From the Colorado Bar Association - Department of Legislative Relations
Keeping you apprised of what the General Assembly and your state Bar Association are up to under the Gold Dome.
Follow the Colorado Legislature on their website: http://www.leg.state.co.us/
• CBA Legislative Policy Committee (LPC)
The Legislative Policy Committee did not meet on Friday, April 16.
• At the Capitol: Highlights of Floor and Committee work
In the House:
♦ HB 1358 - Concerning a requirement for new home builders to offer home buyers water efficiency options was amended on 2nd Reading and passed;
♦ The House Judiciary added an amendment to HB 1395 - Interlocutory Appeals In Civil Cases and sent the bill to the House for consideration on 2nd Reading (CBA sponsored);
♦ The Judiciary Committee approved an unamended version of HB 1391 - Sunset Instacheck Firearm Transfer and referred the bill to the House for consideration on 2nd Reading;
♦ The Judiciary Committee also amended and adopted HB 1399 - Concerning the authority of the Colorado bureau of investigation to assist a chief of a fire department in the investigation of a fire related to the crime of arson;
In the Senate:
♦ SB 84 - Concerning Peace Officer Bill of Rights was amended by a “strike below” amendment and adopted by the Judiciary Committee. The bill was referred to the Appropriations Committee to consider the fiscal impact of the bill;
♦ HB 1122 – Concerning Medical Orders Scope of Treatment was amended by striking the Health and Human Services Committee report from the bill. The bill was referred back to the floor for 2nd Reading (CA supported);
♦ SB 178 - Concerning fairness in workers' compensation health care provider review processes was amended by the Judiciary Committee and referred to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading;
In the House:
♦ On 3rd Reading, HB 1358 - Concerning a requirement for new home builders to offer home buyers water efficiency options was adopted on a vote of 37 yes, 27 no;
In the House:
♦ HB 1277- Concerning an extension of the prohibition against sexual conduct in correctional institutions, and making an appropriation therefor was amended and adopted on 2nd Reading in the House;
♦ Also on 2nd Reading, HB 1352 - Concerning changes to crimes involving controlled substances was amended and placed on the calendar for third reading (CBA supported);
♦ The House referred HB 1351 - Concerning the maximum authorized interest rate for a payday loan back to the Judiciary Committee for additional consideration;
♦ On 2nd Reading, the House passed an amended SB 100 - Concerning greater financing flexibility for local districts organized for purposes related to energy;
In the Senate:
♦ HB 1252 - Concerning health care services for breast cancer screening passed on 3rd Reading on a vote of 33 yes and 2 no votes;
♦ The Business Labor and Technology Committee approved SB 188 - Prohibit Surcharge For Debit Card Use and referred the bill to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading;
In the House:
♦ HB 1277 - Concerning an extension of the prohibition against sexual conduct in correctional institutions, and making an appropriation therefor was passed on 3rd Reading by a vote of 63 yes and Zero no votes and 2 absent or excused;
♦ HB 1352 - Concerning changes to crimes involving controlled substances passed on 3rd Reading on a 55 yes, 8 no and 2 absent or excused vote (CBA supported);
♦ HB 1269 - Concerning the creation of remedies available in employment discrimination cases was declared lost on 2nd Reading (CBA supported);
♦ HB 1351 - Concerning the maximum authorized interest rate for a payday loan (“Payday Loans”) was amended on 2nd reading and passed.
In the House:
♦ The House accepted the conference committee report and readopted HB1376 - Concerning the provision for payment of the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state of Colorado (“Long Bill”). The Senate also accepted the conference committee report and readopted the Long Bill on Friday, April 16;
♦ HB 1395 - Concerning interlocutory appeals in civil cases was amended on 2nd Reading and placed on the calendar for 3rd Reading on Monday, April 19 (CBA sponsored);
• Late Bills of Interest (and status):
In the House
HB 1403 - Concerning commercial notifications with regard to the secretary of state. By Rep. A. Kerr. The bill allows the secretary of state to notify persons regulated under the charitable solicitations law regarding missed filing deadlines by means other than the mail. The bill allows the secretary to notify any person about any matter arising under Colorado's corporation, partnership, and association laws in a manner determined by the secretary. The bill repeals redundant notification laws. Also, the bill allows the secretary to charge a fee for giving a notice by mail.
Current law requires corporations, partnerships, and associations to file annual reports with the secretary. The bill allows reporting entities to elect biennial reporting rather than annual reporting and to select an anniversary month different from the default anniversary month.
The remaining sections of the bill change references to "annual" reporting to "periodic" reporting and make conforming amendments or other nonsubstantive changes to the law. The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. The bill is scheduled for committee review on Thursday, April 22, Upon Adjournment.
HB 1404 - Concerning the administration of the independent ethics commission. By Rep. McCann. The bill moves the independent ethics commission from the office of administrative courts in the department of personnel to the judicial department.
The bill eliminates an existing statutory requirement that the member of the commission appointed by the House of Representatives be affiliated with a different political party than the person appointed by the senate.
In the case of a request for an advisory opinion from the commission, the bill requires the commission to prepare a response to such request as soon as practicable after the request is made, rather than within 20 business days as under current law.
The bill provides that any state employee on the staff of the commission as of the effective date of the bill shall be transferred to the judicial department and shall become an employee of the department.
