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March 3

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In this issue:   March 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.

Action taken at Feb. 28 LPC meeting:

  • The Committee voted to include a provision to the upcoming CBA Trusts and Estates Probate Code Omnibus legislation that is coming to a legislature near year you. The amendment provides a method for dealing with personal property that is secured by real property. This language will fit in with the small estate affidavit procedural changes previously approved by the LPC. The changes are CBA sponsored.
  • The Committee voted to support Parts 4 & 6 of the Uniform Power of Appointment Act (“UPOAA”) as prepared by the Trusts and Estates Committee who has previously navigated Parts 1–3 through the CBA approval process. The CBA will inform the Colorado Uniform Law Commissioners of the latest development and assist in obtaining a late bill. The UPOAA is CBA supported legislation.

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At the Capitol—Week of Feb. 24

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, Feb. 24

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-52. Concerning actions taken to remediate soil erosion creating property damage. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1152. Concerning passive surveillance records of governmental entities. Vote: 63 yes and 2 no.
  • SB 14-67. Concerning aligning certain state medical assistance programs’ eligibility laws with the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Vote: 37 yes and 28 no.
  • HB 14-1184. Concerning conservancy districts that are organized for the purpose of preventing floods. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1193. Concerning requirements governing the imposition of a fee for the research and retrieval of public records under the “Colorado Open Records Act.” Vote: 41 yes and 24 no.
  • HB 14-1265. Concerning the regulation of games of chance. Vote: 63 yes and 2 no.
  • HB 14-1222. Concerning modification of the terms under which a county may issue tax-exempt private activity bonds on behalf of an eligible applicant for the purpose of financing a geothermal energy project on the applicant’s property. Vote: 39 yes and 36 no.
  • HB 14-1228. Concerning the repeal of certain requirements for defensive driving schools attended in accordance with a court order resulting from a violation of a law regulating the operation of a motor vehicle. Vote: 63 yes and 2 no.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1114. Concerning the administration of earned time by the state department of corrections. Vote: 57 yes, 6 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1142. Concerning a prohibition against the off-site electronic sale of lottery tickets by the Colorado lottery commission. Vote: 49 yes, 14 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1163. Concerning a clarification of the cap imposed on the enterprise zone investment tax credit. Vote: 37 yes, 26 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1028. Concerning a limitation on the United States’ ability to impose conditions on a water right owner in exchange for permission to use land. Vote: 39 yes, 24 no, and 2 excused.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1034. Concerning the creation of a wine packaging permit to allow certain alcohol beverage licensees to package wine produced by another wine manufacturer, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1082. Concerning a requirement for written notice of cancellation of individual life insurance policies, and in connection therewith, requiring written notice prior to the lapse of individual life insurance policies. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1254. Concerning a requirement to disclose fees charged to a unit owners’ association by a community association manager. Vote: 53 yes, 8 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1191. Concerning the creation of an emergency alert program to notify the public after a serious hit-and-run accident. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1210. Concerning a requirement that a state agency enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a county to address wildland fires affecting certain state lands located within the county. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1188. Concerning revenue generated from the outdoor advertising program administered by the department of transportation. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.

Thursday, Feb. 27

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1054. Concerning restricting access by minors to artificial tanning devices, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 33 yes, 31 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1108. Concerning limits on copayments made by a covered person for physical rehabilitation services. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.

Friday, Feb. 28

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1100. Concerning the use of title documents to give notice of characteristics of motor vehicles that affect a vehicle's value, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 59 yes, 3 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-76. 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. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.

