April 18, 2014

SB 14-178: Defining “Drug-Endangered Child” for Purposes of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Criminal Code

On April 1, 2014, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 14-178 – Concerning the Definition of a Drug-Endangered Child for Purposes of Cases of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Criminal Code. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill establishes a definition, as formulated by the state substance abuse trend and response task force, for a ”drug-endangered child” for purposes of cases of child abuse or neglect in the criminal code. The bill creates the crime of child abuse for a person who is responsible for creating a situation or unreasonably permitting a child to be placed in a situation in which a child is drug-endangered and establishes penalties.

On April 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony and delayed action on the bill for a later date.

Since this summary, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill, amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

SB 14-177: Defining “Drug-Endangered Child” for Purposes of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Children’s Code

On April 1, 2014, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 14-177 – Concerning the Definition of a Drug-Endangered Child for Purposes of Cases of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Children’s Code. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill establishes a definition for a “drug-endangered child” for purposes of cases of child abuse or neglect in the children’s code.

On April 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony and delayed action on the bill for a later date.

Since this summary, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill, amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

e-Legislative Report: April 14, 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.

Friday, April 11
At the request of the Juvenile Law Section, the LPC voted to oppose HB 14-1362. Concerning great grandparent visitation with great-grandchildren. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dominick Moreno.

At the Capitol—Week of April 7

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, April 7

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1013. Concerning the creation of the advanced industries workforce development program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1061. Concerning sentences imposing monetary payments in criminal actions, and, in connection therewith, eliminating prison sentences for persons who are unable to pay criminal monetary penalties. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1072. Concerning an income tax credit for child care expenses paid by a resident individual with a federal adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 39 yes, 25 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1199. Concerning changes to the regulation of consumer goods service contracts, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1203. Concerning funding to maintain the infrastructure for the digital trunked radio system, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1173. Concerning continuation of the controlled substances abuse act, and, in connection therewith, the treatment of controlled substances abuse and making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1283. Concerning modifications to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 42 yes, 22 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1009. Concerning changing the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction to the wildfire mitigation income tax credit, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 52 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1029. Concerning a recodification of the laws governing reserved parking for persons with disabilities, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1278. Concerning continuation of the workers’ compensation accreditation program administered by the division of workers’ compensation, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies. Vote: 51 yes, 13 no, and 12 excused.
  • HB 14-1316. Concerning methods to determine whether disparities involving certain historically underutilized businesses exist within the state procurement process, and, in connection therewith, commissioning a study to make such determination, requiring the department of personnel to track contracts awarded to historically underutilized businesses, and making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-27. Concerning criminal history background checks for professionals who have the authority to appear in court, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 52 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1095. Concerning the Colorado bureau of investigation’s authority to investigate computer crime, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1266. Concerning the penalties for certain value-based offenses, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1011. Concerning the funding of advanced industry economic development programs. Vote: 39 yes, 25 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1014. Concerning modifications to the job growth incentive tax credit, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote 51 yes, 13 no, and 1 excused.

Tuesday, April 8

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1273. Concerning human trafficking, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1321. Concerning the membership of the Colorado task force on drunk and impaired driving. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday, April 9

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1330. Concerning an update of telecommunications terminology for intrastate telecommunications services. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1327. Concerning measures to expand the deployment of communication networks, and, in connection therewith, enacting the “Broadband Deployment Act.” Vote: 57 yes, 7 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1328. Concerning the deployment of broadband into unserved areas of Colorado through grant-making from moneys allocated from the Colorado high cost support mechanism, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 47 yes, 17 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1127. Concerning disclosure of information for asset recovery, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1338. Concerning planning for the effective use of Colorado’s regional centers for persons with intellectual disabilities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1211. Concerning ensuring access to quality complex rehabilitation technology in the medicaid program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 49 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, April 10

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1354. Concerning the ability of a county clerk and recorder to seek judicial review of final action by the secretary of state relating to elections. Vote: 50 yes and 15 no.
  • HB 14-1159. Concerning a state sales and use tax exemption for components used in biogas production systems. Vote: 54 yes and 11 no.

Friday, April 11

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

In the Senate

Monday, April 7

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Tuesday, April 8

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1057. Concerning the Colorado fraud investigators unit. Vote: 30 yes and 5 no.
  • HB 14-1176. Concerning the state audit cycle of the emissions program for motor vehicles. Vote: 20 yes and 15 no.

