December 12, 2017

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several More Bills into Law

Many bills have reached the Governor’s desk this legislative session, and on Thursday, March 22 and Saturday, March 24, 2012, Governor Hickenlooper signed several more bills into law.

Eighteen bills were signed into law on Saturday, March 24; five are highlighted below. A complete list of the legislation signed into law Saturday can be found here.

  • SB 12-011: Concerning the Differential Response Pilot Program for Child Abuse or Neglect Cases of  low or Moderate Risk.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Spence and Rep. Ken Summers. The bill extends the Differential Response Pilot Program beyond the five counties that were originally designated and allows families with low or moderate risk to engage in voluntary programs rather than involuntary and expensive court intervention.
  • SB 12-064: Concerning the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Nicholson and Rep. Tom Massey. The bill extends the sunset of the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund until July 1, 2022, and clarifies that the moneys in the fund are to be used for child abuse/neglect prevention, not intervention.
  • HB 12-1029: Concerning an Economic Stimulus Through a Property Tax Exemption for Business Personal Property and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the “Save Colorado Jobs Act.”
  • Sponsored by Rep. Chris Holbert and Sen. Mark Scheffel. The bill changes the caps for statutory business incentive agreements for counties, municipalities, and special districts.
  • HB 12-1169: Concerning a Clarification of the Circumstances Under Which Voting to Elect Leadership of a Public Body May be Held by Secret Ballot in Accordance with the State Open Meetings Law.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Greg Brophy. The bill amends the state’s open meetings law to prohibit public bodies from taking certain actions by secret ballot unless they are in full compliance with the State Open Meetings Law.
  • HB 12-1249: Concerning the Manner in Which Tobacco Litigation Settlement Monies are Allocated to the State Auditor’s Office for the Costs of Conducting Program Reviews and Evaluations of the Performance of Tobacco Settlement Programs.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill, which was recommended by the Joint Budget Committee, changes the funding allocations for tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funds.

For a full list of bills signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on March 24, click here.

Governor Hickenlooper also signed seventeen bills into law on Thursday, March 22, 2012. Five of those bills are summarized here; for a complete list, click here.

  • HB 12-1033: Concerning Conditions on the Authority of the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to Impose Administrative Fines as a Result of Compliance Audits Finding Instances of Late Reporting of Injuries Under the “Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado.”
  • Sponsored by Rep. Spencer Swalm and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill restricts the circumstances in which the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation can inpose a fine for non-reporting or late reporting of industrial injuries.
  • HB 12-1047: Concerning the Waiver of Non-Safety Licensing Standards for Kinship Foster Care.
  • Sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill allows county departments of social services to waive certain non-safety licensing requirements for kinship foster care. Previously, the state Department of Human Services had this waiver power, but it was rarely exercised due to the fact that most children are removed under emergency circumstances and there generally is not time to obtain a state waiver prior to placement.
  • HB 12-1074: Concerning Access to Data to Assist the Courts in Overseeing Persons Appointed to Manage the Affairs of Persons Under Disability.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Jim Kerr and Sen. Steve King. The bill allows a court to access data maintained by state agencies in order to contact guardians and conservators who have failed to file reports, as long as the courts keep the personal information private.
  • SB 12-024: Concerning the Obligations of a Residential Nonprofit Corporation to its Residential Members and, In Connection Therewith, Clarifying Open Meeting Provisions and Limiting the Conditions Under Which the Corporation Must Refund Moneys Paid by a Residential Member.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Ted Harvey and Rep. Chris Holbert. The bill specifies that residential membership fees for nonprofit corporations must only be refunded when the membership is transferred, and clarifies that all members must receive notice and be allowed to attend meetings whenever final action will be taken on the board’s behalf.
  • SB 12-097: Concerning a Simplified Procedure for the Adjudication of Certain Changes of the Points of Diversion of Water Rights.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill sets forth a simplified procedure for applications to change a point of diversion of water rights. The bill creates a presumption that there will not be a change in the amount of decreed water rights, which may be challenged in court.

For a complete list of legislation signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on March 22, click here.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2012 legislative decisions, click here.

 

 

e-Legislative Report: Week Nine, March 12, 2012

In this week’s Legislative Video Update, Michael Valdez discusses discusses SB 12-102, which would repeal the crime of libel, as well as an overview of the week at the Capitol, which includes pre-trial detention of minors, legal separation procedures, judicial oversight of guardians and conservators, and more.

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

The LPC met on Friday, March 9, and considered a light docket of bills:

SB 12-102 – Repeal the Crime of Libel
The LPC followed the recommendation of the Civil Rights Committee and voted to support SB 12-102 – Repeal the Crime of Libel. The LPC had delayed action on the bill to allow the Civil Rights Committee and staff to research and report additional information to the LPC. The research turned up several facts: the statute is rarely used by prosecutors, DAs and the AG had no objection to the elimination of the crime of libel, and remedies still exist for harassment and in the civil arena.

