July 22, 2016

Let’s Raise Awareness About Elder Abuse!

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Barbara Cashman’s Denver Elder Law blog on June 29, 2016. Reprinted with permission.

CashmanI wanted to circle back on the importance of raising awareness of elder abuse. You can read the Presidential Proclamation on June 15, 2016, for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day right here and if you’re curious about the language of the Elder Justice Act, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act (as Title VI subtitle H, §§ 6701, et seq.), read this link.

In Colorado, as in nearly all other states, adult protection units are responsible for the reporting and investigation of elder abuse (along with law enforcement agencies). The Elder Justice Act is federal legislation that requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “to oversee the development and management of federal resources for protecting out seniors from elder abuse.” Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice is charged with taking action to prevent elder abuse.

The effective coordination of these county, state, and federal efforts is of course a work in progress. What we do know about raising awareness of elder abuse and exploitation is that it will lead to more reporting of such abuse. Here is a link to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee which links the raised awareness of such abuse to a dramatic increase in reports to local law enforcement. This is important to bear in mind as the baby boomers begin to become a greater proportion of the cohort affected by elder abuse and exploitation. In my practice, I have unfortunately become familiar with national and international internet scams which relieve elders of their hard-earned retirement money. This is a particular area in which the federal government might play a unique role as so much of our law of the internet is based in federal law.

Another tragic side effect of the victimization of elders, besides the shame, victimization and impoverishment which results from financial exploitation is that these elders, along with elder victims of all types of elder abuse — including physical and sexual abuse — are likely to die much sooner than their peers who were not victimized. But many pieces of this puzzle remain unidentified due to the lack of long term studies which collect valuable statistics about elder abuse of various types! This is of course another aspect of the importance of raising awareness. Because so much of elder abuse still remains unreported, this is a major quality of life challenge not just for elders and their loved ones and community, but also for those of us of “a certain age” who might be looking forward to a safe and meaningful elderhood. How can we make things better for elders at risk now and in the future?

What is elder abuse and who are its primary victims of such elder abuse? By the numbers, they are largely women and the “old” of the elder population — meaning folks over 80. Sadly, the vast majority of the abusers are family members of the elder or trusted friends or advisors. Because most elders live in the community — not in institutions — this is a particular challenge for all of us who are community members to become familiar with the signs so that we can report concerns about safety, suspicious behaviors and the like to local law enforcement.

First — what are the kinds of elder abuse that we’re talking about? Here is a helpful listing from the U.S. government’s Administration on Aging website, which also has many helpful resources:

  • Physical Abuse—inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior, e.g., slapping, bruising, or restraining by physical or chemical means.
  • Sexual Abuse—non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Neglect—the failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.
  • Exploitation—the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else’s benefit.
  • Emotional Abuse—inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts, e.g., humiliating, intimidating, or threatening.
  • Abandonment—desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
  • Self-neglect—characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens his or her own health or safety.

And what about the warning signs of elder abuse of which we can be more aware?

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.
  • Changes in the elder’s personality or behavior, especially if the elder becomes withdrawn or despondent, questions to her or him can be very important in identifying a situation which may be the cause of the elder’s silent suffering.

Lastly, here is another helpful self-help resource specifically for Colorado residents – from Colorado Legal Services.  That’s all for now – but don’t forget . . . . Denver’s Senior law Day is coming up on Friday July 29, 2016 and will be held at the Denver Police Protective Association’s Event Center.  More details later.

© Barbara E. Cashman 2016   www.DenverElderLaw.org

Barbara Cashman is a solo practitioner in Denver, focusing on elder law, estate law, and mediation. She is active in the Trust & Estate and Elder Law sections of the CBA and is a past chair of the Solo/Small Firm section. She is a CAMP mentor and blogs weekly on her law firm blog, where this post originally appeared. She can be contacted at barb@DenverElderLaw.org.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Trust Beneficiaries Can Recover for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Owed to Settlor

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In the Matter of Donald C. Taylor and Margaret Ann Taylor Trust on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Revocable Trust—Fiduciary Duty—Breach—Standing—Attorney Fees—Exception to American Rule.

Donald and Margaret Ann Taylor were married to each other. They each had children from prior marriages: defendant is Donald’s son, and plaintiff and intervenor (plaintiffs) are Margaret Ann’s children. Donald and Margaret Ann created a revocable trust, the primary purpose of which was to benefit whichever spouse survived the other. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, half of the trust’s remaining assets were to be distributed to Donald’s children, with the other half going to Margaret Ann’s children. Donald and Margaret Ann also each had investment accounts, which would pass to only their respective children upon death. Upon Donald’s death, defendant became co-trustee with Margaret Ann. Shortly before her death, Margaret Ann, at defendant’s urging, transferred into the trust monies that she had separately placed in her investment accounts and designated as payable upon death only to her children. A jury found that defendant had breached his fiduciary duty. The court entered judgment and awarded attorney fees to plaintiffs.

