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Feb. 3

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In this issue:   Feb. 3, 2014
eLegislative Report from Michael Valdez

Welcome to the 2014 edition of the CBA e-legislative report. This CBA member benefit will be delivered to your Inbox on Monday afternoons and will recap legislation from the current legislative session and the role the CBA plays at the State Capitol.

In addition to updates on the positions taken by the CBA through our Legislative Policy Committee the e-leg report will highlight legislation that is of interest to the practicing bar.

We welcome your feedback. We welcome your questions. Or just drop me a line on how we are doing or raise an issue on a piece of legislation. Contact me at mavaldez@cobar.org.

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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. 31, the CBA LPC voted on several bills:

  • The Committee voted to support HB 14-1069. Concerning district commissions on judicial performance.
  • The Committee voted to oppose HB 14-1110. Concerning procedures governing discussions by boards of education of school districts while meeting in executive session.
  • The Committee voted to take no position on two bills: HB 14-1041. Concealed Handgun Carry without a Permit, and HB 14-38. Governor cannot restrict firearms during emergency.

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At the Capitol—Week of Jan. 13

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

Due to the winter storm, neither the Senate and the House met on Friday, Jan. 31.

In the House

Monday, Jan. 27

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1020. Concerning the consolidation of two reports on taxable property that county assessors submit to their boards of equalization. The vote: 65 yes, 0 no.
  • HB 14-1020. Concerning the consolidation of two reports on taxable property that county assessors submit to their boards of equalization. The vote: 65 yes, 0 no.
  • HB 14-1059. Concerning clarifying that the ritual discharge of blank ammunition cartridges at a military funeral does not constitute the criminal offense of disorderly conduct. The vote: 65 yes, 0 no.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1050. Concerning an increase in the number of judges for the Eighteenth Judicial District, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. The vote: 58 yes, 4 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1035. Concerning collection of restitution ordered pursuant to a deferred judgment. The vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1086. Concerning a requirement that a legal notice published in a newspaper is also published on a statewide web site maintained by a majority of Colorado newspapers. The vote: 55 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused.

Thursday, Jan. 30

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1005. Concerning clarification of the requirements applicable to a change of point of water diversion. The vote: 61 yes, 2 no and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1164. Concerning nonpartisan elections not coordinated by a county clerk and recorder, and, in connection therewith, creating the “Colorado Local Government Election Code” for the conduct of such elections by special districts, harmonizing residency requirements for voter registration, modifying the “Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965,” and clarifying when elections are coordinated by county clerk and recorders. The vote 37 yes, 25 no, and 2 excused.

In the Senate

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-007.Concerning authority for a board of county commissioners to transfer county general fund moneys to its county road and bridge fund after a declared disaster emergency in the county. The vote: 35 yes, 0 no.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-048. Concerning use of the most recent United States census bureau mortality table as evidence of the expectancy of continued life of any person in a civil action in Colorado. The vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-076. Concerning the creation of a hard rock mining permit issued by the division of reclamation, mining, and safety for mining operations disturbing no more than five acres of surface area. The vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-067. Concerning aligning certain state medical assistance programs’ eligibility laws with the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. The vote: 20 yes, 14 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-052. Concerning actions taken to remediate soil erosion creating property damage. The vote: 30 yes, 4 no, and 1 excused.

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10 Bills of Interest
House Bills

HB 14-1036. Concerning drunk driving offenses.

By Rep. Waller

Under current law, a DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI is a misdemeanor offense. The bill makes such an offense a class 4 felony if:

  • The violation occurred not more than seven years after the first of two prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault; or;
  • The violation occurred after three prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault.

The bill repeals provisions relating to the crime of aggravated driving with a revoked license when the offender also commits DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI as part of the same criminal episode. The bill makes conforming amendments. The bill is assigned to the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.

HB 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights.

By Rep. Saine and Sen. Tochtrop

This bill requires that a custodian of records relating to the relinquishment of a child provide the following records to the child’s birth parent at the time of relinquishment or at the time the document is created:

  • The original birth certificate;
  • The petition to relinquish;
  • The final order of relinquishment or other relinquishment documents;
  • The affidavit of counseling;
  • The temporary waiver of custody; and
  • The expedited relinquishment documents, if applicable.

