April 28, 2017

Bills Correcting Statutory References, Changing Child Welfare Allocations, Implementing State Engineer’s Functions, and More Signed

On Friday, March 17, 2017, the governor signed 21 bills into law. To date, he has signed 63 bills this 2017 legislative session. The bills signed Friday include a bill to update statutory references to people with disabilities, a bill outlining the procedure to correct statutory references in administrative procedural rules, a bill redetermining the child welfare allocation formula, and a bill exempting steroids injected into nonhumans from controlled substances statutes. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 17-1006“Concerning the Authorization of a Process to Correct Statutory Citations Contained in Executive Branch Agency Rules Published in the Code of Colorado Regulations without the Requirement to Follow Rule-Making Procedures,” by Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. Daniel Kagan. The bill allows agencies to correct statutory citations in the code of Colorado regulations without notice, comment, or a hearing by submitting to the secretary of state a specific, written determination by the attorney general.
  • HB 17-1011“Concerning a Limitation on When Certain Disciplinary Actions may be Commenced Against a Mental Health Professional, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring that a Mental Health Professional Provide Notice to Former Clients Regarding Record Retention and that All Complaints be Resolved by the Agency within Two Years after the Date the Complaint was Filed,” by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill requires that any complaint filed with the division of professions and occupations in the department of regulatory agencies against a mental health professional alleging a maintenance-of-records violation must be commenced within 7 years after the alleged act or failure to act giving rise to the complaint.
  • HB 17-1014“Concerning the Elimination of the Criminal Penalty Imposed Upon an Elector for Disclosing the Contents of the Elector’s Voted Ballot,” by Reps. Paul Rosenthal & Dave Williams and Sens. Kerry Donovan & Owen Hill. The bill deletes the ballot selfie prohibition in the Uniform Election Code provided certain conditions are met.
  • HB 17-1032“Concerning the Evidentiary Privilege for Communications Made During the Provision of Certain Peer Support Services,” by Rep. Jeni Arndt and Sen. John Cooke. The bill clarifies that privileged peer support communications need not be made during individual meetings in order to be confidential.
  • HB 17-1034“Concerning Licensing Changes to the Medical Marijuana Code to Conform with the Retail Marijuana Code,” by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill creates a requirement for a medical marijuana business operator to be licensed, and allows a medical marijuana licensee to move his or her business anywhere in Colorado upon approval of the state and local jurisdiction. The bill also allows a medical marijuana licensee to remediate its product if it contains a foreign substance.
  • HB 17-1046“Concerning Updating Statutory References to Certain Limited Outdated Terms Relating to People with Disabilities,” by Rep. Steve Lebsock and Sen. Kerry Donovan. The bill updates certain limited terms in statute that refer to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities or physical disabilities using insensitive or outdated terminology.
  • HB 17-1050“Concerning the Annual In-Service Training Required for a County Sheriff,” by Rep. Hugh McKean and Sen. Daniel Kagan. The bill specifies that each sheriff undergo at least the number of hours required for all certified peace officers by the peace officers standards and training board (POST board), but in no case less than 20 hours.
  • HB 17-1052“Concerning Factors to Take Into Consideration in Determining the Child Welfare Allocation Formula in a Given Fiscal Year,” by Rep. Susan Beckman and Sen. Jim Smallwood. The bill removes certain data-gathering factors currently required to be taken into consideration in determining a fiscal year’s child welfare allocation formula for counties and replaces those with a broader scope of factors that directly affect the population of children in need of child welfare services.
  • HB 17-1054“Concerning Partnerships Between Local Governments and Military Installations, and, in Connection Therewith, Identifying Shared-Service Opportunities to Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiencies,” by Reps. Terri Carver & Dan Nordberg and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill directs the department of local affairs to support cooperative intergovernmental agreements between military installations and local governments to the extent possible.
  • HB 17-1055“Concerning a Voluntary Contribution Designation Benefiting the Urban Peak Housing and Support Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Fund that Appears on the State Individual Tax Return Forms,” by Rep. Leslie Herod and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill creates the Urban Peak Housing and Support Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness fund in the state treasury and adds a check-off to state tax returns for five years.
  • HB 17-1094“Concerning Modifications to the Requirements for Health Benefit Plans to Cover Health Care Services Delivered via Telehealth,” by Reps. Perry Buck & Donald Valdez and Sens. Kerry Donovan & Larry Crowder. The bill makes several changes to broaden the application of telehealth services.
  • HB 17-1105“Concerning Narrowing the Circumstances in Which Physical Inspection of a Vehicle is Required before Issuing Legal Documentation Identifying the Vehicle,” by Rep. Jon Becker and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill specifies that the department of revenue may not require physical inspection of a vehicle, including a VIN inspection, to verify information about the vehicle before registering or titling the vehicle if certain requirements are met.
  • HB 17-1137“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Revenue to the General Assembly,” by Reps. Dan Thurlow & Edie Hooton and Sens. Dominick Moreno & Jack Tate. The bill amends reporting requirements of the Department of Revenue.
  • HB 17-1140“Concerning Permitted Uses of Fee-for-Service Contract Money by the Colorado School of Mines,” by Rep. Jessie Danielson and Sen. Tim Neville. In addition to tuition supports, the bill allows Colorado School of Mines to use state fee-for-service contract money to fund  other services and programs, including counseling, academic support, student recruiting, and precollegiate programs.
  • SB 17-026“Concerning Requirements Governing Implementation of the State Engineer’s Functions, and, in Connection Therewith, Restructuring the Fee that the State Engineer may Charge for Rating Certain Types of Water Infrastructure, Repealing Certain Requirements, and Updating Language in the Statutes Regarding the Division of Water Resources,” by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Jeni Arndt. The bill makes several changes to the state engineer’s functions and fee requirements.
  • SB 17-030“Concerning the Exemption from the Schedules of Controlled Substances any Anabolic Steroid that is Administered through Injection into Nonhuman Species,” by Sen. Randy Baumgardner and Rep. Daneya Esgar. The bill exempts from the definition of ‘anabolic steroid’ human chorionic gonadotropin licensed for animal use only if it is expressly intended for administration through implants or injection into cattle or other nonhuman species.
  • SB 17-034“Concerning Extension of the Period Following the Declaration by the Governor of a Disaster Emergency in a County Within Which the Board of County Commissioners of the County may Transfer County General Fund Money to the County Road and Bridge Fund for the Purposes of Disaster Response and Recovery,” by Sens. Kevin Lundberg & Matt Jones and Reps. Hugh McKean & Mike Foote. The bill extends from 4 years to 8 years the period within which the board of county commissioners of the county may transfer general fund money to the road and bridge fund for disaster response and recovery.
  • SB 17-050“Concerning the Consolidation of Grant Programs Relating to Forest Management,” by Sen. John Cooke and Reps. Jeni Arndt & KC Becker. The bill transfers a forest management grant program from the Department of Natural Resources to the Forest Service, and realigns the funding for the new grant program and the healthy forest and vibrant communities fund.
  • SB 17-056“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Public Health and Environment to the General Assembly,” by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Jeni Arndt. The bill addresses reporting requirements of the department of public health and environment.
  • SB 17-090“Concerning How to Measure the Level of Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol in Industrial Hemp,” by Sen. Randy Baumgardner and Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush. The bill requires the commissioner of agriculture to determine the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in industrial hemp by measuring the combined concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and its precursor, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
  • SB 17-127“Concerning an Expansion of the Exemption from the Requirements that Apply to a Mortgage Loan Originator to Include Up to Three Loans Per Year Without Compensation Between Family Members,” by Sen. Jack Tate and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill expands the mortgage loan originator exemption to include up to 3 loans per year without compensation, other than interest, between family members, and directs the board of mortgage loan originators to define ‘family member’ by rule.

