June 19, 2019

Water Right Quantification, Earned Time for Certain Offenders, and More Bills Signed

On Monday, May 4, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law. He signed one more bill on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. To date, the governor has signed 184 bills into law. The bills signed on May 4 and 5 are summarized here.

May 4, 2015

  • HB 15-1239 – Concerning an Exception to the Prohibition Against Paying Postemployment Compensation for the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, by Reps. Beth McCann & Susan Lontine and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill removes the Denver Health and Hospital Authority from the list of government agencies prohibited from offering post-employment compensation to employees who have been terminated.
  • HB 15-1203 – Concerning Earned Time for Certain Offenders Serving Life Sentences as Habitual Offenders, by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill allows offenders sentenced before July 1, 1993 for crimes committed after July 1, 1985 to accrue earned time.
  • HB 15-1215 – Concerning In-State Tuition Classification for Dependents of Active Duty Military Members who have Attended School in Colorado, by Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill allows an institute of higher education to provide in-state tuition to active duty military members.
  • HB 15-1218 – Concerning Requiring Certain Disclosures by Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach Specialists, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Michael Johnston. The bill specifies parameters for defense-initiated victim outreach in cases involving a Class 1 felony.
  • HB 15-1220 – Concerning Response to Sexual Assault on Campuses of Colorado’s Institutions of Higher Education, by Reps. Jessie Danielson & Su Ryden and Sens. John Cooke & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires institutions of higher education to create Memoranda of Understanding with local hospitals to provide sexual assault examinations.
  • HB 15-1136 – Concerning the Number of Disabled Veteran License Plates with the Identifying Figure Authorizing the Use of Parking Privileges that May Be Issued to a Qualified Individual, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Clarice Navarro and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill increases the number of disabled veteran license plates available to two sets of place per veteran.
  • SB 15-183 – Concerning the Quantification of the Historical Consumptive Use of a Water Right, by Sens. Mary Hodge & Jerry Sonnenberg and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jon Becker. The bill specifies use periods for a judicial decree of historical consumptive use of a water right.

May 5, 2015

  • SB 15-225 – Concerning the Governance Structure of the State Historical Society, and, in Connection Therewith, Changing the Method of Appointment of a Board of Directors and Creating a Directors Council, by Sens. Chris Holbert & Nancy Todd and Reps. Su Ryden & Lori Saine. The bill changes the procedures for electing members to the board of directors for the Colorado State Historical Society.

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

e-Legislative Report: April 22, 2015

legislationCBA 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.

The following bills were discussed at the LPC last week. Other bills of interest from that agenda are tracked and updated below.

HB 15-1327—Limit Proxy Marriages To Military & Contractors
Sponsors: Rep. Ginal (D), Rep. Roupe (R) & Sen. Cooke (R), Sen. Garcia (D)
The LPC reviewed this legislation (which had passed through its first committee hearing on Thursday, April 16). The consensus of Bar members and sections weighing in was that this bill was an important tool to fight trafficking and to restrain the statute to its original intent (marriage to military personnel and related contactors). The Bar will work with the sponsors to secure passage as the bill moves forward.

HB 15-1359—Savings Program For Persons With Disabilities
Sponsors: Rep. Danielson (D), Rep. Landgraf (R) & Sen. Kefalas (D), Sen. Martinez Humenik (R)
The LPC voted to support this legislation at the request and analysis of the Elder Law Section. The bill authorizes the Department of Higher Education to set up a 529 like savings program for individuals with disabilities—and parallels work that the section was already doing. This bill is supported by the department, and has a favorable path at this point in the session.

Bills that the LPC is monitoring, watching or working on can be found at this link on Priority Bill Track.

At the Capitol—Week of April 10

HB 15-1218—No Contact With Defense-initiated Victim Outreach 
We reached out to the sponsors to communicate that the CBA supported the American Bar Association’s position on this (and similar bills in other states) Bill was amended and made better. No LPC action needed.

HB 15-1285—Law Enforcement Use Of Body-worn Cameras 

HB 15-1286—Police Misconduct Court Require Prosecution

HB 15-1290—Stop Police Interference Cop Incident Recording
The CBA supports these three bills and they are moving forward in the legislative process. The LPC discussed and reviewed the “police package” of legislation, ultimately taking a position in support of these bills as aligned with the advancement of the practice of law.

SB 15-129—Preserving Parent-Child relationships 
This bill was heard in committee on April 16. The bar, through its Family Law section and the LPC was opposed to the bill insofar as it turned the long standing “best interest of the child standard” on its head—substituting the rights of divorcing parents as the preeminent consideration in awarding parenting time. There wasa great deal of testimony (26 opponents and 17 proponents), and after 7 hours of testimony it was PI’d 9 to 4. The Bar was a key opponent and our testimony was very persuasive.

SB 15-181—Immediate Appeal Order Appointing Receiver
This bill has been calendared in the House. We continue to work to oppose the bill notwithstanding the many amendments that have carved out various constituencies and interests. The position of the Bar is that this is not well crafted legislation—and the wrong approach to addressing a legitimate problem.

New Bill of Interest

There are several new bills introduced each week of the session (even with only two weeks left). This is one that each lawyer will want to be aware of:

HB 15-1371—Exempt Lawyer Trust Acct Funds From Unclaimed Prop
Sponsors: Rep. Pabon (D), Rep. Willett (R) & Sen. Johnston

The bill creates an exemption from the “Unclaimed Property Act” for funds held in Colorado lawyer trust account foundation trust accounts, commonly known as lawyer COLTAF trust accounts.