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erroneously allowed plaintiffs to recover damages when there was no evidence of a breach of fiduciary duty to Margaret Ann. Because plaintiffs here alleged an injury-in-fact to a legally protected interest, they had standing to assert the breach of fiduciary claims. Therefore, plaintiffs could pursue a claim for a breach of fiduciary duty that proved harmful to them, even though the duty was owed to Margaret Ann.

Defendant also contended that the trial court erred in awarding plaintiffs attorney fees under C.R.S. § 15-10-504(2). Here, the jury determined that defendant had breached a fiduciary duty owed to Margaret Ann and the undisputed evidence was that defendant was a trustee, Margaret Ann was a trust beneficiary, and defendant and his siblings stood to personally gain by the inclusion of the challenged property in the trust. Under these circumstances, the requirements for recovery of attorney fees under the breach of trust exception to the American Rule are satisfied.

The judgment and order awarding attorney fees were affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Property Titled in Name of Revocable Trust Also Can Be Debtor’s Property

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pandy v. Independent Bank on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Revocable Trust—Settlor—Judgment Lien.

This case principally concerns whether property titled in the name of a judgment debtor’s co-settled revocable trust is subject to a judgment lien against the debtor. The petitioners are co-settlors and co-trustees of a revocable trust that holds title to certain real property in Colorado. Respondent obtained two judgments against one of the petitioners in another state. After domesticating those judgments and recording transcripts of the Colorado judgments, respondent filed an action to quiet title and for a decree of foreclosure. The petitioner moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that respondent’s complaint was barred by what the petitioner argued was the applicable statute of limitations set forth in C.R.S. § 13-80-101(1)(k). The district court denied the motion, a division of the Court of Appeals granted leave to file an interlocutory appeal and affirmed that ruling, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari.

The Court concluded that as a settlor of a revocable trust, the petitioner held an ownership interest in the trust’s assets. Accordingly, respondent could properly seek to enforce its judgment against the petitioner in this case, and its action was not barred by the statute of limitations set forth in C.R.S. § 13-80-101(1)(k).

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.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statute Permitting Will Reformation Based on Extrinsic Evidence of Intent Is Not Rule of Construction

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Estate of Ramstetter on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

Probate—Extrinsic Evidence—Mutual Mistake.

Louise Ramstetter devised her ranch to her daughters, Jeanne, Marie, and Karol, “in equal shares to be held as joint tenants.” Louise died in 2009 and Marie and Karol, as personal representatives, began administering the estate. Three years later, Jeanne petitioned to remove Marie and Karol as personal representatives and for a declaratory judgment that she had severed the joint tenancy among the sisters, creating a tenancy in common as to her one-third of the ranch by deeding her interest to a trust she had created. Marie and Karol cross-petitioned to enforce a 2012 Agreement and Release in which they had agreed to convey 35 acres of the ranch to Jeanne and she had agreed to convey the remainder of the ranch to them, with all other claims being released. They also sought reformation of the will based on the failure of the attorney who drafted the will to have implemented Louise’s intent to keep ownership of the ranch within the family.

The trial court granted Jeanne’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding the will unambiguous. It accepted the parties’ position that application of CRS § 15-11-806, which allows a court to reform an unambiguous instrument “to conform the terms to the transferor’s intention” based on clear and convincing evidence that the “transferor’s intent and the terms of the governing instrument were affected by a mistake of fact or law,” was determined by CRS § 15-17-101(2), but concluded that CRS § 15-17-101(2) did not make CRS § 15-11-806 applicable because Louise had died before the latter section became effective. Moreover, it found that the reformation claim depended wholly on extrinsic evidence of Louise’s intent, and therefore dismissed it. The court found that the Agreement and Release was “invalid as a result of mutual mistake among the parties to it” and that Jeanne had severed the joint tenancy by the conveyance to her trust.

On appeal, Karol and Marie first argued that the trial court improperly dismissed their claim for reformation of Louise’s will. CRS § 15-11-806 amended the probate code to allow reformation of an unambiguous instrument. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that CRS § 15-11-806 cannot be applied retroactively in this case, but on different grounds: The Court found that CRS § 15-17-101(2)(b), which would allow retroactive application of CRS § 15-11-806, does not apply here because CRS § 15-17-101(2)(a) applies only to governing instruments and therefore controls over the more general subsection (2)(b) and does not provide a basis for retroactively applying CRS § 15-11-806. Also, CRS § 15-17-101(2)(e) does not allow retroactive application of CRS § 15-11-806 because CRS § 15-11-806 is not a rule of construction and therefore 2(e) doesn’t apply. Because CRS § 15-17-101(2)(a) and (b) do not permit retroactive application, the trial court properly precluded Karol and Marie from attempting to reform Louise’s will using extrinsic evidence of her intent under CRS §15-11-806. Karol and Marie also argued that the court improperly invoked stare decisis when dismissing their reformation claim. Because the terms of the will were unambiguous, the court properly did not admit extrinsic evidence to establish a contrary intent to that expressed in her will.

Karol and Marie then argued that the trial court misapplied the mutual mistake doctrine and erred in declining to enforce the Agreement and Release because all the sisters were mutually mistaken that only a contract among them could sever the joint tenancy. The Court reviewed the trial court decision for clear error and found sufficient support in the record to uphold its conclusion that all three sisters held the same mistaken belief. The Court also rejected Karol and Marie’s arguments that other findings of the trial court were irreconcilably inconsistent with the finding of mutual mistake.

The orders dismissing the reformation claim and voiding the Agreement and Release for mutual mistake were affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Bankruptcy Creditor Has Standing to Object to Potentially Fraudulent Conveyance of Real Property

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Lavenhar: Lavenhar v. First American Title Insurance Co. on Thursday, December 17, 2015.

On October 28, 2010, First American Title Insurance Company (“First American”) earned a judgment and damages award in its favor in the amount of $434,913.39, plus interest, in Colorado state court against Jeffrey Lavenhar. During the pendency of this litigation, Jeffrey and his then-wife Laurie initiated dissolution proceedings, resulting in the issuance of a divorce decree in November 2010, which incorporated a separation agreement dated October 26, 2010. The separation agreement required Jeffrey pay Laurie $4,400 per month in spousal maintenance, and also contained a provision stating the property located on Antelope Ridge Trial is and always has been the sole property of the Laurie H. Lavenhar Living Trust.

In seeking to collect its damages, First American filed suit against the Lavenhars and the Laurie H. Lavenhar Living Trust, asserting the transfer of Jeffrey’s interest in the Antelope Ridge Trail property to the Laurie H. Lavenhar Living Trust was a fraudulent conveyance. In addition to that independent lawsuit, First American sought to intervene in the Lavenhars’ divorce, seeking a declaration that the Lavenhars’ divorce proceeding was a fraud upon the court designed to hinder its ability to collect on the judgment against Jeffrey. The state divorce court granted First American’s motion to intervene.

Before the resolution of the various legal proceedings instituted by First American against the Lavenhars, Jeffrey filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. In response, First American filed a motion to lift the automatic stay as to the Antelope Ridge Trail property, asserting it should be able to litigate its state-court fraudulent conveyance action. The bankruptcy court denied the motion, concluding only the Chapter 7 Trustee had standing to bring such an action. Shortly thereafter, Laurie filed in the bankruptcy court a priority unsecured claim for domestic support obligations in the amount of $347,400. First American then filed a new motion to lift the automatic stay, seeking permission to litigate its complain in intervention of the Lavenhars’ divorce proceeding, which was granted in part by the bankruptcy court such that both First American and the Chapter 7 Trustee could litigate the complaint in intervention as to the single issue that would affect the validity of Laurie’s proof of claim, but not as to any other issues resolved in the divorce decree.

The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s partial lifting of the automatic stay, and Laurie appealed, asserting the bankruptcy and district courts erred in concluding First American has standing to litigate the validity of the component of the divorce decree addressing domestic support obligations via its state-court complaint in intervention.

On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals determined First American has standing to object to Laurie’s potentially fraudulent proof of claim for domestic support obligations. Next, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the order of the bankruptcy court partially lifting the automatic stay to allow the state divorce court to declare whether or not the Lavenhars’ divorce decree was obtained through fraud on the court. In so ruling, the Tenth Circuit reasoned there is no indication that the state divorce court cannot or will not comply with the limited scope of the bankruptcy court’s order lifting the stay. In rejecting Laurie’s argument that the validity of the property division is not separable from the validly of the spousal maintenance provision, both of which are contained in the separation agreement, the Tenth Circuit noted the Antelope Ride Trial property is and always has been the sole property of the Laurie H. Lavenhar Living Trust. Thus, the court reasoned it is simply not true that the issue the bankruptcy court allowed to proceed in the motion in intervention is inseparably intertwined with the property-transfer issues to be litigated by the Chapter 7 Trustee in the fraudulent conveyance action. Lastly, the court noted a ruling on First American’s behalf on the limited issue the bankruptcy court allowed to be litigated in the complaint in intervention would benefit all creditors equally, such that there exists no danger of intrusion on the exclusive prerogatives of the Chapter 7 Trustee.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

SB 16-199: Amending Regulation of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

On April 22, 2016, Sens. Ray Scott & Pat Steadman and Reps. Brian DelGrosso & Joann Ginal introduced SB 16-199Concerning Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The bill was assigned to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee, where it was amended and referred to Appropriations. The bill was again amended in Appropriations and referred to the Senate floor for Second Reading. After being amended on Second Reading, the bill passed Third Reading with no amendments.

