim.P. 35(c) motion seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, alleged ineffective assistance of plea counsel because his defense attorney assured him that a conviction would not have any immigration consequences. The trial court summarily denied his Crim.P. 35(c) motion as time barred. Defendant appealed.

When a defendant alleges that the untimely filing of a Crim.P. 35(c) motion resulted from a reasonable reliance on plea counsel’s affirmative but erroneous advice about the immigration consequences of the plea, causing the defendant to neglect to pursue timely collateral relief, the defendant is entitled to ahearing on the issue of justifiable excuse or excusable neglect. Therefore, the order was reversed and the case was remanded for a hearing on the merits of defendant’s Crim.P. 35(c) motion.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Regarding Community Association Manager Licensure, Peace Officer Transparency, and More Signed

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 14 bills into law. To date, he has signed 241 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1323 – Concerning Assessments in Public Schools, and, in Connection Therewith, Codifying the Consensus Recommendations of the Standards and Assessments Task Force Created in House Bill 14-1202, and Reducing an Appropriation, by Reps. John Buckner & Jim Wilson and Sens. Chris Holbert & Andy Kerr. The bill modifies the system of statewide assessments in English language arts.
  • SB 15-056 – Concerning Reducing the Frequency of Administering the Statewide Assessment in Social Studies and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. The bill eliminates the requirement that each public school administer an assessment in social studies and instead allows school districts to administer the test in a representative sampling of schools.
  • HB 15-1317 – Concerning Pay for Success Contracts, by Reps. Alec Garnett & Bob Rankin and Sens. Michael Johnston & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill creates “pay for success” contracts, into which the Office of State Planning and Budgeting can enter to increase economic opportunity and improve living conditions.
  • HB 15-1129 – Concerning Disaster Prediction and Decision Support Systems by the Department of Public Safety, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill requires the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to develop systems to predict disasters, specifically wildfires.
  • HB 15-1344 – Concerning the Financing of State Capital Construction Projects that are Included in the National Western Center or Capitol Complex Master Plans, and, in Connection Therewith, Authorizing the State to Enter Into Lease-Purchase Agreements to Finance Facilities for Colorado State University that are Included in the National Western Master Plan, Creating the National Western Center Trust Fund, and Creating a Capitol Complex Master Plan Implementation Fund as a Funding Source for Projects that are Included in the Capitol Complex Master Plan, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Jon Becker and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Pat Steadman. The bill authorizes the state treasurer to enter into lease-purchase agreements with CSU to construct facilities at the National Western Complex and CSU’s main campus.
  • HB 15-1285 – Concerning Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers and, in Connection Therewith, Establishing a Grant Program and a Study Group to Recommend Policies on the Use of Body-Worn Cameras and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daniel Kagan & Angela Williams and Sens. John Cooke & Jessie Ulibarri. The bill creates the body-worn camera fund to purchase body-worn cameras and train officers in their use, as well as study best practices.
  • HB 15-1287 – Concerning Measures to Improve Peace Officer Training, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. John Cooke. The bill expands the scope of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board in the Department of Law.
  • HB 15-1290 – Concerning Prohibiting a Peace Officer from Interfering with a Person Lawfully Recording a Peace Officer-Involved Incident, by Reps. Joseph Salazar & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Lucia Guzman & David Balmer. The bill specifies that people have the lawful right to record officer-involved incidents.
  • HB 15-1303 – Concerning Eliminating the Application of Certain Sentencing Provisions to Certain Persons who are Convicted of Assault in the Second Degree, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill removes mandatory crime of violence sentencing for assault against first responders.
  • SB 15-217 – Concerning Data Collection Related to Peace Officer-Involved Shootings of a Person, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Cooke and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill creates a process for public reporting of specified data concerning officer-involved shootings.
  • SB 15-218 – Concerning Requiring a Law Enforcement Agency to Disclose Whether a Peace Officer has Made a Knowing Misrepresentation in Certain Settings, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Cooke and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill requires a law enforcement agency to report any knowing instance of misrepresentation by a peace officer to the district attorney.
  • SB 15-219 – Concerning Measures to Provide Additional Transparency to Peace Officer-Involved Shootings, by Sens. John Cooke & Ellen Roberts and Rep. Joseph Salazar. The bill requires local law enforcement agencies to make public its protocols regarding contacting other agencies following officer-involved shootings.
  • HB 15-1262 – Concerning Separate Legal Entities Established by a Contract Between Two or More Political Subdivisions of the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying the Legal Status and Scope of Powers of Such an Entity, by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. David Balmer. The bill specifies the legal status and powers of an entity formed by two or more governments to provide public improvements.
  • HB 15-1343 – Concerning a Streamlined Process to Simplify the Licensure of Persons who Manage the Affairs of Common Interest Communities Under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Angela Williams & Dan Thurlow and Sens. Nancy Todd & David Balmer. The bill makes several changes to the community association manager licensure program.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Protecting the Secrecy of Jury Deliberations is of Paramount Importance in Our Justice System

