April 20, 2019

Archives for March 2016

SB 16-027: Allowing Medicaid Clients to Receive Prescriptions Through the Mail

On January 13, 2016, Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik and Nancy Todd along with Reps. Dianne Primavera and Lois Landgraf introduced SB 16-027Concerning Allowing the Option for Medicaid Clients to Obtain Prescribed Drugs Through Mail, and, In Connection Therewith, Reducing an Appropriation. The bill has passed through the Senate Health & Human Services and Appropriations Committees with amendments in each committee and was passed on Second and Third Reading in the Senate Committee of the Whole. In the House, the bill passed out of the Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee with amendments and is now in the House Appropriations Committee.

The proposed bill specifically relates to persons receiving medical assistance (Recipients). The bill would allow recipients the option to receive prescribed medications, used to treat chronic medical conditions, through the mail. The bill also provides that the recipient may receive up to a certain amount of the medication and would still pay the same copayment amount as recipients receiving the medication by another method.

The proposed bill provides that the department of health care policy and financing shall encourage recipients to use any local retail pharmacy for mail delivery. Furthermore, the bill would require the state board of medical services to adopt rules, “to the extent allowed by federal law,” relating to the option to receive medications through the mail. Specifically, the bill proposes to make subsection (1)(a)(II) of C.R.S. § 25.5-5-505 mandatory, stating “the state board rules must include the definition of maintenance medications.”

The bill also proposes the addition of subsection (1)(c) of C.R.S. § 25.5-5-505. The subsection states “a pharmacy may provide maintenance medications through the mail to medical assistance recipients in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws if the pharmacy is enrolled as a provider with the state department and is registered with the state board of pharmacy, created and existing pursuant to C.R.S. § 12-42.5-103.”

Additionally, the Senate provided amendments to Section 2 of the proposed bill, Appropriations – Adjustments to 2016 Long Bill. The amendments provide, in relevant part, that to implement the Act, the appropriations made for the 2016-17 fiscal year to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing for medical services premiums are adjusted in the following ways: (a) the general fund appropriation is decreased by $9,084; and (b) The cash funds appropriation from the hospital provider fee cash fund is decreased by $409. Furthermore, subsection (2) of Section 2 proposes that the fiscal year medical services premiums for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing will be decreased by $20,424.

Mark Proust is a 2016 JD Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

SB 16-037: Modifying Requirements of Record-Keepers Under Colorado Open Records Act

On January 13, 2016, Sen. John Kefalas and Rep. Dan Pabon introduced SB 16-037Concerning Required Public Access Under the “Colorado Open Records Act” to Public Records as Defined By Such Act Contained in Digitally Stored Data Maintained By Governmental Bodies. The bill has passed through the Senate Health & Human Services and Appropriations Committees with amendments in both committees. It passed through the Senate with amendments and was assigned in the House to the Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee, where it was amended and referred to Appropriations.

This bill proposes to modify to the existing legal requirements under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) pertaining to the inspection of open records.

The bill updates outdated statutory language used to describe public records kept in miniaturized, electronic, or digital form as a foundation for inspection requirements in connection with such records.

It deletes existing language that would require the official custodian to take any measures necessary to assist the public in locating specific records and to ensure access to the records without unreasonable cost or delay. The bill proposes to substitute provisions that would require the official custodian to provide records in any nonproprietary file format and storage medium specified by the requestor. This would include digital copies of any computer files, email, records uploaded to an online storage location shared with the requestor, access through viewing stations for records kept on microfiche, or, at the custodian’s discretion, direct electronic access.

The bill also requires the official custodian to manipulate electronically or digitally stored data in order to delete any confidential data in response to a records request. Removal of such confidential information or data does not trigger certain requirements specified in CORA for the payment of fees for the generation or copy of a public record. The official custodian, however, may charge the requestor for the actual cost of the digital storage used, if any, and a research and retrieval fee for the time spent gathering the information.

Mark Proust is a 2016 JD Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/25/2016

On Friday, March 25, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

Lundahl v. Global E. LLC

Padilla v. Clerk

Klecan v. Santillanes

United States v. Bell

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/24/2016

On Thursday, March 24, 2016, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued five published opinions and 36 unpublished opinions.