Wednesday, April 9

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1299. Concerning the repeal of the six-year limitation on applying a salvage brand to a motor vehicle whose cost of being repaired exceeds the value of the vehicle without the recent damage. Vote: 22 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, April 10

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Friday, April 11

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Juvenile Court Lacks Jurisdiction When Juvenile Turns 18

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In the Interest of M.C.S. on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Dependency and Neglect—Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

The Jefferson County Division of Children, Youth, and Families (Division) filed a dependency and neglect petition concerning M.C.S. after it received a report that he was discharged from a teen shelter for possessing a pellet gun. M.C.S., who was only four months away from his 18th birthday, did not want to return home and his father did not want him to return home. Father appeared at the advisement hearing, entered a general denial, and requested a jury trial. Father’s attorney was not available during the ninety-day statutory period prescribed for adjudications, so the court set the case for a jury trial after M.C.S. turned 18.

The Division, joined by M.C.S.’s guardian ad litem, moved for summary judgment. Father responded by denying that he had refused to pick up M.C.S. from the shelter, that he was afraid of M.C.S., or that M.C.S. was beyond his control. He also moved to dismiss because M.C.S. would not be adjudicated before he turned 18 and therefore the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction.

The juvenile court found its jurisdiction terminated when M.C.S. turned 18 without having been adjudicated dependent and neglected, and therefore granted father’s motion to dismiss. The Division appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Colorado Children’s Code confers exclusive original jurisdiction in the juvenile court over proceedings “[c]oncerning any child who is neglected or dependent” and the term “child” means “a person under eighteen years of age.” A juvenile court’s subject matter jurisdiction is based on the allegations of a child being dependent or neglected.

The Division asserted that once subject matter jurisdiction vested in the juvenile court through the filing of the petition, it could not be divested after M.C.S.’s 18th birthday. The Court agreed that the petition vested the juvenile court with subject matter jurisdiction at the time it was filed, but that jurisdiction was limited. It only authorized the court to enter temporary orders preceding the adjudication. Because the court did not adjudicate M.C.S. before his 18th birthday, it lost jurisdiction to do so. The order was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

Bills Regarding Mineral Estates, Parent-Child Relationships, Property Valuation, and More Signed by Governor

On Tuesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 27, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper signed 31 more bills into law. Some of these are summarized here.

  • SB 14-009Concerning a Disclosure of Possible Separate Ownership of the Mineral Estate in the Sale of Real Property, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill requires the disclosure of possible separate ownership of mineral estates in the sale of real property.
  • SB 14-062Concerning Reinstatement of the Parent-Child Legal Relationship, by Sens. Lucia Guzman & Ellen Roberts and Reps. Mike Foote & Bob Gardner. The bill allows parents whose parental rights have been terminated to have those rights reinstated in certain circumstances.
  • SB 14-080Concerning the Elimination of the List of Certain Additional Qualifications that Apply to Property Valuation Appeal Arbitrators, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Rhonda Fields. The bill simplifies qualifications for arbitrators in property valuation appeals by mandating only that the arbitrator be experienced in property taxation and hold a Colorado real estate appraiser license.
  • SB 14-102Concerning the Addition of Employment Positions Held at Financial Institutions to the Circumstances Under Which an Employer May Use Consumer Credit Information for Employment Purposes, by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and Reps. Bob Gardner and Paul Rosenthal. The bill allows bank to use consumer credit information during or before employment for employment purposes.
  • HB 14-1060Concerning the Authority of a Municipality to Compensate Members of a Municipal Planning Commission, by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Gail Schwartz. The bill allows municipalities to compensate members of planning commissions.
  • HB 14-1079Concerning an Increase in the Monetary Amount Allowed for the Limited Offering Registration Procedure Under the “Colorado Securities Act,” by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. The bill increases the limited offering cap for small public offerings from $1 million to $5 million per year.
  • HB 14-1082Concerning a Requirement for Written Notice of Cancellation of Individual Life Insurance Policies, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Written Notice Prior to the Lapse of Individual Life Insurance Policies, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill clarifies that life insurance policies can only be cancelled for reasons specified by statute, and written notice must be sent to the last known address of the insured prior to cancellation.
  • HB 14-1125Concerning the Circumstances Under which a Unit Owners’ Association May Disclose Contact Information for Members and Residents Under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act,” by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. David Balmer. The bill allows owners’ associations to publish contact information for consenting members.
  • HB 14-1171Concerning Rules on Forensic Medical Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases, by Rep. Frank McNulty and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill eliminates the need for further rule-making regarding sexual assault examination consent forms.
  • HB 14-1183Concerning the Reinstatement of the Authority for Active Military Personnel to Practice Professionally, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Matt Jones. The bill exempts active military personnel from automatic expiration of professional licenses.
  • HB 14-1223Concerning the Reclassification of Dolores County for the Purpose of Statutory Provisions Fixing the Salaries of County Officers, by Rep. Don Coram and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill reclassifies Dolores County as a Category V county.