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pena-Rodriguez v. People on Monday, May 18, 2015.

Secrecy of Jury Deliberations—CRE 606(b)—Sixth Amendment Right to Impartial Jury.

After entry of a guilty verdict, defense counsel obtained juror affidavits suggesting that one of the jurors exhibited racial bias against defendant during deliberations. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether CRE 606(b) applies to such affidavits and, if so, whether the Sixth Amendment requires their admission. The Court held that the affidavits regarding the juror’s biased statements fall within the broad sweep of CRE 606(b) and that they do not satisfy the rule’s “extraneous prejudicial information” exception. The Court further held that the trial court’s application of CRE 606(b) did not violate defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: No Error in Admission of Anonymous 911 Call for Purpose of Explaining Investigation

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Edwards on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

After an anonymous 911 call alerted McAlester, Oklahoma police about two men transporting drugs, Maurice Edwards and Tony Washington were arrested. Both were charged with aiding and abetting each other to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute. At trial, Edwards objected to admitting the phone call into evidence, but the trial court ruled that the call was admitted for the limited purpose of explaining why an investigation was undertaken and therefore was not hearsay. The jury found defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of either possession with intent to distribute or aiding and abetting possession with intent of marijuana and 5 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Edwards raised three arguments on appeal: (1) the phone call was testimonial hearsay and its admission violated the Confrontation Clause; (2) his indictment charged him only as an aider and abettor, not a principal, so the trial evidence and jury instructions constructively amended his indictment; and (3) in order for him to have been convicted as an aider and abetter, the jury was required to find beyond a reasonable doubt that someone else was the principal.

The Tenth Circuit first addressed the anonymous 911 call. Even assuming the call was inadmissible hearsay, the Tenth Circuit found any error was harmless because other evidence of Edwards’ guilt was overwhelming, the trial court issued a limiting instruction, and the Tenth Circuit found Edwards’ proffered defense “utterly implausible.”

Next, the Tenth Circuit evaluated Edwards’ constructive amendment argument for plain error since it was not properly preserved below. The Tenth Circuit found that Edwards’ argument failed at the first prong of the plain error test because there was no error. His indictment was sufficient to charge him both as a principal and an aider and abettor. The Tenth Circuit noted the indictment allowed Edwards to assert a double jeopardy defense.

The Tenth Circuit next evaluated Edwards’ argument that the aiding and abetting instruction omitted the essential element that someone else committed the crime. Again, the Tenth Circuit’s review was for plain error because the argument was not preserved below. The Tenth Circuit first noted there was no requirement for the district court to follow pattern jury instructions, and found that if there was any error in the proffered instructions, it was not plain.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed Edwards’ conviction.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Other Bad Act Evidence Impermissibly Invited Jury to Infer Defendant Acted in Accordance with Character Propensities

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Harris on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Murder—Child Abuse Resulting in Death—Reckless Endangerment—CRE 404(b)—Other Acts Evidence.