People v. Manyik

Harriman v. Cabela’s Inc.

Sidman v. Sidman

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Hickenlooper

People v. Wunder

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/24/2016

On Thursday, March 24, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

Barajas v. Falk

United States v. Morales-Cruz

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Professional Paradigms New and Old (Part 1): The Future Is Here, And We’re Not In It

The%20Future%20of%20the%20ProfessionsThe first six months of 2015, this blog ran a series on the Future of Law. About halfway through, I discovered the work of law futurist Richard Susskind, and quoted his books several times after that.

Richard and his son Daniel recently teamed up to publish The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts.

The book takes commitment to get through — it is exhaustively (sometimes exhaustingly) researched, and written with the painstaking (sometimes painful in its meticulousness) logic of philosophy (or a legal brief). But if you want to make your own contribution to the future of the profession, it’s an absolute must-read.

Among other things, you’ll find lots of new news about practice models and technologies — not just in law, but the other professions as well — which gives a sense of the vastness of the paradigm shift currently well underway in all the professions.

Here’s how the book summarizes its message:

[T]he professions are our current solution to a pervasive problem, namely, that none of us has sufficient specialist knowledge to allow us to cope with all the challenges that life throws at us. We have limited understanding, and so we turn to doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, and other professionals because they have ‘practical expertise’ that we need to bring to bear in our daily lives. In a print-based society, we have interposed the professions, as gatekeepers, between individuals and organizations, and the knowledge and experience to which they need access.

In the first two parts of the book we describe the changes taking place within the professions, and we develop various theories (largely technological and economic) that lead us to conclude that, in the future—in the fully fledged, technology-based Internet society—increasingly capable machines, autonomously or with non-specialist users, will take on many of the tasks that currently are the exclusive realm of the professions.

While we do not anticipate an overnight, big-bang revolution, equally we do not expect a leisurely evolutionary progression into the post-professional society. Instead, we predict what we call and ‘incremental transformation’ in the way in which we organize and share expertise in society, a displacement of the traditional professions in a staggered series of steps and bounds. Although the change will come in increments, its eventual impact will be radical and pervasive.

In other words, the professions as we have known them are facing the full implications of a massive paradigm shift from analog to digital in how we create, curate, and communicate wisdom, expertise, and specialized knowledge. The old paradigm relied on manuscripts and human brains; the new is proliferated in digitized forms most of us can barely conceive of.

The result? Let’s put it this way: the Susskinds could have called their book not the Future of the Professions, but the End of the Professions.

As I’ve said before, this paradigm shift is way bigger than our individual opinions of it. This series will offer some thoughts on how we reckon with it.

 

Rhodes_4For last year’s version of the Future of Law, check out this collection of those blog posts. It’s a FREE download. Also included is the Culture of Law series from the second half of 2015. Click this link or the cover for details.

DOR Beneficiary Designation Bill, Medical Marijuana Testing Facility Licensing Bill, and More Signed

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 13 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 59 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday include a bill requiring the Department of Revenue to create its own beneficiary designation form for vehicle ownership transfer on death, a bill allowing local licensing authorities to issue medical marijuana testing facility licenses, and more.

