August 18, 2019

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several More Bills into Law

Many bills have reached the Governor’s desk this legislative session, and on Thursday, March 22 and Saturday, March 24, 2012, Governor Hickenlooper signed several more bills into law.

Eighteen bills were signed into law on Saturday, March 24; five are highlighted below. A complete list of the legislation signed into law Saturday can be found here.

  • SB 12-011: Concerning the Differential Response Pilot Program for Child Abuse or Neglect Cases of  low or Moderate Risk.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Spence and Rep. Ken Summers. The bill extends the Differential Response Pilot Program beyond the five counties that were originally designated and allows families with low or moderate risk to engage in voluntary programs rather than involuntary and expensive court intervention.
  • SB 12-064: Concerning the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Nicholson and Rep. Tom Massey. The bill extends the sunset of the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund until July 1, 2022, and clarifies that the moneys in the fund are to be used for child abuse/neglect prevention, not intervention.
  • HB 12-1029: Concerning an Economic Stimulus Through a Property Tax Exemption for Business Personal Property and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the “Save Colorado Jobs Act.”
  • Sponsored by Rep. Chris Holbert and Sen. Mark Scheffel. The bill changes the caps for statutory business incentive agreements for counties, municipalities, and special districts.
  • HB 12-1169: Concerning a Clarification of the Circumstances Under Which Voting to Elect Leadership of a Public Body May be Held by Secret Ballot in Accordance with the State Open Meetings Law.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Greg Brophy. The bill amends the state’s open meetings law to prohibit public bodies from taking certain actions by secret ballot unless they are in full compliance with the State Open Meetings Law.
  • HB 12-1249: Concerning the Manner in Which Tobacco Litigation Settlement Monies are Allocated to the State Auditor’s Office for the Costs of Conducting Program Reviews and Evaluations of the Performance of Tobacco Settlement Programs.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill, which was recommended by the Joint Budget Committee, changes the funding allocations for tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funds.

For a full list of bills signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on March 24, click here.

Governor Hickenlooper also signed seventeen bills into law on Thursday, March 22, 2012. Five of those bills are summarized here; for a complete list, click here.

  • HB 12-1033: Concerning Conditions on the Authority of the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to Impose Administrative Fines as a Result of Compliance Audits Finding Instances of Late Reporting of Injuries Under the “Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado.”
  • Sponsored by Rep. Spencer Swalm and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill restricts the circumstances in which the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation can inpose a fine for non-reporting or late reporting of industrial injuries.
  • HB 12-1047: Concerning the Waiver of Non-Safety Licensing Standards for Kinship Foster Care.
  • Sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill allows county departments of social services to waive certain non-safety licensing requirements for kinship foster care. Previously, the state Department of Human Services had this waiver power, but it was rarely exercised due to the fact that most children are removed under emergency circumstances and there generally is not time to obtain a state waiver prior to placement.
  • HB 12-1074: Concerning Access to Data to Assist the Courts in Overseeing Persons Appointed to Manage the Affairs of Persons Under Disability.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Jim Kerr and Sen. Steve King. The bill allows a court to access data maintained by state agencies in order to contact guardians and conservators who have failed to file reports, as long as the courts keep the personal information private.
  • SB 12-024: Concerning the Obligations of a Residential Nonprofit Corporation to its Residential Members and, In Connection Therewith, Clarifying Open Meeting Provisions and Limiting the Conditions Under Which the Corporation Must Refund Moneys Paid by a Residential Member.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Ted Harvey and Rep. Chris Holbert. The bill specifies that residential membership fees for nonprofit corporations must only be refunded when the membership is transferred, and clarifies that all members must receive notice and be allowed to attend meetings whenever final action will be taken on the board’s behalf.
  • SB 12-097: Concerning a Simplified Procedure for the Adjudication of Certain Changes of the Points of Diversion of Water Rights.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill sets forth a simplified procedure for applications to change a point of diversion of water rights. The bill creates a presumption that there will not be a change in the amount of decreed water rights, which may be challenged in court.

For a complete list of legislation signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on March 22, click here.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2012 legislative decisions, click here.



Colorado Court of Appeals: Religious Organization’s Function Not Primarily Religious and Therefore Unemployment Compensation Wrongfully Denied

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Harbert v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office on February 2, 2012.

