June 23, 2016

Colorado Court of Appeals: Putative Adverse Possessor’s Property Rights are Superior to Everyone Else’s Except Actual Owner

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Lensky v. DiDomenico on Thursday, June 16, 2016.

Adverse Possession—Quiet Title—Putative Adverse Possessor.

In 1998, Lensky purchased a one-acre parcel of property from the Valdezes. Title insurance could not be provided because all of the structures and improvements that Lensky had purchased from the Valdezes were “off the deed” and actually located on adjacent land rather than on the deeded property. In 2001, Lensky filed a quiet title action, claiming fee simple ownership to the approximately 23 acres adjacent to the property he had purchased from the Valdezes by adverse possession. Litigation continued for a number of years. The trial court ultimately found in favor of defendants and ordered Lensky to remove certain structures that restricted access to the subject property. It further ordered Lensky and his associates to refrain from confronting defendants as they entered or left the subject property.

On appeal, Lensky contended that the trial court erred in finding that he had no rights as a putative adverse possessor. He argued that the Court of Appeals’ prior decision affirming his lack of legal title to the subject property fully adjudicated his prior claim to the property as an adverse possessor, but that it had no prospective effect. He also argued that his continued possession of the subject property as a putative adverse possessor gives him an interest in the property (including the right to restrict access to it) that is superior to everyone else’s interest except that of the rightful owner. The Court agreed, determining that neither the trial court’s prior order nor the division’s decision upholding that order addressed the parties’ possessory rights or Lensky’s ongoing right to possess the property, and neither prohibited him from continuing to attempt to adversely possess the property.

The trial court’s order prohibiting Lensky from excluding defendants from the subject property was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Written Extensions of Acknowledgments of Debt Extended Statute of Limitations for Foreclosure

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hutchins v. La Plata Mountain Resources, Inc. on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Limitations of Actions—Acknowledgments of Existing Debt—Form and Essential Elements of Acknowledgements.

Hutchins and Gasper petitioned for review of the Court of Appeals’ judgment affirming the district court’s ruling in favor of La Plata Mountain Resources, Inc. (La Plata), in an action brought by La Plata to collect on certain debentures issued by Leadville Mining and foreclose on a deed of trust securing the debts. Although Leadville’s authorized agent had signed documents acknowledging its obligations for the amounts owed on other similar debentures held by Hutchins and Gasper, which were secured by the same deed of trust, the Court of Appeals reasoned that because these documents lacked the two-thirds consent required for modification of the debentures, the included acknowledgments were insufficient to restart the applicable limitations period. The Court of Appeals therefore concluded that the statute of limitations had run on any action by Hutchins and Gasper to collect on the debts or foreclose on the deed of trust.

The Supreme Court reversed. The documents in question were in writing, were signed by Leadville, and contained a clear and unqualified acknowledgement of the debt owed to Hutchins and Gasper. Therefore, they constituted a new promise to pay, establishing a new accrual date and effectively extending the limitations period on collection of the debt.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Requiring Electronic Recording of Certain Interrogations, Promoting Employment for Disabled Individuals, and More Signed