For a list of the governor’s legislative actions, please visit here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Independent Expenditure Committee Not Required to Disclose Donation to Pay Legal Fees

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC v. Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Campaign Finance Laws—Independent Expenditure Committee.

Campaign Integrity Watchdog LLC (CIW) alleged that the Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee (CORE) violated various campaign finance laws. CIW’s claims stemmed from two earlier campaign finance proceedings against CORE. An administrative law judge (ALJ) imposed a penalty of $200 against CORE in the first case, and in the second case, an ALJ imposed a $600 aggregate penalty and awarded $255 in costs. The Colorado Republican Party paid these amounts on CORE’s behalf. CORE did not disclose these payments on its periodic campaign finance disclosure reports. Around the same time, a private party paid $50,000 to a law firm to settle CORE’s legal expenses. CORE disclosed this payment as a “contribution” in its periodic campaign finance disclosure report.

CIW alleged that CORE did not comply with the disclosure requirements of Colo. Const. art. 28, the Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA), and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Rules Concerning Campaign and Political Finance. CIW maintained that the payments by the Republican Party should have been disclosed as “donations” or “contributions” and the payments should have been disclosed as “expenditures.” The ALJ granted CORE’s motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim under C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5).

On appeal, CIW again contended that CORE was required to report some payments as donations or contributions, and all payments as expenditures. CORE was not required to report some payments as donations because (1) the donations were not made for the purpose of an independent expenditure and so were not required to be reported; (2) the law requiring some entities to report contributions does not apply to an independent expenditure committee; and (3) the payments here were not expenditures under the relevant statutory and constitutional definitions.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Bills Into Law

On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Governor Hickenlooper signed the first bills of the 2017 Legislative Session into law. The governor signed 26 bills on March 1, many of which were supplemental appropriations bills. The governor also signed 16 bills on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. To date, he has signed 42 bills into law. All of these bills are summarized here.