The bill makes a number changes with respect to the State Department’s interaction with and regulation of organizations and facilities providing a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (“PACE”).

The bill requires that contracts between the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (“Department”) and a PACE organization include the negotiated monthly capitated rate for services. The rate must be based upon a prospective monthly capitation payment to a PACE organization for a Medicaid participant enrolled in a PACE program that is less than what would otherwise have been paid under the state Medicaid plan if the participant were not enrolled in the PACE program.

The Department shall participate with Colorado PACE organizations to develop an actuarially sound upper payment limit methodology that complies with federal law, while addressing and employing information on the PACE population. The Department shall provide state long-term care options data, as well as relevant Medicare and Medicaid data, necessary for the computation of the upper payment limit. An actuary experienced in these methods shall assist with the computation. Until the upper payment limit methodology is developed and adopted in state board rules, the percentage of the upper payment limit used to calculate the monthly capitated rate shall not be less than the percentage negotiated for the 2016-2017 state fiscal year.

The bill creates the state PACE ombudsman (“ombudsman”) in the state long-term care ombudsman program. Each PACE program shall post at all PACE facilities a notice, prepared by the ombudsman, informing PACE participants of the existence of and contact information for the ombudsman. The ombudsman shall have immediate access to a PACE program or facility, and to PACE participants, for the purposes of carrying out the duties of the ombudsman.

The bill establishes the following duties of the ombudsman: (1) establish policies and procedures to identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of a PACE participant related to any act or omission of any PACE organization; (2) provide training and technical assistance to PACE organizations and their employees; (3) establish procedures to analyze the development and implementation of federal, state, and local law and policies with respect to PACE services, programs, and facilities (and recommend changes to Colorado’s laws and policies); and (4) pursue administrative, legal, or other appropriate remedies on behalf of PACE participant.

The bill establishes a civil penalty for any person who takes any discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory action against any PACE participant or any employee of a PACE organization for any communication with an ombudsman.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Long Appropriations Bill, SCFD Bill, and Many More Signed by Governor

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 24 bills into law. Many of the bills signed Wednesday addressed transfers of moneys and financing. Some of the other bills signed Wednesday include a bill addressing the location where competency evaluations should be completed, a bill enacting statutory changes recommended by the Child Support Commission, and a bill regarding transfers of property rights on death.

Additionally, on May 3, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Long Appropriations Bill for 2016-17, HB 16-1405, and on April 29, Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 16-016, which will allow the submission of a ballot question to voters regarding extending the funding for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for twelve more years. To date, the governor has signed 167 bills this legislative session. The bills signed by Governor Hickenlooper this past week are summarized here.

April 29, 2016

  • SB 16-016 – Concerning the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending the Ballot Question Concerning the Extension of the District to be Submitted to the Voters and Modifying Statutory Provisions Concerning the Administration of the District, by Sens. Pat Steadman & Bill Cadman and Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Polly Lawrence. The bill allows the SCFD to submit a ballot question to district voters at the 2016 or 2017 November election authorizing the extension of the tax for 12 years through June 30, 2030, and changes the SCFD funding formula.

May 2, 2016

  • HB 16-1405 – The 2016-17 Long Appropriations Bill, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill sets forth the budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