The bill specifies that any such employees shall retain all accrued rights to the state personnel system and retirement and other benefits under the laws of the state, and their services shall be deemed to have been continuous. In the case of a reduction in the number of staff employees serving the commission, the bill provides any seniority or retention rights accruing to any such employee subject to such reduction shall be limited to the exercise of such rights solely against other such staff employees. Any person who commences employment with the staff of the commission on or after the effective date of the bill shall not be subject to the state personnel system laws. The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee; a hearing date has not been set.
HB 1407 - Concerning the creation of the range worker advisory council. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Steadman. The bill creates the range worker advisory council, which is required to meet at least 4 times to study and discuss issues concerning range workers in Colorado who are working under the federal H-2A visa program, including the employment and living conditions of the range workers. The bill requires the advisory council to report recommendations, including any legislation deemed necessary, to committees of reference of the general assembly. The bill also creates a cash fund for gifts, grants, and donations to cover the costs associated with the advisory council. The bill is assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee; a hearing date has not been set.
HB 1408 - Concerning the repeal of statutory directions concerning congressional districts. By Rep. Weissmann and Sen. Morse. The bill repeals statutory direction to courts to use certain criteria in determining the lawfulness of and in adopting changes to congressional districts. The bill is assigned to the Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee; a hearing date has not been set.
HB 1411 - Concerning the national instant criminal background check system. By Rep. Waller. The bill eliminates statutory language requiring the Colorado bureau of investigation to deny a transfer of a firearm if information from the national instant criminal background check system indicates that:
1. The prospective transferee has been arrested for or charged with a crime for which the prospective transferee, if convicted, would be prohibited under state or federal law from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm; and
2. Either there has been no final disposition of the case or the final disposition is not noted in the other databases. This language is replaced by new language that requires the CBI to deny a transfer of a firearm if information from the NICS indicates that:
• The prospective transferee has been arrested for or charged with a crime for which the prospective transferee, if convicted, would be prohibited under state or federal law from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm; and
• The prospective transferee either is released on bond or has been issued a summons to appear in court for resolution of the arrest or charge.
The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee; a hearing date has not been set.
HB 1413 - Concerning juveniles who are tried as adults. By Rep. Levy and Sen. Newell. For purposes of authorizing a district attorney to directly file charges in district court against a juvenile, the bill changes the minimum age of the defendant from 14 to 16 years, except in the case of first degree murder, second degree murder, or a sex offense. At least 14 days prior to filing the charges in district court, the district attorney must file the charges in juvenile court with a notice of decision on direct file.
The bill lists the criteria that the district attorney must consider in determining whether to direct file charges against a juvenile. The district attorney must submit a written statement listing the criteria the district attorney relied upon in deciding to direct file.
The bill permits a juvenile convicted in district court of a class 2 felony nonsex offense to be sentenced to the youthful offender system. The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee; a hearing date has not been set.
In the Senate
SB 190 - Concerning the suspension of the property tax exemption for qualifying seniors for specified property tax years. By Sen. White and Rep. Riesberg. The bill suspends the property tax exemption for qualifying seniors for the 2010 and 2011 property tax years and makes a nonstatutory legislative declaration regarding the intended use of any general fund savings resulting from the suspension. On April 16, the Appropriations Committee amended the bill and referred it to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.
SB 192 - Concerning the use of revenues derived from limited gaming activity to fund restoration work on the state capitol building, and, in connection therewith, creating the capitol dome restoration fund and redirecting moneys from the portion of limited gaming revenue constitutionally allocated to historic preservation to the capitol dome restoration fund. By Sen. Kopp and Rep. Sonnenberg. The bill creates the capitol dome restoration fund in the state treasury to finance repairs and safety improvements to the state capitol dome and supporting structures, and transfers to the fund $4 million per year in each of state fiscal years 2010-11 to 2012-13 from moneys constitutionally allocated to historic preservation.
The bill directs the state architect to report periodically to the capital development committee concerning the progress of the work, updated cost estimates, and any problems encountered. The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee; the bill is scheduled for committee review on Thursday, April 22, Upon Adjournment.
SB 193 - Concerning the safe treatment of pregnant persons in custody. By Sen. Hudak and Rep. Levy. The bill addresses the use of restraints on pregnant women in custody or confined in prisons, city and county jails, juvenile detention facilities, or department of human services facilities.
The bill requires that the least restrictive restraint necessary to ensure safety be used on a woman in her second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Staff shall not use restraints of any kind on a pregnant woman during labor and delivery of the child, postpartum recovery, or transport to or from a medical facility for childbirth unless medical staff determines that restraints are necessary for safe childbirth, the woman poses an immediate and serious risk of harm to herself or medical staff, or the woman poses a substantial risk of escape that cannot be reasonably reduced by another method. In any event, however, the staff will not use leg shackles or waist restraints. Staff shall make a record of any restraint used on a woman during labor or delivery, postpartum recovery, or transport to or from a medical facility for childbirth. Staff shall maintain the record for a minimum of 5 years and make it available to the public with personally identifying information removed.
The bill entitles a woman to have a member of the medical staff present at any strip search conducted upon the woman's return to confinement after childbirth. Staff shall inform a pregnant woman of the provisions of the statute relating to the use of restraints and any post-childbirth strip search at the time of the initial intake or determination of the pregnancy, at the onset of labor, and upon return to confinement after childbirth.
The bill requires that staff receive adequate training concerning the provisions of the bill. The Judiciary Committee heard testimony on April 14 and is scheduled to take action on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.