May 19, 2019

Pregnancy Accommodations Bill, CCB Transparency Bill, and More Signed by Governor

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 13 bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 217 bills this legislative session. Some of the bills signed Wednesday include a bill requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, a bill to increase transparency of community-centered boards, a bill authorizing the sale of land for expansion of Fort Logan National Cemetery, and more. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1187 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Meals Provided in Certain Retirement Communities, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill creates sales and use tax exemptions for food and food packaging to be consumed by residents on the premises of a retirement community, which includes assisted living residences, nursing homes that provide continuous nursing care, and independent living facilities providing services to residents age 55 and older.
  • HB 16-1277 – Concerning the Appeal Process for Medical Assistance Benefits, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Susan Lontine & Lois Landgraf and Sens. Andy Kefalas & Ellen Roberts. The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to give Medicaid clients at least 10 days advanced notice prior to suspending, terminating, or modifying a client’s medical assistance benefits. The bill also extends the deadline to appeal for a client to appeal the intended action to 60 days after the date of notice, up from 30 days under current law.
  • HB 16-1280 – Concerning the Regulation of Air Ambulance Service, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill gives the CDPHE authority to establish state-level licensing of air ambulances that allows for air ambulance operators to receive a license either by gaining accreditation through an approved organization or by meeting licensing standards established by the CDPHE and the State Board of Health.
  • HB 16-1387 – Concerning Health Insurance Coverage for Severe Protein Allergic Conditions, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Laura Woods. Current law requires that health insurance plans provide coverage for medical foods for newborn children with inherited enzymatic disorders caused by single gene defects involved in the metabolism of amino, organic, and fatty acids. This bill adds coverage for severe protein allergic conditions and amino acid-based elemental formulas.
  • HB 16-1397 – Concerning the Completion of the Fitzsimmons State Veterans Community Living Center to Provide a Continuum of Residential Care Options, by Reps. Su Ryden & JoAnn Windholz and Sens. Mary Hodge & Larry Crowder. The bill repeals and reenacts the authority of the Department of Human Services to build a veterans community living center and assorted facilities on the site of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and outlines the requirements for the construction and use of the facilities.
  • HB 16-1438 – Concerning the Provision of Reasonable Accommodations by an Employer for Persons Who Have a Condition Related to Pregnancy, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires employers to engage in a timely, good-faith, interactive process when an employee or applicant requests reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth. Reasonable accommodations may include the provision of more frequent or longer break periods; more frequent bathroom, food, or water breaks; acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; limitations on lifting; temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position or light duty, if available; assistance with manual labor; or modified work schedules, as long as certain conditions are met.
  • HB 16-1456 – Concerning the Sale of a Portion of Land at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the Expansion of Fort Logan National Cemetery, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill authorizes the Department of Human Services to sell up to 15 acres of vacant land around the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at fair market value for purpose of expanding the Fort Logan National Cemetery.
  • SB 16-027 – Concerning Allowing the Option for Medicaid Clients to Obtain Prescribed Drugs Through the Mail, and, in Connection Therewith, Reducing an Appropriation, by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Nancy Todd and Reps. Dianne Primavera & Lois Landgraf. Under current law, only a limited number of Medicaid recipients may receive maintenance medication by mail order. This bill expands the option to receive a three-month supply of maintenance medication through the mail to all Medicaid recipients.
  • SB 16-038 – Concerning Measures to Promote the Transparency of Community-Centered Boards, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Certain Community-Centered Boards Subject to Performance Audits Undertaken by the State Auditor, Making All Community-Centered Boards Subject to the “Colorado Local Government Audit Law”, Expanding Public Disclosure of the Administration and Operations of the Community-Centered Boards, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Reps. Dave Young & Lang Sias. The bill requires a community centered board (CCB) that receives more than 75 percent of its annual funding from federal, state, or local governments, or any combination thereof, to be subject to the Colorado Local Government Audit Act.
  • SB 16-158 – Concerning the Ability of a Physician Assistant to Perform Functions Delegated by a Physician that are Within the Physician Assistant’s Scope of Practice, by Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. Dianne Primavera. The bill clarifies and expands the duties that a physician may delegate to a physician assistant within his or her scope of practice, including allowing a PA to issue certain statements verifying a medical condition, obtain Level I accreditation in workers’ compensation matters, and more.
  • SB 16-190 – Concerning Improving the Process for County Administration of Public Assistance Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill establishes performance standards to improve the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including requiring DHS to contract with an external vendor to collect data regarding costs and performance of several public assistance programs.
  • SB 16-202 – Concerning Increasing Access to Effective Substance Use Disorder Services Through Designated Regional Managed Service Organizations, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Dave Young. The bill requires each managed service organization to assess the sufficiency of substance use disorder services for various populations in its geographic region, and to prepare a community action plan to address the most critical service gaps by March 1, 2017. The bill allows appropriations from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to support the implementation of MSO community action plans and to provide substance abuse treatment.
  • SB 16-212 – Concerning Aligning Changes Made to the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization of 2014 to the Twelve-Month Eligibility Requirement of the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Janet Buckner. The bill makes changes to align state law on eligibility for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program with federal law. Specifically, if an eligible participant’s income rises above the level set by the county to deny child care assistance during the twelve-month eligibility period, the county must continue providing the child care subsidy until the next twelve-month redetermination period.