May 3, 2016

  • HB 16-1048 – Concerning Modifications to the Business Enterprise Program to be Administered by the Department of Labor and Employment Under its Authority to Administer Vocational Rehabilitation Programs, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill establishes a working group in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to study ways to expand opportunities for Business Enterprise Program vendors.
  • HB 16-1158 – Concerning Continuation Under the Sunset Law of the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill extends the sunset of the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board until September 1, 2025.
  • HB 16-1159 – Concerning Continuation Under the Sunset Law of the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill extends the sunset of the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit until September 1, 2025.
  • HB 16-1165 – Concerning Statutory Changes Based on the Recommendations in the Report of the 2013-2015 Colorado Child Support Commission, by Reps. KC Becker & Lois Landgraf and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill amends child support guidelines and related statutes based on the findings of the Colorado Child Support Commission, including allowing discovery of insurance claims, requiring an annual exchange of financial information between parents, changing the formula to determine gross income, limiting the period in which a party can seek retroactive child support, and more.
  • HB 16-1268 – Concerning District Attorney’s Representation in Certain Hearings Arising from Interstate Supervision Contracts, by Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. John Cooke. The bill clarifies that a district attorney must appear on behalf of the state and counties of his or her district in any probable cause hearing for a matter under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision or the Interstate Compact for Juveniles.
  • HB 16-1298 – Concerning Changes in Permissible Vehicle Dimensions, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. John Cooke. The bill changes the maximum permissible vehicle dimensions.
  • HB 16-1317 – Concerning Clarifying the Types of Transactions that May Be Included in a Motor Vehicle Service Contract, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill authorizes certain services to be included in a motor vehicle service contract, including tire and windshield repair, key fob repair, and more.
  • HB 16-1379 – Concerning the Criteria Under Which the State Board of Psychologist Examiners May Award Professional Development Credit for Specific Activities Currently Included in the Continuing Professional Development Program for Licensed Psychologists, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill clarifies and amends portions of the continuing professional development program for licensed psychologists, including allowing credit hours for teaching or giving presentations; allowing credit hours for writing, editing, or reviewing psychology publications; and limiting the award of credit hours to review of peer review journal articles.
  • HB 16-1406 – Concerning Department of Corrections Reimbursement of Expenses of County Coroners, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to reimburse a county for reasonable and necessary costs related to investigations or autopsies for persons who were in the custody of the DOC at the time of their death. Costs may include transportation, refrigeration, and body bags.
  • HB 16-1407 – Concerning the Continuation of the Medicaid Payment Reform and Innovation Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Changing the Time Frames, Eliminating the Repeal Date of the Pilot Program, Enhancing the Reporting Requirements of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill removes the July 1, 2013, deadline for HCPF to review and select payment projects for inclusion in the Medicaid Payment Reform and Innovation Pilot Program, and removes the June 30, 2016, deadline by which payment projects must be completed.
  • HB 16-1408 – Concerning the Allocation of Cash Fund Revenues to Health-Related Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Modifying and Streamlining the Allocation of Tobacco Litigation Settlement Moneys by Replacing the Current Two-Tier Allocation System that Includes Both Percentage-Based and Fixed Amount Allocations of Settlement Moneys with a Single Set of Exclusively Percentage-Based Allocations and Replacing Settlement Moneys Funding for Specified Programs with Marijuana Tax Cash Fund Funding; Allocating Additional Settlement Moneys to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for Cancer Research Only; Transferring a Specified Amount from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust to a Newly Created Primary Care Provider Sustainability Fund on July 1, 2016; and Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill establishes a new formula for the allocation of the annual payment received by the state as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, allocating revenue by percentage shares, rather than the hybrid scheme of fixed dollar amounts and capped percentage shares in multiple tiers.
  • HB 16-1409 – Concerning the Transfer of Forty-Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars on June 30, 2016, from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund for State Programs, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill transfers $42,800,000 out of the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund and places it in the General Fund and the Adult Dental Fund.
  • HB 16-1410 – Concerning Matters Related to the Location Where a Competency Evaluation is Conducted, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill changes procedures around competency evaluations in criminal proceedings, including requiring the court to order the evaluation to take place on an outpatient basis or, if the defendant is in custody, at the place where the defendant is in custody.
  • HB 16-1411 – Concerning the Supportive Residential Community Program Operated at the Fort Lyon Property, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring a Longitudinal Evaluation of the Program; and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill repeals the supportive residential community for individuals who are homeless at the Fort Lyon property in Bent County, and requires a longitudinal study of the program prior to its repeal.
  • HB 16-1413 – Concerning the Financing of the Water Pollution Control Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill repeals the Water Quality Control Fund and creates a separate cash fund for each of the six clean water sectors, which will receive the fees specific to its sector.
  • HB 16-1415 – Concerning the Manner in which the State Funds Driver and Vehicle Services by the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Revenue, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill changes the way the state funds driver and vehicle services in the DMV, by increasing the fees charged for services, allowing for funding through the Highway Users Tax Fund, eliminating the end of the year transfer of the excess reserve from the Licensing Services Cash Fund to the HUTF, and exempting the LCSF from the limit on cash reserves.
  • HB 16-1417 – Concerning Capital-Related Transfers of Moneys, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes three FY 2016-17 transfers to the Capital Construction Fund from several sources.
  • HB 16-1418 – Concerning a Transfer from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to the General Fund, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill transfers $26,277,661 from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund (MTCF) to the General Fund.
  • HB 16-1419 – Concerning a Reduction in the Amount of the General Fund Reserve Required for the Fiscal Year 2015-16, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill reduces the FY 2015-16 statutory General Fund reserve from 6.5 percent to 5.6 percent.
  • SB 16-058 – Concerning the Regulation of Certain Foods, and, in Connection Therewith, Exempting Certain Food Producers from Licensure, Inspection, and Other Regulation, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. KC Becker. The bill modifies the “Colorado Cottage Foods Act,” which allows homemade food producers to sell certain food products directly to consumers, by eliminating the tiered system and the State Board of Health’s authority to make rules governing the production of tier two foods, which currently consist of pickled vegetables, and by expanding the type of foods that may be sold by producers under the Cottage Foods Act to include other nonpotentially hazardous foods and encouraging, rather than mandating, a producer to take a food safety course.
  • SB 16-126 – Concerning Parity of State-Chartered Banks with Federally Chartered Banks Regarding Frequency of Meeting, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Reps. Alec Garnett & Dan Nordberg. Under current law, the board of directors for a state bank is required to meet monthly. This bill requires those meetings to be held at least quarterly unless the board specifies a different schedule.
  • SB 16-133 – Concerning the Transfer of Property Rights Upon the Death of a Person, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying Determination-of-Heirship Proceedings in Probate, by Sen. Jack Tate and Reps. Dan Pabon & Yeulin Willett. The bill changes procedures for affirming the death of a decedent with shared ownership of real property, and makes changes to probate law for determining heirs, devisees, and property interests. It changes the definition of “interested person” to include an owner by descent or succession and to exclude any person holding a non-ownership interest in a decedent’s property. The bill also enacts portions of the “Uniform Power of Appointment Act.”
  • SB 16-137 – Concerning a Clarification of the Authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission to Enter Into an Agreement with a Private Landowner, by Sens. Mike Johnston & Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Timothy Dore. The bill clarifies that the preference program does not limit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission from entering into an agreement with a private landowner for public hunting and fishing and including the issuance of a hunting license in that agreement.