  • HB 16-1051 – Concerning the Issuance of Beneficiary Designation Forms to Facilitate the Transfer of Ownership of a Vehicle Upon the Death of an Owner, by Rep. Kevin Van Winkle and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to create its own beneficiary designation form for the transfer of vehicle ownership.
  • HB 16-1064 – Concerning Local Licensing of Marijuana Testing Facilities, by Rep. J. Paul Brown and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill allows a local medical marijuana licensing authority to issue medical marijuana testing facility licenses.
  • HB 16-1091 – Concerning a Change to the Biennial Filing Date for Rate-Regulated Electric Utilities to Submit Their Plans for Transmission Facilities to the Public Utilities Commission and, in Connection Therewith, Deleting the Requirement that the Commission Issue a Final Order within One Hundred Eighty Days After an Application for the Construction or Expansion of Transmission Facilities is Filed, by Reps. Dan Thurlow & Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. Current law requires rate regulated electric utilities to submit plans and other documents to the PUC by October 31 of each odd-numbered year. The bill changes the requirement so that the PUC can set the date for plan submission.
  • HB 16-1119 – Concerning a Modification to the Number of Days that an Aircraft May Remain in the State After it is Purchased for Purposes of the Sales and Use Tax Exemption on the Purchase of Certain Aircraft, by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill expands the sales and use tax exemptions for aircraft.
  • SB 16-055 – Concerning the Conduct of Elections to Choose the Board of Directors of a Cooperative Electric Association, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Dominick Moreno. Currently, cooperative electric associations may exempt themselves from regulation by the PUC, and may contract with third parties to collect and count the ballots for board elections. The bill allows the ballots to be mailed directly to the third party.
  • SB 16-063 – Concerning the Authority of a Local Government to Enter Into an Intergovernmental Agreement with an Out-of-State Local Government to Provide Critical Public Services, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. Edward Vigil. The bill authorizes local governments to contract with local governments in bordering states to provide emergency services.
  • SB 16-089 – Concerning the Establishment of an Alternative Maximum Reserve for the Department of State Cash Fund, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill allows an alternative maximum reserve for the Department of State Cash Fund equal to 16.5 percent of total expenditures plus an amount equal to any unexpended moneys from the previous year.
  • SB 16-090 – Concerning the Ability of the Department of Public Health and Environment to Collect Data on Marijuana Health Effects at a Regional Level, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill allows data regarding marijuana health effects to be reported at the regional level instead of only the county level.
  • SB 16-091 – Concerning Timing of the Statewide Discovery Sharing System, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill delays the start of the statewide eDiscovery sharing system from November 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017.
  • SB 16-092 – Concerning the Authorization of the State to Act Pursuant to the Federal “Oil Pollution Act of 1990,” by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill allows money recovered for damages pursuant to the federal Oil Pollution Act to be deposited in the Natural Resource Damage Recovery Fund.
  • SB 16-093 – Concerning Transfer of the Oversight of Independent Living Services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Labor and Employment, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Dave Young. The bill transfers oversight of independent living services for persons with disabilities to the Department of Labor and Employment.
  • SB 16-095 – Concerning the Five-Year Appropriations Requirement for Bills that Change the Periods of Incarceration in State Correctional Facilities, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill modifies the manner in which fiscal notes and appropriations affecting the Department of Corrections are made.
  • SB 16-107 – Concerning the Regulation of Voter Registration Drive Circulators and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Circulators to Complete Mandatory Training, by Sen. John Cooke and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill requires voter registration drive circulators to meet training requirements established by the Secretary of State prior to circulating any voter registration applications.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/23/2016

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

United States v. Harris

United States v. Vaughan

Lujan-Jimenez v. Lynch

Webb v. Warren

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

DUI Victim Impact Panel Bill, Definition of Veteran Bill, and More Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed nine bills into law. To date, he has signed 46 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Tuesday include a bill increasing the defendant’s cost for appearances before victim impact panels in DUI cases, allowing the state forest service to award grants for broadcast burns, conforming the Colorado statutory definition of “veteran” to federal law, creating an oversight committee for Colorado’s health benefit exchange, and more. The bills signed Tuesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1017 – Concerning Appearances Before a Victim Impact Panel, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Polly Lawrence and Sens. John Cooke & Michael Johnston. The bill increases the cost for appearances before a victim impact panel from $25 to $50.
  • HB 16-1019 – Concerning Increased Authority to Use Broadcast Burning as a Tool to Promote Watershed Restoration, by Rep. KC Becker and Sens. Matt Jones & Ellen Roberts. The bill allows the Colorado State Forest Service to award grants for broadcast burning.
  • HB 16-1026 – Concerning the Repeal of the Department of Revenue’s Revenue Impact Accounting Requirements Related to a Group of Bills Enacted in 2010, by Reps. Dan Thurlow & Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill repeals the requirement that the Department of Revenue provide quarterly reports about the fiscal impact of certain bills passed in the 2010 legislative session.
  • HB 16-1032 – Concerning Changes to the Content of a Criminal Summons, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sens. Nancy Todd & John Cooke. The bill removes the requirement that summons and complaints for misdemeanors, petty offenses, and misdemeanor traffic offenses contain the defendant’s license plate number, driver’s license number, and a place to sign.
  • HB 16-1125 – Concerning Creating a Colorado Statutory Reference to Conform with the Federal Definition of “Veteran,” by Rep. Catherine Roupe and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill recreates the definition of “veteran” in state law to conform with federal law and makes conforming amendments.
  • HB 16-1130 – Concerning Changes to Annual Reports Prepared by the Department of Education, by Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill changes the date on which the Office of Dropout Prevention in the Department of Education must submit a report from February 15 to March 15, starting in 2017 and continuing each year thereafter. The bill also removes requirements that the Department of Education submit to the General Assembly executive summaries of reports.
  • HB 16-1148 – Concerning the Oversight Authority of the Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee with Regard to Policies that Affect Consumers Proposed by the Health Benefit Exchange, by Rep. Lang Sias and Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Kefalas. The bill requires Colorado’s health benefit exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, to create and operate technical and advisory groups to report to Connect for Health Colorado’s Board on issues that affect consumers.
  • HB 16-1161 – Concerning the Allocation of Certain Money that Exceeds the Total Amount of All Warrants Issued by the State Treasurer to Reimburse Local Governmental Entities for Property Tax Revenues Lost as a Result of the Application of a Certain Property Tax Exemption, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill changes allocation of revenue from senior property tax exemptions so that five percent of the revenue will go to the Veterans Assistance Grant Program Cash Fund.
  • HB 16-1241 – Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Higher Education, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill provides a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Higher Education.