  • HB 17-1005“Concerning Modernization of Various Laws Relating to the Office of the State Auditor,” by Rep. Jeni Arndt and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill updates various statutes pertaining to the office of the state auditor.
  • HB 17-1010“Concerning the Authority of the Colorado Dental Board to Promulgate Rules Based on Clarifications to Existing Laws that Relate to Collaborative Dental Agreements,” by Rep. Joann Ginal and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill clarifies that the Colorado dental board may promulgate rules for the use of lasers for dental and dental hygiene purposes within the defined scopes of practice and with appropriate supervision.
  • HB 17-1016“Concerning the Ability of an Urban Renewal Authority to Exclude the Valuation Attributable to the Extraction of Mineral Resources Located Within an Urban Renewal Area from the Total Amount of Taxable Property Subject to Division for the Purpose of Financing Urban Renewal Projects,” by Reps. Lori Saine & Matt Gray and Sens. Rachel Zenzinger & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill permits the governing body of a municipality, as applicable, to provide in an urban renewal plan that the valuation attributable to the extraction of mineral resources located within the urban renewal area is not subject to the division of taxes between base and incremental revenues that accompanies the tax increment financing of urban renewal projects.
  • HB 17-1017“Concerning County Surveyors,” by Rep. Chris Kennedy and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Randy Baumgardner. The bill clarifies the specific duties of a county surveyor and provides that certain services may be provided at the surveyor’s discretion and when compensated by agreement between the surveyor and the board of county commissioners.
  • HB 17-1018“Concerning Extension of the Authorization for a Regional Transportation Authority to Seek Voter Approval for a Uniform Mill Levy on all Taxable Property within its Territory,” by Reps. Diane Mitsch Bush & Larry Liston and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill extends authorization for a regional transportation authority to seek voter approval for a uniform mill levy of up to 5 mills on all taxable property within its territory until January 1, 2029.
  • HB 17-1019“Concerning the Amounts Collected by a County Treasurer upon Redemption of Specified Property Interests from a Tax Sale,” by Rep. Donald Valdez and Sen. Don Coram. The bill requires any third party computer software costs to be included in the redemption amount for tax liens on real property.
  • HB 17-1020“Concerning Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems,” by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill amends provisions in current statute to provide for ongoing staff support for the task force concerning treatment of persons with mental illness in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
  • HB 17-1024“Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Pertaining to the Commission on Family Medicine,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Dominick Moreno. The bill relocates laws pertaining to the commission on family medicine to Title 25.5, Colorado Revised Statutes, which pertains generally to the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.
  • HB 17-1025“Concerning the Repeal of Obsolete Laws Relating to Reapportionment of State Legislative Districts,” by Rep. Jeni Arndt and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill repeals obsolete laws related to drawing senate and house of representative districts, thereby removing 20,000 words from the Colorado Revised Statutes.
  • HB 17-1030“Concerning Updates to the 1921 Law Governing Irrigation Districts,” by Reps. Jeni Arndt & Jon Becker and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill makes several amendments to the 1921 irrigation district laws.
  • HB 17-1047“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Local Affairs to the General Assembly,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill addresses reporting requirements of the department of local affairs.
  • HB 17-1058“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Personnel to the General Assembly,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill addresses reporting requirements of the Department of Personnel and Administration and changes repeal dates.
  • HB 17-1060“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to the General Assembly,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill changes repeal dates and reporting requirements for certain Department of Health Care Policy and Financing actions.
  • HB 17-1067“Concerning Updating References to a National Standard Setting Forth Technical Criteria for Accessible Housing,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill updates references to a national standard for accessible housing criteria.
  • HB 17-1073“Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2016 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado,” by Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. Ray Scott. The bill enacts the 2016 Colorado Revised Statutes as the law of Colorado.
  • HB 17-1074“Concerning the Repeal of Obsolete Laws Relating to Redistricting of Congressional Districts,” by Rep. Jeni Arndt and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill repeals a law relating to Colorado’s congressional districts that has been rendered obsolete by the redistricting premised on the 2010 federal census.
  • HB 17-1078“Concerning the Repeal of the Colorado Family Support Loan Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Transferring Funds from the Colorado Family Support Loan Program to the Family Support Services Program to Provide Services for Families of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,” by Rep. Lois Landgraf and Sen. Don Coram. The bill repeals the Colorado family support loan fund and transfers any money remaining in that fund to a new fund created in the family support services program.
  • HB 17-1128“Concerning the Salary Categorization of Locally Elected Officials in Lake County,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kerry Donovan. The bill changes the salary categorization for locally elected officials in Lake County.