In the Senate

Monday, Feb. 24

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
    1. HB 14-1074. Concerning payments that a nonprofit owner of a tax-exempt property may receive for reasonable expenses incurred without affecting the tax-exempt status of the property.
    2. HB 14-1018. Concerning the requirement that the department of revenue prepare a tax profile and expenditure report every two years.
    3. HB 14-1056. Concerning clarification of the statutes relating to the registration of collector's item motor vehicles to specify that certain special emission inspection requirements for collector’s item motor vehicles registered prior to the enactment of House Bill 13-1071 continue to apply to those vehicles until they are transferred.
    4. HB 14-1010. Concerning corrections to statutory provisions relating to the prescribed burning program administered by the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety.
  • SB 14-17. Concerning a limitation on the approval of real estate developments that use water rights decreed for agricultural purposes to irrigate lawn grass. Vote: 24 yes and 11 no.
  • SB 14-18. Concerning the prohibition against furnishing nicotine products to persons under eighteen years of age. Vote: 25 yes and 10 no.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
    1. HB 14-1059, by Representative(s) Garcia; also Senator(s) Crowder—Concerning clarifying that the ritual discharge of blank ammunition cartridges at a military funeral does not constitute the criminal offense of disorderly conduct.
    2. HB 14-1079. Concerning an increase in the monetary amount allowed for the limited offering registration procedure under the “Colorado Securities Act.”
  • HB 14-1024. Concerning the designation of the claret cup cactus as the state cactus. Vote: 28 yes and 7 no.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar:
    1. SB 14-142. Concerning an exception for certain water system facilities from the facilities that the commissioner of agriculture has a duty to inspect regarding pesticide storage. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
    2. HB 14-1050. Concerning an increase in the number of judges for the eighteenth judicial district, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
    3. SB 14-49. Concerning endangering public utility transmission, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1005. Concerning clarification of the requirements applicable to a change of point of water diversion. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-129. Concerning changes to criminal provisions related to marijuana. Vote: 32 yes, 2 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, Feb. 27

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-93. Concerning equivalent authority for pipeline companies to acquire right-of-way. Vote: 24 yes, 10 no, and 1 excused.

Friday, Feb. 21

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1022. Concerning alignment of the duration of the child care authorization notice with the child care assistance eligibility period for children participating in the Colorado child care assistance program. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-29. Concerning the establishment of a paint stewardship program for the environmentally sound disposal of postconsumer architectural paint. Vote: 18 yes, 15 no, and 2 excused.

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10 Bills of Interest
House Bills

HB 14-1186. Concerning the release of medical records to a person other than the patient, and, in connection therewith, setting reasonable fees to be paid for the release of the medical records.

By Rep. Schafer and Sen. Aguilar

As introduced, the bill clarifies that medical records in the custody of a health care facility or an individual health care provider may be released to a third party with a valid subpoena or other valid authorization. The bill requires the facility or provider to deliver the medical records in electronic format if requested and if there is no additional cost to the facility or provider. The bill defines what reasonable fees may be charged for the copies of the medical records.

On Feb. 20, the Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee amended the bill and sent it to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

HB 14-1187. Concerning consumer protection from excess damages for repair of rental vehicles.

By Rep. Swalm and Sen. Todd

The bill limits the damages that a vehicle rental company can recover from an authorized driver to amounts reasonably related to the loss incurred by the rental company.

On Feb. 20, the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee approved the bill and referred it to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 14-1191. Concerning the creation of an emergency alert program to notify the public after a serious hit-and-run accident.

By Rep. Conti and Sen. King

Current law authorizes the Colorado bureau of investigation to establish several programs to alert the public of incidents when law enforcement wants the public’s assistance in locating a person or suspect. As amended, the bill adds the Medina alert program when a hit-and-run accident involving a serious bodily injury or death occurs and the law enforcement agency has additional information concerning the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle. The bill directs the executive director of the department of public safety to promulgate rules governing the program.

On Feb. 26, the House passed the bill on 3rd and final reading; the bill has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the Senate.

HB 14-1192. Concerning the repeal of the "Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act."

By Rep. Joshi and Sen. Lundberg

In 2010, pursuant to the enactment of federal law that allowed each state to establish a health benefit exchange option through state law or opt to participate in a national exchange, the general assembly enacted the “Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act” (act). The act created the state exchange, a board of directors (board) to implement the exchange, and a legislative health benefits exchange implementation review committee to make recommendations to the board. The bill repeals the act, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer any unencumbered moneys that remain in the exchange to the general fund.