On Friday, June 10, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 96 bills into law, and allowed one to pass to the Secretary of State without a signature. In the 2016 legislative session, the governor signed 371 bills, vetoed two, and allowed two to pass without a signature this legislative session. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1014 – Concerning the Creation of the Business Intelligence Center Program Within the Department of State, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. Jack Tate. The Secretary of State’s Office currently operates a Business Intelligence Center under its Business and Licensing Division to streamline access to public data and provide resources to make the data more useful. This bill formally creates the BIC in statute and authorizes the department’s operation of the program.
  • HB 16-1021 – Concerning Providing the Opportunity to Collect Identifying Information from Applicants for State-Issued Cards, by Rep. Joseph Salazar and Sens. Jessie Ulibarri & Ellen Roberts. The bill requires the DMV to modify the application process for state ID cards and drivers’ licenses, requiring the revised application to allow applicants to self-identify their race or ethnicity.
  • HB 16-1031 – Concerning a Requirement that Legislative Council Staff Present a Study of the Transportation Commission Districts of the State to the Transportation Legislation Review Committee, by Rep. Terri Carver and Sen. John Cooke. The bill requires that the Legislative Council Staff with the cooperation of the Colorado Department of Transportation submit a report to the Transportation Legislation Review Committee no later than August 1, 2016, that details changes since the last time the Transportation Commission districts were modified.
  • HB 16-1034 – Concerning Emergency Medical Responder Registration in the Department of Public Health and Environment, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lang Sias and Sen. Leroy Garcia. The bill renames “first responders” as “emergency medical responders” and requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to begin a voluntary registration program on July 1, 2017.
  • HB 16-1056 – Concerning a Requirement that the Holder of an Abandoned Motor Vehicle Use the Records of a National Title Search to Notify Persons with an Interest in the Motor Vehicle that the Vehicle has been Towed and is Subject to Sale, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sens. Randy Baumgardner & Nancy Todd. The bill broadens the records search employed by the Department of Revenue to locate owners and lienholders of abandoned motor vehicles.
  • HB 16-1077 – Concerning the Recreation of the Statutory Revision Committee, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The statutory revision committee was initially created in 1977 to investigate statutory defects, but was repealed in 1985. This bill recreates the eight-member committee in the Legislative Department and establishes guidelines for committee selection, composition, and procedures.
  • HB 16-1080 – Concerning Assault by Strangulation, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Mike Foote & Lois Landgraf and Sens. John Cooke & Michael Johnston. The bill classifies strangulation with the intent to cause serious bodily injury as first degree assault, and strangulation with intent to cause bodily injury as second degree assault. The bill designates second degree assault by strangulation as an extraordinary risk crime, thus increasing the maximum presumptive sentence range.
  • HB 16-1112 – Concerning the Creation of the Training Veterans to Train Their Own Service Dogs Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lois Landgraf and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill creates the Training Veterans to Train Their Own Service Dogs Pilot Program in the Department of Human Services. The program will identify up to ten eligible veterans to pair with dogs selected by qualified trainers. Program participants will foster, train, and ultimately use the dogs as their own service or companion animals.
  • HB 16-1117 – Concerning a Requirement that Custodial Interrogations Related to Investigations for Certain Serious Felonies be Electronically Recorded, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daniel Kagan & Lori Saine and Sens. Irene Aguilar & John Cooke. The bill requires law enforcement officials who are investigating a class 1 or 2 felony or a felony sexual assault to make an audio-video recording of custodial interrogations occurring in a permanent detention facility.
  • HB 16-1160 – Concerning the Continuation of the Surgical Assistant and Surgical Technologist Registration Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Joann Ginal & Chuck Longtine and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill extends the sunset of the regulation of surgical assistants and surgical technologists until September 1, 2021.
  • HB 16-1172 – Concerning the Reestablishment of a Standing Efficiency and Accountability Committee by the State Transportation Commission, and, in Connection Therewith, Expanding the Membership and Responsibilities of the Committee, Subjecting the Committee to Sunset Review, Requiring a Committee Member to Disclose a Personal or Private Interest that Could be Affected by a Proposed Committee Recommendation and Abstain from Any Committee Vote to Adopt or Reject the Recommendation, and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Lori Saine & Dianne Primavera and Sens. Chris Holbert & Tim Neville. The bill requires the Transportation Commission to reestablish the standing Efficiency and Accountability Committee under the Colorado Department of Transportation. It expands committee membership to include four state legislators and representatives of counties, municipalities, nonpartisan good governance organizations, and others as determined by the commission.
  • HB 16-1175 – Concerning the Administration of the Property Tax Exemptions for Qualifying Seniors and Disabled Veterans, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dianne Primavera & Dan Nordberg and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Tim Neville. The bill requires the sharing of information among state and local government agencies to help identify applicants that do not meet the legal requirements for the Senior and Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemptions.
  • HB 16-1211 – Concerning Licensing Marijuana Transporters, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sens. Randy Baumgardner & Cheri Jahn. The bill creates state medical and retail marijuana transporter licenses to be issued by the Marijuana Enforcement Division in the Department of Revenue, and allows for the issuance of a local medical marijuana transporter license. A marijuana transporter provides logistics, distribution, and storage of medical and retail marijuana and marijuana-infused products, but is not authorized to sell marijuana under any circumstances.
  • HB 16-1222 – Concerning Increasing the Availability of Supplemental Online Education Resources, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating the Statewide Supplemental Online and Blended Learning Program and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Bob Rankin & Max Tyler and Sens. Nancy Todd & Owen Hill. The bill creates the Supplemental Online and Blended Learning Program and requires that the Colorado Department of Education designate a Board of Cooperative Educational Services to design and articulate a statewide plan for supplemental online and blended learning, and to lead, manage, and administer that statewide program.
  • HB 16-1232 – Concerning Continuation of the Authority of the Executive Director of the Department of Revenue to Issue Written Responses Upon the Request of a Taxpayer, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill continues the authority of the Department of Revenue to issue general information letters and private letter rulings through September 1, 2023.
  • HB 16-1234 – Concerning the Consideration of Methods for Selecting State Assessment Alternatives that Maintain the Existing State Assessment Requirements, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Gordon Klingenschmitt & Jonathan Singer and Sens. Michael Merrifield & Vicki Marble. The bill requires that the Colorado Department of Education investigate methods for and costs of creating or selecting new state assessments in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies.
  • HB 16-1260 – Concerning Extending the Criminal Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Assault to Twenty Years, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sens. John Cooke & Michael Johnston. The bill extends the criminal statute of limitations for felony sexual assault to 20 years. The sexual assault offenses covered by the bill may be class 2, 3, or 4 felonies, depending on the circumstances.
  • HB 16-1261 – Concerning Continuation of the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2015 Sunset Report Issued by the Department of Regulatory Agencies and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Randy Baumgardner. The bill extends the sunset of the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code until September 1, 2019, and makes several changes regarding licensing, rulemaking, industry operations, county-initiated ballot measures, and criminal provisions.
  • HB 16-1262 – Concerning Measures to Improve Peace Officer Hiring, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Employment Waivers as Part of the Background Check Process for a Person Applying for a Position as a Peace Officer who has Worked as an Officer and Giving the P.O.S.T. Board the Authority to Deny Certification to an Applicant who Entered into a Deferred Agreement, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. John Cooke. The bill requires that each candidate for a peace officer position execute a waiver to allow a hiring state or local law enforcement agency or the Department of Revenue to obtain all records about that candidate from another law enforcement or governmental agency. The hiring agency, including higher education law enforcement agencies, public transit law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Revenue, must submit the waiver to each applicable prior employer at least 21 days before making a decision.
  • HB 16-1263 – Concerning Updates to the Statutory Prohibition on Profiling by Peace Officers, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill modifies the prohibition in current law against racial profiling by law enforcement by changing the definition to include the practice of relying on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability in determining probable cause or scope of investigation.
  • HB 16-1264 – Concerning Prohibiting the Use of a Chokehold by a Peace Officer, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill clarifies that a peace officer may only use a chokehold when he or she reasonably believes that it is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third party is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury or to effect an arrest or prevent escape under certain conditions.
  • HB 16-1265 – Concerning Expungement of Arrest Records Based on Mistaken Identity, by Reps. Jovan Melton & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Michael Johnston & John Cooke. The bill requires the court to expunge the arrest and criminal records of a person who was arrested as a result of mistaken identity and who did not have charges filed against him or her.
  • HB 16-1286 – Concerning an Increase in the Percentage of a Landowner’s Costs Incurred in Performing Wildfire Mitigation Measures that may be Claimed by the Landowner for Purposes of the Wildfire Mitigation Income Tax Deduction, by Rep. KC Becker and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill increases the percentage of the wildfire mitigation state income tax deduction from 50 percent to 100 percent of the costs incurred for performing wildfire mitigation on a taxpayer’s property.
  • HB 16-1311 – Concerning Court Orders Requiring Payment of Monetary Amounts, by Rep. Joseph Salazar and Sens. Morgan Carroll & Vicki Marble. When a court imposes a sentence requiring a defendant to pay a monetary amount, the court may make arrangements for payment at a future date or in installments and must provide certain instructions to defendants. The bill specifies that these same rules apply when the court enters a judgment or issues an order requiring payment. The bill also specifies that when imposing a monetary obligation, the court must inform the defendant that if he or she is unable to pay, the court may not jail the defendant for failure to pay.
  • HB 16-1321 – Concerning Medicaid Buy-In for Persons Eligible for Certain Medicaid Waivers, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Michael Merrifield & Jack Tate. The bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to seek federal authorization to implement a Medicaid buy-in program for adults who are eligible to receive home-and community-based services under the Supported Living Services Medicaid waiver, the Brain Injury waiver, and the Spinal Cord Injury waiver pilot program. HCPF must implement the Medicaid program no later than three months after receiving federal approval.
  • HB 16-1324 – Concerning the Availability of Compounded Pharmaceutical Drugs for Use by a Veterinarian to Treat a Patient’s Emergency Condition, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Joann Ginal and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill allows a veterinarian to keep an office stock of compounded drugs and administer the drug to an animal for treatment of the animal’s emergency condition.
  • HB 16-1328 – Concerning Statutory Provisions Related to the Use of Seclusion on Individuals, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Pete Lee & Beth McCann and Sens. Kent Lambert & Kevin Lundberg. The bill expands the “Protection of Individuals from Restraint and Seclusion Act.” The bill adds seclusion wherever the use of restraint is limited, prohibited, or subject to specific requirements; adds that restraint and seclusion must never be used as punishment, as part of a treatment plan, as retaliation by staff, or for protection, unless ordered by the court or in an emergency; and expands the restrictions on use of restraint and seclusion to include youth, defined as anyone less than 21 years old.
  • HB 16-1339 – Concerning Agricultural Property Foreclosures, by Reps. Perry Buck & Joann Ginal and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. Under current law, the number of calendar days that must elapse between the date of the foreclosure notice and the foreclosure sale is between 110 and 125 days for residential property, and between 215 and 230 days for agricultural property. Current law requires that agricultural property be entirely agricultural in foreclosure proceedings. This bill allows property that is any part agricultural to be considered agricultural and entitled to the longer time frame.
  • HB 16-1345 – Concerning the Continuation of the Sex Offender Management Board, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2015 Sunset Report Issued by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, by Rep. Daniel Kagan and Sen. John Cooke. The bill extends the sunset of the Sex Offender Management Board until September 1, 2019, and requires the board to revise its standards and guidelines.
  • HB 16-1356 – Concerning Requirements Related to the Satisfaction of Indebtedness Secured by Real Property, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Kevin Nordberg and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Chris Holbert. The bill modifies the treatment of a line of credit lien secured with real property (i.e. a home equity line of credit) that has been satisfied. Under the bill, the lien continues and no release is required until the line of credit expires and the debt is satisfied, unless the debtor relinquishes all right to make further use of the line of credit by either requesting, in writing, that the line of credit be cancelled; or provides notice that the property is being conveyed upon payment of the debt.
  • HB 16-1359 – Concerning the Use of Medical Marijuana While on Probation, by Rep. Joseph Salazar and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill alters one of two exceptions to the prohibition against a court requiring that a person on probation refrain from possessing or using medical marijuana.
  • HB 16-1360 – Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Direct-Entry Midwives by the Director of the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations Contained in the Sunset Report Prepared by the Department, by Rep. Lois Landgraf & Susan Lontine and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill extends the sunset of the regulation of direct-entry midwives until September 1, 2023, and makes several changes to the scope of practice for direct-entry midwives.
  • HB 16-1362 – Concerning the Transfer of the Functions of the License Plate Auction Group to the Colorado Disability Funding Committee, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill transfers the functions of the License Plate Auction Group to the Disability Benefit Support Contract Committee and renames the entity the Colorado Disability Funding Committee.
  • HB 16-1363 – Concerning Rule-Making Authority for Medical Marijuana Advertising Directed at Underage Persons, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sens. Linda Newell & Jack Tate. The bill authorizes the Marijuana Enforcement Division in the Department of Revenue to promulgate rules related to advertising that is likely to reach underage persons under the Medical Marijuana Code.
  • HB 16-1367 – Concerning the Re-Categorization of Certain Counties for the Purpose of Determining Salaries Paid to County Officers in Those Counties, by Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin and Sens. Mary Hodge & Vicki Marble. The salary of county officers is set in statute and determined by the category of the county in which the officer serves (I through VI). Four subcategories, A through D were added to each category in 2015 under Senate Bill 15-288 for the purpose of increasing or decreasing county officer salaries. All counties are currently in subcategory A, which would result in a 30 percent increase to county officers beginning January 2019, when they are sworn in. This bill recategorizes counties resulting in smaller increases for the elected officers of those counties.
  • HB 16-1378 – Concerning Requiring Courts to Collect Money from DUI Offenders for the Purpose of Reimbursing Law Enforcement Agencies for the Cost of Performing Chemical Tests, by Rep. Joann Ginal and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill clarifies that, when the court orders that a defendant reimburse the costs associated with the collection and analysis of chemical tests, the court is required to collect those moneys and transfer them to the law enforcement agency that performed the chemical test, except that the court is not required to do this for the Colorado State Patrol within the Department of Public Safety.
  • HB 16-1386 – Concerning a Program to Cover Vulnerable Populations’ Costs of Acquiring Necessary Documents, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill creates the Necessary Document program in the Office of Health Equity in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The purpose of the program is to help Colorado residents who are victims of domestic violence, impacted by a natural disaster, low-income, disabled, homeless, or elderly pay the fees to acquire a necessary document, includingsocial security cards, driver’s licenses, identification cards, or a vital statistics report.
  • HB 16-1391 – Concerning a Prohibition Against Nonattorneys Providing Legal Services Related to Immigration Matters, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill makes it a deceptive trade practice for anyone other than a licensed attorney or someone federally authorized to represent others in immigration matters to provide or to offer to provide legal services in an immigration matter.
  • HB 16-1393 – Concerning Procedures for Ordered Testing for Communicable Diseases, by Reps. Daneya Esgar & Michael Foote and Sen. John Cooke. Under current law, any person bound over for trial for assault; convicted of assault; or found to have provided bodily fluids to another person indicted, bound over for trial, or convicted of assault is required to submit to a medical test for communicable diseases if his or her bodily fluids came into contact with a victim, peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, or emergency medical service provider. This bill repeals that portion of current law and replaces it with a requirement that, unless a person has admitted that he or she has a communicable disease and provides confirmation, a law enforcement agency is required to ask the person to voluntarily consent to a blood test if certain conditions are met.
  • HB 16-1398 – Concerning the Requirement that the Department of Human Services Use a Request-for-Proposal Process to Contract with an Entity to Implement Recommendations of the Respite Care Task Force, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dave Young & Lois Landgraf and Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Pat Steadman. The bill requires the Department of Human Services to use a competitive request-for-proposal process to select a contractor to implement the recommendations of the Respite Care Task Force. The selected contractor must have a presence in Colorado and serve individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions by providing and coordinating respite care.
  • HB 16-1402 – Concerning a Prohibition on the Use of a Device to Allow a Person to Place a Wager on a Previously Run Sporting Event, by Reps. KC Becker & Polly Lawrence and Sens. Chris Holbert & Leroy Garcia. The bill prohibits the state or any local government, or its agencies, boards, commissions, or officials from permitting the use of a racing replay and wagering device. Horse racing and related business licensees may not operate or allow any person to use racing replay and wagering devices to wager on any previously run sporting event.
  • HB 16-1404 – Concerning the Regulation of Fantasy Contests, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Cole Wist and Sens. John Cooke & Lucia Guzman. The bill establishes the registration of small fantasy contest operators and the licensure of all other large fantasy contest operators by the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies. The bill defines a fantasy contest operator as an entity that offers a fantasy contest with an entry fee and cash prize to the public.
  • HB 16-1422 – Concerning Financing Public Schools, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin and Sens. Kent Lambert & Pat Steadman. The bill changes the “Public School Finance Act of 1994” by modifying the funding for K-12 public schools in FY 2016-17. The bill increases base per pupil funding to $6,367.90, to reflect a 1.2 percent inflation rate.
  • HB 16-1423 – Concerning Measures to Maximize Trust in the Use of Student Data in the Elementary and Secondary Education System, by Reps. Paul Lundeen & Alec Garnett and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill creates the Student Data Transparency and Security Act, and requires that the State Board of Education, the Colorado Department of Education, and schools, school districts, and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services take actions to increase the transparency and security of student personally identifiable information.
  • HB 16-1424 – Concerning Qualifications for the Administration of Medications in Facilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Leroy Garcia. The bill changes the way state agencies handle the training and registration of personnel authorized to administer medications in certain state facilities, and changes the definition of “facility” to include services offered to intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
  • HB 16-1425 – Concerning the Requirement for a Licensed Child Care Center to Obtain Records for a Child Enrolled in the Center on a Short-Term Basis, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill specifies that a licensed child care center is not required to obtain immunization records for any enrolled child that attends the center on a short-term basis which is defined as up to fifteen days and no more than twice per year with at least 60 days between 15-consecutive-day periods.
  • HB 16-1426 – Concerning Intentional Misrepresentation of Entitlement to an Assistance Animal, by Reps. Dianne Primavera & Yeulin Willett and Sens. Jack Tate & Cheri Jahn. The bill creates a class 2 petty offense for the intentional misrepresentation of entitlement to an assistance animal, for purposes of obtaining a reasonable accommodation in housing or for the misrepresentation of a service animal or service animal in training for purposes of obtaining a reasonable accommodation.
  • HB 16-1427 – Concerning Exempting Multi-Serving Liquid Retail Marijuana Products from the Sales Equivalency Limitation, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill exempts multi-serving liquid retail marijuana products from the edible retail marijuana requirement that products be marked with a standard symbol indicating that the product contains marijuana and is not for consumption by children if the product complies with all statutory and regulatory packaging requirements for multi-serving edibles.
  • HB 16-1432 – Concerning the Rights of Private Sector Employees to Inspect Their Personnel Files, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill requires that an employer, at least annually, permit a requesting current or former employee to inspect and obtain a copy of his or her personnel file.
  • HB 16-1436 – Concerning a Prohibition on Edible Marijuana Products that are Shaped in a Manner to Entice a Child, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Joann Ginal and Sens. Linda Newell & Randy Baumgardner. The bill requires the Marijuana Enforcement Division in the Department of Revenue  to promulgate rules that prohibit the production and sale of edible medical marijuana-infused and retail marijuana products shaped like a human, animal, or fruit.