At the Capitol – Week Eight – Quick Roundup:

On Monday, March 5

  • HB 12-1139 – Pretrial Detention Of Children Tried As Adults passed on 3rd reading 34-0 with one excused in the Senate.
  • HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians & Conservators passed on the 2nd Reading Consent calendar in the Senate.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee approved CBA sponsored HB 12-1233 – Legal Separation Court Appearance Procedure. Later in the week the Senate passed the bill on 2nd Reading (Thursday) and 3rd Reading (Friday.) Since the bill was approved on 3rd Reading without amendment the next stop is the governor’s desk for signature. Congrats to the Family Law Section!

On Tuesday, March 6

  • Both Houses had early dismissal to allow Democrats to get to their caucuses; each House spent about 30 minutes on the floor.
  • Before knocking off for the day, the Senate adopted on 3rd and final reading HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians & Conservators. The bill moved back to the House for consideration of the amendment added to the bill in Senate Judiciary.

On Wednesday, March 7

  • On a 35-0 vote, the Senate approved HB 12-1005 – Concerning investment of public funds.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a “strike below” version, i.e. an entirely new bill, of SB 12-070 – Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act.

On Thursday, March 8

  • The House and Senate celebrated March 8, 2012 as “National Agricultural Day” with HJR 12-1015 – Concerning recognition of March 8, 2012 as “National Agricultural Day.” The resolution was adopted unanimously by the House and Senate after Representatives testified to the importance of agriculture to Colorado.
  • The House Judiciary Committee heard nearly four-and-a-half hours of testimony before amending and approving (9-2 vote), HB 12-1271 – Juvenile Direct File Limitations. The amended bill moves to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the fiscal impact on the state.

On Friday, March 9

  • On 3rd Reading, the House unanimously adopted HB 12-1304 – Concerning measures to prevent organized retail theft. Also adopted on 3rd Reading but by a closer vote (45-20), HB 12-1175 – Concerning the encouragement of a state agency to pursue Colorado-specific solutions in lieu of federal regulation whenever possible, and, in connection therewith, requiring a state agency to report annually regarding opportunities for waiver from newly adopted federal regulations.
  • Not wasting any time after having received the Senate version of HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians & Conservators, the House concurred with the Senate amendments to the bill. This ends the legislative journey for the bill – the bill moves to the governor’s desk for signature next.

e-Legislative Report: Week Five, February 13, 2012

At the Capitol – Week Five

The latest Legislative Video Update with Michael Valdez outlines the most straight-forward bill the CBA has ever sponsored.

HB 12-1233 – Concerning the ability of a court to enter a decree of legal separation in certain circumstances without the appearance of the parties.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Labuda and Sen. Morgan Carroll, the Family Law Section of the CBA brings you a bill where the title of the bill is pretty much the bill.

In a dissolution of marriage action, if there are no children of the marriage and the parties have entered into a written agreement concerning the division of marital property, a court may enter a degree of dissolution by affidavit, without the appearance of the parties. The bill aligns the process for parties seeking a legal separation by permitting a court to enter a decree of legal separation, under the same conditions, without the appearance of the parties.

The bill is scheduled for review by the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Bar Sponsored bill moves forward

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 12-131 in a short committee hearing on Wednesday, February 8. CBA sponsored, SB 12-131 – Duty Search for Designated Beneficiary Agreements, clarifies a PR or a trustee’s liability when conducting a search for a valid, unrevoked Designated Beneficiary Agreement (“DBA). The bill moves to the Senate floor for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Bar supported legislation passes initial hurdle

HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians and Conservators. On Thursday, February 9, the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill. This will authorize the court with jurisdiction over a guardianship of an incapacitated person or over a conservatorship of a protected person to have access to data maintained by other state agencies in order to conduct an investigation when a guardian or conservator has failed to file required reports with the court, or has failed to respond to court orders. The Elder Law Section worked out amendments with the Judicial Branch to clarify the extent of the search that a court undertakes to find a missing guardian or conservator. The bill moves to the floor of the House for action on 2nd Reading.

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

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

Friday, February 10 – “Juvenile Law Day” at the LPC

The Juvenile Law Section requested positions on several pieces of legislation.

HB 12-1139 – Pretrial Detention of Children Tried as Adults

The Juvenile Law Section requested and received authorization from the LPC to support HB 12-1139. The bill changes the process for place of pre-trial confinement for a juvenile who may be charged as an adult. The bill puts the decision for confinement back with the judge instead of the current process of allowing the prosecuting attorney and the defense counsel reach a stipulation. The bill is scheduled for consideration by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 p.m.

SB 12-033 – Child Fatality Reviews

The Juvenile Law Section sought permission to support SB 12-033 – Child Fatality Reviews. The bill adds near fatalities and incidents of egregious abuse or neglect to the responsibilities of the department of human services child fatality review team. The LPC voted unanimously to support the request of the Juvenile Law Section and to support the bill.