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

Bills Regarding County of Residence for Judicial Nominees, Veterans’ Property Tax Exemptions, and More Signed

On Thursday, May 26, and Friday, May 27, 2016, the governor signed five bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 204 bills this legislative session. The bills signed last week include a bill modifying the definition of “disabled veteran” as it relates to the property tax exemption, a bill encouraging judicial nominating commissions to give preference to licensed attorneys who reside in the county where the vacancy is to occur, and more. Last week’s bills are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1462 – Concerning a Modification to the Provisions Enacted in House Bill 11-1155 to Authorize Combining the Full-Time Equivalent Employment of the Lieutenant Governor and the State Chief Operating Officer, by Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and Sens. Lucia Guzman & Cheri Jahn. The bill allows the Lieutenant Governor to serve as the state’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) through the end of the current term of office, January 10, 2019.
  • HB 16-1289 – Concerning Incentives for Local Education Providers to Encourage High School Students to Successfully Complete Career Development Course Work, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Larry Crowder & Leroy Garcia. The bill creates the Career Development Success Pilot Program, which is designed to provide financial incentives for participating districts and charter schools to encourage high school students to enroll in and successfully complete qualified industry-certificate programs, internship or preapprenticeship programs, and advanced placement courses.
  • HB 16-1444 – Concerning the Definition of a “Qualifying Disabled Veteran” as it Relates to a Property Tax Exemption for Such Individuals, by Reps. Su Ryden & Terri Carver and Sens. Andy Kefalas & Larry Crowder. The bill expands the definition of “Qualifying Disabled Veteran” for the Colorado property tax exemption to include veterans with a full medical retirement.
  • SB 16-134 – Concerning Professional Licensing for Military Veterans in Certain Professions, by Sens. Rollie Heath & Leroy Garcia and Reps. Jessie Danielson & Daniel Kagan. The bill requires that a military veteran’s service experience be considered toward commercial driver’s license qualifications, and the Department of Revenue must consider a military veteran’s training, education, or experience during the CDL licensing process, and may provide credit toward a CDL for those qualifications.
  • SB 16-153 – Concerning Nominees for County Court Judges, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Jim Wilson. The bill encourages judicial nominating commissions to give preference for judicial vacancies to licensed attorneys who reside within the county in which the vacancy occurs.

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

Bills Regarding Residential Drug Treatment for Probationers, Enhancing Cybersecurity, and More Signed