Harris was convicted of child abuse resulting in death and reckless endangerment. In 2005, Harris lived with her two children, L.L. and O.W., and her husband and his son, S.H. On July 25, S.H. (age 4) fell down the stairs and hit his head. He was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. He was discharged three days later. Thereafter, S.H. suffered from seizures, and on the morning of August 22, he became unconscious. Harris put S.H. in the car with the other children, drove to her mother’s house, and then drove S.H. to the hospital. Upon arrival in the emergency room, S.H. was not breathing, but doctors successfully resuscitated him. S.H. died on September 2.

On appeal, Harris argued that the court erred by admitting other acts evidence pursuant to CRE 404(b). Specifically, L.L.’s father and his fiancée testified that in 2003, when they went with their infant child to pick L.L. up from Harris’s mother’s house, Harris got into an argument with the fiancée and chased after her in a vehicle, intentionally ramming into the fiancée’s vehicle with the infant inside. This evidence was not logically relevant to Harris’s mental state on August 22, nor was it sufficiently similar to the charged conduct in this case. The only thing to which the car-chase incident was logically relevant was Harris’s propensity to get angry and failure to consider how her actions could pose a safety risk to children. This evidence invited the jury to infer that she acted in conformity with the anger propensity when S.H. was fatally injured, which is precisely the inference that CRE 404(b) expressly prohibits. Therefore, admitting evidence of this car-chase incident was an abuse of discretion. Furthermore, the prosecution’s case was not so strong, and the improperly admitted evidence may have substantially swayed the jury to its verdict. As a result, any error was not harmless. The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Error for Trial Court to Deny Defendant’s Request to Represent Himself

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Johnson on Thursday, May 11, 2015.

Murder—Trespass—Criminal Mischief—Right to Counsel—Sixth Amendment—Waiver—Circumstantial Evidence.

A jury found defendant guilty of first-degree murder, trespass, and criminal mischief; the district court sentenced him to life in prison. A division of the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment due to instructional error and remanded the case for a new trial. The court thereafter denied defendant’s request to represent himself at the second trial, finding that although the request was made voluntarily, it was not made knowingly and intelligently. Defendant was represented by alternative defense counsel (ADC) throughout the second trial, and the jury returned guilty verdicts on all three charges.

On appeal, defendant argued that the district court violated his right to represent himself. The right to self-representation is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, a defendant must show that he or she “knowingly and intelligently” relinquishes the benefits of representation by counsel. The court must honor a defendant’s request to self-represent if it is satisfied that defendant knows what he or she is doing and understands the consequences. Here, the record shows that the district court conducted a thorough and comprehensive inquiry of defendant; defendant’s requests to proceed pro se were unequivocal and not made for the purpose of delay or tactical advantage; and defendant demonstrated through his responses that he was knowingly and intelligently waiving his right to counsel. Under these circumstances, the court erred in denying defendant the right to represent himself. The conviction was therefore reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Defendant also argued that the evidence was not sufficient to support his convictions for trespass and criminal mischief. Although no direct evidence established that defendant committed trespass and criminal mischief, the circumstantial evidence that he (1) sexually assaulted his girlfriend two nights before the vandalism; (2) knew where the victim (his girlfriend’s best friend) lived in Steamboat Springs; and (3) rented a car and drove approximately 400 miles the night of the vandalism (enough for a round trip to Steamboat Springs) was sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed these crimes. Thus, he may be retried on these charges.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Admission of “Overkill” Testimony Acceptable Despite Lack of Findings Regarding Scientific Significance

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Ruibal on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Domestic Violence—Limiting Instruction—Expert Testimony—CRE 404(b)—CRS § 18-6-801.5—Hearsay—Photographs.

Defendant Ruibal appealed his judgment of conviction and sentence to forty years imprisonment entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of second-degree murder. The victim, D.P., was fatally beaten during a December weekend in 2007. She died in the apartment that she and Ruibal shared. The prosecution theorized that, in an act of domestic violence, Ruibal assaulted D.P. in their apartment on a Saturday evening, and that D.P. died on Sunday or Monday from injuries sustained in the beating.

