November 21, 2018

Bills Signed Regarding Appropriating Retail Marijuana Sales Tax to Schools, Clarifying Standard for Deceptive Trade Practices, and More

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, the governor signed 15 bills into law. To date, he has signed 55 bills this legislative session. Many of Thursday’s bills involved the relocation of statutes from Title 12. Some of the other bills signed include a bill to clarify which entities are eligible to apply for special event beverage licenses, a bill appropriating retail marijuana sales tax to schools, a bill changing the date of special district elections to May every-other year, and more. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • HB 18-1027 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to the Regulation of the Lottery from Title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Rep. Cole Wist and Sen. Daniel Kagan. The bill creates Title 44 and relocates the sections of Title 12 related to the regulation of the lottery to Title 44.
  • HB 18-1028 – “Concerning Clarification of the Standard Required for Applications for a Court Order to Require Compliance with Investigations of Deceptive Trade Practices,” by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Cole Wist and Sens. Lois Court & Jack Tate. The bill would allow a judge to issue a court order if compliance with an investigation is necessary to investigate a deceptive trade practice.
  • HB 18-1039 – “Concerning Changing Regular Special District Elections to May of Each Odd-numbered Year, and, in Connection Therewith, Adjusting the Length of Terms Served by Directors Elected in 2020 and 2022 in Order to Implement the New Election Schedule,” by Rep. Kim Ransom and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill moves regular special district elections to the Tuesday following the first Monday of May in odd-numbered years, rather than the Tuesday immediately succeeding the first Monday of May in every even-numbered year, starting in 2023.
  • HB 18-1087 – “Concerning Department of Public Safety Authority to Repeal Rules Relating to Defunct Boards,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sens. Don Coram & Daniel Kagan. The victims compensation and assistance coordinating committee and the victims assistance and law enforcement advisory board in the department of public safety were repealed in 2009. The bill gives the executive director of the department of public safety the authority to repeal rules relating to those repealed boards.
  • HB 18-1096 – “Concerning the Eligibility of Certain Entities to Apply for a Special Event Permit to Sell Alcohol Beverages,” by Rep. Matt Gray and Sen. Kevin Priola. The bill adds to the list of organizations authorized to obtain a special event permit to sell alcohol beverages for a limited period an organization that is incorporated under Colorado law for educational purposes.
  • HB 18-1100 – “Concerning the Continuous Appropriation of Money in the Educator Licensure Cash Fund,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill extends the continuous appropriation of money to the State Board of Education and the Department of Education (Department) for its expenses incurred in the administration of the “Colorado Educator Licensing Act of 1991” for three more years.
  • HB 18-1101 – “Concerning Modification of the Manner in which Gross Retail Marijuana Tax Revenue that is Transferred from the General Fund to the State Public School Fund as Required by Current Law is Appropriated from the State Public School Fund,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. Beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year, the bill requires 12.59% of the gross retail marijuana sales tax revenue remaining in the general fund after a required allocation of 10% of the revenue to local governments to be transferred to the state public school fund, and continuously appropriates that revenue for the same state fiscal year in which it is transferred from the state public school fund to the department of education to help meet the state share of total program funding for school districts and institute charter schools.
  • HB 18-1140 – “Concerning Public Official Personal Surety Bonds, and, in Connection Therewith, Repealing Obsolete Provisions and Authorizing the Purchase of Insurance in Lieu of Public Official Personal Surety Bonds,” by Rep. Hugh McKean and Sen. Dominick Moreno. The bill repeals obsolete provisions related to personal surety bonds and authorizes a public entity to purchase insurance in lieu of a public official personal surety bond and states the requirements for the insurance.
  • SB 18-036 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to the Regulation of Tobacco Sales to Minors from Title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Daniel Kagan and Rep. Cole Wist. The bill creates Title 44, then relocates the sections of Title 24 regarding the regulation of tobacco sales to minors to Title 44.
  • SB 18-091 – “Concerning Modernizing Terminology in the Colorado Revised Statutes Related to Behavioral Health,” by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Dan Thurlow. The bill is a follow-up and clean-up to Senate Bill 17-242, which updated and modernized terminology in the Colorado Revised Statutes related to behavioral health, including mental health disorders, alcohol use disorders, and substance use disorders.
  • SB 18-092 – “Concerning Updating Statutory References to ‘County Departments of Social Services,'” by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Edie Hooten. The bill modernizes outdated references in statute to “County Department(s) of Social Services,” or similar terms, to “County Department(s) of Human or Social Services.” Counties throughout the state have different ways of referring to the department in the county that does human or social services work, so it is necessary for statute to reflect that not all county departments go by one label.
  • SB 18-094 – “Concerning the Repeal of a Duplicate Definitions Section in Article 60 of Title 27, Colorado Revised Statutes,” by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Edie Hooten. The bill repeals section 27-60-102.5, Colorado Revised Statutes, which is a duplicate definitions section for general provisions related to behavioral health found in article 60 of title 27, Colorado Revised Statutes. The bill leaves in place section 27-60-100.3, Colorado Revised Statutes, enacted by Senate Bill 17-242.
  • SB 18-100 – “Concerning Disclosure of Additional Mandatory Charges by Motor Vehicle Rental Companies,” by Sen. Tim Neville and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Kevin Van Winkle. The bill requires a motor vehicle rental company to disclose to a potential customer, in any vehicle rental cost quote and in the rental agreement, additional mandatory charges applicable to the motor vehicle rental.
  • SB 18-103 – “Concerning the Issuance of Performance-based Incentives for Film Production Activities in the State,” by Sens. Nancy Todd & Jim Smallwood and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Timothy Leonard. The bill strengthens the requirements necessary to earn performance-based incentives for film production activities in the state in various ways.
  • SB 18-164 – “Concerning the Repeal of Reporting Requirements for Certain Unfunded Programs in the Department of Human Services Until Such Time as Funding is Received,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Dan Thurlow. The bill directs that reporting requirements for programs established in the department of human services that have not received funding in several years be placed on hold until such time as the program receives funding.

