Search



Not a CBA Member? Join Now!
Find A Lawyer Directory
Find A Lawyer Directory
STRATUM
Find A Lawyer Directory
Know Your Judge

March 10

View Email Online
In this issue:   March 10, 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.

Return to Top

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 the LPC meeting on Friday, March 7:

  • The Committee voted to take a neutral position on HB 14-1285. Concerning a requirement that a professional tax preparer provide certain disclosures to a client when preparing tax documents for the client but suggest amendments to exclude attorneys from the application of the act.
  • The Committee voted to support and offer amendments to SB 14-98 Concerning clarifications to statutory language on crimes against at-risk elders.

Return to Top

At the Capitol—Week of March 3

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 3

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1171. Concerning rules on forensic medical evidence in sexual assault cases. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • 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. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1002. Concerning the establishment of a grant program under the “Colorado Water Quality Control Act” to repair water infrastructure impacted by a natural disaster, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 51 yes, 8 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1003. Concerning the exemption from state income tax of income that is earned by a nonresident individual working temporarily in the state to assist with disaster emergency relief activities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 59 yes, 0 no, and 6 excused.
  • HB 14-1006. Concerning the remittance of the marketing and promotion tax collected by lodging establishments in a local marketing district, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 53 yes, 3 no, and 6 excused.

Tuesday, March 4

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-83. Concerning reimbursement to be paid by a county to the state for costs incurred by the state in connection with the reappraisal of property in the county. Vote: 60 yes, 0 no, and 5 excused.
  • HB 14-1206. Concerning modifications to the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act,” and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain charitable solicitation practices, modifying the secretary of state’s fining authority, adjusting registration statement requirements, and specifying requirements for appointing registered agents. Vote: 60 yes, 0 no, and 5 excused.
  • HB 14-1017. Concerning measures to expand the availability of affordable housing in the state, and, in connection therewith, making modifications to statutory provisions establishing the housing investment trust fund, the housing development grant fund, and the low-income housing tax credit; and making an appropriation. Vote: 36 yes, 24 no, and 5 excused.

Thursday, March 6

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • 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. Vote: 58 yes, 0 no, and 7 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1089. Concerning the qualification for a person to use the 10th mountain division license plate. Vote: 53 yes, 8 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1148. Concerning guidelines for ensuring the rights of victims of crime to participate in the criminal justice system. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-105. Concerning the elimination of the requirement that a portion of the fees collected for the water resources cash fund be transferred to the state general fund. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-107. Concerning the continuation of the department of law’s authority to accept gifts, grants, and donations. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-120. Concerning the continuous appropriation of certain amounts in the state employee workers’ compensation account in the risk management fund. Vote: 52 yes, 9 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1274. Concerning the modification of certain limitations on the managers of a bank chartered by Colorado. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • HB 14-1271. Concerning extending a mental health provider’s duty to warn to include specific entities that, if purposefully damaged or attacked as a result of a mental health patient’s violent behavior, would jeopardize public health and safety. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-59. Concerning eliminating the statute of limitations for offenses that accompany sex offenses that are not subject to a statute of limitations. Vote: 58 yes, 3 no, and 4 absent or excused.
  • SB 14-9. Concerning a disclosure of possible separate ownership of the mineral estate in the sale of real property. Vote: 46 yes, 15 no, and 4 absent or excused.

Friday, March 7

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 excused.
  • HB 14-1257. Concerning the authority of the state auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Colorado health benefit exchange. Vote: 60 yes, 1 no, and 4 excused.
  • SB 14-43. Concerning the inclusion of certain land areas used to grow products that originate above the ground within the classification of “all other agricultural property” for property tax purposes. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 excused.

In the Senate

Tuesday, March 4

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
    1. HB 14-1112. Concerning limited authorization for a county clerk and recorder to redact the first five digits of a social security number from a public document recorded with the clerk and recorder at the request of the individual to whom the social security number is assigned.
    2. HB 14-1051. Concerning a strategic plan for enrolling all eligible persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities into programs at the time services and supports are needed, and, in connection therewith, requiring the department of health care policy and financing to develop and implement the strategic plan and to report annually on the number of persons waiting for services and supports.
    3. HB 14-1174. Concerning the sunset review of the natural areas council. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-22. Concerning certified community development financial institutions, and, in connection therewith, authorizing such institutions to serve as a qualified holder and to present a request for full or partial release of collateral pledged without presentation of the original promissory note. Vote: 19 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1073. Concerning the recording of legal documents. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1052. Concerning an increase in the enforcement authority of ground water management districts. Vote: 22 yes, 12 no, 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1122. Concerning provisions to keep legal marijuana from underage persons. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1166. Concerning the renewal of concealed handgun permits by Colorado county sheriffs. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday, March 5

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1065. Concerning limits on indemnification provisions in motor carrier transportation contracts. Vote: 33 yes and 2 no.
  • HB 14-1121. Concerning notice requirements for county highway contract bid solicitations, and, in connection therewith, increasing the threshold value of a contract for which a county must advertise in a newspaper in the county or post notice in the county courthouse from five thousand dollars to the amount at which a contract requires a contractor’s bond. Vote: 22 yes and 13 no.