On appeal, Ruibal contended that the trial court erred when it did not give a limiting instruction during the testimony of the prosecution’s domestic violence expert. CRE 404(b) and CRS § 18-6-801.5 permit a trial court to admit evidence of other acts of domestic violence between a defendant and a victim if offered to show common plan, scheme, design, identity, modus operandi, motive, guilty knowledge, or some other purpose. In such cases, the trial court must instruct the jury as to the limited purpose for which the other acts evidence is admissible. Here, the expert did not specifically reference any prior acts of domestic violence between Ruibal and D.P. She merely explained the general dynamics that exist in abusive relationships. Based on these circumstances, the trial court did not err when it declined to give a limiting instruction during the testimony of the prosecution’s domestic violence expert.

Ruibal also contended that the trial court abused its discretion when it permitted a pathologist to present expert testimony regarding victim “overkill.” Although the trial court should have entered specific findings on the reliability of the underlying scientific theories, the court overruled Ruibal’s objection to the overkill evidence, implicitly determining that the pathologist’s expert testimony was based on a reliable scientific principle. Further, the trial court did not err when it permitted the expert to testify that his opinion was based on his experience.

Ruibal further contended that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted five gruesome color photographs that showed the inside of D.P.’s head. The photographs were relevant to show the extent of injuries and the mental state of intent, which outweighed any prejudicial impact. Therefore, the trial court did not err in admitting these photographs. The judgment and sentence were affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Rational Basis Supported Tendered Lesser Non-Included Offense Instruction

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Naranjo on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Felony Menacing—Lesser Non-Included Offense—Disorderly Conduct.

Defendant Naranjo was convicted of two counts of felony menacing. The victims, a father and daughter, testified at trial that as the father was merging onto the highway, Naranjo cut them off, pointed a gun at the daughter, and threatened both of them. Naranjo testified that the father was the aggressor, that he inadvertently showed his gun as he was putting it away in the glove box, and that he did not make any threats.

On appeal, Naranjo contended that the trial court reversibly erred in declining to instruct the jury on the lesser non-included offense of disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon. Although Naranjo’s asserted reason for grabbing the gun was, as the trial court put it, “perfectly benign,” a jury could nonetheless conclude that handling a weapon while traveling on a public highway supported a finding that Naranjo consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the gun would be displayed to someone outside the car. Thus, the record supports a rational basis from which the jury could have convicted Naranjo of disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon and acquitted him of felony menacing. The trial court therefore erred in declining to give the lesser non-included offense instruction to the jury. Because this error was not harmless, the judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Water Right Quantification, Earned Time for Certain Offenders, and More Bills Signed

On Monday, May 4, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law. He signed one more bill on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. To date, the governor has signed 184 bills into law. The bills signed on May 4 and 5 are summarized here.

May 4, 2015

  • HB 15-1239 – Concerning an Exception to the Prohibition Against Paying Postemployment Compensation for the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, by Reps. Beth McCann & Susan Lontine and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill removes the Denver Health and Hospital Authority from the list of government agencies prohibited from offering post-employment compensation to employees who have been terminated.
  • HB 15-1203 – Concerning Earned Time for Certain Offenders Serving Life Sentences as Habitual Offenders, by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill allows offenders sentenced before July 1, 1993 for crimes committed after July 1, 1985 to accrue earned time.
  • HB 15-1215 – Concerning In-State Tuition Classification for Dependents of Active Duty Military Members who have Attended School in Colorado, by Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill allows an institute of higher education to provide in-state tuition to active duty military members.
  • HB 15-1218 – Concerning Requiring Certain Disclosures by Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach Specialists, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill specifies parameters for defense-initiated victim outreach in cases involving a Class 1 felony.
  • HB 15-1220 – Concerning Response to Sexual Assault on Campuses of Colorado’s Institutions of Higher Education, by Reps. Jessie Danielson & Su Ryden and Sens. John Cooke & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires institutions of higher education to create Memoranda of Understanding with local hospitals to provide sexual assault examinations.
  • HB 15-1136 – Concerning the Number of Disabled Veteran License Plates with the Identifying Figure Authorizing the Use of Parking Privileges that May Be Issued to a Qualified Individual, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Clarice Navarro and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill increases the number of disabled veteran license plates available to two sets of place per veteran.
  • SB 15-183 – Concerning the Quantification of the Historical Consumptive Use of a Water Right, by Sens. Mary Hodge & Jerry Sonnenberg and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jon Becker. The bill specifies use periods for a judicial decree of historical consumptive use of a water right.

May 5, 2015

  • SB 15-225 – Concerning the Governance Structure of the State Historical Society, and, in Connection Therewith, Changing the Method of Appointment of a Board of Directors and Creating a Directors Council, by Sens. Chris Holbert & Nancy Todd and Reps. Su Ryden & Lori Saine. The bill changes the procedures for electing members to the board of directors for the Colorado State Historical Society.

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

Tenth Circuit: Defendant’s Safety Valve Proffer Not Untimely at Resentencing

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Figueroa-Labrada on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

Jesus Figueroa-Labrada (Figueroa) was convicted by a jury of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, and the district court attributed the entire amount of meth involved in the conspiracy to Figueroa. On direct appeal, the Tenth Circuit remanded for the district court to determine what amount should be attributed to Figueroa, and the district court changed the amount to a quantity carrying a five year mandatory minimum sentence. Before his resentencing hearing, Figueroa argued that he qualified for a “safety valve” sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f). The government supported his request, but the district court decided that the language of § 3553(f)(5) precluded Figueroa’s use of the safety valve, since he had not been truthful before the original sentencing hearing.

As a matter of first impression, the Tenth Circuit determined that the plain language of § 3553(f) required the district court to consider the defendant’s proffered safety valve information if it was offered before resentencing. In this case, the district court held that because Figueroa had not provided the safety valve information before the initial sentencing hearing, he was not entitled to its use. The Tenth Circuit found the statutory language did not necessitate that the safety valve be invoked before the initial sentencing hearing, but rather before the sentencing hearing at issue.

The Tenth Circuit found that the district court’s error was not harmless and remanded. Judge Phillips dissented, finding instead that the district court considered and rejected Figueroa’s safety valve disclosures as untimely and there was no error.

Tenth Circuit: Probable Cause Still Existed After Amending Misleading Arrest Warrant so Qualified Immunity Appropriate

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Puller v. Baca on Friday, March 20, 2015.

In the summer of 2009, Detective Baca was investigating a string of robberies by groups of black gang members on inebriated white male victims. After an incident on August 23, 2009, Detective Baca interviewed several people and eventually concluded that Aaron Joel Puller was involved in the August 23 attack. He prepared an arrest warrant for both aggravated robbery and a bias-motivated crime, but he omitted certain details from his interviews, including that certain of his sources could not identify Puller by name and that one of the sources denied that Puller would have assaulted the victims. Puller was arrested, but after watching the interview tapes, Puller’s attorney moved to dismiss the charges. The state court dismissed the charges without a hearing, concluding there was not probable cause to arrest Puller based on the omissions in the arrest warrant.

Puller then sued Baca in federal court under § 1983, alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution, and manufacture of inculpatory evidence. Baca moved for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, which the district court granted. After adding the omitted material to Baca’s affidavit and setting aside false information, the district court found it was reasonable for Baca to believe probable cause existed for Puller’s arrest and granted qualified immunity to Baca on all Puller’s claims. Puller timely appealed.

The Tenth Circuit began its analysis by removing false information from Baca’s affidavit and considering omitted material information. After amending the arrest affidavit accordingly, the Tenth Circuit found ample evidence of a race-motivated crime. Although no one contended Puller actually assaulted the victim, he was part of a group whose motive was intimidate a victim to place him in fear of imminent bodily harm. Puller asserted that the mere act of being part of a group is not sufficient to establish probable cause, but the Tenth Circuit found the interviews proved Puller was more than a stationary object in a law-abiding group—he, with the others, approached the victim based on his race with the intent to attack and rob the victim.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment and grant of qualified immunity to Detective Baca.