For all of the governor’s 2018 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Signed Allowing Alcohol to be Auctioned at Special Events, Amending Employer Ability to Access FPPA Plans, and More

On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed 26 bills into law. To date, he has signed 29 bills this legislative session. Many of the bills signed Thursday were supplemental appropriations bills or bills moving statutes from Title 12, C.R.S., but among the rest were bills allowing the auctioning of alcohol in sealed containers at special events, amending an employer’s ability to access Fire and Police Pension Association plans, and adopting the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Summaries of the bills signed Thursday are available here.

  • HB 18-1022 – “Concerning a Requirement that the Department of Revenue Issue a Request for Information for an Electronic Sales and Use Tax Simplification System,” by Reps. Lang Sias & Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Tim Neville. The bill requires the department of revenue to issue a request for information for an electronic sales and use tax simplification system that the state or any local government that levies a sales or use tax, including a home rule municipality and county, could choose to use that would provide administrative simplification to the state and local sales and use tax system.
  • HB 18-1031 – “Concerning Employer Entry into the Fire and Police Pension Association Defined Benefit System,” by Reps. Jovan Melton & Kim Ransom and Sens. John Cooke & Matt Jones. The bill allows an employer that provides a money purchase plan to apply to the board, with a single application, to cover some or all of the existing members of its money purchase plan in the defined benefit system. Current law requires the employer to apply to the board separately for each plan.
  • HB 18-1075 – “Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2017 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado,” by Reps. Pete Lee & Leslie Herod and Sens. Daniel Kagan & John Cooke. This bill enacts the softbound volumes of Colorado Revised Statutes 2017, including the corrected replacement volume consisting of titles 42 and 43, as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado and establishes the effective date of said publication.
  • HB 18-1079 – “Concerning a Requirement that the Works Allocation Committee Prepare Annual Recommendations for the Use of the Colorado Long-term Works Reserve,” by Rep. Susan Beckman and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill requires the works allocation committee to annually submit to the executive director of the Department of Human Services, the governor, and the joint budget committee recommendations for the use of the money in the Colorado long-term works reserve for the upcoming state fiscal year.
  • HB 18-1144 – “Concerning Certain Publishing Requirements for the Department of Revenue’s ‘Disclosure of Average Taxes Paid’ Table,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill updates language regarding mailing of tax tables, and refers in general to the department’s website and also requires the department to provide the table on the software platform that the department makes available to taxpayers to file individual income taxes rather than refer to the “NetFile” link.
  • HB 18-1159 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Education,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Education.
  • HB 18-1160 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Planning and Budgeting,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and state planning and budgeting.
  • HB 18-1161 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
  • HB 18-1162 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Human Services,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Human Services.
  • HB 18-1163 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Judicial Department,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Judicial Department.
  • HB 18-1164 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Personnel,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Personnel.
  • HB 18-1165 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Public Safety,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Public Safety.
  • HB 18-1166 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
  • HB 18-1167 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Revenue,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Revenue.
  • HB 18-1168 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of State,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of State.