Friday, March 7

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • Consent Calendar: Vote 34 yes, 0 no and 1 excused.
    1. HB 14-1229. Concerning authorizing sharing information between state and local government agencies related to legal marijuana.
    2. HB 14-1215. Concerning the ability of a federal home loan bank to enforce its rights with regard to collateral subject to a security agreement.
    3. HB 14-1183. Concerning the reinstatement of the authority for active military personnel to practice professionally. Vote: 33 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.

Return to Top

10 Bills of Interest
House Bills

HB 14-1196. Concerning the creation of a local government marijuana impacts task force.

By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Jahn

As introduced, the bill creates the marijuana impacts task force (task force) in the department of local affairs to study the local government impacts related to the cultivation, testing, sale, consumption, and regulation of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The task force consists of 17 members who represent specified local government interests, state government agencies, the marijuana community, and public defenders.

The task force is required to meet during the 2014 interim and may solicit input from various state and local government entities, public and private organizations, and private citizens. The bill specifies that members of the task force serve without compensation and that all staff needed to assist the task force will be provided by the department of local affairs.

The task force is required to evaluate the impacts that the cultivation, testing, sale, consumption, and regulation of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products have on the services provided by local governments and on local governments' budgets. In addition, the task force is required to develop recommendations that may be implemented at the state or local level to help address such impacts.

On Feb. 20, the Local Government Committee heard testimony and amended the bill; the final decision on the bill will be determined by the committee at a later date.

HB 14-1199. Concerning changes to the regulation of consumer goods service contracts.

By Rep. Williams and Sen. Jahn

The bill provides for changes to the regulation of consumer goods service contracts based on the model act of the national association of insurance commissioners. These contracts require the provider to perform repair, replacement, or maintenance on any consumer good covered by the service contract. The bill requires that service contracts be in writing and disclose to the contract holder the terms and conditions of the contract, the covered consumer goods, the identity of the provider and any administrator appointed by the provider, procedures for cancellation of the contract by either the provider or the service contract holder, and whether the service contract is protected by reimbursement insurance coverage. Under this bill, a provider must provide the contract holder with a sample copy of the service contract prior to selling the contract, and must provide an actual copy of the contract to the contract holder within a reasonable time following sale of the contract.

The bill requires that a contract holder be allowed to void the contract within 20 days after the contract holder receives the contract unless the contract holder has already made a claim under the contract. Either a contract holder or a provider may cancel a contract at any time, in which case the provider must refund to the contract holder a pro rata share of the consideration paid to the provider minus a 10% administrative fee.

In order for a service contract provider to sell service contracts, the provider must demonstrate an ability to faithfully provide the services covered under the contract. The provider can do this by either obtaining reimbursement insurance coverage, maintaining a funded reserve account and placing a financial security deposit in trust with the commissioner of insurance, or demonstrating that the provider’s company or parent company has a net worth of at least $100,000,000.

A service contract provider must also adhere to record-keeping requirements, and must maintain those records for a period of at least one year after the specified coverage has expired.

The bill specifies that service contracts are not insurance, and service contract providers, as well as their agents and employees, are not required to be licensed under any other provisions of the state insurance laws. Service contract providers, with some exceptions, are not allowed to use terms descriptive of the insurance industry in their name. Service contract providers are also prohibited from making false and misleading statements. Lending institutions, sellers, and manufacturers are further prohibited from requiring a service contract as a condition of a loan or for the sale of any property.

The commissioner may discipline noncompliance with the bill through an administrative hearing and may seek a judicial remedy for enforcement. Any civil penalties assessed by the commissioner are limited to $500 per violation, up to $10,000 for all violations of a similar nature.

On Feb. 20, Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee amended the bill are sent it to the Appropriations Committee.

HB 14-1205. Concerning the veterans’ assistance grant program.

By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Crowder

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.

HB 14-1206. Concerning modifications to the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act,” and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain charitable solicitation practices, modifying the secretary of state’s fining authority, adjusting registration statement requirements, and specifying requirements for appointing registered agents.

By Rep. Conti and Sen. Ulibarri

As amended in the Senate, the bill amends the “Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act” (act) as follows:

  • Modifies the required content of charitable organization registration statements to eliminate unnecessary content;
  • Prohibits a charitable organization from aiding, abetting, or permitting a person paid solicitor to solicit contributions on its behalf unless the paid solicitor has complied with the requirements of the act;
  • Specifies that while information filed with the Secretary of State’s office by a charitable organization, professional fundraising consultant, or paid solicitor in connection with the person or organization’s registration is a public record, account numbers at banks or other financial institutions are not a public record;
  • Eliminates the fine amounts specified in the act for soliciting while unregistered, thereby allowing the secretary of state to set those fine amounts by rule;
  • Requires registered individuals and organizations to appoint a registered agent to receive notices, process, and other materials for the individual or organization; and
  • Modifies the fines that may be imposed for failing to timely file required documents with the secretary of state.