Bills Regarding Oversight of CFIs, Electronic Benefits Card Transfer, and Promoting Water Conservation in Land Planning Signed

legislationOn Friday, May 1, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 30 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 176 bills into law. The bills signed on May 1 are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1153 – Concerning Oversight of Child and Family Investigators, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill consolidates the oversight of all CFIs into the Office of the State Court Administrator.
  • HB 15-1255 – Concerning the Enforcement of the Prohibited Use of Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards at Certain Locations, by Reps. Timothy Dore & Dan Pabon and Sens. Kevin Grantham & Cheri Jahn. The bill requires periodic reporting of the use of electronic benefits cards at prohibited locations and adds marijuana retailers to the list of prohibited locations.
  • HB 15-1294 – Concerning Alignment of State Law Regarding In-State Tuition Classification with the Federal “Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014″, by Reps. Pete Lee & Jon Keyser and Sens. Nancy Todd & Owen Hill. The bill requires qualified Colorado institutes of higher education to classify eligible veterans as in-state for tuition purposes.
  • SB 15-008 – Concerning the Promotion of Water Conservation in the Land Use Planning Process, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill requires the Colorado Water Conservation Board to develop conservation programs for local government land use planners.
  • SB 15-046 – Concerning Reducing the Cost of Attainment of Renewable Energy Standards by Electric Utilities that are not Investor-Owned, and, in Connection Therewith, Allowing Purchases of Electricity from Community Solar Gardens by Cooperative Electric Associations to Qualify as Retail Distributed Generation, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill reduces the retail distributed generation requirement for cooperative electric associations.
  • SB 15-060 – Concerning the Prevention of Multiple Voter Registrations by the Same Elector, by Sen. Chris Holbert and Rep. Justin Everett. The bill allows the Secretary of State to forward any information from the DMV to the appropriate county clerk for the purpose of updating voter registration information.
  • SB 15-065 – Concerning a Prohibition on the Use of Public Electronic Benefits Transfer Services at Certain Establishments, by Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Dan Nordberg. The bill prohibits recipients of electronic benefits transfer cards from using them at adult entertainment facilities or marijuana establishments.
  • SB 15-085 – Concerning the Expansion of the “Colorado Cottage Foods Act,” and, in Connection Therewith, Increasing the Net Revenue a Producer Can Earn Under the Act, by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Reps. Faith Winter & Perry Buck. The bill allows “cottage food” producers to expand their allowable net revenues.
  • SB 15-106 – Concerning the Continuation of the Regulatory Authority Granted Under the “Barber and Cosmetologist Act,” and, in Connection Therewith, Continuing the Cosmetology Advisory Committee and Implementing the Other Recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies as Contained in the 2014 Sunset Report and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Laura Woods and Rep. Jeni James Arndt. The bill continues the “Barber and Cosmetologist Act” and enacts recommendations from the sunset review committee.
  • SB 15-122 – Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Massage Parlors, and, in Connection Therewith, Repealing the Regulation of Massage Parlors, by Sen. Linda Newell and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill limits the ability of local governments to regulate massage parlors.
  • SB 15-178 – Concerning the Continuation of the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2014 Sunset Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, by Sen. Linda Newell and Rep. Jessie Danielson. The bill continues the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and implements recommendations of the sunset review committee.
  • SB 15-182 – Concerning Allowing the Department of Corrections to Transfer Certain Offenders to the Youthful Offender System to Participate in Age-Appropriate Programs, by Sens. Leroy Garcia & Larry Crowder and Reps. Clarice Navarro & Daneya Esgar. The bill allows the Department of Corrections to transfer offenders aged 24 or younger into or out of the Youthful Offender System.
  • SB 15-193 – Concerning the Consolidation of Two Reports that the Statewide Internet Portal Authority is Required to Submit to the Members of the General Assembly, by Sens. Patrick Neville & Tim Neville and Reps. Jack Tate & Max Tyler. The bill combines the reporting requirements of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority into one written report submitted to various legislative committees.
  • SB 15-194 – Concerning the Board of Directors of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority, by Sens. Patrick Neville & Tim Neville and Reps. Jack Tate & Max Tyler. The bill allows executive directors of executive branch agencies to select a designee to serve on the board in their stead, but designees may not serve as the board chair.