  • HB 18-1169 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of the Treasury,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of the Treasury.
  • HB 18-1170 – “Concerning Funding for Capital Construction, and Making Supplemental Appropriations in Connection Therewith,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes supplemental appropriations for capital construction projects.
  • HB 18-1173 – “Concerning a Supplemental Transfer of Money from the General Fund to the Information Technology Capital Account of the Capital Construction Fund for the 2017-18 State Fiscal Year,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the bill transfers $2,888,529 from the general fund to the information technology capital account of the capital construction fund.
  • SB 18-019 – “Concerning an Expansion of the Duration for which the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority may Make a Loan Under the Authority’s Revolving Loan Programs,” by Sens. Kerry Donovan & Don Coram and Reps. Chris Hansen & Jeni James Arndt. Current law limits the duration of any water pollution control loan to 20 years; this bill removes the 20-year limitation.
  • SB 18-027 – “Concerning the Enactment of the ‘Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact’, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Jim Smallwood & Nancy Todd and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Hugh McKean. The bill repeals the current ‘Nurse Licensure Compact’ and adopts the ‘Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact’.
  • SB 18-030 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to Self-Propelled Vehicles from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Chris Holbert & Daniel Kagan and Reps. Mike Foote & Yeulin Willett. The bill creates Title 44 in the Colorado Revised Statutes and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-032 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Bob Gardner & John Cooke and Reps. Mike Foote & Leslie Herod. The bill relocates articles 26 and 26.1 from Title 12 to a new part in Title 18, and relocates the Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act to a new article in Title 13.
  • SB 18-034 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to the Regulation of Gaming from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. John Cooke & Lucia Guzman and Reps. Cole Wist & Pete Lee. The bill creates a new Title 44 and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-035 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to Gambling Payment Intercept from Title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Bob Gardner & John Cooke and Rep. Cole Wist. The bill creates Title 44 of the Colorado Revised Statutes and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-041 – “Concerning the Ability of Operators of Sand and Gravel Mines to Use Water Incidental to Sand and Gravel Mining Operations to Mitigate the Impacts of Mining,” by Sens. Don Coram & Randy Baumgartner and Reps. Lori Saine & Jeni James Arndt. The bill specifies that the groundwater replacement plan or the plan of substitute supply and the permit may authorize uses of water incidental to open mining for sand and gravel, including specifically the mitigation of impacts from mining and dewatering.
  • SB 18-054 – “Concerning a Limitation on the Amount of an Increase in Fees Assessed Against Assisted Living Residences by the Department of Public Health and Environment,” by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Larry Liston. Current law requires the State Board of Health to establish a schedule of fees for health facilities, including assisted living facilities. The bill applies an inflation rate limitation to the fees for assisted living facilities.
  • SB 18-067 – “Concerning the Ability of Certain Organizations Conducting a Special Event to Auction Alcohol Beverages in Sealed Containers for Fundraising Purposes under Specified Circumstances,” by Sens. Rachel Zenzinger & Kevin Priola and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Kevin Van Winkle. The bill specifically allows certain organizations to bring onto and remove from the premises where an event will be held, whether licensed or unlicensed, alcohol beverages in sealed containers that were donated to or otherwise lawfully obtained by the organization and will be used for an auction for fundraising purposes as long as the alcohol beverages remain in sealed containers at all times and the licensee does not realize any financial gain related to the alcohol beverage auction.

For a list of the governor’s 2018 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.

Colorado Supreme Court: Election Statutes Contain Procedure for Challenging Unqualified Elected Official

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Carson v. Reiner on Monday, May 23, 2016.

Election Law—School District Director Elections—Candidate Unqualified but Certified to Ballot.

Carson and two other electors of Mesa County Valley School District 51 made application to the Supreme Court, pursuant to C.R.S. § 1-1-113(3), for review of the district court’s order denying their requested relief concerning a school board election. A week before the scheduled election, Carson filed a verified petition, pursuant to C.R.S. § 1-1-113(1), naming as respondents the county clerk and recorder and the school board’s designated election official, and seeking a declaration that one of the candidates for the school board was unqualified and had been wrongfully certified to the ballot. In addition, the petition sought an order forbidding the clerk and recorder from counting votes for that candidate. The district court denied the requested relief on the grounds that C.R.S. § 1-1-113(1) did not authorize it to adjudicate the eligibility of a candidate at that stage of the election process. The Court held that C.R.S. § 1-1-113(1) does not permit a challenge to an election official’s certification of a candidate to the ballot, solely on the basis of the certified candidate’s qualification, once the period permitted by C.R.S. § 1-4-501(3) for challenging the qualification of the candidate directly has expired. Therefore, the ruling of the district court was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

SB 16-163: Directing Office of Legislative Legal Services to Study Potential Reorganization of C.R.S. Title 12

On March 16, 2016, Sen. Michael Johnston and Rep. Daniel Kagan introduced SB 16-163Concerning A Study of an Organization Recodification of Title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes Governing the Regulation of Professions and Occupations. The bill was assigned to the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. It passed out of that committee unamended and was referred to Appropriations, where it was amended and referred to the Senate Committee of the Whole for Second Reading.

This bill directs the Office of Legislative Services to conduct a study of an organizational recodification of Title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. In conducting this study, the office must solicit input, including regarding the potential fiscal impacts of a recodification, from the judicial department, state agencies, local governments, and other entities with regulation and enforcement responsibilities established by Title 12.

The bill requires the committee to determine whether to direct the office to present proposed legislation to the committee for organizational recodification by December 31, 2017. Any proposed recodification should be largely organizational and nonsubstantive. This includes only those substantive provisions necessary to promote the public purposes of an organizational recodification, such as changes to make similar but repetitive provisions uniform and capable of consolidation and changes that eliminate archaic or obsolete provisions.

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

HB 16-1077: Recreating the Statutory Revisions Committee

On January 13, 2016, Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik introduced HB 16-1077Concerning the Recreation of the Statutory Revision Committee. The bill was assigned to the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. It passed out of that committee with amendments and was referred to Appropriations.

When the statutory revision committee was created in 1977, it was a standing body tasked with making an ongoing investigation into statutory defects and anachronisms. This bill proposes to recreate the committee, which was repealed in 1985.

The recreated committee would be comprised of 8 members. The majority and minority party leaders of each chamber of the general assembly would appoint two members for each party. The bill also proposes that the committee be staffed by the office of legislative legal services.

The committee would be charged with many responsibilities, including: (1) making an ongoing investigation of the common law, statutes of the state, and current judicial decisions for the purpose of discovering defects and errors in the law and recommending needed reforms; (2) receiving, soliciting, and considering proposed changes in the law from legal organizations, public officials, lawyers, and the public generally as to defects and errors in the law; (3) recommending legislation, if needed, to effect such changes in the law as it deems necessary in order to modify or eliminate outdated, redundant, or contradictory laws; and (4) occasionally reporting its findings and recommendations to the committee on legal services and annually to the general assembly.