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

SB 16-133: Changing Procedures for Affirming Shared Ownership of Real Property at Death of Decedent

On February 18, 2016, Sens. Jack Tate & Michael Johnston and Reps. Dan Pabon & Yeulin Willett introduced SB 16-133Concerning the Transfer of Property Rights upon the Death of a Person, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying Determination-Of-Heirship Proceedings in Probate. The bill was introduced into the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it was amended. It passed through the Senate with amendments on Second Reading and passed through the House without further amendments. It is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

Under current law, a certificate of death, a verification of death document, or a certified copy thereof, of a person who is a joint tenant may be placed of record with the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the real property affected by the joint tenancy is located, together with a supplementary affidavit. First, this bill removes the requirement that the person who swears to and affirms the supplementary affidavit has no record interest in the real property, while requiring that the supplementary affidavit include a statement that the person referred to in the certificate is the same person who is named in a specific recorded deed or similar instrument creating the joint tenancy.

Second, this bill amends provisions concerning determination-of-heirship proceedings, as follows:

  1. Amends the definition of “interested person” to mean an owner by descent or succession so that anyone affected by the ownership of property may commence a proceeding;
  2. Requires the petition to contain additional information with respect to the property at issue, each decedent, any previous administration of the decedent’s property, and any unknown interested person;
  3. Imposes additional requirements upon a petition if the decedent died testate, depending on whether the decedent’s will has or has not been previously admitted to probate, and if the will has not been probated, the petition must contain a statement that the original will is unavailable;
  4. Requires a petitioner’s notice to identify the petition, and include the name of the each decedent, the name of each interested party, a legal description of any real property, the time and place of the hearing on the petition, and that any objection to the petition must be filed in writing with the court on or before the hearing date and served upon the petitioner; notice shall also be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proceeding was filing, and in the county in which the real property at issue is located;
  5. Requires upon the entry of a decree affecting title to real property, a certified copy of the decree must be recorded and indexed in the office of the county clerk and recorder of each county in which real property is located, as if it were a deed of conveyance from the decedent; and
  6. Establishes that the admission of a previously unprobated will applies only to the decedent’s particular property interest described in the petition.

Third, this bill enacts portions of section 5 of the “Uniform Power of Appointment Act,” with amendments.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

e-Legislative Report: Week of April 11, 2016

legislationWelcome to another edition of the e-leg report. We’re nearing the halfway point at the capitol, and that means the state budget debate is at hand. A number of bills that the CBA is working are subject to appropriations – and only after the budget debate is settled will we know whether they are likely to be funded or not.

Feel free to drop me a line on how we are doing or raise an issue on a piece of legislation. Contact me atjschupbach@cobar.org.

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For followers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (“LPC”) is the CBA’s legislative policy making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions from requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association. Members are welcome to attend the meetings—please RSVP if you are interested.

LPC Meeting Update

Here is a quick rundown of the bills on which we have recently taken a position.

HB 16-1211 – Marijuana Transporter License

The bill creates a retail marijuana transporter license and a medical marijuana transporter license. The license is valid for five years. A licensed marijuana transporter (transporter) provides logistics, distribution, and storage of marijuana and marijuana products. A transporter may contract with multiple businesses and may also hold another marijuana license. A transporter must be licensed by December 31, 2017, in order to continue to operate. The bill describes the circumstances under which a business can terminate a contract with a transporter.