On March 4 the House gave final approval of the bill. The bill is assigned to the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

HB 14-1211. Concerning ensuring access to quality complex rehabilitation technology in the Medicaid program.

By Rep. Young and Sen. Tochtrop

The bill requires the department of health care policy and financing (department) to recognize complex rehabilitation technology as a specific need of persons with complex diagnoses or medical conditions that result in significant physical or functional needs.

The department must designate appropriate billing codes as complex rehabilitation technology and establish supplier quality standards for complex rehabilitation technology suppliers. Additionally, the department must require evaluation of complex needs patients by qualified professionals for purposes of identifying appropriate complex rehabilitation technology. Further, the department must develop pricing policies for complex rehabilitation technology.

The bill defines terms relating to complex rehabilitation technology.

The bill is assigned to the Public Health Care & Human Services Appropriations Committees.

Senate Bills

SB 14-146. Concerning information that the department of transportation may consider when conducting a traffic investigation for the purpose of determining the appropriate speed limit for a portion of a state highway for which a municipality has proposed a speed limit alteration.

By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Wilson

Current law requires that the department of transportation (CDOT) approve any change to a speed limit on a portion of a state highway that is within a municipality and requires CDOT to conduct any traffic investigation needed for the determination of a safe and reasonable speed limit if a municipality with a population of 5,000 or fewer people requests that it do so. The bill allows CDOT to receive traffic and engineering data from the city or county engineer of the affected municipality when conducting such a traffic investigation.

The bill is assigned to the Transportation Committee.

SB 14-147. Concerning a study to determine the impact of increased alluvial well pumping in district 2 of water division 1.

By Sen. Renfroe and Rep. Fischer

The bill authorizes the state engineer to conduct a study to determine the impact of increased alluvial well pumping in district 2 of water division 1 on surface stream flows in the South Platte River and alluvial levels in the South Platte alluvial aquifer.

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

SB 14-148. Concerning market conduct examinations conducted by the commissioner of insurance.

By Sen. Cadman and Rep. Sonnenberg

The bill modifies the standards pursuant to which the commissioner of insurance conducts market conduct examinations by:

  • Focusing on the activities of insurers that cause actual harm to insurance consumers rather than administrative errors and specifying that unless extraordinary circumstances, demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence, indicate that an imminent risk to consumers requires immediate action, insurers are not subject to a market conduct examination more frequently than once every five years;
  • Requiring the pre-examination conference to be conducted in accordance with the pre-examination provisions of the national association of insurance commissioners’ market conduct examiner's handbook and specifying the issues that the parties must discuss during the pre-examination conference; and
  • Requiring all fines and penalties to be rationally related to actual harm suffered by consumers as a result of actions, errors, or omissions of the insurer; specifying that the aggregate total amount of fines cannot exceed one year of reported profit earned by the insurer; and, requiring the commissioner, when imposing fines or penalties, to consider actual harm suffered by insurance consumers and prohibiting the commissioner from considering administrative errors or infrequent or unintentional random errors that do not cause significant consumer harm.

The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

SB 14-152. Concerning the standardization of financial transaction requirements applicable to insurers.

By Sen. Jahn

The bill modifies the requirements applicable to insurance companies’ investments in derivative transactions by expanding the definitions of “derivative instrument” and “income generation” and by imposing caps on the percentage of an insurance company's admitted assets that an insurance company may commit to various types of derivative instruments.

The bill updates existing law relating to insurance company holding systems by enacting a model act adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners. The model act:

  • Authorizes the commissioner of insurance to participate in one or more supervisory colleges with other state, federal, and international insurance regulatory agencies for the purpose of reviewing insurance company holding systems’ enterprise risk and compliance with the financial transaction requirements in the model act; and
  • Uses an expansive definition of “control” to require the commissioner’s review and approval of a wide variety of financial transactions that affect control over an insurance company or market competitiveness standards.

The bill is assigned to the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee.

SB 14-153. Concerning compensation of members of the general assembly appointed to and serving on state entities.

By Sen. Heath and Rep. DelGrosso

The bill establishes uniform payments of per diem and the reimbursement of expenses to current members of the general assembly who are appointed to serve on state entities created or authorized by statute on which members of the general assembly are statutorily required to be appointed to serve. When the general assembly is in session and legislative member s attend meetings of a state entity to which they are appointed, legislative members will only receive the per diem lodging and expense allowances and travel expenses that they receive as legislative members. When the general assembly is not in session or is in recess for more than three days and legislative members attend meetings of a state entity to which they are appointed, legislative members will receive the same per diem and travel and subsistence expenses received by legislative members for necessary attendance at meetings or functions or to legislative matters during the legislative recess or interim.

The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.