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

Bills Regarding COLTAF Accounts, Marijuana Concentrate Manufacture, Revision of Statutes, and More Signed

On Friday, May 29, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 29 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 287 bills into law. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1348 – Concerning Modifications to Statutory Provisions Governing Urban Redevelopment to Promote the Equitable Financial Contribution Among Affected Public Bodies in Connection with Urban Redevelopment Projects Allocating Tax Revenues, by Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Polly Lawrence and Sens. Rollie Heath & David Balmer. The bill creates new requirements for urban redevelopment authorities, including changes to governance, procedures to follow, and distribution of excess funds.
  • HB 15-1186 – Concerning Home- and Community-Based Services for Children with Autism, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill expands eligibility for the Autism Waiver Program by increasing the age limit from 6 years to 8 years and removing the existing per child spending cap.
  • HB 15-1305 – Concerning a Prohibition on Manufacturing Marijuana Concentrate in an Unregulated Environment Using an Inherently Hazardous Substance, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Mike Foote & Yeulin Willett and Sens. Kevin Grantham & Michael Johnston. The bill makes it a class 2 felony for an unlicensed person to manufacture marijuana concentrate using an “inherently hazardous substance,” which term is also defined.
  • HB 15-1016 – Concerning Incentives for Precipitation Harvesting, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Don Coram and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill establishes a 10-year pilot program for collection of rooftop precipitation for non-potable purposes.
  • HB 15-1226 – Concerning Annual License Fees for Retail Food Establishments, by Rep. KC Becker and Sen. Mary Hodge. The bill removes the statutory annual license fees for retail food establishments and orders the State Board of Health to establish the fees in rule.
  • HB 15-1229 – Concerning Retaliation Against a Prosecutor, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill creates a new class 4 felony for the crime of retaliation against a prosecutor.
  • HB 15-1281 – Concerning Newborn Congenital Heart Defect Screening Through the Use of Pulse Oximetry, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Mary Hodge. The bill requires that all newborns born in Colorado at a facility below 7000 feet elevation be screened for heart defects using pulse oximetry.
  • SB 15-260 – Concerning Medical Marijuana Product Testing, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Rep. Joann Ginal. The bill authorizes creation of a medical marijuana testing facility and requires that all medical marijuana be tested once the facility is created.
  • HB 15-1372 – Concerning an Increase in the Cap Placed on the Annual Fee Each Public Utility Pays to Defray the Administrative Expenses of the Agencies Within the Department of Regulatory Agencies that Address Public Utility Matters, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Max Tyler & Jon Becker and Sens. Rollie Heath & David Balmer. The bill raises the statutory limit on fixed utility fund assessments for electric and natural gas utilities in order to cover an anticipated revenue shortfall.
  • SB 15-004 – Concerning Trained Volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Youth Brought Before a Court in a Truancy Proceeding, by Sen. Cheri Jahn and Rep. Dianne Primavera. The bill allows CASA volunteers to be appointed to help juveniles in truancy proceedings.
  • SB 15-124 – Concerning the Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Response to Technical Violations of Parole, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Michael Merrifield and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill clarifies and narrows the scope of behavior that warrants arresting a parolee for a technical violation.
  • HB 15-1365 – Concerning Adding two Youth Members to the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Board, by Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill allows two youth between the ages of 15 and 25 to be added to the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Board, which administers grants to community-based programs targeting youth and their families.
  • HB 15-1373 – Concerning the Creation of a Provisional Certification to Practice Speech-Language Pathology, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill allows a speech-language pathologist to obtain a provisional certification prior to completion of a fellowship.
  • HB 15-1013 – Concerning the Implementation of Recommendation Number One Set Forth in the Study of the South Platte River Alluvial Aquifer Prepared by the Colorado Water Institute Pursuant to House Bill 12-1278, by Rep. Don Coram and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Mary Hodge. The bill implements the first recommendation of the Colorado Water Institute’s study of the South Platte River alluvial aquifer – namely, the bill requires the state engineer and CWCB to select two pilot projects for lowering the water table, and it also requires the state engineer to approve or propose changes to the operation of proposed recharge structures for augmentation plans.
  • HB 15-1233 – Concerning the Creation of the Respite Care Task Force, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lois Landgraf and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill creates the Respite Care Task Force to study the supply and demand of respite care services in Colorado.
  • HB 15-1313 – Concerning the Creation of a Rocky Mountain National Park License Plate to Evidence that a Vehicle Has Been Registered, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. KC Becker and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill creates the Rocky Mountain National Park license plate, which will be available to any applicant upon payment of the $50 special plate fee and with a donation to Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • HB 15-1350 – Concerning Performance Measures for Accrediting an Alternative Education Campus, by Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill requires the Colorado Department of Education to convene stakeholder meetings to review statutes and State Board of Education rules relating to alternative education campuses.
  • HB 15-1364 – Concerning a Limitation on the Scope of an Inspection of a Small Hydroelectric Energy Facility Conducted by the State Electrical Board, by Reps. Don Coram & Diane Mitsch Bush and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Kerry Donovan. The bill clarifies when limited inspections apply to small hydroelectric facilities.
  • HB 15-1371 – Concerning an Exemption from the “Unclaimed Property Act” for Funds Held in Certain Lawyer Trust Accounts, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Yeulin Willett and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill exempts COLTAF funds from the “Unclaimed Property Act.”
  • HB 15-1379 – Concerning Creation of Marijuana Permitted Economic Interest Registrations, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill allows people who are not Colorado residents to apply for authorization to hold a permitted economic interest in a marijuana business.
  • SB 15-102 – Concerning the Continuation of the Securities Board, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2014 Sunset Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, by Sen. Chris Holbert and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill implements the recommendation of the securities board sunset review by continuing the board until September 1, 2026.
  • SB 15-207 – Concerning the Authority of the State to Enter Into Lease-Purchase Agreements for the Refinancing of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Grand Junction Regional Office and Forensic Laboratory, by Sens. Randy Baumgardner & Ray Scott and Rep. J. Paul Brown. The bill authorizes the state treasurer to enter into lease-purchase agreements to refinance revenue bonds used to construct the CBI Grand Junction office.
  • SB 15-208 – Concerning Capital-Related Expenditures, and, in Connection Therewith, Granting the Controller Authority to Allow Expenditures for Capital Construction Budget Appropriations if Nonmonetary Adjustments are Needed When the Legislature is Not in Session, Adding a Capital Development Committee-Approved Waiver for the Arts in Public Places Requirement, and Clarifying the Types of Capital Construction Projects to which the Arts in Public Places Requirement Applies, by Sen. John Kefalas and Rep. J. Paul Brown. The bill adds to the allowable reasons an emergency supplemental request related to a capital appropriation can be heard and acted upon between legislative sessions.
  • SB 15-212 – Concerning a Determination that Water Detention Facilities Designed to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Storm Water Runoff Do Not Materially Injure Water Rights, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Reps. Faith Winter & Terri Carver. The bill specifies that storm water detention, infiltration, and post-wildland fire facilities that detain water do not injure water rights.
  • SB 15-185 – Concerning Provisions to Improve Police Operations, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Michael Johnston and Rep. Rhonda Fields. The bill creates the “Community Law Enforcement Action Reporting (CLEAR) Act,” which requires the Division of Criminal Justice to compile and report certain data to the General Assembly’s judiciary committees and the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
  • SB 15-254 – Concerning an Extension of the Period During Which Certain Incentives are Available for Municipally Owned Utilities to Obtain Additional Renewable Energy Credits Based on the Installation of Solar Electric Generation Technologies, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill extends the deadline for municipally owned utilities to begin operating solar electric generation technologies until December 31, 2016.
  • SB 15-264 – 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. Michael Johnston and Rep. Daniel Kagan. The bill revises the Colorado Revised Statutes to amend or repeal obsolete, unclear, or conflicting laws.
  • SB 15-265 – Concerning Conditions that Must Be Met Before a Hospital Care Lien is Created, by Sen. Bill Cadman and Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst. The bill requires hospitals to submit charges for all care provided to a person injured by a third party to all the injured person’s payors of benefits before a lien can be created.
  • HB 15-1019 – Concerning Prostitution by a Minor, and, in Connection Therewith, Minors who are Victims of Human Trafficking, by Rep. Paul Lundeen and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill establishes areas of study for the Human Trafficking Council and requires the Council to make recommendations to the General Assembly about whether legislation should be enacted regarding child prostitution and human trafficking.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs First Bills of 2015 Legislative Session

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed three bills into law. These three bills are the first bills of the 2015 legislative session to be approved by the governor. The three bills are

  • HJR 15-1006Concerning Approval of Water Project Revolving Fund Eligibility Lists Administered by the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. By Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The joint resolution adopts additions to the Drinking Project Eligibility List.
  • SB 15-035Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2014 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado. By Sen. Michael Johnston and Rep. Elena Kagan. The bill enacts the 2014 Colorado Revised Statutes.
  • SB 15-098Concerning the Codification of Certain Phrases Previously Included in Appropriation Clauses. By Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill attempts to omit superfluous language in appropriation clauses by codifying language.

Stay tuned for more information about Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions.

2015 Probate Cost of Living Numbers Now Available

The Colorado Department of Revenue released the 2015 indexed amounts with cost of living adjustments as required by C.R.S. § 15-10-112. The cost of living adjustments affect the amount of share of intestate estate for surviving spouses, supplemental elective share, exempt property allowance, lump sum family allowance, and small estate limit. These numbers should be used for the estates of decedents dying in 2015.

2015 Probate COLA Numbers

HB 15-1021: Continuing “Rule of Seven” Modifications to Colorado Revised Statutes

On January 7, 2015, Rep. Yeulin Willett and Sen. Michael Merrifield introduced HB 15-1021 — Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill changes time periods in certain court proceedings to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days to avoid actions being due on weekends. Similar changes to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days were made to the Colorado Revised Statutes in 2012, pursuant to Senate Bill 12-175; in 2013, pursuant to House Bill 13-1126; and in 2014, pursuant to House Bill 14-1347.

The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, where it passed unamended. It also passed Second and Third Reading in the House with no amendments.

Frederick Skillern: Real Estate Case Law — Contracts, Purchase and Sale, Transactions (2)

Editor’s note: This is Part 5 of a series of posts in which Denver-area real estate attorney Frederick Skillern provides summaries of case law pertinent to real estate practitioners (click here for previous posts). These updates originally appeared as materials for the 32nd Annual Real Estate Symposium in July 2014.

frederick-b-skillern

By Frederick Skillern

Van Rees, Sr. v. Unleaded Software, Inc.
Colorado Court of Appeals, December 5, 2013
2013 COA 164

Economic loss rule; contract for design of website; no tort claim because no independent duty.

Although this is not a real estate case, I note it simply as an example of how the economic loss rule is spreading to preclude a wide array of fraud claims arising out of contractual relations. In this case, the court deals with the scope and applicability of Colorado’s economic loss rule in the context of an agreement for the design and maintenance of a website. Under the economic loss rule, no independent duty exists for tort claims of fraud, fraudulent concealment, constructive fraud, or negligent misrepresentation when the alleged misrepresentations and false statements are about the ability to perform contractual duties. The court affirms the trial court’s dismissal of the fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and civil theft claims. The breach of contract claim has it all.

 

Hickerson v. Vessels
Colorado Supreme Court, January 13, 2014
2014 CO 2.