  • HB 16-1439 – Concerning the Creation of a New Alcohol Beverage License Under the “Colorado Liquor Code” to Permit a Lodging and Entertainment Facility to Sell Alcohol Beverages by the Drink for Consumption on the Licensed Premises, and, in Connection Therewith, Allowing the Holder of a Tavern License to Convert the Tavern License to a Lodging and Entertainment License or Other Appropriate License Under Specified Conditions, by Rep. Alec Garnett and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill creates a new lodging and entertainment liquor license for facilities that provide lodging, sports, or entertainment activities as their primary business and, incidental to that business, sell and serve alcoholic beverages by the drink for consumption on the premises. These facilities must have sandwiches and light snacks available for consumption.
  • HB 16-1440 – Concerning Reducing Administrative Requirements that Pertain to the Elementary and Secondary Public Education System, by Reps. Jim Wilson & Brittany Pettersen and Sens. Michael Johnston & Chris Holbert. The bill prohibits the State Board of Education or the Colorado Department of Education from publishing the teacher effectiveness ratings for a grade level, subject area, school, or school district if the number of teachers in the reported group is small enough to enable a person to identify an individual teacher’s effectiveness rating.
  • HB 16-1442 – Concerning Technical Modifications to Laws Enacted in 2014 Governing the Administration of Nonpartisan Elections Conducted by a Local Government that are Not Coordinated by a County Clerk and Recorder, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill makes various updates to the Colorado Local Government Election Code, which governs nonpartisan special district elections that are not coordinated by a county clerk.
  • HB 16-1448 – Concerning the Relative Guardianship Assistance Program, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sens. Andy Kefalas & Kevin Lundberg. The makes several changes to the Relative Guardian Assistance Program to comply with federal regulations and clarify the qualifying legal relationships and situations that are eligible for the program. Specifically, the bill clarifies that relatives, kin, and other persons with a family-like relationship, including foster parents, are eligible for relative guardianship assistance in certain situations when a child or children cannot be returned to the physical custody of parents or legal guardians and adoption or reunification is either unavailable or not appropriate.
  • HB 16-1451 – Concerning a Requirement that the Department of Personnel Create a Procurement Code Working Group to Study Ways to Improve the State’s “Procurement Code,” by Reps. Su Ryden & Bob Rankin and Sens. Ray Scott & Rollie Heath. The bill directs the executive director of the Department of Personnel and Administration to convene a working group to meet during the 2016 interim between legislative sessions to study ways to improve the state procurement code.
  • HB 16-1457 – Concerning a Clarification of the Existing Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Residential Energy Sources, by Reps. Alec Garnett & Jim Wilson and Sens. Tim Neville & Leroy Garcia. The bill clarifies that the state sales and use tax exemption for residential uses of electricity, coal, wood, gas, fuel oil, and coke (energy sources) applies when energy sources are resold or sold to persons who are not occupants of the residence.
  • HB 16-1459 – Concerning an Increase in the Dollar Threshold for the Review of Capital Construction or Capital Renewal Projects that are Not for New Construction or New Acquisitions of Real Property for Auxiliary and Academic Facilities to be Funded Solely from Cash Funds Held by an Institution of Higher Education, by Reps. KC Becker & J. Paul Brown and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Andy Kefalas. Under current law, higher education institutions may submit lists of capital construction projects anticipated to be commenced within the next two years using institutional cash funds, and costing more than $2 million, to the Capital Development Committee for review and approval. This bill increases the threshold for projects reviewed through two-year cash lists from $2 million to $10 million for everything but acquisitions, new construction, and projects financed using the state’s credit rating.
  • HB 16-1460 – Concerning the Authority of the Commissioner of Agriculture to Dispose of and Acquire Specified Real Property in Furtherance of the Department of Agriculture’s Office Consolidation, by Reps. KC Becker & Ed Vigil and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill gives the Colorado Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Office of the State Architect within the Department of Personnel and Administration, the authority to sell and acquire real property specified in the bill.
  • HB 16-1467 – Concerning a State Income Tax Deduction for Amounts Earned on the Investment of Money in a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Joseph Salazar and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill allows for the creation of first-time home buyer savings accounts, and starting tax year 2017, allows an income tax deduction for account holders equal to the interest and other income earnings on account contributions.
  • SB 16-006 – Concerning the Use of Qualified Insurance Brokers to Enroll Eligible Participants in Health Benefit Plans through the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Lang Sias. The bill requires the Colorado health benefit exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, to provide certain information about insurance brokers and health care navigators when consumers contact Connect for Health Colorado and request assistance.
  • SB 16-019 Concerning a Requirement that Court-Ordered Mental Condition Examinations be Recorded, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. John Cooke and Reps. Lori Saine & Mike Foote. The bill requires audio-visual recording of court-ordered mental condition examinations for individuals charged with class 1 or 2 felonies and felony sex offenses under sections 18-3-402, 18-3-404, 18-3-405, and 18-3-405.5, C.R.S. The court is required to notify a defendant that any examination with a psychiatrist or forensic psychologist may be audio and video recorded.
  • SB 16-030 – Concerning the Surcharges for Violating Motor Vehicle Weight Limits, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Max Tyler. Under current law, individuals convicted of violating motor vehicle weight limits or the terms of overweight permits must pay a variable penalty and a surcharge, depending on the level of excess weight. The bill changes the variable surcharge rate to a flat 16 percent of the penalty for all violations.
  • SB 16-036 – Concerning Surety Requirements when a Taxpayer Appeals a Tax Bill that the State or a Local Government Claims is Due, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Tim Neville & Cheri Jahn and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Lang Sias. The bill changes the circumstances under which a taxpayer is required to set aside money when he or she files a notice of appeal of a tax decision with a court. The bill repeals the requirement that a taxpayer set aside money for all appeals to a district court, except in cases of a frivolous tax claim submission as determined by the Department of Revenue.
  • SB 16-040 – Concerning Changes to the Requirements for Owners of a Licensed Marijuana Business, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Chris Holbert and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill replaces the current statutory definition for owner of a licensed medical or retail marijuana business with two new ownership categories: direct beneficial interest owners  and indirect beneficial interest owners.
  • SB 16-056 – Concerning Broadening Protections of the State Whistleblower Protection Law for State Employees Who Disclose Confidential Information to Certain State Entities that have Legal Requirements to Preserve the Confidentiality of the Information Disclosed, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill expands whistleblower protections by creating whistleblower review agencies to determine if information about state operations or conduct provided by a state employee is protected from inspection under the Colorado Open Records Act, or any other provision of law.
  • SB 16-062 – Concerning Modifications to the Regulation of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, by Sen. Vicki Marble and Reps. Jon Becker & Ed Vigil. The bill creates the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee in the Department of Regulatory Agencies to hear matters concerning veterinary pharmaceuticals referred by the State Board of Pharmacy, specifically related to board action on an investigation or complaint, application review, and rules.
  • SB 16-065 – Concerning Criminal Restitution, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill modifies the treatment of restitution for criminal offenses. Specifically, it clarifies that a restitution order is in effect until paid in full or until two years after the offender’s death. Two years after the presentation of the defendant’s original death certificate to the clerk of court or the court collections investigator, the court may terminate the remaining balance of the judgment and order for restitution if, after notice, the district attorney does not object and there is no evidence of a continuing source of income of the defendant to pay restitution. This termination does not affect an associated judgment against another defendant.
  • SB 16-077 – Concerning a Collaborative Multi-Agency Approach to Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Advancing an Employment First Policy, by Sen. Andy Kefalas and Reps. Joann Ginal & Dianne Primavera. The bill outlines policies designed to increase employment opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bill specifies five agency partners—the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the Department of Education, the Department of Higher Education, and the Department of Human Services—that must work together to identify employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities.
  • SB 16-106 – Concerning Measures to Facilitate the Efficient Administration of Colorado Laws Governing Campaign Finance, by Sen. Chris Holbert and Rep. Joseph Salazar. The bill requires an Administrative Law Judge that hears campaign finance complaints to complete four credit hours of continuing legal education annually. The four credit hours must be related to election or campaign finance law and must be certified by the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • SB 16-111 – Concerning Authorizing the Colorado Mounted Rangers as Certified Reserve Peace Officers, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Paul Lundeen. The bill creates the Peace Officer Authority Colorado Mounted Rangers Study Task Force. This task force must study and make recommendations regarding whether it is appropriate for the Colorado Mounted Rangers to receive peace officer standards and training.
  • SB 16-115 – Concerning an Electronic Filing System for Documents Recorded with a County Clerk And Recorder, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating the Electronic Recording Technology Board, which is an Enterprise; Authorizing the Board to Set an Additional Filing Surcharge for a Five-Year Period; Requiring Counties to Transmit the Proceeds of the Board’s Surcharge to the State for Deposit in a Cash Fund Administered by the Board; Requiring the Board to Make Grants from the Fund to Counties to Create, Maintain, Improve, or Replace Electronic Filing Systems; Establishing Reporting Requirements for the Board; Increasing a Local Filing Surcharge; and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Reps. Dominick Moreno & Kathleen Conti. The bill creates the Electronic Recording Technology Board to issue revenue bonds.
  • SB 16-116 – Concerning the Creation of an Alternative Simplified Process for the Sealing of Criminal Justice Records Other than Convictions, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Michael Johnston and Reps. Pete Lee & Steve Lebsock. The bill provides a simplified process for sealing criminal justice records. Whenever a defendant is acquitted, completes a diversion agreement or a deferred sentence, or whenever a case against a defendant is dismissed, the court must give an eligible defendant the option to immediately seal criminal justice records. The defendant may make an informal motion in open court at the time of dismissal or acquittal or may later file a written motion.
  • SB 16-131 – Concerning the Management of Assets for Individuals, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying that a Fiduciary’s Authority is Suspended after a Fiduciary Receives Notice that a Petition for the Fiduciary’s Removal has been Filed, Protecting an Adult Ward or Protected Person’s Right to an Attorney Post-Adjudication, and Preventing a Fiduciary from Paying Court Costs or Fees from out of an Estate after Receiving Notice of an Action for the Fiduciary’s Removal, by Sen. Jack Tate and Reps. Dan Pabon & Yeulin Willett. The bill reorganizes and updates the probate code and laws governing the management of an individual’s assets. It clarifies when an unprobated will may be used as part of a proceeding and that judgment and decree will convey legal title as opposed to equitable title.
  • SB 16-140 – Concerning Certificates of Title Issued for Motor Vehicles Purchased from Motor Vehicle Dealers, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. The bill provides an affirmative defense that a dealer has taken reasonable action to deliver or facilitate the delivery of the certificate of title within 30 days if the dealer has, at a minimum processed and mailed any required loan payoffs; contacted the prior lender and taken the necessary action to obtain the vehicle’s title or duplicate title, which must be free of liens; taken any action necessary to obtain information or signatures from the prior owner; submitted all paperwork that the dealer has obtained to the county clerk; and corrected any errors in any filings with the DOR in a reasonable amount of time.
  • SB 16-143 – Concerning a Reduction in Annual Liquor Licensing Fees for Specified Licensees, by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill changes the amounts for annual license fees for a distillery or rectifier manufacturer’s license and for a wholesaler’s liquor license.
  • SB 16-145 – Concerning an Alternative Mechanism for Creating a Subdistrict of the Colorado River Water Conservancy District, by Sens. Randy Baumgardner & Kerry Donovan and Reps. Dianne Mitsch Bush & Yeulin Willett. The bill provides an alternative method for the Colorado River Water Conservation District to form subdistricts.
  • SB 16-147 – Concerning Creating the Colorado Suicide Prevention Plan to Reduce Death by Suicide in the Colorado Health Care System, by Sens. Linda Newell & Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Brittany Pettersen. The bill establishes the Colorado suicide prevention plan within the Office of Suicide Prevention in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Through system-level implementation in the criminal justice and health care systems, the plan is intended to reduce suicide rates in Colorado.
  • SB 16-156 – Concerning Certain Legislative Oversight Committees, and, in Connection Therewith, Modifying the Manner in Which Members are Appointed to the Committees, Allowing Temporary Appointments to the Committees, and Specifying that the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council Also Serve as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Legislative Council, by Sens. Mark Scheffel & Lucia Guzman and Reps. Crisanta Duran & Brian DelGrosso. Under current law, legislators are appointed to the Legislative Audit Committee, Committee on Legal Services, and the Legislative Council by either the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House and are approved by a majority of members in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. The bill specifies that the appointing authority for each of the three applicable committees may make appointments to temporarily replace a current committee member.
  • SB 16-163 – Concerning a Study of an Organizational Recoding of Title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes Governing Professions and Occupations, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Michael Johnston and Rep. Daniel Kagan. The bill requires the Office of Legislative Legal Services to study a recodification of Title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, which contains state laws regulating professions and occupations. OLLS must solicit input, including estimates of the fiscal impact, from the Judicial Department, specified state agencies, local governments with regulatory authority, representatives of the regulated professions and occupations, and the public.
  • SB 16-164 – Concerning Clarification that a Private Probation Supervision Provider can File Legal Process Against a Probationer Under His or Her Supervision, by Sen. John Cooke and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill allows a private probation provider to issue a summons and file a complaint with the court for a defendant under his or her supervision.
  • SB 16-165 – Concerning the Requirements for an Insurance Company to be Deemed to Maintain a Home Office or Regional Home Office in This State for Purposes of the Tax on Insurance Premiums Collected by the Insurance Company, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dave Young. The bill expands the criteria that an insurance company may satisfy in order to qualify for a reduced insurance premium tax rate. Specifically, it removes the requirement that companies that maintain significant direct insurance operations perform specific operational functions in Colorado in order to qualify for the lower insurance premium tax paid by companies with home offices or regional home offices in Colorado.
  • SB 16-166 – Concerning the Creation of Transportation Fuel Distributors’ Tax Liens, by Sen. Laura Woods and Rep. Daniel Kagan. The bill allows a fuel distributor to file a lien against a fuel retailer for any unreimbursed gasoline and special fuel taxes that the distributor pays to the Department of Revenue. It also establishes the priority for the lien and requirements for filing and enforcing the lien.
  • SB 16-167 – Concerning a Reduction in the Severance Tax Occupational Fund Reserve for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Bob Rankin. Under current law, the reserve requirement for the Severance Tax Operational Fund for a given fiscal year is equal to total operating appropriations for Tier 1 programs and 15 percent of Tier 2 transfers. This bill reduces the portion of the reserve requirement based on the Tier 1 programs by $2.98 million for FY 2016-17 only.
  • SB 16-172 – Concerning the Election by a Person to Receive Electronic Notification of Certain Information from a County Relating to a Pending Property Tax Dispute, by Sen. Laura Woods and Reps. Max Tyler & Perry Buck. Under current law, a county board of equalization must mail notices of hearings and decisions to the petitioner’s who dispute property tax valuations made by the county assessor. This bill allows a board of county commissioners to pass ordinances allowing for notices of hearings for the abatement and refund of taxes, notices of hearings for petitions for appeal, and decisions related to these hearings to be emailed or faxed to the petitioner or the petitioner’s agent.
  • SB 16-173 – Concerning Authorization for Golf Cars to Cross State Highways in Order to Use a Local Road as Authorized by Local Authorities, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. KC Becker. The bill allows a local authority to authorize a person driving a golf car on a local road to cross a state highway at an at-grade crossing in order to continue traveling on the local road.
  • SB 16-178 – Concerning the Grand Junction Regional Center Campus, by Sens. Kent Lambert & Andy Kefalas and Reps. Dave Young & J. Paul Brown. The bill directs the Department of Human Services, within the parameters of certain guiding principles related to relocating individuals receiving services on the campus to home-like settings of their choosing, to vacate the Grand Junction Regional Center campus and list the campus for sale no later than July 1, 2018.
  • SB 16-179 – Concerning Improvements to the Processes Used by the Department of Labor and Employment Regarding the Employment Classification of an Individual for Purposes of Unemployment Insurance Eligibility, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & Rollie Heath and Reps. Brian DelGrosso & Pete Lee. The bill directs the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to develop guidance on and establish a position to serve as a resource for employers on the proper classification of workers for unemployment insurance purposes, audit findings, and options for appealing or curing an audit.
  • SB 16-180 – Concerning a Specialized Program Within the Department of Corrections for Certain Offenders who were Convicted as Adults for Offenses They Committed as Juveniles, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Laura Woods & Cheri Jahn and Reps. Daniel Kagan & Kim Ransom. The bill requires the Department of Corrections to create a specialized program for offenders who committed a felony as a juvenile and were sentenced as an adult.
  • SB 16-181 – Concerning the Sentencing of Persons Convicted of Class 1 Felonies Committed While the Persons Were Juveniles, by Sens. Laura Woods & Cheri Jahn and Reps. Daniel Kagan & Timothy Dore. The bill allows for juvenile offenders who were sentenced to a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a class 1 felony committed as a juvenile between July 1, 1990, and July 1, 2006, to petition the court for a resentencing hearing. It specifies factors that can be considered in order to make a finding of the presence of extraordinary mitigating circumstances, such as the offender’s age and maturity level at the time of the crime, and his or her capacity for rehabilitation.
  • SB 16-183 – Concerning a Clarification of the General Assembly’s Intent to Maintain the Public Utilities Commission’s Authority Over Basic Emergency Services while Prohibiting the Regulation of Internet-Protocol-Enabled Services by Defining the Term “Basic Emergency Service” in a Manner that is Consistent with Such Intent, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Mark Scheffel & Andy Kerr and Reps. Angela Williams & Polly Lawrence. The bill clarifies that the Public Utilities Commission in the Department of Regulatory Agencies has no regulatory authority over the originating service providers of basic emergency service.
  • SB 16-186 – Concerning Disclosure Requirements to be Applied to Small-Scale Issue Committees Under Colorado Law Governing Campaign Finance, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Jack Tate and Rep. Susan Lontine. The bill defines a small-scale issue committee as an issue committee that has accepted or made contributions or expenditures in an amount that does not exceed $5,000 during an applicable election cycle for the purpose of supporting or opposing any ballot issue or question. This bill amends the disclosure, reporting, and registration requirements for small-scale issue committees under the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
  • SB 16-197 – Concerning the Retail Sale of Alcohol Beverages, and, in Connection Therewith, Restricting the Issuance of New Liquor-Licensed Drugstore and Retail Liquor Store Licenses Except Under Specified Circumstances; Allowing Liquor-Licensed Drugstore and Retail Liquor Store Licensees to Obtain Additional Licenses Under Limited Circumstances; Repealing the Limit on the Alcohol Content of Fermented Malt Beverages on January 1, 2019; and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Reps. Angela Williams & Dan Nordberg. The bill makes several changes to laws related to the licensing of liquor-licensed drugstores and retail liquor stores licensed with the Liquor Enforcement Division within the Department of Revenue. Click here to read the governor’s press release about this bill.
  • SB 16-199 – Concerning Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and, in Connection Therewith, Determining the Capitated Rate for Services and Creating an Ombudsman for Participants in Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Ray Scott & Pat Steadman and Reps. Brian DelGrosso & Joann Ginal. The bill requires that contracts between the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and organizations providing a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly include the negotiated monthly capitated rate for services. The rate must be less than the amount that would have been paid for services to the PACE participant under the regular Medicaid state plan if the person were not enrolled in PACE.
  • SB 16-208 – Concerning Maintaining the Same Funding Calculation for a Charter School that Converts from a District Charter School to an Institute Charter School or from an Institute Charter School to a District Charter School, by Sen. Owen Hill and Reps. Angela Williams & Lang Sias. The bill clarifies that if a district charter school converts to an institute charter school, or an institute charter school converts to a district charter school, the converted school’s funding is still calculated using the formula that applied to the school before the conversion.
  • SB 16-217 – Concerning Measures to Expedite the Litigation of Workers’ Compensation Claims, by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill establishes new requirements concerning the reduction of workers’ compensation payments in cases that involve an admission of liability by an employer and propose to reduce the amount of compensation paid to a claimant.
  • SB 16-218 – Concerning Matters Related to State Severance Tax Refunds, by Sens. Kent Lambert & Pat Steadman and Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin. The bill addresses a severance tax refund obligation arising as a result of the Colorado Supreme Court’s April 25, 2016, decision in BP America v. Colorado Department of Revenue. The bill creates a mechanism for refunds of severance tax revenue to businesses, including businesses that revise their severance tax returns to claim additional tax deductions for tax years 2012 through 2015.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Civil Union Marriage Bill, Workers’ Compensation Sample Form Requirement Bill, and More Signed