The Bar’s Cannabis Law Committee is currently monitoring and preparing comments on this bill. The bill is working through its first chamber and has been greatly amended from its original form. The Legislative Policy Committee has not taken action on this bill.

HB 16-1235 – Commissions Evaluating State Judicial Performance

The bill makes revisions to various functions of the state commission on judicial performance (state commission) and the district commissions on judicial performance (district commission), referred to collectively as the “commissions.”

This bill was postponed indefinitely (killed) in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. The Colorado Bar Association had many concerns with the cost and operation of the bill.

HB 16-1270 – Security Interest Owner’s Interest In Business Entity

Under current law, the Uniform Commercial Code (Code) invalidates contractual limits on the transferability of some assets that can be subject to a security interest. In 2006, the Colorado Corporations and Associations Act (Act) was amended to clearly and broadly exempt an owner’s interest in a business entity from these Code provisions to effectuate the “pick your partner” principle that allows small businesses to control their ownership. Section 3 of the bill narrows the exemption in the Act to that necessary for “pick your partner,” and sections 1 and 2 codify this narrowed exemption in the Code.

This bill, part of a four bill package of business entities clean up acts, was supported by the Bar and has passed the House and Senate and is on its way to be signed by the Governor.

HB 16-1275 – Taxation Of Corporate Income Sheltered In Tax Haven

The bill pertains to an affiliated group of corporations filing a combined report. In a combined report filing, the tax is based on a percentage of the entire taxable income of all of the includable corporations, but the tax is assessed only against the corporation or corporations doing business in Colorado. Including more affiliated corporations in the combined report may result in an increase in income subject to tax.

There are jurisdictions located outside of the United States with no tax or very low rates of taxation, strict bank secrecy provisions, a lack of transparency in their tax system operations, and a lack of effective exchange of information with other countries. There are several common legal strategies for sheltering corporate income in such jurisdictions, often called “tax havens.”

Notwithstanding a current requirement in state law that those corporations with 80% or more of their property and payroll assigned to locations outside of the United States be excluded from a combined report, the bill makes a corporation that is incorporated in a foreign jurisdiction for the purpose of tax avoidance an includable C corporation for purposes of the combined report.

The bill defines a corporation incorporated in a foreign jurisdiction for the purpose of tax avoidance to mean any C corporation that is incorporated in a jurisdiction that has no or nominal effective tax on the relevant income and that meets one or more of five factors listed in the bill, unless it is proven to the satisfaction of the executive director of the Department of Revenue that such corporation is incorporated in that jurisdiction for a legitimate business purpose.

The bill requires the state controller to credit a specified amount per fiscal year to the state education fund to be used to help fund public school education.

The bill requires the secretary of state to submit a ballot question, to be treated as a proposition, at the statewide election to be held in November 2016 asking voters:

  • To increase taxes annually by the taxation of a corporation’s state income that is sheltered in a foreign jurisdiction for the purpose of tax avoidance;
  • To use the resulting tax revenue to help fund elementary and secondary public school education; and
  • To allow an estimate of the resulting tax revenue to be collected and spent notwithstanding any limitations in section 20 of article X of the state constitution (TABOR).

The Tax Law section of the CBA voted to oppose this bill, which was postponed indefinitely (killed) by the Senate State Affairs Committee. The Bar had concerns over the cost of vague language in the bill as well as the impact on the courts and judicial system.

HB 16-1310 – Operators Liable For Oil And Gas Operations

Under current law governing relations between surface owners and oil and gas operators, to prevail on a claim the surface owner must present evidence that the operator’s use of the surface materially interfered with the surface owner’s use of the surface of the land. The bill amends this requirement to allow proof that the operator’s oil and gas operations harmed the surface owner’s use of the surface of the land, caused bodily injury to the surface owner or any person residing on the property of the surface owner, or damaged the surface owner’s property.

The Legislative Policy Committee voted to oppose this bill because it upends the burden of proof responsibility. The bill has passed the House and is moving on to the Senate, where it will be heard by the Agriculture Committee.

HB 16-1331 – Policies On Juvenile Shackling In Court

The bill requires restraints on a juvenile to be removed prior to any court proceeding, except when the court determines the restraints are necessary:

  • To prevent physical harm to the juvenile or another person;
  • To prevent disruptive courtroom behavior by the juvenile, evidenced by a history of behavior that created potentially harmful situations or presented substantial risk of physical harm; or
  • To prevent the juvenile from fleeing the courtroom, when there is evidence of an escape history or other relevant factors.

The prosecution, sheriff, or any other detention or pretrial personnel may request that an individual juvenile be restrained in the courtroom. The court shall provide the juvenile’s attorney an opportunity to be heard before the court allows the use of restraints on a juvenile. The court may conduct a hearing on the use of restraints without the juvenile being present.