If relinquishment records were not provided to a birth parent at the time of the relinquishment of the child or at the time the document was created and the subsequent termination of the parent-child legal relationship was not the result of a dependency and neglect action, then upon written request of the birth parent and proof of identification, the custodian of the records shall provide access to and copies of such records to the birth parent, including all documents that the birth parent signed or on which the birth parent is named. The bill is assigned to the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.

HB 14-1044. Concerning consequences for a parolee who tampers with an electronic monitoring device that the parolee is required to wear as a condition of parole.

By Rep. Dore

A parolee who violates the conditions of his or her parole by removing or tampering with an electronic monitoring device that the parolee is required to wear as a condition of his or her parole is subject to an immediate warrantless arrest. If a community parole officer has probable cause to believe that a parolee who is under the supervision of the parole officer has removed or tampered with an electronic monitoring device that the parolee is required to wear as a condition of his or her parole, the parole officer shall either:

  • Immediately make a warrantless arrest of the parolee; or
  • Not later than 12 hours after acquiring such probable cause, notify a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the parolee’s last-known address that the parolee is subject to an immediate warrantless arrest.

A parole officer shall file a complaint seeking revocation of the parole of any parolee who has removed or tampered with an electronic monitoring device.

If the state board of parole determines that a parolee has violated the conditions of his or her parole by removing or tampering with an electronic monitoring device, the board shall revoke the parolee’s parole and reinstate the remainder of the parolee’s sentence to the custody of the department of corrections. The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 14-1050. Concerning an increase in the number of judges for the eighteenth judicial district, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Guzman

The bill increases the number of judges for the 18th Judicial District from 21 to 23. The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation. The bill cleared the House on Jan. 29 and is awaiting an assignment to a committee of reference in the Senate.

HB 14-1069. Concerning district commissions on judicial performance.

By Rep. Rosenthal

Current law directs district commissions on judicial performance (commissions), as part of their evaluations of district and county judges, to interview other district and county judges and other interested persons. The bill adds to this list the district attorney, a representative of the state public defender, and a representative of the local bar association.

The commission must issue invitations to the new interviewees not less than 35 days before the interview. A majority of the commission must be present at the interview. The commission may substitute a written submission in place of an interview only with the consent of the invited person. The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Judiciary Committee amended and moved the bill to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Senate Bills

SB 14-48. Concerning use of the most recent United States census bureau mortality table as evidence of the expectancy of continued life of any person in a civil action in Colorado.

By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Waller

The bill requires courts to accept into evidence the most recent United States census bureau expectation of life and expected deaths by race, sex, and age table, as published by the United States census bureau, to establish the continued life expectancy of any person in a civil action in Colorado. The bill repeals Colorado’s preexisting mortality table. The bill passed out of the Senate on Jan. 29 and was assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the House on that same day.

SB 14-51. Concerning access to records relating to the adoption of children.

By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Saine

The bill repeals and reenacts portions of the existing statute on access to adoption records to eliminate different standards of access by members of the adoption triad (consisting of the adoptee, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents) and their descendants based on the law in existence on the date the adoption was finalized. The bill retains the current policy that adoption records are confidential from the general public, unless the requesting party is eligible under the statute to access the records or unless the court finds good cause for release. The bill retains current policy that after a birth parent is deceased or an adult adoptee is deceased, eligible relatives may receive access to the adoption records.

Contact preference forms. The bill allows for the continued use of the contact preference form issued by the state registrar of vital statistics (state registrar), which form may be used by a birth parent to indicate whether he or she prefers to be contacted by an adoptee, the descendant of an adoptee, or a representative of either directly, through a third party, or not at all. Effective July 1, 2014, the state registrar shall not distribute a contact preference form that gives a birth parent the option to authorize or not authorize release of the original birth certificate to the adult adoptee, his or her descendants, or certain adoptive family members. Prior to releasing an original birth certificate to an individual eligible to access it, the state registrar or the custodian of records must conduct a search to determine whether a contact preference form was filed with the state registrar. If a contact preference form was executed prior to July 1, 2014, and the birth parent stated a preference not to authorize release of the original birth certificate, then the state registrar or other custodian of records may not release the original birth certificate to an adult adoptee or other eligible individual unless the birth parent rescinds or changes the contact preference form, upon mutual consent of two or more reunited parties, the birth parent is deceased, or a court orders its release. If one birth parent has authorized the release of the birth certificate and the other birth parent has not authorized the release, the state registrar or other custodian of records may only issue the original birth certificate with the name of the non-consenting parent redacted.

