April 22, 2019

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Bills Regarding Water Law, Medical Marijuana, Unemployment Insurance, and More

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign bills as they reach his desk. To date, he has signed 137 bills into law.

On April 4, 2013, the governor signed 19 bills. Five of them are summarized here.

  • SB 13-074 – Concerning the Resolution of Ambiguities in Old Water Right Decrees Regarding the Place of Use of Irrigation Water, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill creates a mechanism to determine the maximum number of acres that may be irrigated under a pre-1937 determination of water rights.
  • HB 13-1054 – Concerning Lessening the Reduction of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Required when a Claimant Withdraws Amounts from a Retirement Plan as a Result of Unemployment, by Reps. Jovan Melton and Tony Exum and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill changes the way unemployment benefits are affected by the withdrawal of funds from employer-sponsored retirement accounts.
  • HB 13-1061 – Concerning Standards for Responsible Medical Marijuana Vendors, by Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill creates the Responsible Medical Marijuana Vendor Server and Seller Designation for licensed medical marijuana businesses and establishes procedures for receiving the designation.
  • HB 13-1124  – Concerning the Reduction of Improper Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments Through Compliance with the Federal “Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension act of 2011” and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dan Pabon and Amy Stephens and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill conforms Colorado unemployment insurance law with federal law.
  • HB 13-1157 – Concerning Adoption of the 2012 “Uniform Commercial Code” Article 4.5 Amendments, by Rep. Frank McNulty and Sen. Angela Giron. The bill clarifies provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code regarding remittance transfers.

The governor signed 12 bills on April 8, 2013. Four of them are summarized here.

  • SB 13-030 – Concerning an Additional Review of Rules Promulgated Pursuant to the “State Administrative Procedure Act” by Committees of Reference of the General Assembly, by Sen. Mark Scheffel and Rep. Dan Nordberg. The bill creates additional notice for the public and the General Assembly for rules adopted as a result of legislation.
  • SB 13-041 – Concerning the Protection of Stored Water and Preserving Supplies for Drought and Long-Term Needs, by Sens. Mary Hodge and Ellen Roberts and Reps. Randy Fischer and Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill, enacted because of the Colorado Supreme Court ruling in Upper Yampa Water Conservatory District v. Wolfe, expands the term “beneficial use” and clarifies rules regarding water storage rights.
  • SB 13-116 – Concerning the Authority of Forensic Psychologists to Conduct Mental Health Evaluations under Article 8 of Title 16, Colorado Revised Statutes, by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill authorizes licenses forensic psychologists to conduct mental health evaluations for criminal defendants if so ordered by the court.
  • HB 13-1202 – Concerning Counseling by Medicaid Providers Relating to Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment, by Reps. Cheri Gerou and Mark Ferrandino and Sen. John Kefalas. The bill allows reimbursement for Medicaid providers who offer counseling regarding medical orders for scope of treatment.

Finally, on April 18, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed four bills into law. They are summarized here.

  • HB 13-1060 – Concerning Raising the Maximum Fine that may be Assessed by a Municipal Court, by Rep. Mike McLachlan and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill raises the maximum fine that may be assessed by a municipal court and allows for adjustments for inflation.
  • HB 13-1147 – Concerning Voter Registration Facilitated by State Institutions of Higher Education, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill requires state institutions of higher education to provide a link to voter registration for students who are registering online for classes, and to provide information about voter registration if the institution does not use online registration.
  • HB 13-1179 – Concerning Deadlines for State Agencies to Submit Documents Related to Appropriations to the Joint Budget Committee, by Rep. Claire Levy and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill requires state agencies to submit budget requests by certain deadlines.
  • HB 13-1243 – Concerning Factual Findings Included in Parenting Time Orders, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill requires courts to submit specific facts to support endangerment of child in orders that restrict parenting time.

For a complete list of the governor’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.

SB 13-074: Creating Mechanism to Resolve Ambiguities in Certain Pre-1937 Irrigation Water Right Decrees

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, Sen. Mary Hodge introduced SB 13-074 – Concerning the Resolution of Ambiguities in Old Water Right Decrees Regarding the Place of Use of Irrigation Water. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Current law requires irrigation water right decrees to specify the acreage on which the water may be used, but some older decrees do not include an acreage limitation. For such decrees, water courts look to the original appropriator’s intent in determining the lawful historical consumptive use of a decreed irrigation water right; however, it is often very difficult to determine the original appropriator’s intent, which has resulted in cases that substantially decrease the acreage that has historically been irrigated by a water right.

The bill creates a mechanism to determine the amount of acreage for an irrigation water right for which the original decree predates 1937 and is unclear about the amount of acreage that may be irrigated under the water right. On Feb. 7, the Agricultural, Natural Resources and Energy Committee approved the unamended bill sent it to the Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill was laid over daily for 2nd Reading.