To date, the governor has signed 113 bills into law. Click here for a list of the governor’s 2014 legislative decisions.

e-Legislative Report: March 24, 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.

The LPC met on Friday, March 21, but did not take any new positions on legislation.

At the Capitol—Week of March 17

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 17

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1285. Concerning a requirement that a professional tax preparer provide certain disclosures to a client when preparing tax documents for the client. The CBA LPC took a neutral position on the bill but authorized the Taxation Section to seek an exemption for attorneys; the Taxation Section was successful in amending the bill. Vote: 36 yes and 29 no.
  • SB 14-102. Concerning the addition of employment positions held at financial institutions to the circumstances under which an employer may use consumer credit information for employment purposes. Vote: 60 yes and 5 no.
  • SB 14-137. Concerning certification of workers’ compensation insurance forms. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-89. Concerning a prohibition for the state to enter into an agreement for a payment in lieu of taxes. Vote: 36 yes and 29 no.
  • HB 14-1299. Concerning the repeal of the six-year limitation on applying a salvage brand to a motor vehicle whose cost of being repaired exceeds the value of the vehicle without the recent damage. Vote: 43 yes and 22 no.

Tuesday, March 18

  • HB 14-1260. Concerning the creation of three mandatory minimum presumptive ranges for defendants convicted of a felony sex offense involving intrusion against a child who is under 12 years of age when the adult defendant is at least 10 years older that has one of the ranges starting at 10 years as the minimum in the range, and, in connection therewith, creating an indeterminate lifetime sentence with a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 10 to 16 years for a class 4 felony; a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 18 to 32 years for a class 3 felony; and a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 24 to 48 years for a class 2 felony. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.

Wednesday, March 19

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-62. Concerning reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-106. Concerning the appropriation of federal mineral lease moneys from the local government permanent fund to the department of local affairs, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: Vote: 52 yes and 13 no.
  • SB 14-109. Concerning the use of the prevention, early detection, and treatment fund, and, in connection therewith, eliminating the annual transfer of two million dollars from the fund to the department of health care policy and financing for medicaid disease management and treatment programs that address cancer, heart disease, and lung disease or risk factors associated with those diseases and increasing the amount annually appropriated from the fund to the prevention services division of the department of public health and environment for the cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pulmonary disease prevention, early detection, and treatment program by two million dollars. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-132. Concerning the repeal of the requirement that a soldier be killed while deployed to a combat zone to issue a fallen soldier license plate. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.

Friday, March 21

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1282. Concerning the specification of what materials may be provided in a language other than English by an insurer to a customer. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1057. Concerning the Colorado fraud investigators unit. Vote: 42 yes, 20 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1291. Concerning authorizing a charter school to employ a school security officer by contract to carry a concealed handgun if the person has a valid concealed carry permit. Vote: 59 yes, 3 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-17.Concerning a limitation on the approval of real estate developments that use water rights decreed for agricultural purposes to irrigate lawn grass. Vote: 36 yes, 26 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-18. Concerning the prohibition against furnishing nicotine products to persons under eighteen years of age. Vote: 43 yes, 19 no, and 3 excused.

In the Senate

Monday, March 17

  • Consent Calendar: Vote 33 yes and 0 no.
    1. HB 14-1107. Concerning the authority of the department of revenue to offer taxpayers the option to receive electronic notices.
    2. HB 14-1129. Concerning the submission by a state agency to a local government of information related to an application to the local government to approve a major utility facility.
    3. HB 14-1125. Concerning the circumstances under which a unit owners’ association may disclose contact information for members and residents under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.”
  • Passed on 3rd Reading
    1. HB 14-1163. Concerning a clarification of the cap imposed on the enterprise zone investment tax credit. Vote: 19 yes and 16 no.
    2. HB 14-1060. Concerning the authority of a municipality to compensate members of a municipal planning commission. Vote: 20 yes and 15 no.