On Friday, May 20, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law. To date, he has signed 199 bills this legislative session. Some of the bills signed Friday include a bill to extend the transitional jobs program, a bill to allow persons on probation for any offense to engage in residential drug treatment, and a bill to increase state cybersecurity. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1097 – Concerning Regulation of Medicaid Nonemergency Transportation Providers, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Reps. Don Coram & Dominick Moreno and Sen. Ray Scott. The bill allows providers of non-emergency transportation to Medicaid clients to operate under a limited regulation permit from the Public Utilities Commission.
  • HB 16-1197 – Concerning a Requirement that State Agencies Implement a Program to Streamline the Granting of Occupational Credentials to Veterans Based on Military Training, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Terri Carver & Jovan Melton and Sens. Nancy Todd & Larry Crowder. The bill requires each state agency that certifies, licenses, or registers an occupation to publish a summary of pathways available to military veterans by evaluating the extent to which military training meets state requirements, identifying reciprocity mechanisms in other states, and determining if occupational examinations are available that authorize a veteran to practice; consult with community colleges and other post-secondary education institutions about courses or programs that fill the gap between military and civilian occupational training, and refresher courses for lapsed occupational training; and consider adopting a national credentialing examination.
  • HB 16-1267 – Concerning the “Colorado Veterans’ Service-to-Career Pilot Program”, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating a Grant Program Through the Department of Labor and Employment to Aid Work Force Centers in Supporting Veterans and their Spouses Seeking New Employment and Careers, and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Pete Lee & Rhonda Fields and Sens. Laura Woods & Morgan Carroll. The bill creates the Colorado Veterans’ Service-to-Career Pilot Program. Through CDLE and in partnership with nonprofit agencies, workforce centers throughout the state may apply for grants to develop and expand career services for veterans, spouses, and eligible participants. Eligible participants include a veteran’s dependent child under age 27 and a veteran’s caregiver over age 18.
  • HB 16-1278 – Concerning Residential Drug Treatment for Persons on Probation, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. John Cooke. The bill allows the court to require a defendant to participate in drug treatment when sentenced to probation for any offense, rather than just drug offenses.
  • HB 16-1288 – Concerning the Creation of an Industry Infrastructure Grant Program Within the State Work Force Development Council, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Cole Wist and Sens. Jack Tate & Michael Merrifield. The bill creates the Industry Infrastructure Grant Program within the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC). The purpose of the program is for the CWDC to partner with eligible nonprofit entities to develop industry competency standards to support businesses in their implementation of work site training programs.
  • HB 16-1290 – Concerning an Extension of the Transitional Jobs Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daneya Esgar & Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sens. Andy Kerr & Owen Hill. The bill extends the sunset of the transitional jobs program until June 30, 2022, and requires the Department of Human Services to stop offering transitional jobs after December 31, 2021.
  • HB 16-1453 – Concerning Measures to Enhance Cybersecurity, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill creates the Colorado Cybersecurity Council in the Department of Public Safety, which is to operate as a steering group to develop cybersecurity policy guidance for the Governor; develop comprehensive goals, requirements, initiatives, and milestones; and to coordinate with the General Assembly and the Judicial Department regarding cybersecurity.

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

Long Appropriations Bill, SCFD Bill, and Many More Signed by Governor

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed 24 bills into law. Many of the bills signed Wednesday addressed transfers of moneys and financing. Some of the other bills signed Wednesday include a bill addressing the location where competency evaluations should be completed, a bill enacting statutory changes recommended by the Child Support Commission, and a bill regarding transfers of property rights on death.

Additionally, on May 3, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Long Appropriations Bill for 2016-17, HB 16-1405, and on April 29, Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 16-016, which will allow the submission of a ballot question to voters regarding extending the funding for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for twelve more years. To date, the governor has signed 167 bills this legislative session. The bills signed by Governor Hickenlooper this past week are summarized here.

April 29, 2016

  • SB 16-016 – Concerning the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending the Ballot Question Concerning the Extension of the District to be Submitted to the Voters and Modifying Statutory Provisions Concerning the Administration of the District, by Sens. Pat Steadman & Bill Cadman and Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Polly Lawrence. The bill allows the SCFD to submit a ballot question to district voters at the 2016 or 2017 November election authorizing the extension of the tax for 12 years through June 30, 2030, and changes the SCFD funding formula.

May 2, 2016

  • HB 16-1405 – The 2016-17 Long Appropriations Bill, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill sets forth the budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