On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 24 bills into law. To date, he has signed 275  bills this legislative session. Some of the bills signed Wednesday include a bill enhancing measures against charitable fraud, a bill regulating the practice of massage therapy to deter human trafficking, a bill setting forth requirements for marijuana cultivation in indoor spaces, a bill clarifying the marriage process for individuals in a civil union, and more. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1047 – Concerning the Adoption of an Interstate Compact to Allow Physicians to Become Licensed in Multiple States through an Expedited Licensure Process, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Perry Buck & Faith Winter and Sens. Linda Newell & Ellen Roberts. The bill enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (compact) and authorizes the Governor to enter into the compact on behalf of Colorado. Under the compact, physicians licensed in a member state may obtain an expedited license in other member states, allowing them to practice in Colorado or in another member state.
  • HB 16-1088 – Concerning the Authorization for a Fire Protection District to Impose an Impact Fee on New Development, and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the “Public Safety Fairness Act,” by Rep. Timothy Dore and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill authorizes a local government to impose an impact fee on new construction to fund fire and emergency services provided by that local government.
  • HB 16-1114 – Concerning the Repeal of Duplicate Reporting Requirements, by Rep. Brian DelGrosso and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill bill eliminates current employment verification standards that require each employer in Colorado to attest within 20 days that it has verified the legal work status of each employee, has not altered or falsified employee identification documents, and has not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien; require each employer in Colorado to submit documentation to the director of the Division of Labor in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) that demonstrates that the employer is in compliance with federal employment verification requirements; and fine an employer for failing to provide required documentation or for providing fraudulent documentation.
  • HB 16-1129 – Concerning Measures for Enhanced Enforcement Against Acts of Charitable Fraud, by Reps. Polly Lawrence & Beth McCann and Sens. Larry Crowder & Rollie Heath. The bill strengthens measures against charitable fraud in several ways. It allows the state to bring civil actions against individuals charged with charitable fraud, with a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation with a cap of $3 million for related series of violations. In determining a civil penalty, the court must adjust the limitations cap for inflation.
  • HB 16-1171 – Concerning Continuation of the Colorado Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee, by Reps. Brittany Petterson & Rhonda Fields and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill indefinitely extends the sunset of the Colorado Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee.
  • HB 16-1194 – Concerning a Temporary Income Tax Deduction for a Portion of Lease Payments Received by a Qualified Taxpayer for Leasing the Taxpayer’s Agricultural Asset to an Eligible Beginning Farmer or Rancher, by Reps. Diane Mitsch Bush & Jon Becker and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill creates an income tax deduction for taxpayers that lease an agricultural asset, defined as land, crops, livestock, livestock facilities, farm equipment, grain storage, or irrigation equipment, to a beginning farmer or rancher satisfying certain qualifications.
  • HB 16-1282 – Concerning the Alignment of Regular Biennial School Elections with Disclosure Requirements Governing Other Election Races Under the “Fair Campaign Practices Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. KC Becker & Brittany Pettersen and Sens. Nancy Todd & Jack Tate. The bill applies the disclosure requirements in the Fair Campaign Practices Act to regular biennial school board elections.
  • HB 16-1320 – Concerning the Regulation of Massage Therapy to Modify Practices that are Linked to Criminal Behavior, by Reps. Mike Foote & Terri Carver and Sen. John Cooke. The bill removes specific exemptions from the practice of massage therapy and clarifies that other health care professionals may practice massage therapy as long as the therapy is within the limits of their license. The bill also specifies that massage therapists must be at least 18 years of age.
  • HB 16-1335 – Concerning the Unlawful Sale of Certain Publicly Provided Services, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Jovan Melton and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill prohibits a person from reserving or obtaining a cost-free government service or appointment to sell or intend to sell.
  • HB 16-1377 – Concerning the Creation of a Task Force on the Collection and Security of Digital Images of Evidence of Child Abuse or Neglect, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill creates a task force in the Department of Human Services to examine the collection and security of digital images of evidence of child abuse and neglect. The task force is required to examine current practices by county departments of human services, best practices and safeguards concerning digital images, the role of law enforcement and medical professionals, and to make recommendations.
  • HB 16-1429 – Concerning Alternative Education Campuses, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Brittany Pettersen & Jim Wilson and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill modifies the criteria for designation as an alternative education campus by lowering the threshold for AEC designation from 95 percent high-risk students to 90 percent high-risk students; substituting four absences in any one month, or ten absences in any given year, for the current high-risk criteria of failing to remain continuously enrolled and regularly attending school in the previous semester; expanding high-risk criteria to include students who are wards of the courts, are in foster care, or have experienced the loss of a parent or sibling; and redefining the meaning of behavioral health issues related to high-risk students in AECs.
  • SB 16-035 – Concerning the Public School Fund, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating a Public School Fund Investment Board to Direct the State Treasurer on the Investment of the Fund and Changing the Distribution of the Interest or Income Earned on the Investment of the Moneys in the Fund, by Sens. Michael Johnston & Jerry Sonnenberg and Reps. Bob Rankin & Dave Young. The bill creates the Public School Fund Investment Board to oversee investment of the Public School Fund and broadens the allowable investment options for the fund. The board is charged with establishing policies concerning allowable investments of the fund and the distribution of income and interest earnings.
  • SB 16-069 – Concerning Measures to Provide Community-Based Out-of-Hospital Medical Services, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Leroy Garcia and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to establish rules governing the scope of practice of community integrated health care service, including the issuance of an endorsement in community integrated health care service to emergency medical service providers. In addition, agencies managing and offering community integrated health care services must be licensed by CDPHE beginning December 31, 2018.
  • SB 16-073 – Concerning the Authority of the State Auditor to Audit the Use of State Gaming Tax Revenues Transferred from the State Historical Fund Directly to the Gaming Cities for Historic Preservation, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Polly Lawrence. The bill requires the State Auditor to conduct postaudits and performance audits of the limited gaming funds that are transferred to the State Historical Fund for the preservation and restoration of the gaming cities of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek.
  • SB 16-080 – Concerning Secured Marijuana Cultivation Requirements, by Sen. Linda Newell and Reps. Cole Wist & Dan Pabon. The bill removes an exemption from certain offenses relating to marijuana and marijuana concentrate provided for lawfully cultivated medical marijuana. Under the bill, residential growers of medical marijuana will be subject to the same requirements as other growers to lawfully cultivate in an enclosed and locked space and to restrict the access of persons under the age of 21, unless that person is at least 18 years old and holds a valid medical marijuana card or is a registered primary caregiver. The bill also clarifies that if a person is lawfully cultivating medical marijuana, that fact alone is not sufficient to require a referral to child protection services.
  • SB 16-120 – Concerning Providing an Explanation of Benefits to Medicaid Recipients for Purposes of Discovering Potential Medicaid Fraud, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. Don Coram. The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide explanation of benefits (EOB) statements to Medicaid clients beginning July 1, 2017. The EOB statements must be distributed at least bimonthly and the department may determine the most cost effective means of sending out the statements, including email or web-based distribution, with mailed copies sent by request only. The bill specifies the information to be included in the EOB statements, including the name of the client receiving services, the name of the service providers, a description of the service provided, the billing code for the service, and the date of the service.
  • SB 16-124 – Concerning Sales and Use Tax Treatment for Equipment Used for Processing Recovered Materials, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Reps. Kevin Priola & KC Becker. The bill expands the current sales and use tax exemption for machinery and machine tools used in manufacturing to include machinery purchased by businesses listed in the Department of Public Heath and Environment’s inventory of recyclers and solid waste processors.
  • SB 16-150 – Concerning Marriages by Individuals who are Parties to a Civil Union, and, in Connection Therewith, Prohibiting Marriages in Circumstances in which one of the Parties is Already in a Civil Union with Another Individual, Addressing the Legal Effect of Parties to a Civil Union Marrying Each Other, Clarifying the Dissolution Process when Parties to a Civil Union Marry, and Amending the Bigamy Statute to Include Parties to a Civil Union, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Daneya Esgar. The bill amends state law concerning civil unions and marriage to do the following: allow persons in a valid current civil union to marry each other without having to first dissolve the civil union; specify that a civil union and marriage are merged when two people in a civil union subsequently enter into marriage and that the civil union terminates on the date of the new marriage; specify that the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act applies to marriages that result from a merger with a civil union; specify that time spent in a civil union prior to it being converted to marriage is included when determining the duration of such a marriage during dissolution proceedings; apply state bigamy laws to persons currently in a civil union who enter into marriage with someone other than the civil union partner or persons who enter into another civil union; and more.
  • SB 16-161 – Concerning the Regulation of Athletic Trainers by the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Dianne Primavera. The bill requires athletic trainers to be registered with the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and reinstates the Athletic Trainer Practice Act as it existed prior to its 2015 repeal.
  • SB 16-182 – Concerning Technical Revisions to the Statutes Governing the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Dave Young. The bill makes technical changes to align state statute with federal law and rules for vocational rehabilitation programs and updates program terminology.
  • SB 16-192 – Concerning a Needs Assessment Tool for Persons Eligible for Long-Term Services and Supports, Including Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Dave Young. The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to select a new needs assessment tool for persons receiving long-term services and supports, including services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, by July 1, 2018.
  • SB 16-198 – Concerning the Standards Applicable to Documents Used by Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carriers in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Advisory Organizations and Ratings Organizations to File Sample Forms of Policies, Riders, Letters, Notices, and Other Documents to the Commissioner of Insurance, by Sen. Chris Holbert and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. The bill adds advisory organizations and rating organizations to the list of entities required to comply with current law regarding submission of policy forms, which may include any endorsement, rider, letter, notice, or other document affecting an insurance policy or contract. These materials are to be submitted to the Commissioner of Insurance in the Division of Insurance within the Department of Regulatory Agencies via an annual report due by July 1 of each year.
  • SB 16-200 – Concerning the Creation of a Position in the Office of the Governor that Coordinates the Permitting of Water Projects, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill creates the position of Director of Water Project Permitting (permitting director) in the Governor’s Office to coordinate the federal, state, and local government permitting of raw water diversion, storage, or delivery projects, including associated hydroelectric facilities and both consumptive and nonconsumptive uses of water; and water projects that are either assessed a water quality certification fee or are eligible for financing from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Construction Fund.
  • SB 16-215 – Concerning Modifications to the Implementation of the State’s Payroll System that will Allow All State Employees to be Paid Twice a Month, by Sen. Jack Tate and Rep. Dave Young. The bill modifies the implementation of the state’s twice monthly payroll system authorized through House Bill 15-1392. The bill allows the State Personnel Director within the Department of Personnel and Administration to determine when to begin paying salaries twice a month, if it is determined that it is necessary to delay until after July 1, 2017, due to the implementation of the Human Resources Information System. Additionally, the bill eliminates one of the options an employee may use to repay a one-time loan authorized through HB 15-1392.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Uniform Trust Decanting Act, Governing Law for LLCs, Funding Marijuana Research, and More Bills Signed

