March 24, 2019

Bills Concerning Depositions for At-Risk Persons, Immunity for Reported Overdoses, and More Signed

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed six bills into law. To date, he has signed 192 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Thursday include a bill to allow depositions of at-risk persons in criminal trials in which the at risk persons may not be available to testify, a bill repealing certain mandatory terms of incarceration, and more. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1027 – Concerning Depositions in Criminal Cases in Which an At-Risk Person May Not Be Available for Trial, by Rep. Jessie Danielson and Sens. Nancy Todd & Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill expands and streamlines the allowable use of recorded depositions for at-risk elders. Under the bill, upon receipt of a motion the court must schedule a recorded deposition within 14 days without further findings if the victim is an at-risk elder, defined as any person 70 years of age or older; however, the bill allows the defense to challenge the motion for recorded depositions of other at-risk adults.
  • HB 16-1227 – Concerning Exemptions from Child Support Enforcement Requirements as a Condition of Receipt of Child Care Assistance Under the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daniel Kagan & Brian DelGrosso and Sens. Owen Hill & Larry Crowder. The bill specifies that a teen parent is not required to submit an application for child support establishment as a condition of receiving child care assistance. However, the county can require the parent to submit an application for child support establishment in order to receive child care assistance once they no longer qualify as a teen parent.
  • HB 16-1302 – Concerning the Alignment of the Colorado Statutes with the Federal “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” Through the “Colorado Career Advancement Act,” by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Brian DelGrosso and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill changes the title of the “Colorado Workforce Investment Act” to the “Colorado Career Advancement Act.” It also clarifies the roles of specific entities in workforce development programs and removes statutory requirements made inapplicable by the federal act.
  • HB 16-1390 – Concerning Immunity for Certain Persons who Are Involved with a Reported Overdose Event, by Rep. Dominick Moreno and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill provides immunity from arrest for underage persons reporting alcohol or marijuana overdoses and extends immunity from arrest and prosecution to the underage person requiring medical assistance.
  • SB 16-072 – Concerning an Increase in the Maximum Total Amount of Annual Lease Payments Authorized for Lease-Purchase Agreements Entered into Under the “Building Excellent Schools Today Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Reps. Alec Garnett & Jim Wilson. Currently under the Building Excellent Schools Today Act (BEST), the state may enter into lease-purchase agreements for public school facility capital construction projects, subject to the limitation that the maximum total annual amount of lease payments payable under these agreements does not exceed $80 million in a fiscal year. This bill establishes incremental caps on these lease payments.
  • SB 16-102 Concerning the Elimination of Mandatory Sentences to Incarceration for Certain Crimes, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill  removes the mandatory term of incarceration that must accompany convictions of certain types of second degree assault or violations of bail bond conditions.

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

SB 16-102: Removing Mandatory Sentences for Second Degree Assault and Bail Bond Crimes

On January 29, 2016, Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Dominick Moreno introduced SB 16-102Concerning the Elimination of Mandatory Sentences to Incarceration for Certain Crimes, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation. The bill was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it passed without amendments and was referred to Appropriations. It was amended in Appropriations and sent to the Senate Committee of the Whole, where it passed with amendments on Second and Third Reading. In the House, the bill was assigned to and amended by the Judiciary Committee, then referred to Appropriations where it was again amended. The bill passed Second Reading in the House with amendments.

Under current law, a person who is convicted of certain types of second degree assault and convicted of violating bail bond conditions must be sentenced to a mandatory term of incarceration. This bill, if enacted, would remove the mandatory term of incarceration requirement in those circumstances.

Specifically, the Senate has proposed to delete language under C.R.S. § 18-8-212(3), which states that a person who fails to appear for a court proceeding with the intent of avoiding prosecution and who is convicted of a felony shall be sentenced to mandatory imprisonment of not less than one year if violating subsection (1) or not less than 6 months if violating subsection (2). The amendments that the Senate is proposing for this section would keep the imprisonment requirements “unless the court makes findings that unusual or extenuating circumstances exist and finds that a sentence to incarceration would not be in the interest of justice and would be inconsistent with the purposes of sentencing as described in section 18-1-102.5.”

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