Unemployment Compensation—Exemption Under CRS § 8-70-140(1)(a)

Claimant sought review of a final order of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel) affirming the hearing officer’s decision that she was not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits because she was not engaged in covered employment when she was terminated. The Panel’s order was set aside and the case was remanded.

From March 2007 until October 2010, claimant worked in a resale store operated by Evergreen Christian Outreach (EChO). According to its mission statement, EChO was founded by a group of churches in Evergreen “to provide assistance to residents of the Evergreen mountain communities who are unemployed, under-employed, dealing with a long-term illness, or experiencing other forms of personal crisis.” The resale store where claimant worked provides a major source of funding for EChO’s outreach programs. EChO’s facilities are located on the grounds of an Episcopal church, but the resale store is located in a private commercial space.

Claimant separated from her employment and applied for unemployment benefits. A deputy denied her claim, concluding that EChO is a religious organization. The hearing officer also denied her claim because her work was performed for an organization operated primarily for religious purposes and is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by an association of churches. The Panel affirmed and claimant appealed.

The Court of Appeals examined the stipulation under CRS § 8-70-140(1)(a) that exempts an organization if it “is operated primarily for religious purposes and . . . is operated, supervised controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches.” Claimant argued that EChO is a nonprofit organization whose primary function is to operate a community food bank and provide limited or temporary assistance for those in need in the Evergreen community. She claimed the work was primarily secular in nature and that EChO is not operated primarily for religious purposes.

The Court looked to the test set forth in Samaritan Institute v. Prince Walker, 883 P.2d 3 (Colo. 1994), in which the controlling factor is “the type of activity actually engaged in, rather than the motivation and impetus for the activity.” In reviewing the hearing officer’s analysis, the Court noted that EChO’s activities were not sufficiently evaluated. The officer observed that EChO’s primary function, the provision of services such as food and clothing, is “not religious per se.” In addition, EChO was a separate legal entity from the churches that founded it. The primary purpose and activity carried out by EChO was the provision of assistance services to those in need, regardless of their religious affiliation or beliefs. Although its motivation was religious, it was operated primarily to perform charitable work for disadvantaged individuals in Evergreen. The Court concluded that the Panel misapplied the law and held that EChO was not exempt under the statute.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries for the Colorado Court of Appeals on February 2, 2012, can be found here.

Division of Real Estate Proposes New Rule About Transferring Conservation Easements to Non-Certified Entities

The DORA Division of Real Estate has proposed a new rule for the conservation easement certification program. The purpose of this rule is to prevent a non-certified organization from holding a transferred conservation easement for which a tax credit is claimed. The rule applies to any nonprofit entity and any government entity that holds a conservation easement for which a tax credit is claimed.

A hearing on the proposed rule will be held on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1560 Broadway, Suite 1250 C, Denver, Colorado 80202, beginning at 10:00 am.

Full text of the proposed rule can be found here. Further information about the rule and hearing can be found here.

IRS Reminds Small Nonprofits to Satisfy Filing Requirements to Preserve Tax-Exempt Status; One-Time Relief Offer Expires October 15

Small nonprofit organizations that did not file returns for 2007, 2008, and 2009 will be given a one-time reprieve and the opportunity to maintain their tax-exempt status if they file their returns by October 15, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said, “We are doing everything we can to help organizations comply with the law and keep their valuable tax exemption. So if you do not have your filings up to date, now’s the time to take action and get back on track.”

Organizations at risk of losing their nonprofit status are listed by state here, along with more information about the relief program and available remedies.

The IRS will revoke tax-exempt status of all small nonprofit organizations that fail to submit their returns by October 15.

Ed. Note: For more on this, take a look at this post by Jim Thomas, who also recommends this CBA article by Peter Nagel.

June 10, 2010: What CCIOA Practitioners Need to Know – The HOA Information and Resource Center

High noon on June 10 is the time and CBA-CLE’s large classroom is the place for a one-hour lunchtime program, “What CCIOA Practitioners Need to Know:  The HOA Information and Resource Center.”

Join Otten Johnnson real estate practitioners Amy Hansen and Jennifer Warnken as they speak about HB 10-1278, the so-called HOA Ombudsman Bill, which creates the HOA Information and Resource Center (HOA IRC) within the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Learn more about the role of this new group, as well as the requirement that common interest communities register with the HOA IRC–and the serious implications if they don’t.

Lunch will be served at the live program, which will also be available as a live webcast, an mp3 download, and a video on demand for those unable to attend. The program is eligible for one general CLE credit. Register today!

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)