On Monday, June 6, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 34 bills into law. Governor Hickenlooper vetoed a bill on Thursday, HB 16-1231, “Concerning the Limited Use of Automated Vehicle Identification Systems Designed to Detect Disobedience to a Traffic Signal.” To date, the governor has signed 251 bills and vetoed one bill this legislative session.

The bills signed Monday include a bill enacting the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, a bill amending requirements for limited liability companies, a bill limiting the applicability of the statute of frauds to partnerships, a bill allowing appropriations from the marijuana cash fund to finance marijuana research, and more. The bills signed Monday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1040 – Concerning Auxiliary Emergency Communications in the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Establishing the Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit in the Office Of Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety, and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill creates the Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit, which can establish programs for training auxiliary emergency communications across the state.
  • HB 16-1142 – Concerning the Creation of a Credit Against the State Income Tax for Rural Primary Care Preceptors Training Students Matriculating at Colorado Institutions of Higher Education, by Reps. Perry Buck & Joann Ginal and Sens. Larry Crowder & John Cooke. The bill creates a state income tax credit for licensed Colorado health care professionals who provide uncompensated personalized instruction, training, and supervision to one or more graduate students seeking a medical degree at a Colorado institution for higher education.
  • HB 16-1177 – Concerning the Continuation of the Council of Higher Education Representatives, by Rep. Janet Buckner & Brittany Pettersen and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill extends the sunset of the Council of Higher Education Representatives until September 1, 2021.
  • HB 16-1186 – Concerning the Allocation of a Portion of Fee Revenues Collected from Public Utilities to Meet Colorado’s Grant Match Obligations Under Federal Law Governing the Funding of Fixed Rail Guideway Safety Oversight Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill diverts $150,000 of the public utility fees from the General Fund to the Fixed Utility Fund.
  • HB 16-1287 – Concerning a Requirement that the Department of Labor and Employment Study the Integration of Alternative Training by Colorado Businesses, by Reps. Paul Rosenthal & Jim Wilson and Sens. John Cooke & Andy Kefalas. The bill requires the Department of Labor and Employment to review its regulations that may impact the availability of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs in Colorado businesses by July 1, 2017.
  • HB 16-1329 – Concerning Laws Governing Limited Liability Companies Codified in Article 80 of Title 7 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Rollie Heath. The bill changes state law regarding limited liability companies, including removing the requirement that a partner’s contribution to the LLC is a prerequisite to becoming a member of the company, limits the statute of frauds, and reconciles various partnership and LLC acts.
  • HB 16-1330 – Concerning Authority to File a Correction Statement with the Secretary of State if a Document Previously Filed was Delivered to the Secretary of State for Filing in Error, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Rollie Heath. Under current law, an entity may file a statement of correction with the Secretary of State’s Office to revoke a previously filed document under certain conditions. This bill allows statements of correction to also be filed for a document that was delivered and filed in error.
  • HB 16-1332 – Concerning Modifications to the Income Tax Credits for Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles, and, in Connection Therewith, Fixing Specified Dollar Amounts for the Credits, Allowing the Credit to be Assigned to a Financing Entity, Requiring Vehicle Identification Number Tracking of the Motor Vehicle for which the Credit is Claimed, and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Ray Scott & Michael Johnston. The bill changes two refundable income tax credits in current law: the innovative motor vehicle credit and the innovative truck credit.
  • HB 16-1333 – Concerning Laws Governing Partnerships Codified in Title 7 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Rollie Heath. The bill limits the applicability of the statute of frauds to partnerships and specifies which laws govern limited partnerships.
  • HB 16-1348 – Concerning a Specific Crime of Cruelty to a Certified Police Working Dog, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill creates the crime of cruelty to a law enforcement service animal as a class 6 felony for a first offense and a class 5 felony for subsequent offenses.
  • HB 16-1349 – Concerning Continuation of the Voluntary Contribution to the Military Family Relief Fund, by Reps. Su Ryden & Dan Nordberg and Sen. Morgan Carroll. The bill extends the voluntary contribution designation benefitting the Military Family Relief Fund through tax year 2020.
  • HB 16-1368 – Concerning the Codification of Current Practice for the Management of Records of Governmental Agencies, by Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill clarifies and codifies the current practices of the state archivist in the Department of Personnel and Administration related to the storage and retention of state archives and public records.
  • HB 16-1373 – Concerning Requiring School Districts to Adopt a Policy Permitting the Use of Medical Marijuana by Students Authorized to Use Medical Marijuana, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sens. Chris Holbert & Vicki Marble. The bill allows school districts to adopt policies allowing medical marijuana use by students authorized to use medical marijuana.
  • HB 16-1375 – Concerning Changes to Dates for Submitting Reports that Involve the Department of Higher Education, by Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jim Wilson and Sens. Nancy Todd & Owen Hill. Under current law, the Department of Higher Education and Department of Education are required to submit a joint report on February 1 annually. The bill changes the due date to April 1.
  • HB 16-1458 – Concerning Measures to Effectuate the Conservation of Nature Species in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Appropriations from the Species Conservation Trust Fund for Purposes Recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, by Reps. Ed Vigil & Don Coram and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Leroy Garcia. The bill appropriates $3.0 million from the Species Conservation Trust Fund for programs that are designed to conserve native species that have been listed as threatened or endangered under state or federal law, or are likely to become candidate species.
  • HB 16-1465 – Concerning Modifications to the Colorado Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and, in Connection Therewith, Extending the Period During which the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority may Allocate Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Jon Becker and Sens. Jessie Ulibarri & John Cooke. The bill extends the number of years, from two to five years, in which the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority may allocate low-income housing income tax credits.
  • SB 16-003 – Concerning Increased Methods to Reduce Wildfire Risk, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & Matt Jones and Rep. KC Becker. The bill adds broadcast burning to the types of projects and methods for which the Department of Natural Resources may award grants from the Wildfire Risk Reduction Cash Fund, and authorizes the transfer of a total of $3.0 million into the cash fund.
  • SB 16-041 – Concerning Data Collected by the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Public Safety Concerning the Study of Marijuana Implementation, by Sen. Randy Baumgardner and Rep. Dan Pabon. Currently, the Department of Criminal Justice is required to study law enforcement activities and costs related to the personal use and regulation of marijuana. This bill repeals the section of statute that requires the study to examine law enforcement costs and repeals the requirement that the study contain information concerning marijuana-initiated contacts by law enforcement, broken down by judicial district and by race and ethnicity.
  • SB 16-085 – Concerning the “Colorado Uniform Trust Decanting Act,” by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Yeulin Willett. The bill enacts the Uniform Trust Decanting Act in Colorado, which allows a trustee to reform an irrevocable trust document within reasonable limits that ensure the trust will achieve the settlor’s original intent. The act prevents decanting—a term to describe the distribution of assets from one trust into a second trust—when it would defeat a charitable or tax-related purpose of the settlor.
  • SB 16-087 – Concerning Funding for the Highway-Rail Crossing Signalization Fund, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Randy Baumgardner and Rep. Max Tyler. The bill creates a one-time state transfer of $240,000 from off-the-top Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) revenue to the Highway-Rail Crossing Signalization Fund in FY 2016-17. In FY 2017-18 and each year thereafter, the bill creates a state diversion from the General Fund.
  • SB 16-104 – Concerning Incentives to Become a Teacher in a Rural School District in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Nancy Todd & Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Jon Becker. The bill creates several new programs to provide incentives for individuals to become teachers in rural school districts, and to support the needs of professional educators in rural school districts.
  • SB 16-132 – Concerning Clarifying that Test Results Relating to Certain DUI Offenses are Not Public Information, by Sen. John Cooke and Rep. Mike Foote. The bill requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to keep all personal identifying information related to blood alcohol content test results confidential, and specifies that the test results may only be released to the individual who is the subject of the test, his or her attorney, a named party in a civil or criminal case to which the test results are directly related, or a prosecuting attorney, law enforcement officer, state agency, or state and local public official legally authorized to use such information to carry out his or her duties.
  • SB 16-135 – Concerning a Pharmacist’s Provision of Health Care Services that have been Delegated by Another Health Care Provider, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Rep. Joann Ginal. The bill allows health insurance plans to provide coverage for health care services provided by a pharmacist as part of a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement if certain conditions are met. Specifically, the health plan must provide coverage for the same service if it is provided by a licensed physician or an advanced practice nurse and the pharmacist must be included in the insurers network of participating providers.
  • SB 16-146 – Concerning Modernizing Statutes Relating to Sexually Transmitted Infections, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Daneya Esgar. The bill updates state law concerning sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and allows for all STIs to be treated uniformly. It removes language specifically criminalizing HIV infection.
  • SB 16-171 – Concerning Modification and Clarification of the Statutes Pertaining to the New Energy Improvement District, by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Mark Scheffel and Reps. Max Tyler & Jon Becker. The bill requires treasurers of counties that have authorized the New Energy Improvement District program to retain a 1 percent collection fee for each NEID special assessment that it collects. The bill also requires such treasurers to distribute NEID special assessments to the NEID in the same manner, less the collection fee, as property taxes are distributed.
  • SB 16-189 – Concerning the Nonsubstantive Revision of Statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as Amended, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Imperfect, and Inoperative Law to Preserve the Legislative Intent, Effect, and Meaning of the Law, by Sen. Ray Scott and Rep. Mike Foote. The bill amends or repeals obsolete, unclear, or conflicting laws. The bill also clarifies statutory language, but does not change the intent or meaning of existing statute. The bill’s appendix explains the reasons for each amendment.
  • SB 16-191 – Concerning Marijuana Research Funded by the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill authorizes the General Assembly to appropriate money from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System to fund scientific and social science research at CSU-Pueblo concerning marijuana and other matters that impact the state and its regions.
  • SB 16-193 – Concerning the Duties of the Safe2Tell Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Bill Cadman & Mark Scheffel and Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Crisanta Duran. The bill requires the Department of Law to provide Safe2Tell program materials to Colorado preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, 4-H extension offices, and boys and girls clubs by August 1 of each year, beginning on June 30, 2017.
  • SB 16-195 – Concerning the Annual Appropriation of Money in the Central Fund for Veterans Centers to the State Department of Human Services, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill grants the Department of Human Services continuous spending authority from the central fund for the direct costs of the operation and administration of veterans centers, and for capital construction in connection with the centers.
  • SB 16-196 – Concerning the Creation of a Pilot Program for Inclusive Higher Education for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. John Cooke & Bill Cadman and Reps. Lois Landgraf & Dave Young. The bill creates a pilot program aimed at establishing higher education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program will operate from FY 2016-17 through FY 2020-21 at three institutions: the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and Arapahoe Community College.
  • SB 16-203 – Concerning the Evaluation of State Tax Expenditures, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin. The bill directs the Office of the State Auditor to conduct evaluations of all state tax expenditures, and requires the evaluations to include descriptions of the expenditure’s purpose and intended beneficiaries, whether it is accomplishing its goal, costs and benefits of the expenditure, similar expenditures in other states, other businesses or programs accomplishing the expenditure’s goals, recommended changes, and performance measures used in the evaluation.
  • SB 16-204 – Concerning the Higher Education Revenue Bond Intercept Program, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill modifies the legislative and executive branch review and conditions of participation in the higher education revenue bond intercept program.
  • SB 16-205 – Concerning Payment for Expenses of Indigent Parents, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. Under current law, the Office of the State Court Administrator receives funding to pay for an indigent parent to retain one expert witness and to obtain a transcript of the trial during a parent-child termination proceeding. Given that responsibility for retaining counsel for indigent parents in such cases is now managed by the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC), this bill clarifies that funding for these expenses are to be appropriated to the ORPC.
  • SB 16-209 – Concerning Authorizing a School District Board of Education to Construct a Building for Lease to a State Institution of Higher Education, by Sens. Nancy Todd & Chris Holbert and Reps. Janet Buckner & Kevin Priola. The bill authorizes a school district board of education to lease school district property to a state institution of higher education and to accept in-kind services (such as tuition reduction or scholarships for their students) from the institution as all or part of the lease payments.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Regarding County of Residence for Judicial Nominees, Veterans’ Property Tax Exemptions, and More Signed

