October 23, 2014

e-Legislative Report: January 27, 2014

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

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

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the LPC voted to make technical changes to UCC Article 9 “Bar Sponsored” legislation. The proposal, which is the product of the Business Law Section, is crafted to clarify the existing law as it related to restrictions on assignment, transfer or creation of security interests in owner interests in unincorporated entities. Also on Jan. 24, the LPC voted to adopt recommendations from the Business Law Section, Bankruptcy Subsection to modify limits on exemptions in a bankruptcy proceeding. These statutes were modified seven years ago in legislation sponsored by the CBA.

Finally, at the meeting the committee voted to support the Uniform Power of Appointment Act; with Colorado modifications. The support for the legislation stems from a study committee within the Trusts and Estates Section of the CBA. The uniform act was approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”) at its annual meeting in July 2013. As a quick reference point—Powers of Appointment are routinely included in trusts drafted throughout the United States but there is little statutory law governing their use. A power of appointment is an estate planning tool that permits the owner of property to name a third party and give that person the power to direct the distribution of that property among some class of permissible beneficiaries. The bill will be sponsored by the Colorado Uniform Law Commissioners and will have CBA support once it is introduced.

At the Capitol—Week of Jan. 21

A recap of the committee and floor work follows.

Both the Senate and the House did not meet on Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

In the House

Scorecard:

Tuesday, January 21

  • HB 14-1019. Concerning the enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2013 as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado. Passed 3rd Reading 63 yes, 0 no, 2 excused.
  • The House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee amended and approved HB 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights. The bill was referred to the Finance Committee.

Wednesday, January 22

  • The Finance Committee gave initial approval to HB 14-1020. Concerning the consolidation of two reports on taxable property that county assessors submit to their boards of equalization and sent the bill to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.
  • The Finance Committee amended and sent HB 14-1074. Concerning payments that a nonprofit owner of a tax-exempt property may receive for reasonable expenses incurred without affecting the tax-exempt status of the property to the floor of the House for consideration on 2nd Reading.
  • The Local Government Committee amended and approved HB 14-1017. Concerning measures to expand the availability of affordable housing in the state, and, in connection therewith, making modifications to statutory provisions establishing the housing investment trust fund, the housing development grant fund, and the low-income housing tax credit. The bill now moves to the Finance Committee for review.
  • HB 14-1064. Concerning the distribution of severance tax revenue to a local government that limits oil and gas extraction was postponed indefinitely—PI’d—“killed” by the House Local Government Committee.

Thursday, January 23

  • The House Judiciary Committee amended and approved HB 14-1035. Concerning collection of restitution ordered pursuant to a deferred judgment. The bill moves to the floor of the House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Friday, January 24

  • Passed on 2nd Reading—HB 14-1020. Concerning the consolidation of two reports on taxable property that county assessors submit to their boards of equalization. Also passed on 2nd Reading, HB 14-1074. Concerning payments that a nonprofit owner of a tax-exempt property may receive for reasonable expenses incurred without affecting the tax-exempt status of the property.

In the Senate

Scorecard:

Tuesday, January 21

The Senate approved on 2nd Reading:

  • SB14-19. Concerning the state income tax filing status of two taxpayers who may legally file a joint federal income tax return.
  • SB 14-9. Concerning a disclosure of possible separate ownership of the mineral estate in the sale of real property.
  • SB 14-21. Concerning the treatment of persons with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice systems was approved by the Judiciary Committee and sent to the Appropriations Committee.
  • The Local Government Committee gave initial approval to SB 14-7. Concerning authority for a board of county commissioners to transfer county general fund moneys to its county road and bridge fund after a declared disaster emergency in the county and sent the bill to the Senate 2nd Reading Consent Calendar.

Wednesday, January 22

  • Passed on 3rd and final reading in the Senate, SB 14-19. Concerning the state income tax filing status of two taxpayers who may legally file a joint federal income tax return. The vote 18 yes, 16 no, and 1 excused.
  • The committee on Health and Human serviced approved and sent SB 14-67. Concerning aligning certain state medical assistance programs’ eligibility laws with the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” to the full Senate for review on 2nd Reading.
  • The State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee defeated SB 14-33. Concerning the creation of income tax credits for nonpublic education.
  • SB 14-5. Concerning alternative administrative remedies for the processing of certain wage claims, and, in connection therewith, amending the provisions for written notices of a wage claim was amended by the Judiciary Committee and referred to the Finance Committee.
  • The Judiciary Committee gave its unanimous support to SB 14-48. Concerning use of the most recent United States census bureau mortality table as evidence of the expectancy of continued life of any person in a civil action in Colorado. The bill was sent to the Consent Calendar for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Thursday, January 23

  • Passed, with amendments, on 2nd Reading, SB 14-9. Concerning a disclosure of possible separate ownership of the mineral estate in the sale of real property.

Stay tuned for 10 bills of interest.

HB 14-1017: Modifying Statutory Provisions Related to Housing Investment Trust Fund to Increase Availability of Affordable Housing

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Crisanta Duran and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri introduced HB 14-1017 – Concerning Measures to Expand the Availability of Affordable Housing in the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Modifications to Statutory Provisions Establishing the Housing Investment Trust Fund, the Housing Development Grant Fund, and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In connection with the existing housing investment trust fund, the bill:

  • Changes the name of the fund from the home investment trust fund to the housing investment trust fund (trust fund);
  • Expands the sources of moneys that may be used to support the trust fund to include any moneys made available by the general assembly, all moneys collected by the division of housing (division) for the purpose of the trust fund from federal grants and from contributions, other grants, gifts, bequests, and donations received from any other organization, entity, or individual, public or private, and any fees or interest earned on such moneys;
  • Clarifies that the division is authorized and directed to solicit, accept, expend, and disburse all moneys collected for the trust fund from the various public and private sources identified in the bill for the purpose of making, not just loans as under existing law, but also loan guarantees, and for program administration. The bill specifies that any moneys in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year do not revert to the general fund and that moneys in the trust fund are continuously appropriated to the division for the purposes specified in statute.
  • Under current law, upon the approval of the state housing board, the division is authorized to make a loan from moneys in the trust fund to any local housing authority, public nonprofit corporation, or private nonprofit corporation for development or redevelopment costs incurred prior to the completion or occupancy of low- or moderate-income housing or for the rehabilitation of such housing. The bill deletes the enumeration of the entities entitled to borrow such moneys and also eliminates the requirement that such loan moneys may be used for development or redevelopment costs incurred prior to the occupancy of low- or moderate-income housing; and
  • Permits the division to charge the borrower an origination fee for loans made from the trust fund. The fee must be used for direct and indirect costs associated with the administration of the trust fund.

In connection with the existing housing development grant fund (fund), the bill:

  • Expands the permissible uses of moneys in the fund to include program administration;
  • Strikes existing language authorizing the division to make a grant or loan from the fund to finance foreclosure prevention activities, which has been repealed effective June 30, 2011;
  • Eliminates the requirement that the borrower is required to seek replacement loans or funding no later than 180 days from the date of the loan; and
  • Under current law, not more than $250,000 may be appropriated from the general fund in any one state fiscal year for any uses not related to construction grants or loans. The bill changes this requirement so that not more than 20 percent of the balance of moneys in the fund calculated as of July 1 of any state fiscal year may be appropriated from the general fund in any one state fiscal year for any housing-connected uses not related to construction grants or loans.

The bill also deletes obsolete language in existing statutory provisions governing the two funds.

In connection with the existing state low-income housing tax credit, the bill adds as a requirement for establishment of the credit that, where the qualified development contains 100 or more total residential units, at least 10 percent of the residential units in the development must be occupied by qualified residents. Where the qualified development contains less than 100 total residential units, not less than 15 percent of the total number of residential units in the development must be occupied by qualified residents. “Qualified resident” means an occupant of a residential unit in a qualified development whose household income is not more than 30 percent of the adjusted median income of the area in which the qualified development is located.