  • HB 17-1131“Concerning Contracting by the Colorado Student Loan Program for the Administration of the College Opportunity Fund Program,” by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Lori Saine and Sens. Kerry Donovan & Jim Smallwood. The bill permits the Colorado student loan program to enter into an agreement with the Department of Higher Education or another state entity to administer part or all of the college opportunity fund program.
  • SB 17-013“Concerning Authorization of the Board of Directors of the Fire and Police Pension Association to Develop a Multi-Employer Deferred Compensation Plan Document,” by Sen. Matt Jones and Reps. Kevin Van Winkle & Jessie Danielson. The bill authorizes the Board of Directors of the Fire and Police Pension Association to develop a multi-employer deferred compensation plan document to allow employers to join a multi-employer plan.
  • SB 17-018“Concerning a Correction to an Amending Clause in Senate Bill 16-146 Related to the Repeal of Part 14 of Article 4 of Title 25,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Jeni Arndt. The bill fixes an incorrect amending clause from Senate Bill 16-146, ‘Concerning Modernizing Statutes Related to Sexually Transmitted Infections’, that failed to repeal the entirety of part 14 of article 4 of title 25 prior to the repeal and relocation of sections in that part 14.
  • SB 17-020“Concerning the Establishment of a Uniform Approval Standard for Fire and Police Pension Association Statewide Plan Elections,” by Sen. John Cooke and Reps. Joann Ginal & Jovan Melton. The bill creates a uniform approval standard for modifications to FPPA pension plans by requiring that any modifications be approved by 65% of the members employed by the employer who vote in the election for the plan modification.
  • SB 17-044“Concerning the Scheduled Repeal of Reports by the Department of Regulatory Agencies to the General Assembly,” by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Jeni Arndt. The bill makes several changes to the reporting requirements and repeal dates for the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
  • SB 17-052“Concerning Recommendations Related to Title 22 from the Department of Education to the Statutory Revision Committee,” by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Dan Thurlow. The bill implements two recommendations related to Title 22 from the department of education to the statutory revision committee.
  • SB 17-058“Concerning the Authority of Certain Individuals to Purchase Alcohol Beverages for a Premises Licensed to Sell Alcohol Beverages for Consumption on the Licensed Premises,” by Sen. Randy Baumgardner and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill allows an employee or agent to purchase alcohol beverages on behalf of a hotel and restaurant licensee, tavern licensee, or lodging and entertainment facility licensee.
  • SB 17-159“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Corrections,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Corrections.
  • SB 17-160“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Education,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Education.
  • SB 17-161“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Planning and Budgeting,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and state planning and budgeting.
  • SB 17-162“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
  • SB 17-163“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Human Services,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Human Services.
  • SB 17-164“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Judicial Department,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Judicial Department.
  • SB 17-166“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the to Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
  • SB 17-167“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Personnel,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Personnel.
  • SB 17-168“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Public Safety,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Public Safety.
  • SB 17-169“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.
  • SB 17-170“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of State,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of State.
  • SB 17-171“Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Transportation,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Transportation.
  • SB 17-172“Concerning Funding for Capital Construction, and Making Supplemental Appropriations in Connection Therewith,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill makes supplemental appropriations for capital construction projects.
  • SB 17-173“Concerning Adjustments in the Amount of Total Program Funding for Public Schools for the 2016-17 Budget Year, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill appropriates $3,950 cash funds from the state education fund to align the hold-harmless full-day kindergarten funding with the change in total program funding.
  • SB 17-174“Concerning the Allocation of Money by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education for Tuition Assistance for Members of the National Guard,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill removes statutory provisions relating to the limit on appropriations and the commission’s allocation of money for the tuition assistance program.
  • SB 17-175“Concerning the Transfer of Money Between State Self-Insurance Funds at the Request of the Executive Director of the Department of Personnel,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill authorizes the Executive Director of the Department of Personnel to request the state treasurer to transfer money from another state self-insurance fund’s reserve balance to a fund with a deficiency.
  • SB 17-176“Concerning Authorization to Use Money in the Colorado State Titling and Registration Account to Issue Devices that Confirm that a Person has Registered a Motor Vehicle, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill authorizes the use of money in the Colorado state titling and registration account to be appropriated to purchase and issue license plates, decals, and validating tabs.