May 3, 2016

  • HB 16-1048 – Concerning Modifications to the Business Enterprise Program to be Administered by the Department of Labor and Employment Under its Authority to Administer Vocational Rehabilitation Programs, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill establishes a working group in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to study ways to expand opportunities for Business Enterprise Program vendors.
  • HB 16-1158 – Concerning Continuation Under the Sunset Law of the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill extends the sunset of the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board until September 1, 2025.
  • HB 16-1159 – Concerning Continuation Under the Sunset Law of the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill extends the sunset of the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit until September 1, 2025.
  • HB 16-1165 – Concerning Statutory Changes Based on the Recommendations in the Report of the 2013-2015 Colorado Child Support Commission, by Reps. KC Becker & Lois Landgraf and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill amends child support guidelines and related statutes based on the findings of the Colorado Child Support Commission, including allowing discovery of insurance claims, requiring an annual exchange of financial information between parents, changing the formula to determine gross income, limiting the period in which a party can seek retroactive child support, and more.
  • HB 16-1268 – Concerning District Attorney’s Representation in Certain Hearings Arising from Interstate Supervision Contracts, by Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. John Cooke. The bill clarifies that a district attorney must appear on behalf of the state and counties of his or her district in any probable cause hearing for a matter under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision or the Interstate Compact for Juveniles.
  • HB 16-1298 – Concerning Changes in Permissible Vehicle Dimensions, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. John Cooke. The bill changes the maximum permissible vehicle dimensions.
  • HB 16-1317 – Concerning Clarifying the Types of Transactions that May Be Included in a Motor Vehicle Service Contract, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill authorizes certain services to be included in a motor vehicle service contract, including tire and windshield repair, key fob repair, and more.
  • HB 16-1379 – Concerning the Criteria Under Which the State Board of Psychologist Examiners May Award Professional Development Credit for Specific Activities Currently Included in the Continuing Professional Development Program for Licensed Psychologists, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill clarifies and amends portions of the continuing professional development program for licensed psychologists, including allowing credit hours for teaching or giving presentations; allowing credit hours for writing, editing, or reviewing psychology publications; and limiting the award of credit hours to review of peer review journal articles.
  • HB 16-1406 – Concerning Department of Corrections Reimbursement of Expenses of County Coroners, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to reimburse a county for reasonable and necessary costs related to investigations or autopsies for persons who were in the custody of the DOC at the time of their death. Costs may include transportation, refrigeration, and body bags.
  • HB 16-1407 – Concerning the Continuation of the Medicaid Payment Reform and Innovation Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Changing the Time Frames, Eliminating the Repeal Date of the Pilot Program, Enhancing the Reporting Requirements of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill removes the July 1, 2013, deadline for HCPF to review and select payment projects for inclusion in the Medicaid Payment Reform and Innovation Pilot Program, and removes the June 30, 2016, deadline by which payment projects must be completed.
  • HB 16-1408 – Concerning the Allocation of Cash Fund Revenues to Health-Related Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Modifying and Streamlining the Allocation of Tobacco Litigation Settlement Moneys by Replacing the Current Two-Tier Allocation System that Includes Both Percentage-Based and Fixed Amount Allocations of Settlement Moneys with a Single Set of Exclusively Percentage-Based Allocations and Replacing Settlement Moneys Funding for Specified Programs with Marijuana Tax Cash Fund Funding; Allocating Additional Settlement Moneys to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for Cancer Research Only; Transferring a Specified Amount from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust to a Newly Created Primary Care Provider Sustainability Fund on July 1, 2016; and Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill establishes a new formula for the allocation of the annual payment received by the state as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, allocating revenue by percentage shares, rather than the hybrid scheme of fixed dollar amounts and capped percentage shares in multiple tiers.
  • HB 16-1409 – Concerning the Transfer of Forty-Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars on June 30, 2016, from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund for State Programs, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill transfers $42,800,000 out of the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund and places it in the General Fund and the Adult Dental Fund.
  • HB 16-1410 – Concerning Matters Related to the Location Where a Competency Evaluation is Conducted, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill changes procedures around competency evaluations in criminal proceedings, including requiring the court to order the evaluation to take place on an outpatient basis or, if the defendant is in custody, at the place where the defendant is in custody.
  • HB 16-1411 – Concerning the Supportive Residential Community Program Operated at the Fort Lyon Property, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring a Longitudinal Evaluation of the Program; and Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill repeals the supportive residential community for individuals who are homeless at the Fort Lyon property in Bent County, and requires a longitudinal study of the program prior to its repeal.
  • HB 16-1413 – Concerning the Financing of the Water Pollution Control Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill repeals the Water Quality Control Fund and creates a separate cash fund for each of the six clean water sectors, which will receive the fees specific to its sector.
  • HB 16-1415 – Concerning the Manner in which the State Funds Driver and Vehicle Services by the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Revenue, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill changes the way the state funds driver and vehicle services in the DMV, by increasing the fees charged for services, allowing for funding through the Highway Users Tax Fund, eliminating the end of the year transfer of the excess reserve from the Licensing Services Cash Fund to the HUTF, and exempting the LCSF from the limit on cash reserves.
  • HB 16-1417 – Concerning Capital-Related Transfers of Moneys, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes three FY 2016-17 transfers to the Capital Construction Fund from several sources.
  • HB 16-1418 – Concerning a Transfer from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to the General Fund, by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill transfers $26,277,661 from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund (MTCF) to the General Fund.
  • HB 16-1419 – Concerning a Reduction in the Amount of the General Fund Reserve Required for the Fiscal Year 2015-16, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill reduces the FY 2015-16 statutory General Fund reserve from 6.5 percent to 5.6 percent.
  • SB 16-058 – Concerning the Regulation of Certain Foods, and, in Connection Therewith, Exempting Certain Food Producers from Licensure, Inspection, and Other Regulation, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. KC Becker. The bill modifies the “Colorado Cottage Foods Act,” which allows homemade food producers to sell certain food products directly to consumers, by eliminating the tiered system and the State Board of Health’s authority to make rules governing the production of tier two foods, which currently consist of pickled vegetables, and by expanding the type of foods that may be sold by producers under the Cottage Foods Act to include other nonpotentially hazardous foods and encouraging, rather than mandating, a producer to take a food safety course.
  • SB 16-126 – Concerning Parity of State-Chartered Banks with Federally Chartered Banks Regarding Frequency of Meeting, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Reps. Alec Garnett & Dan Nordberg. Under current law, the board of directors for a state bank is required to meet monthly. This bill requires those meetings to be held at least quarterly unless the board specifies a different schedule.
  • SB 16-133 – Concerning the Transfer of Property Rights Upon the Death of a Person, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying Determination-of-Heirship Proceedings in Probate, by Sen. Jack Tate and Reps. Dan Pabon & Yeulin Willett. The bill changes procedures for affirming the death of a decedent with shared ownership of real property, and makes changes to probate law for determining heirs, devisees, and property interests. It changes the definition of “interested person” to include an owner by descent or succession and to exclude any person holding a non-ownership interest in a decedent’s property. The bill also enacts portions of the “Uniform Power of Appointment Act.”
  • SB 16-137 – Concerning a Clarification of the Authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission to Enter Into an Agreement with a Private Landowner, by Sens. Mike Johnston & Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Timothy Dore. The bill clarifies that the preference program does not limit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission from entering into an agreement with a private landowner for public hunting and fishing and including the issuance of a hunting license in that agreement.