Tuesday, March 18

  • Consent Calendar: Vote 31 yes, 0 no and 4 excused.
    1. HB 14-1082. Concerning a requirement for written notice of cancellation of individual life insurance policies, and in connection therewith, requiring written notice prior to the lapse of individual life insurance policies.
    2. HB 14-1265. Concerning the regulation of games of chance.
    3. HB 14-1171. Concerning rules on forensic medical evidence in sexual assault cases.
  • Passed on 3rd Reading
    1. HB 14-1108. Concerning limits on copayments made by a covered person for physical rehabilitation services. Vote: 19 yes, 12 no, and 4 excused.
    2. HB 14-1191. Concerning the creation of an emergency alert program to notify the public after a serious hit-and-run accident. Vote: 30 yes, 1 no, and 4 excused.

Wednesday, March 19

  • Consent Calendar:
    1. HB 14-1177. Concerning requirements governing meetings of the boards of county commissioners of the larger counties. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
    2. SB 14-143. Concerning payment of amounts awarded through nursing facility provider reimbursement appeals from the medicaid nursing facility cash fund. Vote: 31 yes, 2 no, and 2 absent.
    3. SB 14-92. Concerning the creation of the crime of insurance fraud, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • Passed on 3rd Reading
    1. HB 14-1030. Concerning the establishment of incentives for the development of hydroelectric energy systems. Vote: 19 yes, 0 no.
    2. HB 14-1222. Concerning modification of the terms under which a county may issue tax-exempt private activity bonds on behalf of an eligible applicant for the purpose of financing a geothermal energy project on the applicant’s property. Vote: 21 yes, 12 no, and 2 absent.
    3. HB 14-1117. Concerning the creation of the Colorado premature birth commission. Vote: 24 yes, 9 no, and 2 interim.

Thursday, March 20

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1092. Concerning the voluntary contribution designation benefitting the Colorado Youth Conservation Corps fund that appears on the state individual income tax return forms. Vote: 20 yes, 9 no, 5 excused, and 1 absent.
  • SB 14-123. Concerning the authority of the peace officers standards and training board, and, in connection therewith, providing additional rule-making authority; raising the maximum fee for certification and skills exams; allowing awarding grants to nonprofit organizations; denying certification for municipal violations; and making an appropriation. Vote: 18 yes, 11 no, 5 excused, and 1 absent.

Friday, March 21

  • Consent Calendar: Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
    1. HB 14-1148. Concerning guidelines for ensuring the rights of victims of crime to participate in the criminal justice system.
    2. HB 14-1206. Concerning modifications to the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act,” and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain charitable solicitation practices, modifying the secretary of state’s fining authority, adjusting registration statement requirements, and specifying requirements for appointing registered agents.

Stay tuned for Ten Bills of Interest.

Children’s Law Center Annual Dinner on April 11 Soars to New Heights

Fundraiser for abused and neglected children in Colorado to showcase SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir

The Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal advocacy for abused and neglected children, will host its annual dinner on April 11, 2014 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Westin Denver Downtown at 1672 Lawrence Street. The SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir will perform. CBS4 newscaster Gloria Neal will emcee and former state representative Debbi Stafford will be the auctioneer.

“This year’s ‘Reach for the Stars’ theme really embodies what the Children’s Law Center does through the generous support we receive from the community,” said Stephanie Villafuerte, Children’s Law Center’s executive director. “We work to prevent abuse, protect children who have suffered devastating maltreatment and prepare children for a future that is abuse free and full of promise and hope that they can reach for the stars.”

The event will feature dinner and silent and live auctions. In addition, the SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir will perform. SOAR! provides at-risk children the opportunity to be involved in a safe community and perform alongside adult mentors.

Tables and individual tickets are available and may be purchased at www.ChildLawCenter.org, or by contacting Dinner@ChildLawCenter.org or 303.692.1165. Table benefits are also available online. Title sponsors for the event include Noble Energy and The Abdoulah Family Fund.

e-Legislative Report: March 17, 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.

The LPC did not meet on Friday, March 14.

At the Capitol—Week of March 10

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 10

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1141. Concerning the confidentiality of social security numbers under the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act.” Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-97. Concerning the immunity of public agencies against liability arising from the wildfire mitigation activities of insurance companies. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-138. Concerning civil immunity for community volunteers assisting at an emergency. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-121. Concerning financial assistance for local governments after a declared disaster emergency. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-96. Concerning renaming state veterans’ nursing homes to veterans community living centers to more accurately reflect the wide array of services provided to state veterans. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.