SB 12-099 – Expand Access to Academic Model Juvenile Facility

The Juvenile Law Section has concerns with the direction that SB 12-099 – Expand Access to Academic Model Juvenile Facility. The Juvenile Law Section stated several concerns with this bill draft:

  • Mixing correctional and child welfare systems flies in the face of best practices;
  • The facility that is the subject to the legislation – Ridge View Youth Services Center – does not provide the treatment services for the foster care protection.

The LPC voted to oppose the legislation.

SB 12-056 – Court Appointments Domestic Relations Cases

The Juvenile Law Section teamed up with the Family Law Section to request CBA opposition to SB 12-056 – Court Appointments Domestic Relations Cases. The bill is being held on the Senate 2nd Reading calendar to give the Family and Juvenile Law Sections time to find a compromise. The primary objection to the latest iteration of the bill is the shift from making the order to conduct a Parental Rights Evaluation (“PRE”) an absolute right to a discretionary decision by the district court. The LPC agreed with the request from the Juvenile Law Section and voted to oppose the bill.

e-Legislative Report: Week Four, February 6, 2012

At the Capitol – Week Four

CBA Bill Introduced: SB 12-131 – Duty to Search for Designated Beneficiary Agreements

On January 31, legislation sponsored by the CBA, SB 12-131, concerning the responsibilities of a fiduciary with regard to the estate of a person who may have executed a designated beneficiary agreement, was introduced by Senator Guzman and referred to the Judiciary Committee. The bill is scheduled for committee review on Wednesday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Here is a little bit about the bill:

A personal representative in any probate proceeding regarding a decedent’s estate shall not be surcharged for making distributions to devisees or heirs at law that do not take into consideration a designated beneficiary agreement (DBA) if:

  • The personal representative has made a search in every county in which the personal representative has actual knowledge that the decedent was domiciled at any time during the 3 years prior to the decedent’s death for a recorded, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession; and
  • The personal representative has not received actual notice nor has actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession.

A personal representative or trustee is not individually or personally liable for making a distribution of property to devisees or heirs at law that does not take into consideration the right of a party to a DBA to inherit property due to a valid, unrevoked DBA if the personal representative or trustee complied with the fiduciary duty to search for the existence of a DBA and does not have actual notice or actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted a right of intestate succession.

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

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

Due to the storm of the month on Friday, February 3, the LPC met by conference call to consider requests from sections of the CBA.

At the request of the Elder and Trust and Estate Sections, the LPC voted to support HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians and Conservators. The bill is a response to the recent Legislative Audit of the state probate system. The bill authorizes the court with jurisdiction over a guardianship of an incapacitated person or over a conservatorship of a protected person to have access to data maintained by other state agencies in order to conduct an investigation when a guardian or conservator has failed to file required reports with the court or has failed to respond to court orders. The court will also have access to this data with respect to the incapacitated person or protected person. The bill specifies which types of data may be accessed. The court may access the data only to obtain contact information for the guardian, conservator, incapacitated person, or protected person.

The bill requires the court to preserve the confidentiality of the data obtained from state agencies and use the data only for the purposes of conducting the investigation of the guardian, conservator, incapacitated person, or protected person. Notwithstanding the provisions of the open records law, documents and information obtained by the court pursuant to an investigation are not public records and shall be open to public inspection only upon an order of the court based on a finding of good cause.

The judicial department and other state agencies may enter into agreements for the sharing of this data with the applicable court. Under current law, prior to appointment as a guardian or conservator, a nominee signs an acceptance of office. The bill amends the acceptance of office to include an acknowledgment that the nominee understands that Colorado law allows the court to access personal contact information held by state agencies if the nominee fails to file required reports or fails to respond to a court order.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee and is scheduled for review on Thursday, February 9 at 1:30 p.m.

The LPC also voted to support the budget priorities of the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Liaison Section urged support for all nine listed submitted budget priorities; the Trust & Estate and Elder Law Sections urged support for additional probate staff to address identified needs across the state; and finally the Access to Justice Commission specifically requested Bar Association support for additional “pro se” or self represented litigants throughout the state. The other budget priorities include: a modest pay increase for the lowest paid persons working in the court system; implementation of the final judges from the 2007 legislation (County Court Judge in Jefferson County and a district court judge in the 6th Judicial District [La Plata, Archuleta, and San Juan Counties); additional probation officers (sex offender supervision); hardware for in–house e–filing project; funding for judge training; operating funds for the new Ralph L. Carr Justice Center; and funding for courthouse furnishings across the state. Each request from the Judicial Branch has an identified designated cash fund source and will not increase Judicial’s general fund request; as a matter of fact, the FY 2013 budget request from State Judicial reflects a general fund request reduction of just under $500,000.

In the coming weeks, the Joint Budge Committee (JBC) will be considering the Judicial Branch budget priorities as well as requests from the various departments of state government.

Click here for the full e-Legislative Report.