May 21, 2019

Archives for June 2, 2016

Pregnancy Accommodations Bill, CCB Transparency Bill, and More Signed by Governor

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 13 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 217 bills this legislative session. Some of the bills signed Wednesday include a bill requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, a bill to increase transparency of community-centered boards, a bill authorizing the sale of land for expansion of Fort Logan National Cemetery, and more. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1187 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Meals Provided in Certain Retirement Communities, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill creates sales and use tax exemptions for food and food packaging to be consumed by residents on the premises of a retirement community, which includes assisted living residences, nursing homes that provide continuous nursing care, and independent living facilities providing services to residents age 55 and older.
  • HB 16-1277 – Concerning the Appeal Process for Medical Assistance Benefits, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Susan Lontine & Lois Landgraf and Sens. Andy Kefalas & Ellen Roberts. The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to give Medicaid clients at least 10 days advanced notice prior to suspending, terminating, or modifying a client’s medical assistance benefits. The bill also extends the deadline to appeal for a client to appeal the intended action to 60 days after the date of notice, up from 30 days under current law.
  • HB 16-1280 – Concerning the Regulation of Air Ambulance Service, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill gives the CDPHE authority to establish state-level licensing of air ambulances that allows for air ambulance operators to receive a license either by gaining accreditation through an approved organization or by meeting licensing standards established by the CDPHE and the State Board of Health.
  • HB 16-1387 – Concerning Health Insurance Coverage for Severe Protein Allergic Conditions, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Laura Woods. Current law requires that health insurance plans provide coverage for medical foods for newborn children with inherited enzymatic disorders caused by single gene defects involved in the metabolism of amino, organic, and fatty acids. This bill adds coverage for severe protein allergic conditions and amino acid-based elemental formulas.
  • HB 16-1397 – Concerning the Completion of the Fitzsimmons State Veterans Community Living Center to Provide a Continuum of Residential Care Options, by Reps. Su Ryden & JoAnn Windholz and Sens. Mary Hodge & Larry Crowder. The bill repeals and reenacts the authority of the Department of Human Services to build a veterans community living center and assorted facilities on the site of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and outlines the requirements for the construction and use of the facilities.
  • HB 16-1438 – Concerning the Provision of Reasonable Accommodations by an Employer for Persons Who Have a Condition Related to Pregnancy, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires employers to engage in a timely, good-faith, interactive process when an employee or applicant requests reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth. Reasonable accommodations may include the provision of more frequent or longer break periods; more frequent bathroom, food, or water breaks; acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; limitations on lifting; temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position or light duty, if available; assistance with manual labor; or modified work schedules, as long as certain conditions are met.
  • HB 16-1456 – Concerning the Sale of a Portion of Land at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the Expansion of Fort Logan National Cemetery, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill authorizes the Department of Human Services to sell up to 15 acres of vacant land around the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at fair market value for purpose of expanding the Fort Logan National Cemetery.
  • SB 16-027 – Concerning Allowing the Option for Medicaid Clients to Obtain Prescribed Drugs Through the Mail, and, in Connection Therewith, Reducing an Appropriation, by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Nancy Todd and Reps. Dianne Primavera & Lois Landgraf. Under current law, only a limited number of Medicaid recipients may receive maintenance medication by mail order. This bill expands the option to receive a three-month supply of maintenance medication through the mail to all Medicaid recipients.
  • SB 16-038 – Concerning Measures to Promote the Transparency of Community-Centered Boards, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Certain Community-Centered Boards Subject to Performance Audits Undertaken by the State Auditor, Making All Community-Centered Boards Subject to the “Colorado Local Government Audit Law”, Expanding Public Disclosure of the Administration and Operations of the Community-Centered Boards, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Reps. Dave Young & Lang Sias. The bill requires a community centered board (CCB) that receives more than 75 percent of its annual funding from federal, state, or local governments, or any combination thereof, to be subject to the Colorado Local Government Audit Act.
  • SB 16-158 – Concerning the Ability of a Physician Assistant to Perform Functions Delegated by a Physician that are Within the Physician Assistant’s Scope of Practice, by Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. Dianne Primavera. The bill clarifies and expands the duties that a physician may delegate to a physician assistant within his or her scope of practice, including allowing a PA to issue certain statements verifying a medical condition, obtain Level I accreditation in workers’ compensation matters, and more.
  • SB 16-190 – Concerning Improving the Process for County Administration of Public Assistance Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill establishes performance standards to improve the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including requiring DHS to contract with an external vendor to collect data regarding costs and performance of several public assistance programs.
  • SB 16-202 – Concerning Increasing Access to Effective Substance Use Disorder Services Through Designated Regional Managed Service Organizations, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill requires each managed service organization to assess the sufficiency of substance use disorder services for various populations in its geographic region, and to prepare a community action plan to address the most critical service gaps by March 1, 2017. The bill allows appropriations from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to support the implementation of MSO community action plans and to provide substance abuse treatment.
  • SB 16-212 – Concerning Aligning Changes Made to the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization of 2014 to the Twelve-Month Eligibility Requirement of the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Janet Buckner. The bill makes changes to align state law on eligibility for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program with federal law. Specifically, if an eligible participant’s income rises above the level set by the county to deny child care assistance during the twelve-month eligibility period, the county must continue providing the child care subsidy until the next twelve-month redetermination period.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Attorney’s Lien Void When he was Terminated for Cause