Tuesday, March 11

  • SJM14-1. Memorializing former Senator Ken Gordon. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused. In a joint-session, the House and Senate met to consider SJM14-001 Memorializing former Senator Ken Gordon.

Wednesday, March 12

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1136. Concerning exempting a continuing professional education program that is approved by a state professional licensing board from regulation by the division of private occupational schools in the department of higher education. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1216. Concerning required safety markings for certain towers over fifty feet in height that are located in unincorporated areas of the state. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1131. Concerning harassment against a minor by using an interactive computer service.Vote: 54 yes, 10 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1149. Concerning making acts related to the advertisement of children for the purposes of transferring their care to others trafficking in children. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-80. Concerning the elimination of the list of certain additional qualifications that apply to property valuation appeal arbitrators. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1280. Concerning limits on liability for agritourism. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, March 13

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1277. Concerning eligibility requirements for recipients of grants from the military family relief fund. Vote: 61 yes, 2 no, and 2 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-63. Concerning the mandatory review of existing executive branch agency rules conducted by each principal department. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 absent or excused.

In the Senate

Monday, March 10

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-125. Concerning the regulation of transportation network companies, and, in connection therewith, requiring transportation network companies to carry liability insurance, conduct background checks on transportation network company drivers, inspect transportation network company vehicles, and obtain a permit from the public utilities commission; and making an appropriation. Vote: 29 yes and 6 no.
  • HB 14-1172. Concerning exempting certain public safety departments from certain statutory requirements related to the impact of a criminal conviction on state employment opportunities. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.

Tuesday, March 11

  • SJM14-1. Memorializing former Senator Ken Gordon. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused. In a joint-session, the House and Senate met to consider SJM14-001 Memorializing former Senator Ken Gordon.

Wednesday, March 12

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-32. Concerning elimination of restrictions on the ability of alternative health care providers to treat children. Vote: 18 yes and 17 no.
  • HB 14-1224. Concerning a set aside goal in state procurement for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. Vote: 27 yes and 8 no.

Thursday, March 13

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
    1. SB 14-51. Concerning access to records relating to the adoption of children, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
    2. HB 14-1103. Concerning the criteria that certain securities must meet to qualify as legal investments for public funds.
  • SB 14-131. Concerning the removal of certain identifying information from a motor vehicle registration card. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-117. Concerning the reauthorization of the regulation of real estate appraisers by the board of real estate appraisers through a recreation and reenactment of the relevant statutes incorporating no substantive amendments other than those approved during the first regular session of the 69th general assembly. Vote: 30 yes, 3 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1077. Concerning an increase in the statutory cap on the two-year average of the unobligated portion of the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund. Vote: 27 yes, 6 no, and 2 excused.

Friday, March 14

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-23. Concerning an authorization of the voluntary transfer of water efficiency savings to the Colorado water conservation board for instream use purposes in water divisions that include lands west of the continental divide. Vote: 25 yes, 9 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1152. Concerning passive surveillance records of governmental entities. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no and 1 excused.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Motion for Reconsideration Did Not Toll Time Period for Filing C.A.R. 4.2 Petition for Interlocutory Review

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of A.M.C. on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Interlocutory Appeal—CAR 4.2.

On October 23, 2013, the Denver Department of Human Health Services (Department) filed a petition in dependency and neglect, asserting that the minor child was dependent or neglected by respondent parents. At a custody hearing eleven days later before a magistrate, the respondent mother denied the allegations and requested a jury trial.

On November 5, 2013, the Department disclosed to mother and her attorney that a paralegal employed by the city attorney’s human services legal staff was the aunt of the father. Even though the father’s whereabouts were unknown and he had not participated in the case, mother asserted to the juvenile court on November 12 that this created a conflict of interest. The juvenile court agreed and ordered appointment of a special prosecutor.

On November 20, the Department filed a motion for reconsideration. The juvenile court orally denied the motion on December 10. The Department filed a motion for certification of the disqualification order for the purpose of interlocutory appeal on December 23, 2013. The juvenile court granted the motion on January 2, 2014, and the Department filed its petition in the Court on January 9, 2014.

The Court of Appeals questioned the timeliness of the motion for certification and requested that the parties provide briefs on the issue. The Department submitted a brief. The Court held that the disqualification order was not timely sought and that the Department had not demonstrated good cause to enlarge the time prescribed in CAR 4.2.