On Thursday, May 26, and Friday, May 27, 2016, the governor signed five bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 204 bills this legislative session. The bills signed last week include a bill modifying the definition of “disabled veteran” as it relates to the property tax exemption, a bill encouraging judicial nominating commissions to give preference to licensed attorneys who reside in the county where the vacancy is to occur, and more. Last week’s bills are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1462 – Concerning a Modification to the Provisions Enacted in House Bill 11-1155 to Authorize Combining the Full-Time Equivalent Employment of the Lieutenant Governor and the State Chief Operating Officer, by Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and Sens. Lucia Guzman & Cheri Jahn. The bill allows the Lieutenant Governor to serve as the state’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) through the end of the current term of office, January 10, 2019.
  • HB 16-1289 – Concerning Incentives for Local Education Providers to Encourage High School Students to Successfully Complete Career Development Course Work, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Larry Crowder & Leroy Garcia. The bill creates the Career Development Success Pilot Program, which is designed to provide financial incentives for participating districts and charter schools to encourage high school students to enroll in and successfully complete qualified industry-certificate programs, internship or preapprenticeship programs, and advanced placement courses.
  • HB 16-1444 – Concerning the Definition of a “Qualifying Disabled Veteran” as it Relates to a Property Tax Exemption for Such Individuals, by Reps. Su Ryden & Terri Carver and Sens. Andy Kefalas & Larry Crowder. The bill expands the definition of “Qualifying Disabled Veteran” for the Colorado property tax exemption to include veterans with a full medical retirement.
  • SB 16-134 – Concerning Professional Licensing for Military Veterans in Certain Professions, by Sens. Rollie Heath & Leroy Garcia and Reps. Jessie Danielson & Daniel Kagan. The bill requires that a military veteran’s service experience be considered toward commercial driver’s license qualifications, and the Department of Revenue must consider a military veteran’s training, education, or experience during the CDL licensing process, and may provide credit toward a CDL for those qualifications.
  • SB 16-153 – Concerning Nominees for County Court Judges, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Jim Wilson. The bill encourages judicial nominating commissions to give preference for judicial vacancies to licensed attorneys who reside within the county in which the vacancy occurs.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Co-Owners of Ranch Validly Contracted to Allow Restrictions on Property Rights