Collections; statute of limitations; C.R.S. § 13-80-103.5 (1) (a) (six-year statute); partial payment doctrine; laches.

This case takes up the collection efforts of the holder of a $386,000 promissory note given in 1989 to the Vessels Oil Company. The note was due in ten years. Shortly after 1999, the maker started making payments on the note, and that continued for a couple of years. After payments stopped, Vessels sued to collect the entire balance. Under existing common law, which the court refers to as the partial payment doctrine, the running of the six-year statute of limitations begins anew whenever payments are made voluntarily, as the debt is recognized and acknowledged. The trial court held that the debtor should be protected under the circumstances of this case by the equitable defense of laches. The court of appeals reversed, but the Supreme Court reinstates the trial court’s ruling.

Four statutes refer to the partial payment scenario. See C.R.S. §§ 13-80-113 to 116. The court refers to these as examples of the common-law rule, and not a replacement of the rule.

In a fairly bold stroke in support of the exercise of equitable powers, the court holds that the separation of powers doctrine does not bar application of the equitable defense of laches to a debt collection action filed within the original or restarted six-year statute of limitations period. Laches does not conflict with the plain meaning of the relevant statute of limitations, nor does it conflict with the partial payment doctrine, which is a creature of Colorado common law. Since early statehood, Colorado case law has recognized the application of equitable remedies to legal claims. Accordingly, the Court reverses the judgment of the court of appeals and remands the case for consideration of issues it did not reach, to wit – does the record support a defense of laches. Maybe not.

“The essential element of laches is unconscionable delay in enforcing a right under the circumstances, usually involving a prejudice to the one against whom the claim is asserted.” The elements of laches are: (1) full knowledge of the facts; (2) unreasonable delay in the assertion of available remedy; and (3) intervening reliance by and prejudice to another. Laches requires “such unreasonable delay in the assertion of and attempted securing of equitable rights as to constitute in equity and good conscience a bar to recovery.”

The court remands the case to the court of appeals for review of whether the elements of laches are satisfied by evidence in the record. And father time marches on.

Frederick B. Skillern, Esq., is a director and shareholder with Montgomery Little & Soran, P.C., practicing in real estate and related litigation and appeals. He serves as an expert witness in cases dealing with real estate, professional responsibility and attorney fees, and acts as a mediator and arbitrator in real estate cases. Before joining Montgomery Little in 2003, Fred was in private practice in Denver for 6 years with Carpenter & Klatskin and for 10 years with Isaacson Rosenbaum. He served as a district judge for Colorado’s Eighteenth Judicial District from 2000 through 2002. Fred is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and received his law degree at the University of Colorado in 1976, in another day and time in which the legal job market was simply awful.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Denial of Motor Vehicle Sales License Due to Felony Conviction Improper

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Board v. Freeman on Thursday, November 6, 2014.

Motor Vehicle Salesperson’s License—Third-Degree Assault—Mandatory Disqualifying Offense.

When Freeman applied for a motor vehicle salesperson’s license, his application was denied on five grounds by the Auto Industry Division of the Board (Division). The Division had found that Freeman’s previous conviction for third-degree assault of an at-risk adult constituted a mandatory disqualifying offense under CRS § 12-6-118(7)(a)(I).

On appeal, Freeman contended that the Colorado Motor Vehicle Board (Board) erred in upholding the Division’s denial of his license application. The statute provides, among other things, that a license shall be denied if an applicant has been convicted of a felony in violation of article 3, title 18 during the previous ten years. Because Freeman’s conviction was a felony conviction under CRS § 18-6.5-103(3)(c), not CRS § 18-3-204(1)(a), which specifies that a conviction for assault in the third degree is a class 1 misdemeanor, his conviction may not be used as a mandatory disqualifying offense under CRS § 12-6-118(7)(a)(I). Therefore, the Board erred and its order was vacated. However, because the Division denied Freeman’s application on four other grounds, the case was remanded to the Board with directions to address the additional grounds.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of  The Colorado Lawyer.