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

Rule Change 2016(02) Amends Rules Governing Commissions on Judicial Performance

The Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2016(02), which amends the Rules Governing the Commissions on Judicial Performance, effective March 17, 2016. All but three of the 16 rules were amended; some of the changes were relatively minor and some were more involved. Rule 12, “Recommendations,” was amended drastically to delete some of the specific criteria regarding retention recommendations. Rule 14, “Confidentiality,” also had several changes, including the deletion of certain criteria for the release of confidential information. Some of the changes, however, only affected the order of the wording.

A redline of the changes is available here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

 

Tenth Circuit: Sentence Upheld Because of District Court’s Detailed Findings About its Reasonableness

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Snowden on Friday, November 27, 2015.

Blake Snowden was a sales rep for Onyx, M.D., Inc. until his termination in August 2010. Onyx is a physician staffing agency that specializes in placing physicians in hospitals and clinics for short terms. Onyx uses a database program called Bullhorn, which it considers a competitive advantage. When Snowden was fired from Onyx, he decided to compete with Onyx in physician placement, and he obtained an Onyx executive’s password in March 2011 and used it to create his own Bullhorn account. Over the next few months, Snowden logged into Bullhorn dozens of times and copied gigabytes of data. He also intercepted emails of four Onyx executives. However, his efforts were unsuccessful; they neither benefited nor harmed Onyx’s business. When Onyx discovered the hack, the FBI traced it to a computer at Snowden’s address. Onyx’s only loss from the hack was about $25,ooo in legal fees and lost employee time related to the hack.

Snowden eventually pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and intercepting emails. The district court applied a 16-level enhancement based on its estimated loss of the cost of developing the database, $1.5 million, and calculated his Guidelines range as 41-51 months. However, the district court varied downward and sentenced him to 30 months. The court specifically found that it would apply a 30-month sentence no matter what, even if its Guidelines calculation was held to be incorrect on appeal.

The Tenth Circuit was skeptical about the district court’s assumption of $1.5 million in losses, although it understood the court’s reasoning. The Tenth Circuit found that had the district court limited its loss calculation to Onyx’s actual loss of approximately $25,000, the resulting Guidelines range would have been 8-14 months. However, it found any error harmless because of the district court’s detailed and unusual findings about what it considered to be a proper sentence for Snowden’s crime. The court specifically noted that it would vary upward to 30 months if the Guidelines range was too high and would vary downward to 30 months if the Guidelines range was too low. Because of these specific findings, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s sentence.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the sentence but reversed and remanded for the correction of the restitution award to the parties’ undisputed proposed restitution amount.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/22/2016

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and eight unpublished opinions.

Sherard v. State of Utah

Jackson v. McCollum

White v. Patton

United States v. Locke

Webb v. Thompson

Vreeland v. Zupan

Webb v. Scott

Du Merac v. Colorado School of Mines

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.