July 17, 2019

e-Legislative Report: January 21, 2013 – Week 1

Each week during the legislative session, CBA Director of Legislative Relations Michael Valdez issues an e-Legislative Report. This week, in the legislative video update, Michael discusses the “back to school” feel of the beginning of the new legislative session.

State of the Judiciary

On Friday, Jan. 11, Chief Justice Michael L. Bender delivered his traditional State of the Judiciary Address to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives. This was Chief Justice Bender’s last State of the Judiciary address since—to use his term—he is being “sent out to pasture” (mandatory retirement at age 72.) Chief Justice Bender introduced his colleagues from the Supreme Court and State Court Administrator Judge Gerald Marroney. The Chief also acknowledged invited guests: Marty Katz, Dean of the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver; Marianne Wesson, University of Colorado Law School Professor; and Mark Fogg, President of the CBA. The Chief was joined by a large contingent of his family which included his wife Helen. Finally, Charlie Greer, a professor, poet, and close friend was in attendance.

Early in his speech, Chief Justice Bender emphasized three important themes:

  1. The importance of citizens’ trust in the rule of law in our democracy.
  2. The way in which the judicial branch in Colorado furthers the rule of law for our citizens.
  3. The importance for the courts and the legal community to understand the needs of the public they serve and to collaborate to create programs that address those needs.

The Chief highlighted several recent initiatives that the Branch has undertaken to improve the efficiency of the branch and the service to the state. Of special note, Chief Justice Bender talked about the Chief Justice Commission on the Legal Profession, which combined the three main pillars of the legal profession—judges, lawyers, and Colorado’s two law schools—to extend the mission of the judiciary to the legal profession as a whole; the Chief’s remarks included six projects that the Commission has accomplished or continues to advance.

In his closing, the Chief Justice looked forward to working with the both houses in the coming legislative session.

Click here for the full text of the Chief Justice’s speech.

From the Capitol

Without many bills to consider on 2nd and 3rd Readings, floor work was limited in both houses. Joint committees of reference (House and Senate) were occupied with the various departments of state government making presentations that comply with the SMART (State Measurements for Accountable, Responsive and Transparent) Government Act. The genesis, HB 10–1119, sets forth requirements for budgeting by state departments and implemented a new role for state department budgeting and created a new role for legislative committees of reference. Several SMART hearings will continue the week of January 21 with more and more bills being added to the calendar.

From the CBA Legislative Policy Committee

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

At its Jan. 18 meeting the LPC voted to reaffirm CBA support for Civil Unions. The Committee voted to support SB 13–11 in the 2013 session. The bill is scheduled for its first committee review on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for summaries of selected House and Senate bills, which were summarized in the e-Legislative Report and will appear in Legal Connection feeds.

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