CAR 4.2(c) requires that a party seeking to file an interlocutory appeal move for certification or submit a stipulation signed by all parties “within 14 days after the date of the order to be appealed.” CAR 4.2(d) provides that after the trial court certifies an order for interlocutory appeal, “the party seeking an appeal shall file a petition to appeal with the clerk of the court of appeals with an advisory copy served on the clerk of the trial court within 14 days of the date of the trial court’s certification.”

The Department asserted it motion for certification was timely filed because its motion for reconsideration does not toll the time period for filing, the oral order was on November 12, and therefore the motion for certification was due by November 26 but was not filed until December 23. CAR 26(b) allows the deadline in CAR 4.2(d) to be extended “for good cause shown.” To obtain such an extension, a party must establish that its failure to meet the applicable deadline was due to “excusable neglect.” The Court found that the Department’s belief that the motion for reconsideration tolled the time period did not constitute excusable neglect. The interlocutory appeal was dismissed.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Convictions for Marijuana Charges Reversed Due to Application of Amendment 64

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Russell on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Marijuana Possession—Retroactive Application of Amendment 64—Police Officer Testimony—Lay Witness.

Defendant and her husband (father) brought their infant son to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a spiral fracture on his left femur. After suspecting abuse, a social worker from the Grand County Department of Social Services (DSS) interviewed defendant and subsequently obtained a court order to perform a urinalysis on her. Defendant tested positive for amphetamine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. The police searched defendant’s home pursuant to a warrant and seized several items, including drug paraphernalia, miscellaneous containers containing marijuana, marijuana concentrate, and methamphetamine. Following a jury trial, she was acquitted of the child abuse charge, but was found guilty of possession of one gram or less of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana concentrate, and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

On appeal, defendant contended that Amendment 64 of the Colorado Constitution should be applied retroactively and that her convictions for possession of marijuana concentrate and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana should be vacated. The quantity of marijuana and marijuana concentrate possessed by defendant fell within the safe harbor established by § 16(3)(a) of Amendment 64. Because defendant’s convictions were pending appeal when Amendment 64 became effective, her convictions for possession of marijuana concentrate and less than one ounce of marijuana were reversed and vacated.

Defendant further argued that her methamphetamine conviction should be reversed because the trial court erred by allowing a police officer to testify regarding the physical effects of methamphetamine use without requiring that the officer be qualified as an expert pursuant to CRE 702. A lay witness may express an opinion as to whether a defendant was under the influence of drugs, provided that a proper foundation has been laid. As a lay witness, the officer was permitted to testify about his observations based on his eleven years of experience as a police officer. Although the officer didn’t base his testimony on any specialized training, any error was harmless because the officer’s testimony was cumulative of other evidence. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the officer’s testimony.

Summary and full case available here.

e-Legislative Report: March 10, 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.

Action taken at the LPC meeting on Friday, March 7:

  • The Committee voted to take a neutral position on HB 14-1285. Concerning a requirement that a professional tax preparer provide certain disclosures to a client when preparing tax documents for the client but suggest amendments to exclude attorneys from the application of the act.
  • The Committee voted to support and offer amendments to SB 14-98 Concerning clarifications to statutory language on crimes against at-risk elders.

At the Capitol—Week of March 3

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 3

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1171. Concerning rules on forensic medical evidence in sexual assault cases. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • 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. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1002. Concerning the establishment of a grant program under the “Colorado Water Quality Control Act” to repair water infrastructure impacted by a natural disaster, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 51 yes, 8 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1003. Concerning the exemption from state income tax of income that is earned by a nonresident individual working temporarily in the state to assist with disaster emergency relief activities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1006. Concerning the remittance of the marketing and promotion tax collected by lodging establishments in a local marketing district, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 53 yes, 3 no, and 6 excused.

Tuesday, March 4

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-83. Concerning reimbursement to be paid by a county to the state for costs incurred by the state in connection with the reappraisal of property in the county. Vote: 60 yes, 0 no, and 5 excused.
  • HB 14-1206. Concerning modifications to the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act,” and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain charitable solicitation practices, modifying the secretary of state’s fining authority, adjusting registration statement requirements, and specifying requirements for appointing registered agents. Vote: 60 yes, 0 no, and 5 excused.
  • 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; and making an appropriation. Vote: 36 yes, 24 no, and 5 excused.