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Reishus v. Bullmasters, LLC on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

Tenancy in Common—Declaratory Judgment—Covenant—Runs with the Land.

Adams Ranch is a property owned by tenants in common. Plaintiffs are some of the owners who are the appointed managers of the ranch; they brought a declaratory judgment action after defendants (other owners) objected to an amendment to an ownership agreement restricting hunting rights at the ranch.

The parties stipulated to the following relevant facts. In 1983, the owner of Adams Ranch conveyed it to 11 individuals as tenants in common. Only two of the original grantees still have ownership interests and are among the plaintiffs. The original ownership agreement stated it could be “amended or deleted by a simple majority of the individual owners at any time.” In 2007, more than a majority of the then co-owners signed an “Amended and Restated Adams Ranch Ownership Agreement” (2007 Amended Agreement). The 2007 Amended Agreement superseded the original ownership agreement and expressly states that it runs with the land and is binding on all owners, their legal representatives, heirs, successors, and assigns. It can be amended “at any time by written and recorded instrument signed by the then record Owners of at least 7/12ths of the Ownership Interests.”

In 2011, an amendment limiting hunting days per fraction of ownership was adopted by 7/12ths of the ownership interests. Defendants disputed the validity of the hunting limitation, asserting that it improperly restricted their possessory and use rights as tenants in common, which cannot be restricted without their consent. The district court held that the hunting restriction was validly adopted and binding on all owners.

On appeal, defendants first argued that one group of co-owners in a tenancy in common cannot limit the possessory rights of other co-owners without their unanimous consent. The Court of Appeals agreed with defendants that each tenant in a tenancy in common is entitled to equal use and possession of the property. However, it also found that tenants in common can contract otherwise and that there is no necessity of unanimous consent where co-owners contract such entitlement in the ownership agreements. The Court concluded that the co-owners of the ranch validly contracted to allow restrictions on their possessory rights and to allow those restrictions if approved by 7/12ths of the ownership interests.

Defendants also argued that the 2007 Amended Agreement was not a real covenant binding on the parties and their successors in interest. The Court disagreed, noting the explicit language in the 2007 Amended Agreement stating that it bound successors and ran with the land.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Choice of Law Provision Unambiguously Governs Contract

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Mountain States Adjustment v. Cooke on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

Summary Judgment—Debt Collection—Choice of Law Provision.

In August 2004, Cooke signed a note (Note) with Commercial Federal Bank (CFB) for a home equity loan. Cooke resided in Colorado and the home that was collateral for the Note (subject property) was in Colorado. CFB was headquartered in Nebraska and the Note stated that it was “governed by federal law, and to the extent applicable, the laws of Nebraska.”

CFB merged into Bank of the West, a California bank, in December 2005. Cooke’s  repayment terms under the Note didn’t change as a result nor was he asked to sign a new agreement. In April 2009, the company holding the first mortgage on the subject property commenced foreclosure proceedings. Bank of the West did not participate, but on June 19, 2009, Bank of the West sent a “30 Day Notice of Demand and Intent to Accelerate” letter to Cooke.

On February 14, 2014, Bank of the West assigned Cooke’s note to Mountain States Adjustment (MSA). On July 15, 2014, MSA filed this collection action against Cooke in Denver District Court. Cooke answered and alleged an affirmative defense that MSA’s claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

In January 2015, MSA filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that Cooke admitted to being the signatory under the Note and that the facts were undisputed that he was in default. Cooke filed a cross-motion for summary judgment asserting that MSA’s claim was barred by the five-year statute of limitations set forth in Nebraska law. The district court decided that Colorado law and its six-year statute of limitations applied and entered summary judgment in MSA’s favor. The sole issue on appeal was whether it was error to hold that Colorado law applied.