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

SB 16-134: Allowing Qualified Military Veterans Access to Professional Licenses

On February 18, 2016, Sens. Rollie Heath & Leroy Garcia and Reps. Jessie Danielson & Daniel Kagan introduced SB 16-134Concerning Professional Licensing for Military Veterans in Certain Professions. The bill was assigned to the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee, where it was amended. The bill passed through the Senate with amendments on Second Reading, and was introduced into the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee. The bill was unamended in the House committee and referred to the House Committee of the Whole for Second Reading.

First, this bill requires the Department of Revenue to consider the training, education, or experience obtained by an applicant as a member of the U.S. armed forces, reserves, or National Guard, and the Department of Revenue may credit the training, education, or experience toward the qualifications necessary to receive a license, certification, or registration.

Second, this bill requires the Division of Veteran Affairs within the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to make reasonable efforts to notify discharged members of the armed services who are located in – or who intend to relocate to – Colorado of the requirements enacted by this bill and enforced by the Department of Revenue, as well as the requirements in C.R.S. § 24-34-102(8) and (8.5), enforced by the Division of Professions and Occupations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

DUI Victim Impact Panel Bill, Definition of Veteran Bill, and More Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed nine bills into law. To date, he has signed 46 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Tuesday include a bill increasing the defendant’s cost for appearances before victim impact panels in DUI cases, allowing the state forest service to award grants for broadcast burns, conforming the Colorado statutory definition of “veteran” to federal law, creating an oversight committee for Colorado’s health benefit exchange, and more. The bills signed Tuesday are summarized here.