The CBA supports this bill as good policy and an extension of the efforts the courts have made this past year. While the courts need discretion, we believe this bill strikes the right balance for outlining the policies on how and when juveniles should be subject to shackling.

HB 16-1346 – Open Records Subject To Inspection Denial

The bill allows a custodian to deny access to confidential personal information records and employee personal e-mail addresses. The provisions of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) that relate to civil or administrative investigations and trade secrets and other privileged and confidential information apply to the judicial branch.

The Bar Association opposed this bill because of constitutional and separation of powers concerns regarding the relationship between the judicial and legislative branches of government. In addition, we believe that the PAIRR rules issued by the Chief Justice, which closely mirror the text of CORA, are better suited to meet the information needs of requesters while maintaining the integrity of judicial records.

HB 16-1394 -Aligning Issues Around At-risk Persons

The bill implements the following recommendations of the at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities mandatory reporting implementation task force:

  • Standardizing statutory definitions among the Colorado Criminal Code, adult protective services in the department of human services, and the office of community living in the department of health care policy and financing;
  • Specifying that enhanced penalties for crimes against an at-risk person apply to all persons 70 years of age or older and to all persons with a disability; and
  • Clarifying and expanding the definitions of persons who are required to report instances of mistreatment of at-risk elders or at-risk adults with an intellectual and developmental disability (adults with IDD).

The bill also:

  • Reduces the time in which a law enforcement agency or county department is required to prepare a written report from 48 hours to 24 hours;
  • Specifies that a county department of human or social services is to conduct an investigation of allegations of mistreatment of an at-risk adult; and
  • Clarifies that the human rights committee is responsible for ensuring that an investigation of mistreatment of an adult with IDD occurred.

The Colorado Bar Association opposed the bill as written, but is working with stakeholders to review amendments from other stakeholder groups. We are working with and talking with the sponsors frequently.

SB 16-130 – Methods To Collect Consumer Use Tax

Consumer use tax is the complement to sales tax and is due on the purchases of goods where the retailer did not charge sales tax. For example, any time consumers make an Internet purchase and the out-of-state retailer does not charge sales tax, the purchaser should pay the equivalent amount of sales tax as consumer use tax directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue (department). The department has added a use tax line to the 2015 individual income tax return form in an effort to make self-reporting of use tax more convenient for consumers.

The bill specifies that after the 2015 income tax year the department is not allowed to add use tax reporting lines to the individual income tax return form for any reason. The bill also prohibits the department from auditing any taxpayer for any amount he or she reported on the use tax lines included in the 2015 individual income tax return form.

The CBA is monitoring this bill and has sought permission to make changes to the bill to ensure that collecting use taxes is efficient.

SB 16-131 Overseeing Fiduciaries’ Management Of Assets

The bill clarifies statutory language concerning the removal of a fiduciary to ensure that a fiduciary’s authority is suspended as soon as a petition to remove the fiduciary is filed. The bill adds a provision to the conservatorship statutes stating that an adult ward or protected person has a right to be represented by a lawyer of their choosing unless the trial court finds the person lacks sufficient capacity to provide informed consent for representation by a lawyer. The bill states that after a fiduciary receives notice of proceedings for his, her, or its removal, the fiduciary shall not pay compensation or attorney fees and costs from the estate without an order of the court.

This bill rearranges the existing responsibilities for fiduciaries managing assets. It is a cleanup and reorganization of these statutes and adds the right to legal counsel for wards and protected persons. The bill is scheduled for committee later this week.

SB 16-133 – Transfer Of Property Rights At Death

Under current law, a certificate of death, a verification of death document, or a certified copy thereof, of a person who is a joint tenant may be placed of record with the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the real property affected by the joint tenancy is located, together with a supplementary affidavit. The bill removes the requirement that the person who swears to and affirms the supplementary affidavit has no record interest in the real property. The bill includes inherited individual retirement accounts and inherited Roth individual retirement accounts as property exempt from levy and sale under writ of attachment or writ of execution.

The bill amends provisions concerning determination-of-heirship proceedings, as follows:

  • Clarifies the definition of “interested person” so that anyone affected by the ownership of property may commence a proceeding;
  • Describes when an unprobated will may be used as part of a proceeding;
  • Clarifies notice requirements; and
  • Ensures that a judgment and decree will convey legal title as opposed to equitable title.

The bill enacts portions of section 5 of the Uniform Power of Appointment Act, with amendments.
This bill, the second part of the Colorado Bar Association’s probate reorganization bills, has passed the legislature and will be sent to the Governor shortly.

Bills that the LPC is monitoring, watching or working on can be found at this link:
http://www.statebillinfo.com/sbi/index.cfm?fuseaction=Public.Dossier&id=21762&pk=996