  • SB 15-198 – Concerning Modifications to the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Fallowing Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Expanding the Program to Allow an Agricultural Water Right Owner to Lease an Agricultural Water Right for Temporary Agricultural, Environmental, Industrial, or Recreational Use, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill allows an agricultural water right owner to lease its right for temporary agricultural, environmental, industrial, or recreational use while the agricultural land goes fallow.
  • SB 15-235 – Concerning Increasing the Amount that the General Assembly may Appropriate for the Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill increases the appropriation for the state school lunch program.
  • SB 15-236 – Concerning the Reorganization of Funds Expended by the State Historical Society, Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill creates two separate subaccounts in the State Historical Fund.
  • SB 15-237 – Concerning Calculations Relating to Appropriations to Institutions of Higher Education, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying Calculations Required Pursuant to Sections 23-18-304 and 23-18-305, Colorado Revised Statutes, and Delaying Performance Funding Calculations Pursuant to Section 23-1-108, Colorado Revised Statutes, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes technical clarifications to definitions used in higher education funding formulas.
  • SB 15-238 – Concerning Allowable Uses of Moneys in the General Fund Exempt Account that are Designated to Benefit Students Attending Institutions of Higher Education, by Sen. Pat Steadman & Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill adds specific uses to the list of qualified higher education appropriations.
  • SB 15-240 – Concerning a Funding Formula for Independent Living Centers, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill requires DHS to promulgate a rule regarding funding for independent living centers and requires base funding of $600,000 to each center.
  • SB 15-241 – Concerning Collaborative Management of Multi-Agency Services Provided to Children and Families, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill allows moneys from the general fund to be allocated to the Collaborative Management Fund in the DHS and makes changes to the program for collaborative management.
  • SB 15-242 – Concerning an Allocation in Addition to the Child Welfare Block Grant to Counties for the Purpose of Hiring New Child Welfare Staff, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dave Young. The bill creates a new allocation for distributing funds to counties to hire additional child welfare staff.
  • SB 15-243 – Concerning a Prohibition on the Transfer of State-Operated Beds Under the Waiver for Home- and Community-Based Services for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Dave Young. The bill prohibits DHS from selling or closing state-operated centers with beds for individuals with disabilities.
  • SB 15-244 – Concerning the Transfer of Moneys to Offset the Federal Government’s Recoupment of Mineral Lease Payments to the State, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill transfers moneys from the General Fund for three fiscal years to offset recoupment of federal mineral lease moneys.
  • SB 15-245 – Concerning the Provision of State Funding for Natural Hazard Mapping, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dave Young. The bill creates a three-year program for state mapping of natural hazards.
  • SB 15-246 – Concerning Modifications to Accommodate Certain Statewide Financial Information Technology Systems in the Department of Personnel, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill requires the Department of Personnel and Administration to develop a method to bill users of its financial IT systems for the full cost of usage.
  • SB 15-248Concerning the Repeal of the State Facility Security Fund, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill repeals the state facility security fund, because there have been no grants made or deposits to the fund since its inception.
  • SB 15-249 – Concerning a Transfer from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to the General Fund, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill increases the transfer of moneys from the marijuana tax cash fund to the General Fund.
  • SB 15-251 – Concerning the Exclusion of Appropriations for Real Property Lease-Purchase Payments from the Basis for the Calculation of the General Fund Reserve, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill exempts payments for certificates of participation in lease-purchase agreements from the General Fund for purposes of calculating reserves.
  • SB 15-255 – Concerning the Deposit of Twenty Million Dollars of State Severance Tax Revenues in the General Fund, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill diverts money from the state severance tax fund to the General Fund.

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