  • HB 16-1017 – Concerning Appearances Before a Victim Impact Panel, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Polly Lawrence and Sens. John Cooke & Michael Johnston. The bill increases the cost for appearances before a victim impact panel from $25 to $50.
  • HB 16-1019 – Concerning Increased Authority to Use Broadcast Burning as a Tool to Promote Watershed Restoration, by Rep. KC Becker and Sens. Matt Jones & Ellen Roberts. The bill allows the Colorado State Forest Service to award grants for broadcast burning.
  • HB 16-1026 – Concerning the Repeal of the Department of Revenue’s Revenue Impact Accounting Requirements Related to a Group of Bills Enacted in 2010, by Reps. Dan Thurlow & Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Chris Holbert. The bill repeals the requirement that the Department of Revenue provide quarterly reports about the fiscal impact of certain bills passed in the 2010 legislative session.
  • HB 16-1032 – Concerning Changes to the Content of a Criminal Summons, by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sens. Nancy Todd & John Cooke. The bill removes the requirement that summons and complaints for misdemeanors, petty offenses, and misdemeanor traffic offenses contain the defendant’s license plate number, driver’s license number, and a place to sign.
  • HB 16-1125 – Concerning Creating a Colorado Statutory Reference to Conform with the Federal Definition of “Veteran,” by Rep. Catherine Roupe and Sen. Randy Baumgardner. The bill recreates the definition of “veteran” in state law to conform with federal law and makes conforming amendments.
  • HB 16-1130 – Concerning Changes to Annual Reports Prepared by the Department of Education, by Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill changes the date on which the Office of Dropout Prevention in the Department of Education must submit a report from February 15 to March 15, starting in 2017 and continuing each year thereafter. The bill also removes requirements that the Department of Education submit to the General Assembly executive summaries of reports.
  • HB 16-1148 – Concerning the Oversight Authority of the Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee with Regard to Policies that Affect Consumers Proposed by the Health Benefit Exchange, by Rep. Lang Sias and Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Kefalas. The bill requires Colorado’s health benefit exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, to create and operate technical and advisory groups to report to Connect for Health Colorado’s Board on issues that affect consumers.
  • HB 16-1161 – Concerning the Allocation of Certain Money that Exceeds the Total Amount of All Warrants Issued by the State Treasurer to Reimburse Local Governmental Entities for Property Tax Revenues Lost as a Result of the Application of a Certain Property Tax Exemption, by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill changes allocation of revenue from senior property tax exemptions so that five percent of the revenue will go to the Veterans Assistance Grant Program Cash Fund.
  • HB 16-1241 – Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Higher Education, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill provides a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Higher Education.

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

Bills Regarding Endangered Species Preservation, Career Training, and More Signed

On Friday, May 22, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law, and on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed four bills into law. To date, he has signed 252 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Friday and Tuesday are summarized here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

  • HB 15-1321 – Concerning Measures to Support Rural School Districts, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Brittany Pettersen & Jim Wilson and Sens. Kevin Grantham & Kerry Donovan. The bill provides administrative flexibility for funding for small rural school districts.
  • HB 15-1277 – Concerning Measures to Effectuate the Conservation of Native Species in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Appropriations from the Species Conservation Trust Fund for Purposes Recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill transfers funds for the purpose of conserving native species that are threatened or endangered.
  • SB 15-199 – Concerning the Continuation of the Funding for the Habitat Partnership Program in the Division of Parks and Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill continues a program that transfers moneys from big game licenses to the Habitat Partnership Cash Fund.
  • SB 15-226 – Concerning the Education Requirements Necessary to Qualify for a License to Take Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill allows the Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish alternatives to a mandatory hunter education course.
  • HB 15-1315 – Concerning Support for County Veterans Service Officers, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill eliminates a requirement that counties match DMVA funding for county veterans service officers.
  • HB 15-1307 – Concerning a Modification in the Definition of the Term “Qualified Commercial Structure” as the Term is Used in the “Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act”, by Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill changes the definition of a qualified commercial structure for purposes of the historic preservation tax credit.
  • HB 15-1275 – Concerning Measures to Support Enrollment in Career and Technical Education Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sens. Rollie Heath & Vicki Marble. The bill clarifies that career and technical course work related to apprenticeship and internship programs may be used for concurrent enrollment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

  • HB 15-1170 – Concerning Measures to Raise the Level of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness that Colorado Students Demonstrate upon Graduation from High School, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Owen Hill & Rollie Heath. The bill adds a requirement of consideration of college enrollment to statistical performance indicator data.
  • HB 15-1180 – Concerning the Creation of a State Sales and Use Tax Refund for Tangible Personal Property that is Used in Colorado for Research and Development by a Qualified Medical Technology or Clean Technology Taxpayer, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Rollie Heath & Chris Holbert. The bill creates a sales and use tax refund for equipment used in clean technology and medical device firms with 35 or fewer employees.
  • HB 15-1230 – Concerning the Creation of the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Pete Lee & Mike Foote and Sens. Rollie Heath & John Cooke. The bill creates the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program to reimburse employers with high-level internships and apprenticeships in innovative industries.
  • HB 15-1276 – Concerning the Creation of a Matching Grant Program to Facilitate Recruitment for Skilled Worker Training Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Angela Williams and Sens. John Cooke & Rollie Heath. The bill creates the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Grant Program to offer grants for training skills that are needed in the workplace and to provide a certificate upon completion.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Status as VA Designated Payee Does Not Confer Priority for Appointment as Conservator

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Estate of Runyon on Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Appointment of Uniform Veterans’ Guardianship Act Guardian—Appointment of Guardian by Incapacitated Person.