The state registrar shall maintain and make available to the public accurate statistics about the number of contact preference forms on file with the state registrar and how many of the forms state a preference for contact, no contact, or contact through a third party.

Access to adoption records by adult adoptees, their descendants, or adoptive family members. The bill retains current policy regarding parties who are eligible to apply for adoption records. A custodian of adoption records must release adoption records (including birth certificates) to an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a custodial grandparent of a minor adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual. In addition, the custodian of records must provide direct access for inspection and copying of adoption records to a spouse of an adult adoptee, adult descendant of an adoptee, adult sibling or half-sibling of an adult adoptee, adoptive parent or grandparent of an adult adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual, if the individual requesting access has the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee or if the adult adoptee is deceased.

Access to original birth certificates by birth parents. Upon request, the state registrar must provide to a birth parent who relinquished a child for adoption a copy of the unaltered original birth certificate that the birth parent signed or was named in.

Access to death certificates. The state registrar is authorized to conduct a search of death certificates to determine whether a birth parent or an adoptee is deceased and to provide a copy of any death certificate found to the requesting eligible individual. The state registrar may collect fees for conducting a search and for making copies and shall transmit any fees to the state treasurer who must credit the fees to the vital statistics records cash fund.

The legal custodian shall not release records unless the individual requesting access is eligible to access the records and provides proof of personal identification. The legal custodian may charge reasonable fees for copying records.

The bill retains the existing policy that allows identifying information in records of child placement agencies to remain confidential based on prior written statements of birth parents on file with the child placement agency or the court. Subject to the provisions of this bill, any party may seek direct contact with another party or use the services of a confidential intermediary, a licensed child placement agency that agrees to conduct a search, or the voluntary mutual consent registry operated by the state registrar. The bill makes conforming amendments. On Jan. 29 the Judiciary Committee heard testimony but did not vote on the bill.

SB 14-56. Concerning a potential waiver of the fees required for issuance of special armed forces license plates for motor vehicles to military veterans.

By Sen. Rivera and Rep. Coram

Currently, applicants for the following special license plates pay a one-time fee of $50 in addition to the normal fees for regular license plates:

  • Veteran of the United States armed forces;
  • United States Marine Corps;
  • Veteran of the Korean war;
  • Veteran of the Vietnam war;
  • United States Army;
  • United States Navy;
  • Bronze star;
  • United States Coast Guard;
  • United States Air Force;
  • United States Army special forces;
  • Veteran of the Afghanistan war;
  • Veteran of the Iraq war;
  • Veteran of operation desert shield or desert storm;
  • Distinguished flying cross; and
  • Navy SEAL

The bill exempts veterans from paying this fee for one set of these special plates. The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee.

SB 14-57. Concerning continuation of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for unemployed individuals participating in approved training programs.

By Sen. Heath and Rep. Hullinghorst

Under current law, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for unemployed individuals participating in approved training programs are set to expire on June 30, 2014. The bill extends the availability of enhanced benefits through June 30, 2017. The department of labor and employment is authorized to obligate up to $4 million per year during the 2014–15 through 2016–17 fiscal years to pay enhanced unemployment compensation benefits to eligible claimants during that period. The bill is assigned to the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee.

SB 14-59. Concerning eliminating the statute of limitations for offenses that accompany sex offenses that are not subject to a statute of limitations.

By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Lawrence

Under current law, certain sex offenses are not subject to a statute of limitations, but accompanying non-sex offenses are subject to a statute of limitations. The bill would eliminate the statute of limitations for those accompanying offenses. On Jan. 27 the Judiciary Committee approved the bill and sent it to the floor for consideration on 2nd Reading; on Jan. 30, the Senate passed the bill on 2nd Reading after adopting amendments.