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Martinez v. Mintz Law Firm on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Contingent Fees—Charging Liens—Proper Civil Action.

In this dispute regarding an attorney’s charging lien, a contingent fee plaintiff’s former attorneys asserted a lien against any settlement or judgment entered in the underlying action and in favor of plaintiff. After the underlying action was settled, successor counsel moved to void the lien, and initial counsel moved to strike successor counsel’s motion and to compel arbitration, based on an arbitration clause contained in initial counsel’s contingent fee agreement with plaintiff. The Supreme Court concluded that successor counsel’s motion to void the lien at issue was properly filed in the underlying action and that the underlying action was a “proper civil action” within the meaning of C.R.S. § 12-5-119. As a result, the Court further concluded that the lien dispute was between initial and successor counsel. Therefore, the matter (1) was not subject to arbitration pursuant to the arbitration clause in initial counsel’s contingent fee agreement with the plaintiff and (2) was properly before the district court. Finally, the Court concluded that the record supported the district court’s finding that initial counsel was not entitled to recover the fees that it was seeking. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Avalanches are Inherent Risks or Dangers of Skiing

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fleury v. IntraWest Winter Park Operations Corp. on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Ski Safety Act of 1979—Statutes—Immunity Statutes—Plain Language—Plain, Ordinary, Common, or Literal Meaning—Public Amusement and Entertainment—Skiing and Snowboarding.

The Supreme Court held that an avalanche that occurs within the bounds of a ski resort qualifies as an “inherent danger[] and risk[] of skiing” under the Ski Safety Act of 1979, C.R.S. §§ 33-44-101 to -114. The definition of “inherent dangers and risks of skiing” in C.R.S. § 33-44-103(3.5) specifically includes “snow conditions as they exist or may change.” By its plain meaning, this phrase encompasses an in-bounds avalanche, which is, at its core, the movement or changing  condition of snow. As such, C.R.S. § 33-44-112 precludes skiers from recovering for injuries resulting from in-bounds avalanches.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Water Authority Can Use Junior Priority First but Must Live with Its Decision

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Concerning the Application for Water Rights of the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority in the Eagle River in Eagle County, Colorado: Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority v. Wolfe on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Actual Use of Water and Application to Beneficial Use—Nature and Extent of Rights Acquired.

The Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority filed an application to make absolute 0.47 cubic feet per second of its Eagle River Diversion Point No. 2 conditional water right. The State and Division Engineers opposed the application, asserting that the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority could not make its Eagle River Diversion Point No. 2 water right absolute when it owned another, more senior conditional water right, decreed for the same claimed beneficial uses at the same location and for diversion at the same point. The Supreme Court held that where there is no evidence of waste, hoarding, or other mischief, and no injury to the rights of other water users, the owner of a portfolio of water rights is entitled to select which of its different, in-priority conditional water rights it wishes to first divert and make absolute.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/1/2016

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and five unpublished opinions.

United States v. Kirtman

United States v. Hidrogo

Yan v. Lynch

United States v. Lee

United States v. Pumphrey

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