Gladys Runyon (mother) was the authorized payee for Sidney Runyon’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits until August 2011, when Elizabeth Knight (sister) became the payee. In February 2012, the VA designated Colorado State Bank and Trust (Bank) as payee.

The Bank petitioned for appointment as Runyon’s guardian under the Uniform Veterans’ Guardianship Act (UVGA). It also petitioned to have Jeanette Goodwin appointed as Runyon’s guardian under the Colorado Probate Code. The Denver Probate Court concluded that the Bank’s petitions were filed in the wrong venue but appointed Goodwin as emergency guardian through August 2012.

Ten months after the expiration of the emergency guardianship, mother and sister sought appointment as co-guardians and conservators in Arapahoe County. Runyon advised the court-appointed visitor that he didn’t want mother and sister appointed. The court appointed counsel for Runyon.

The Bank then entered an appearance and sought appointment as conservator and UVGA guardian, and nominated Goodwin as guardian. At the hearing, Runyon’s attorney advised the court of Runyon’s preferences to appoint the Bank and Goodwin as conservator and guardian, and the court granted the appointments.

On appeal, mother and sister argued that the trial court erred because (1) their purported status as designated payees for Runyon’s VA and Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits entitled them to be appointed, and (2) the court should not have given effect to Runyon’s preferences. The Court of Appeals disagreed with the first point and remanded for further proceedings on the second.

The appointment of a guardian lies within the sound discretion of the probate court. A respondent’s nomination of a guardian creates a priority for that nominee, but only if the respondent had “sufficient capacity to express a preference” at the time of the nomination. The respondent may make an oral nomination at an appointment hearing. There is a similar scheme for appointment of conservators and UVGA guardians.

Here, mother and sister had no priority claim to be a guardian or conservator, and being appointed as designated payees of Runyon’s SSA and VA benefits did not confer any such priority claim on them. By nominating the Bank and Goodwin at the hearing, Runyon conferred on them a priority for appointment. However, the record did not reflect whether the trial court found that Runyon had sufficient capacity to express a preference at the time of the nomination. The Court remanded for such a determination, but noted that a finding that a respondent is an “incapacitated person” under the statute does not necessarily mean that the respondent lacks sufficient capacity to express a preference as to a guardian or conservator.

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

Don’t Delay, Submit VA Form 21a Today to Practice Before the Veterans’ Administration

flagThe Veterans’ Administration requires all attorneys who assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits to be accredited by the VA per 38 C.F.R. § 14.627(a). VA Form 21a is used to achieve accreditation, and it must be submitted prior to completing the second accreditation requirement, a three-hour CLE course regarding representation before the veterans’ administration, basic eligibility, claims and appeal procedures, and more.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans and CBA-CLE will host a 3-hour accreditation course on January 9, 2015, presented by Michael Shea, Esq. This 3-hour course satisfies the VA requirement for CLE. It also satisfies VA continuing education requirements for attorneys who are already accredited.

Attorneys wishing to obtain Veterans’ Administration accreditation must submit VA Form 21a at least 90 days prior to taking the CLE course, as it can take up to 90 days for the VA to review the form and accredit the attorney. VA Form 21a can be downloaded here, and may be submitted via facsimile or as a PDF attachment to an email sent to ogcaccreditationmailbox@va.gov.

For more information on accreditation requirements, click here, and for more information on CLE’s “Practicing Before the Veterans’ Administration” class in 2015, click here.

 

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans Honored as DBA Outstanding Program

This is Part 2 of a series of posts about the DBA Award winners (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here; for Part 3, click here; for Part 4, click here; and for Part 5, click here). The article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The Docket.

When John Vaught returned home from Vietnam, something was missing: support from his fellow Americans.

Fast forward decades and a law school education later to Vaught’s involvement with Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans (CLCV). Determined to provide the support he didn’t get for those who have served our country, Vaught approached Mark Fogg (then CBA President) about creating a veterans affairs program. As it turns out, Chief Justice Bender was working on a similar idea. So, several factors and ideas converged, and Vaught and Ben Currier, the CBA YLD Chair at the time, were tasked with getting CLCV started.