The Court of Appeals found the choice of law terms in the Note were clear, express, and unambiguous. As a matter of law, Nebraska law governs the statute of limitations issue because the undisputed record shows both that Nebraska had a substantial relationship to the parties or the transaction and that there was a reasonable basis for the contracting parties’ choice of law. Because it was undisputed that MSA filed its complaint outside of the applicable Nebraska limitations period, MSA’s claim was barred and Cooke was entitled to entry of judgment in his favor.

The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Nancy Elkind Honored with Colorado Lawyers Committee Outstanding Sustained Contribution Award

NancyElkindOn Monday, May 23, 2016, the Colorado Lawyers Committee held its annual awards luncheon at the Marriott Denver City Center. Nancy B. Elkind, founding partner of Elkind Alterman Harston PC, received the organization’s Outstanding Sustained Contribution Award. Ms. Elkind is on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Lawyers Committee, and she was chair of the committee from 2011 to 2013. She contributes extensively to her community through her work with the Colorado Lawyers Committee, helping the organization provide high-impact pro bono work while advocating, negotiating, and litigating for children, the poor, and other disadvantaged groups. She has practiced immigration law for over 30 years, and has provided counsel and guidance to hundreds of immigrant families and individuals, as well as to employers that are seeking to hire the “best and the brightest.” Ms. Elkind is also the managing editor of CBA-CLE’s treatise, Immigration Law for the Colorado Practitioner, and she also lectures frequently on topics related to immigration law.

AaronBoscheeAaron A. Boschee, senior associate at Squire Patton Boggs, received the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Individual of the Year Award. Mr. Boschee is the Colorado Lawyers Committee Task Force Chair, and lead class counsel for the Taylor Ranch Litigation, through which he coordinates the pro bono efforts of over 30 lawyers at numerous law firms throughout the region. Mr. Boschee practices in the areas of commercial litigation, arbitration, and debt restructuring, focusing on debtor-creditor disputes, asset recovery and loss mitigation, real estate-based lending and litigation, creditor-lien priority, shareholder and director disputes, and fraud. He received his undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

SchmidtLaurenEBrownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, received the Committee’s Law Firm of the Year Award. The Law Firm of the Year Award is given to firms whose attorneys and staff made significant pro bono contributions to Lawyers Committee projects during 2015. Lauren Schmidt, BHFS’s pro bono partner, and Martha Fitzgerald are members of the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Board of Directors and Schmidt serves on the Executive Committee. Tenley Oldak serves on the Leadership Board of the Colorado Lawyers Committee Young Lawyers Division. Under Ms. Schmidt’s leadership, BHFS’s pro bono program has increased dramatically, and the firm is a signatory to the national Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge. The firm has pledged to average 50 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year.

Congratulations to all the honorees of the Colorado Lawyers Committee Awards.

Bills Concerning Depositions for At-Risk Persons, Immunity for Reported Overdoses, and More Signed

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed six bills into law. To date, he has signed 192 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Thursday include a bill to allow depositions of at-risk persons in criminal trials in which the at risk persons may not be available to testify, a bill repealing certain mandatory terms of incarceration, and more. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1027 – Concerning Depositions in Criminal Cases in Which an At-Risk Person May Not Be Available for Trial, by Rep. Jessie Danielson and Sens. Nancy Todd & Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill expands and streamlines the allowable use of recorded depositions for at-risk elders. Under the bill, upon receipt of a motion the court must schedule a recorded deposition within 14 days without further findings if the victim is an at-risk elder, defined as any person 70 years of age or older; however, the bill allows the defense to challenge the motion for recorded depositions of other at-risk adults.
  • HB 16-1227 – Concerning Exemptions from Child Support Enforcement Requirements as a Condition of Receipt of Child Care Assistance Under the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daniel Kagan & Brian DelGrosso and Sens. Owen Hill & Larry Crowder. The bill specifies that a teen parent is not required to submit an application for child support establishment as a condition of receiving child care assistance. However, the county can require the parent to submit an application for child support establishment in order to receive child care assistance once they no longer qualify as a teen parent.
  • HB 16-1302 – Concerning the Alignment of the Colorado Statutes with the Federal “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” Through the “Colorado Career Advancement Act,” by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Brian DelGrosso and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill changes the title of the “Colorado Workforce Investment Act” to the “Colorado Career Advancement Act.” It also clarifies the roles of specific entities in workforce development programs and removes statutory requirements made inapplicable by the federal act.
  • HB 16-1390 – Concerning Immunity for Certain Persons who Are Involved with a Reported Overdose Event, by Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill provides immunity from arrest for underage persons reporting alcohol or marijuana overdoses and extends immunity from arrest and prosecution to the underage person requiring medical assistance.
  • SB 16-072 – Concerning an Increase in the Maximum Total Amount of Annual Lease Payments Authorized for Lease-Purchase Agreements Entered into Under the “Building Excellent Schools Today Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Reps. Alec Garnett & Jim Wilson. Currently under the Building Excellent Schools Today Act (BEST), the state may enter into lease-purchase agreements for public school facility capital construction projects, subject to the limitation that the maximum total annual amount of lease payments payable under these agreements does not exceed $80 million in a fiscal year. This bill establishes incremental caps on these lease payments.
  • SB 16-102 Concerning the Elimination of Mandatory Sentences to Incarceration for Certain Crimes, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill  removes the mandatory term of incarceration that must accompany convictions of certain types of second degree assault or violations of bail bond conditions.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Updating Election Laws, Clarifying Tax Exemptions for Housing Authorities, and More Signed

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed nine bills into law. To date, he has signed 186 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday include a bill to clarify the scope of tax exemption for housing authorities, a bill providing an exception to the prohibition against disclosing confidential mental health information when school safety is at risk, and more. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1006 – Concerning Clarification of the Scope of the Exemption from Government Charges for Property Owned by or Leased to a Housing Authority or Owned by, Leased to, or Under Construction by an Entity that is Wholly Owned by an Authority, an Entity in Which an Authority has an Ownership Interest, or an Entity in Which an Entity Wholly Owned by an Authority or of Which an Authority is the Sole Member has an Ownership Interest, by Reps. KC Becker & Alec Garnett and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill clarifies that sales, use, and property tax exemptions apply to low-income housing property owned by or leased to any subsidiary of a housing authority.
  • HB 16-1063 – Concerning an Exception to the Prohibition Against Disclosing Confidential Communications with a Mental Health Professional when School Safety is at Risk, by Reps. Mike Foote & Crisanta Duran and Sens. Mark Scheffel & Bill Cadman. The bill allows a specified mental health professional tomake a disclosure if his or her client makes an articulable and significant threat to a school or its occupants or exhibits behavior that the professional deems to jeopardize the safety of students, teachers, administrators, or other school personnel.
  • HB 16-1101 – Concerning Medical Decisions for Unrepresented Patients, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill allows an attending physician to designate another willing physician to act as a patient’s proxy decision-maker for health care treatment under certain conditions. The attending physician cannot act as the proxy decision-maker.
  • HB 16-1228 – Concerning an Alternative Transfer Mechanism for Water Rights that Protects the Agricultural Use for which a Water Right was Originally Decreed while Permitting Renewable One-Year Transfers of a Portion of the Water Subject to the Water Right, by Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jon Becker and Sens. Kerry Donovan & Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill allows the owner of an absolute decreed irrigation water right used for agricultural purposes to apply in water court to change the use of the water right to an agricultural water protection water right which is created by this bill.
  • HB 16-1394 – Concerning Clarifying Definitions Related to At-Risk Persons, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill implements the recommendations of the at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) mandatory reporting implementation task force, including changing definitions related to at-risk persons, expanding penalties for mistreatment of at-risk persons, and more.
  • SB 16-142 – Concerning Modernization of Election Law Provisions, and, in Connection Therewith, Correcting Statutory Citations, Updating Terms and Procedures to Reflect Modern Elections Administration, Conforming State Law to Federal Law, Eliminating Redundancies and Obsolete References and Practices, Harmonizing Durational Residency Requirements for Certain Local Government Elections, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Ray Scott and Rep. Su Ryden. The bill makes various changes and updates to election statutes.
  • SB 16-177 – Concerning Technical Modifications to Legislation Enacted in 2015 to Promote an Equitable Financial Contribution Among Affected Public Bodies in Connection with Urban Redevelopment Projects Allocating Tax Revenues, by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Rollie Heath and Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Polly Lawrence. The bill makes technical adjustments and clarifies recent legislation concerning urban renewal, urban renewal plans, and provisions for sharing tax increment financing among affected taxing entities.
  • SB 16-201 – Concerning Revising the Child Welfare Funding Mechanism, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dave Young. The bill requires the Department of Human Services to work with county departments of human services, residential treatment providers, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and the Joint Budget Committee to review the rate-setting process for residential treatment programs serving youth in the child welfare system.
  • SB 16-211 – Concerning Contests to Specified Special District Elections that are Made on Grounds Relating to Elector Qualifications, and, in Connection Therewith, Imposing a Jurisdictional Bar on Contests of Certain Elections and Validating the Qualifications of Certain Actors when Timely Contests Challenging Those Qualifications Have Not Been Filed, by Sens. Bill Cadman & Mark Scheffel and Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Crisanta Duran. For special district elections conducted prior to April 21, 2016, and on May 3, 2016, this bill prohibits contesting the results of the election on the grounds that any person voting at the election was not eligible to vote, except in limited circumstances, and the qualification of any person elected or appointed to a special district is validated and may not be contested.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2016 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Holder-in-Due-Course Status Does Not Preclude Forgery Defense

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Liberty Mortgage Corp. v. Fiscus on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Negotiable Instruments—Holders in Due Course—Forgery—Ratification—Negligent Contribution.

Respondent Fiscus’s wife forged his name on three powers of attorney and used them to procure a promissory note that was ultimately assigned to petitioner Branch Banking and Trust Company. The note was secured by a deed of trust purporting to encumber property held in Fiscus’s name alone. Branch Banking and Trust claimed holder-in-due-course status under Article 3 of Colorado’s Uniform Commercial Code, and Fiscus raised a forgery defense. The Court of Appeals held that Article 3 does not apply to deeds of trust because they are not “negotiable instruments” as defined in the Code. The Supreme Court held that, even assuming Article 3 applies to such deeds of trust, holder-in-due-course status does not preclude a purported maker from asserting a forgery defense. Thus, because Fiscus had a valid forgery defense, not barred by any negligence or ratification on his part, the Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals but on different grounds. The Court did not address the negotiability of deeds of trust that secure promissory notes under Article 3.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.