For a list of the governor’s 2017 legislative actions, please click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statute of Limitations Had Not Run for Enforcing Fair Campaign Practices Act Judgment

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC v. Alliance for a Safe and Independent Woodmen Hills on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Fair Campaign Practices Act—Campaign and Political Finance Amendment—Statute of Limitations.

The Alliance for a Safe and Independent Woodmen Hills (Alliance) was established to work for the common good and general welfare of the Woodmen Hills community. Before the 2014 Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District board of directors’ election, Alliance sent postcards and created Facebook posts directed at undermining the character of a board candidate. Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC (CIW) filed a complaint with the Secretary of State alleging a violation of § 9 of the Campaign and Political Finance Amendment, Colo. Const. Art. 28 (Amendment) and various violations of the Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA). The matter was referred to the Office of Administrative Courts. After a hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) found that the alliance was a “political committee” under the FCPA and it failed to register and file required reports as of the first day of the hearing, June 26, 2014. Thus Alliance violated the FCPA. The ALJ imposed a fine and ordered Alliance to register with the Secretary of State and file all required reports.

Alliance filed a motion to stay the decision, which was denied, and immediately thereafter filed a notice of appeal, which it then withdrew. About a year later, CIW filed a complaint in district court to enforce the ALJ’s decision. Alliance filed a CRCP 12(b)(5) motion to dismiss alleging the Amendment’s one-year statute of limitations barred CIW’s enforcement action. The district court dismissed the complaint, finding it time-barred under the Amendment.

On appeal, both parties agreed that the statute of limitations is triggered by the date of “violation” in § 9(2)(a) of the Amendment, but disagreed about what “violation” means. The Court of Appeals concluded that “violation” means the act(s) of breaking or dishonoring the FCPA or Amendment and therefore the statute of limitations began running the day following the last such act.

The Court then reviewed CIW’s complaint and concluded it could be read to allege a continuing violation of the Amendment, and the record does not show when or if the continuing violation ended. The complaint states a plausible claim of a continuing violation sufficient to withstand a Rule 12(b)(5) motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations.

The order dismissing the complaint was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

SB 17-099: Entering Into an Agreement with Other States to Adopt Popular Vote in Presidential Elections

On January 27, 2017, Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Paul Rosenthal introduced SB 17-099, “Concerning Adoption of an Agreement Among the States to Elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote.”

The bill enacts and enters into with all other states joining therein the agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by national popular vote (agreement). Among other provisions, the agreement:

  • Permits any state of the United States and the District of Columbia to become members of the agreement by enacting the agreement;
  • Requires each member state to conduct a statewide popular election for president and vice president of the United States;
  • Prior to the time set for the meeting and voting of presidential electors, requires the chief election official of each member state to determine the number of votes cast for each presidential slate in a statewide popular election and to designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote total as the national popular vote winner;
  • Requires the presidential elector certifying official of each member state to certify the appointment in that official’s own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association with the national popular vote winner. At least 6 days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, requires each member state to make a final determination of the number of popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and to communicate an official statement of the determination within 24 hours to the chief election official of each other member state. Requires the chief election official of each member state to treat as conclusive an official statement containing the number of popular votes in a state for each presidential slate made by the day established by federal law for making a state’s final determination conclusive as to the counting of electoral votes by congress.
  • Specifies that the agreement governs the appointment of presidential electors in each member state in any year in which the agreement is in effect on July 20 in states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes;
  • Permits a state’s withdrawal from the agreement, except in limited circumstances;
  • Specifies that the agreement will terminate if the electoral college is abolished; and
  • Provides that the invalidity of any of the agreement’s provisions do not affect the remaining provisions.

The bill specifies that when the agreement becomes effective, it supersedes any conflicting provisions of Colorado law.