Their immediate mission was to form clinics around the state where CBA volunteer lawyers could meet with veterans who needed legal assistance but couldn’t afford it. Now, there are nine clinics around Colorado, and the initial program concept has expanded to form the CBA Military & Veterans Affairs Section. The members of that section are responsible not only for maintaining and improving the clinics, but also for developing other ways to help veterans in the community.

Since its inception in 2011, the CLCV clinics have served more than 400 veterans and assigned 175 pro bono cases to volunteer lawyers. Common legal topics addressed include VA benefits, landlord–tenant issues and domestic issues. Lawyers across the state have been instrumental in volunteering their time to participate in these clinics and help veterans. Sometimes, all that’s needed is 15 minutes of advice or legal direction, while other times a pro bono case or reduced-free relationship is arranged. Any way you look at it, CLCV is a highly valuable program that’s helping to unite our community.

“There’s a huge satisfaction in helping,” Vaught says, “in reaching out to these people and saying ‘I get it, I understand what you’ve been through. I welcome you home and want to try to help you in a real way.”

HB 14-1205: Creating Veterans’ Assistance Grant Program to Provide Financial Assistance to Improve Health and Well-being of Veterans

On January 30, 2014, Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder introduced HB 14-1205 – Concerning the Veterans’ Assistance Grant Program. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The veterans’ assistance grant program (program) is created in the division of veterans affairs within the state department of military and veterans affairs to provide moneys to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies that provide services to ensure the health and well-being of veterans of the United States armed forces who live in Colorado.

On or before Sept. 1, 2014, the adjutant general, in consultation with the board of veterans affairs, shall adopt rules for the administration of the program, including but not limited to:

  • Criteria for determining which nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies are eligible to receive moneys from the program; and
  • Procedures by which eligible organizations may apply for and receive moneys from the program.

The veterans assistance grant program cash fund is created and consists of any moneys received by the division as gifts, grants, or donations and such moneys as are appropriated to the fund by the general assembly. The program is repealed, effective Sept. 1, 2024. Before such repeal, the department of regulatory agencies shall review the program.

On February 17, 2014, the House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs referred the bill, unamended, to the Appropriations Committee.

e-Legislative Report: January 28, 2013

CBA Director of Legislative Relations Michael Valdez discusses Martin Luther King Jr. Day, honoring veterans, and the status of the civil unions bill in this week’s video legislative update.

Senate Judiciary Gives SB 11—Civil Unions Initial Okay

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, after several hours of testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 11 and moved the bill to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the fiscal implications of the bill. The CBA went on record for the second year to support the legislation. Several substantive sections of the Bar Association have supported the passage of this legislation and are continually reviewing the bill for possible technical corrections amendments. Technical amendments were adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee to comply with the “Rule of 7” days statutory time calculations.

The House of Representatives Gave Final House Approval of Two Technical “Legal” Bills on Wednesday, Jan. 23:

  1. HB 13–1077. Concerning the enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2012 as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado was approved on a vote of 63 yes, 0 no and 2 excused; and
  2. HB 13–1029. Concerning the use of authority verbs in the Colorado Revised Statutes was approved on a vote of 63 yes, 0 no and 2 excused.

Friday, Jan. 25—Military Day at the Capitol

The House and Senate paid tribute to veterans during the annual Military Day series of Resolutions:

  • HJR13–1006. Concerning recognition of Military, Veterans, and MIA/POW Appreciation Day.
  • HJR13–1008. Concerning the U.S.S. Pueblo.
  • HJR13–1009. Concerning the designation of the Leopard Creek bridge in Placerville as the “Pfc. Paul L. Haining Memorial Bridge.”
  • HJR13–1012. Concerning the designation of National Guard and Reserve retirees as veterans.
  • HJR13–1010. Concerning recognizing the 60th anniversary of the armistice marking the end of the Korean War.
  • HJR13-1011.Concerning recognition of military personnel from Colorado who have served in Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom and in the Global War on Terrorism, and honoring those who have died while serving their country in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world.

CBA 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.

At the meeting on Friday, Jan. 25, the LPC voted to take action on several bills at its weekly meeting:

  1. The Committee voted to support HB 13–1016. Concerning the distribution to beneficiaries of amounts in pay-on-death (POD) financial institution accounts pursuant to written designation in the records of the financial institution;
  2. The Committee voted to oppose HB 13–1032. Concerning offenses against an unborn child and HB 13–1033. Concerning a prohibition on abortion.

Stay tuned to CBA-CLE Legal Connection for summaries of ten bills of interest.