Thursday, March 6

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1186. Concerning the release of medical records to a person other than the patient, and, in connection therewith, setting reasonable fees to be paid for the release of the medical records. Vote: 58 yes, 0 no, and 7 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1089. Concerning the qualification for a person to use the 10th mountain division license plate. Vote: 53 yes, 8 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1148. Concerning guidelines for ensuring the rights of victims of crime to participate in the criminal justice system. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-105. Concerning the elimination of the requirement that a portion of the fees collected for the water resources cash fund be transferred to the state general fund. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-107. Concerning the continuation of the department of law’s authority to accept gifts, grants, and donations. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-120. Concerning the continuous appropriation of certain amounts in the state employee workers’ compensation account in the risk management fund. Vote: 52 yes, 9 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1274. Concerning the modification of certain limitations on the managers of a bank chartered by Colorado. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1271. Concerning extending a mental health provider’s duty to warn to include specific entities that, if purposefully damaged or attacked as a result of a mental health patient’s violent behavior, would jeopardize public health and safety. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-59. Concerning eliminating the statute of limitations for offenses that accompany sex offenses that are not subject to a statute of limitations. Vote: 58 yes, 3 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-9. Concerning a disclosure of possible separate ownership of the mineral estate in the sale of real property. Vote: 46 yes, 15 no, and 4 absent or excused.

Friday, March 7

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 excused.
  • HB 14-1257. Concerning the authority of the state auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Colorado health benefit exchange. Vote: 60 yes, 1 no, and 4 excused.
  • SB 14-43. Concerning the inclusion of certain land areas used to grow products that originate above the ground within the classification of “all other agricultural property” for property tax purposes. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 excused.

In the Senate

Tuesday, March 4

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
    1. HB 14-1112. Concerning limited authorization for a county clerk and recorder to redact the first five digits of a social security number from a public document recorded with the clerk and recorder at the request of the individual to whom the social security number is assigned.
    2. HB 14-1051. Concerning a strategic plan for enrolling all eligible persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities into programs at the time services and supports are needed, and, in connection therewith, requiring the department of health care policy and financing to develop and implement the strategic plan and to report annually on the number of persons waiting for services and supports.
    3. HB 14-1174. Concerning the sunset review of the natural areas council. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-22. Concerning certified community development financial institutions, and, in connection therewith, authorizing such institutions to serve as a qualified holder and to present a request for full or partial release of collateral pledged without presentation of the original promissory note. Vote: 19 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1073. Concerning the recording of legal documents. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1052. Concerning an increase in the enforcement authority of ground water management districts. Vote: 22 yes, 12 no, 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1122. Concerning provisions to keep legal marijuana from underage persons. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1166. Concerning the renewal of concealed handgun permits by Colorado county sheriffs. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday, March 5

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1065. Concerning limits on indemnification provisions in motor carrier transportation contracts. Vote: 33 yes and 2 no.
  • HB 14-1121. Concerning notice requirements for county highway contract bid solicitations, and, in connection therewith, increasing the threshold value of a contract for which a county must advertise in a newspaper in the county or post notice in the county courthouse from five thousand dollars to the amount at which a contract requires a contractor’s bond. Vote: 22 yes and 13 no.

Friday, March 7

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote 34 yes, 0 no and 1 excused.
    1. HB 14-1229. Concerning authorizing sharing information between state and local government agencies related to legal marijuana.
    2. HB 14-1215. Concerning the ability of a federal home loan bank to enforce its rights with regard to collateral subject to a security agreement.
    3. HB 14-1183. Concerning the reinstatement of the authority for active military personnel to practice professionally. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.

Stay tuned for ten bills of interest.

HB 14-1192: Repealing Colorado’s Health Benefit Exchange

On January 29, 2014, Rep. Janak Joshi and Sen. Kevin Lundberg introduced HB 14-1192 – Concerning the Repeal of the “Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act.” This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In 2010, pursuant to the enactment of federal law that allowed each state to establish a health benefit exchange option through state law or opt to participate in a national exchange, the general assembly enacted the “Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act” (act). The act created the state exchange, a board of directors (board) to implement the exchange, and a legislative health benefits exchange implementation review committee to make recommendations to the board. The bill repeals the act, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer any unencumbered moneys that remain in the exchange to the general fund.

On Feb. 25, the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee heard testimony and considered the bill for committee discussion only; the bill will be put back on the calendar for action in the near future.