When the agreement becomes effective and governs the appointment of presidential electors, each presidential elector is required to vote for the presidential candidate and, by separate ballot, vice-presidential candidate nominated by the political party or political organization that nominated the presidential elector.

The bill was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. It was postponed indefinitely in committee.

HB 17-1155: Allowing Cure of Campaign Finance Disclosure Violations Without Penalty

On February 6, 2017, Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Bob Gardner introduced HB 17-1155, “Concerning the Ability to Cure Campaign Finance Reporting Deficiencies without Penalty.”

Upon receipt of a complaint alleging that a campaign finance disclosure report contains errors or omissions, the bill requires the secretary of state to give notice to the committee or party treasurer by e-mail of the deficiencies alleged in the complaint. Upon receipt of the notice from the secretary of state, the committee or party treasurer may request from the appropriate officer a postponement of a hearing on the complaint and, if such request is timely submitted, has 15 business days from the date of the notice to file an addendum to the relevant report that cures any such deficiencies.

Where the committee or party treasurer files an addendum that cures all deficiencies alleged in the complaint before the expiration of the 15-day period specified in the bill, the bill prohibits the appropriate officer from assessing a penalty against the committee or treasurer that otherwise would have been assessed for the for the deficiencies for the period from the first date of the alleged violation through the expiration of the cure period. Upon filing an addendum to the relevant report by the committee or party treasurer that cures all such deficiencies, the appropriate officer is required to set a hearing to determine whether all issues raised by the complaint have been resolved. If the committee or party treasurer fails to cure any such discrepancy, any penalty imposed for such deficiency continues to accrue until further resolution of the matter.

The bill’s requirements only apply in the case of a good faith effort by a committee or party treasurer, as applicable, to make timely disclosure or where the disclosure report is in substantial compliance with governing legal requirements.

The bill was introduced in House and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. It is scheduled to be heard in committee on February 23 upon adjournment.

HB 17-1163: Changing Timelines for Candidate Petitions and Increasing Number of Required Signatures

On February 6, 2017, Rep. Justin Everett and Sens. Vicki Marble & Tim Neville introduced HB 17-1163, “Concerning Certain Requirements Affecting Candidates Seeking Access to the Ballot by Means of a Petition, and, in Connection Therewith, Altering the Deadlines by which Candidate Petitions are Required to be Filed and Increasing the Number of Signatures Needed to Qualify Petitions for Candidates for the General Assembly.”

The bill extends the amount of time that elections officials may review candidate petitions by making a concomitant reduction in the amount of time that candidates may circulate such petitions.

The bill also increases the number of signers needed to qualify petitions for candidates for certain partisan public offices.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. It is scheduled to be heard in committee on March 2, 2017, upon adjournment.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Trustee’s Loss in Recall Election Did Not Arise from Town’s Misconduct

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Jones v. Samora on Thursday, December 30, 2016.

Summary Judgment—Identity of Persons Casting Votes—Colo. Const. Art. VII, § 8—Standing—§ 1983 Claim—Law of the Case—Issue Preclusion.

Residents of the Town of Center (Town) organized a recall election to oust the trustees, including Jones, from their positions. Voters either turned in mail ballots or voted in person. All of the ballots had numbered stubs and, based on these stubs, the town clerk, Samora, had a list that showed which voter had received which ballot. He used the list to ensure that each voter had voted only once. To ensure voter secrecy, the stubs were removed before they were tallied. These procedures were used for all in-person ballots that were cast. But the procedures were not followed at all times for the mail-in ballots. At some point, the election judges realized that they had not removed the stubs from some ballots, but decided to continue tallying the ballots before removing the stubs. Because they could see the identifying numbers on the stubs when tallying the votes, the judges could have determined the identity of the voters by consulting the voter list.

Jones and Citizen Center, a nonprofit, filed this lawsuit including five state law claims and a § 1983 claim. The state law claims were severed from the § 1983 claim. A bench trial was held on the state law claims. The court found that the procedural errors were unintentional, that no voter identity had been disclosed when tallying the ballots, and that the election was fundamentally untainted by any substantive intentional error of procedure. However, the court concluded that tallying the mail-in ballots had violated Article VII, § 8 of the Colorado Constitution. Even though no voter identities had been revealed, the opportunity to discover them had been available and this violated Colorado’s constitutional and statutory guarantee of a secret ballot. The court voided the results of the recall election and ordered the Town to hold a new recall election within 30 to 90 days.

The Town appealed. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision and reinstated the recall election results, concluding that the stubs were on the ballots because a statute required them to be there; there was no violation of the Colorado Constitution; and the trial court erred in concluding that the election had been void.

The § 1983 claim was still at issue. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, both sides moved for summary judgment. The court granted the Town’s motion and denied plaintiffs’ motion.

On appeal, the Town asserted that plaintiffs did not have standing to file the case. As to the trustee, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that because the loss of the trustee’s position did not arise from the Town’s conduct, the trustee could not satisfy the injury requirement. In addition, because the trustee suffered no injury, he did not have third-party standing, and because he failed to allege his tax dollars were used in an unconstitutional manner, he did not have taxpayer standing.

Although the trustee lacked standing, the court found that Citizen Center had organizational standing because one or more of its members had voted in the recall election by mail-in ballot, and therefore their right to cast a secret ballot had allegedly been violated; the interests Citizen Center sought to protect were germane to its purpose; and the claim asserted and relief requested did not require that individual members of the organization participate in the case.

Regarding its summary judgment motion, the Town asserted that the law of the case barred Citizen Center’s claim. Here, the state law claims proceeding and the § 1983 proceeding were severed and were not the same case. In addition, the law of the case doctrine applies only to a court’s decisions of law, not to its resolution of factual questions. Whether the Town actually violated voter secrecy rights is a question of fact. Thus the law of the case doctrine does not apply.

The Town also asserted that issue preclusion barred Citizen Center’s claim. Issue preclusion bars relitigating factual matters that a court has previously litigated and decided. Here, the factual issue in the state proceeding was identical to the § 1983 factual issue: whether the mail-in voters’ secrecy rights were actually violated. Citizen Center was involved in the state claims case and that case ended in a final judgment. Citizen Center also had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the factual issue of whether the mail-in voters’ secrecy rights were violated. Therefore, issue preclusion barred Citizen Center from relitigating whether the mail-in voters’ secrecy rights were violated.

On the § 1983 claim, the court concluded that there was no genuine issue as to any material fact and the trial court properly granted the Town’s motion for summary judgment. Further, applying the issue preclusion doctrine, the election judges did not infringe on Citizen Center’s members rights, and the Town did not deprive those members of their constitutional rights.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

State Judicial Performance Commission Seeks Public Input

On Thursday, October 27, 2016, the State Commission on Judicial Performance issued a request for public input on the state’s Judicial Performance Evaluation. The Commission is conducting a sunset review, as it is due to sunset in 2019. The Commission will hold several meetings throughout Colorado on the following dates and times:

  • Denver (November 14 – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center Room 1E)
  • Alamosa (November 15 – Noon to 2 PM Rio Grande Water Conservation District Office)
  • Pueblo (November 16 – Noon to 2 PM Jury Assembly Room Pueblo Combined Court)
  • Colorado Springs (November 16 – 4:00 PM Jury Assembly Room El Paso County Judicial Building)
  • Grand Junction (November 17 – Noon to 2 PM Jury Assembly Room Mesa County Justice Center)
  • Breckenridge (November 18 –Noon – 2 PM Jury Assembly Room Summit County Justice Center)
  • Durango (November 18 – Noon to 2 PM Jury Assembly Room La Plata County Courthouse)
  • Lamar (November 21 – Noon to 2 PM Large Courtroom Prowers County Combined Court)
  • Greeley (November 22 – Noon to 2 PM Jury Assembly Room Weld County Centennial Center)
  • Fort Collins (November 22- 4:00 PM Jury Assembly Room Larimer County Justice Center)
  • Denver (December 5 – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center Room 1E)

During these meetings, the Commission requests that the public offer input on the following questions:

  1. Do you rely on Judicial Performance Evaluations when you vote for judges?  Why or why not?
  2. Are we collecting the right information about judges?
  3. Are we evaluating and reporting the evaluations properly?
  4. Does the quality and usefulness of the evaluation information meet your expectations?
  5. What other attributes of judges should we be gathering feedback on?
  6. What suggestions do you have to improve the system?

The Commission is not seeking input about particular judges or a particular judge’s particular decisions at this meeting.  The focus will be on the evaluation process itself.

If you cannot attend one of these meetings, you may submit comments regarding the program at www.ojpe.org. Click on the “Citizens Feedback” button at the top of the page to begin the process.  For further information contact the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, (303) 928-7777 or email Kent Wagner, Executive Director, at kent.wagner@judicial.state.co.us.

Tenth Circuit: Kansas Law Requiring Documentary Proof of Citizenship Violates National Voter Registration Act

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Fish v. Kobach on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

In this case, the Tenth Circuit resolved whether section 5 of the National Voter Registration Act (the “NVRA”), 52 U.S.C. § 20504, preempts a Kansas law requiring documentary proof of citizenship (“DPOC”) for voter registration, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2309(l), as applied to the federally mandated voter-registration form that must be a part of any application to obtain or renew a driver’s license (the “motor voter” process). Section 5 of the NVRA mandates that states include a voter-registration form as part of the application for a driver’s license, and provides that this voter-registration form “may require only the minimum amount of information necessary to” prevent duplicate registrations and to “enable State election officials to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and other parts of the election process.” 52 U.S.C. § 20504(c)(2)(B). Section 5 further mandates that motor voter forms include the following: a statement of the criteria for eligibility, “including citizenship”; an attestation that the applicant meets those criteria; and the applicant’s signature “under penalty of perjury.” § 20504(c)(2)(C).4

Granting a motion for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Kansas’s DPOC requirements, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas held that the Plaintiffs-Appellees had made a strong showing that Kansas’s DPOC law was preempted by NVRA section 5, insofar as DPOC was more than the “minimum amount of information necessary” to achieve the purposes set forth by the statute. Defendant-Appellant Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach appealed from the district court’s entry of the preliminary injunction, which required him to register to vote any applicants previously unable to produce DPOC and to cease enforcement of Kansas’s DPOC requirement with respect to individuals who apply to register to vote at the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) through the motor voter process.

Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292, the Tenth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction because the NVRA preempts Kansas’s DPOC law as enforced against those applying to vote while obtaining or renewing a driver’s license. Specifically, section 5 of the NVRA provides that the state motor voter form “may require only the minimum amount of information necessary to . . . enable State election officials to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and other parts of the election process.” 52 U.S.C. § 20504(c)(2)(B)(ii). Section 5 also requires motor voter forms to include a signed attestation under penalty of perjury that the applicant meets the state’s eligibility criteria, including citizenship. § 20504(c)(2)(C). The Tenth Circuit held that this attestation under penalty of perjury is the presumptive minimum amount of information necessary for state election officials to carry out their eligibility-assessment and registration duties. As it pertains to the citizenship requirement, the presumption ordinarily can be rebutted (i.e., overcome) only by a factual showing that substantial numbers of noncitizens have successfully registered to vote under the NVRA’s attestation requirement. Having determined that Secretary Kobach failed to make this showing, the Tenth Circuit concluded that the DPOC required by Kansas law is more than the minimum amount of information necessary and, therefore, is preempted by the NVRA.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction.

Colorado Supreme Court: Ballot Initiative Encompasses Multiple Subjects Because it Injects Politics into Supreme Court Nominating Commission

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2015-2016 #132 and #133 on Monday, July 5, 2016.

Initiatives #132 and #133 propose to change the way congressional and senatorial districts are drawn in Colorado by restructuring and replacing the state’s Colorado Reapportionment Commission with a newly created Independent Colorado Legislative Redistricting Commission. The initiatives would make several changes to the way legislative districts are drawn, and would require the Supreme Court Nominating Commission to “establish and announce a process for appointment” for the four Commission members who would be required to be from a minor or independent political party.

The Colorado Supreme Court determined that the initiatives violated the single subject requirement by fundamentally altering the role of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission and ultimately injecting politics into the neutral body of the judicial branch. The court also agreed with petitioners that the initiatives violated the single subject requirement by removing the power to redistrict Colorado’s congressional districts from the General Assembly and transferring it to the newly created Redistricting Commission. The court held that the initiative created the possibility of “log rolling” because it would potentially draw “yes” votes from people who are unhappy with the current legislative districting structure but might oppose removing the power to draw those districts from the General Assembly.

Justice Boatright dissented; he would have concluded that because every subject relates to legislative redistricting, the initiative satisfied the single subject rule.

Colorado Supreme Court: Title of Ballot Initiative Misleading and Confusing

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2015-2016 #156 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

Initiative #156 seeks to restrict the sale of certain “intoxicants” at retail food stores, including full strength beer, liquor, marijuana, and marijuana products. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the title was confusing because it could invoke voter speculation as to whether the initiative sought to prevent current holders of licenses of those “intoxicants” from renewing their licenses, to revoke the licenses of current holders, or to prevent new licenses from issuing. The court remanded to the title board.