On Feb. 25, the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee heard testimony and considered the bill for committee discussion only; the bill will be put back on the calendar for action in the near future.

HB 14-1193. Concerning requirements governing the imposition of a fee for the research and retrieval of public records under the “Colorado Open Records Act.”

By Rep. Salazar and Sen. Kefalas

The bill allows a custodian of public records under the “Colorado Open Records Act” to impose a fee in response to a request for the research and retrieval of such records only if the custodian has, prior to the date of receiving the request, either posted on the custodian's web site or otherwise published a written policy that specifies the applicable conditions concerning the research and retrieval of public records by the custodian. The bill prohibits the custodian under any circumstances from charging an hourly fee for the research and retrieval of public records that exceeds four times the state minimum wage.

The bill passed out of the House on Feb. 24 and has been assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee in the Senate.

Senate Bills

SB 14-138. Concerning civil immunity for community volunteers assisting at an emergency.

By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Sonnenberg

Current law provides limited immunity for volunteer firefighters who provide services at the scene of an emergency. As amended in the Senate, the bill extends the immunity to volunteers performing services for nonprofit corporations and nonprofit organizations.

The bill passed out of the Senate on February 17; on that same day, the bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Local Government Committee.

SB 14-140. Concerning a prohibition on the exercise of lien rights under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act” by unit owners’ associations that do not elect to be covered by the entire act.

By Sen. Hill

The bill requires that, in order to establish or foreclose a lien for assessments, a homeowners’ association must be subject to the entire “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.”

On Feb. 17, the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee heard testimony and considered the bill for committee discussion only; the bill will be put back on the calendar for action in the near future.

SB 14-142. Concerning an exception for certain water system facilities from the facilities that the commissioner of agriculture has a duty to inspect regarding pesticide storage.

By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Fischer

The commissioner of agriculture regulates the use of agricultural chemicals in Colorado. As part of that duty, the commissioner inspects all facilities in Colorado that store pesticides, including public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works; however, public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works are also inspected by the water quality control division in the Colorado department of public health and environment to facilitate the water quality control commission’s regulation of water quality throughout the state. The bill eliminates these facilities from the commissioner’s regulation requirements.

The bill passed out of the Senate on Feb. 26; on that same day, the bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee.

SB 14-144. Concerning extending the commission on family medicine’s support for the development of family medicine residency programs in underserved areas of the state.

By Sen. Aguilar and Rep. Ginal

The bill extends the commission on family medicine’s (commission) support of the development of family medicine residency programs in rural and other underserved areas of the state and removes the 2016 repeal date for this commission duty. Further, the bill requires the commission to report annually to the office of state planning and budgeting and the department of health care policy and financing concerning its duty regarding family medicine residency programs and to present its report at the annual meeting of the joint budget committee.

In addition, the bill requires the commission to complete a study, or to contract for the completion of a study, concerning family medicine residency programs in rural and other underserved areas of the state. The bill includes several issues that must be evaluated as part of the study, including issues relating to family medicine residency programs, specifically, and graduate medical education programs, in general. The study must also include an evaluation and recommendations concerning the use of medicaid graduate medical education funding to support family medicine residency programs in the state. The completed study must be submitted to certain committees of the general assembly.

On Feb. 27, the Health & Human Services Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the fiscal impact to the state.

SB 14-145. Concerning incentives for the conservation of water.

By Sen. Hodge

The bill requires certain local governments to consider whether tap fees should be reduced if a developer commits to the implementation of water efficiency and conservation measures with regard to irrigated landscapes, including open space and residential lawns, within the subdivision. The bill applies to counties and cities differently. The bill also applies to special districts that supply water. The bill also prohibits county and municipal subdivision regulations from mandating a minimum percentage of a subdivision that must consist of irrigated vegetation or requiring the irrigation of medians.

The bill directs the Colorado water conservation board, in its awards of incentive grants for the design and implementation of water efficiency and conservation measures, to give priority to public agencies that require new subdivisions to implement water efficiency and conservation measures with regard to irrigated landscapes, including open space and residential lawns.

The bill has been assigned to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee.