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March 31

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In this issue:   March 31, 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.

The LPC met on Friday, March 28, and voted to support HB 14-1032. Concerning the provision of defense counsel to juvenile offenders—with necessary amendments.

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At the Capitol—Week of March 24

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 24

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-98. Concerning clarifications to statutory language on crimes against at-risk elders. Vote: 55 yes, 6 no, and 4 excused.
  • HB 14-1288. Concerning personal belief exemptions to immunization requirements for children prior to attending school. Vote: 42 yes, 19 no, and 4 excused.
  • SB 14-54. Concerning the ability of an alcohol beverage licensee to petition the licensing authority to pay a fine in lieu of a license suspension ordered by the licensing authority. Vote: 61 yes, 0 no, and 4 excused.
  • SB 14-28. Concerning an expansion of eligibility for the receipt of disbursements from the electric vehicle grant fund for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. Vote: 38 yes, 23 no, and 4 excused.

Tuesday, March 25

  • HB 14-1295. Concerning residential mortgage foreclosures, and, in connection therewith, requiring a single point of contact and prohibiting dual tracking. Vote: 38 yes and 27 no.
  • HB 14-1312. Concerning efforts to reduce the number of foreclosures in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, continuing the foreclosure deferment program. Vote: 46 yes and 19 no.
  • 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: 38 yes and 27 no.

Wednesday, March 26

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-131. Concerning the removal of certain identifying information from a motor vehicle registration card. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1187. Concerning consumer protection from excess damages for repair of rental vehicles. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1289. Concerning the reinvestment of unused governmental moneys held by a financial institution that are in excess of the amount insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation in accounts of other financial institutions. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.

Thursday, March 27

  • The House spent 10 hours debating various 2nd Reading amendments to HB 14-1336. Concerning the provision for payment of the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state of Colorado, and of its agencies and institutions, for and during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, except as otherwise noted—“the Budget bill.”

Friday, March 28

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1336. Concerning the provision for payment of the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state of Colorado, and of its agencies and institutions, for and during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, except as otherwise noted—“the Budget bill.” Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1337. Concerning an increase in the general fund reserve. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1339. Concerning the creation of the hazardous substance site response fund. Vote: 49 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1340. Concerning the state toxicology laboratory, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 63 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.

In the Senate

Monday, March 24

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1254. Concerning a requirement to disclose fees charged to a unit owners’ association by a community association manager. Vote: 32 yes and 3 no.

Tuesday, March 25

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • 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: 32 yes, 1 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1047. Concerning restrictions on the publishing of basic identification information on commercial web sites. Vote: 23 yes, 11 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1274. Concerning the modification of certain limitations on the managers of a bank chartered by Colorado. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday, March 26

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1136. Concerning exempting a continuing professional education program that is approved by a state professional licensing board from regulation by the division of private occupational schools in the department of higher education. Vote: 32 yes, 0 no, and 3 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: 32 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.

Thursday, March 27

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-156. Concerning a requirement that a public benefit corporation file an annual report. Vote: 25 yes and 10 no.
  • 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: 24 yes and 11 no.
  • HB 14-1277. Concerning eligibility requirements for recipients of grants from the military family relief fund. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.

Friday, March 28

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-158. Concerning the harmonization of statutory recall election provisions with the recall provisions in the state constitution to reflect the manner in which contemporary elections are conducted, and, in connection therewith, aligning circulator regulation and petition requirements with initiative and referendum circulator and petition requirements. Vote: 18 yes and 17 no.
  • HB 14-1149. Concerning making acts related to the advertisement of children for the purposes of transferring their care to others trafficking in children. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • 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: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-115. Concerning procedural requirements applicable to state water plans, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation. Vote: 28 yes and 7 no.
  • SB 14-161. Concerning the modernization of provisions of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” that ensure voter access for eligible electors, and, in connection therewith, reducing the deadline by which a voter registration application must be submitted via certain methods, altering procedures pertaining to national change-of-address searches, allowing emergency ballots to be obtained for nonmedical reasons, amending provisions relating to military and overseas voters, increasing the penalty for providing false residential information, making the aiding or abetting the provision of false residential information a new felony offense, and making and reducing an appropriation. Vote: 22 yes and 13 no.

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10 Bills of Interest
House Bills

HB 14-1266. Concerning the penalties for certain value-based offenses.

By Rep. McCann and Sen. Newell

Recently the penalties for theft changed based on the value of the loss. As introduced, the bill changes the penalties for criminal mischief, fraud by check, defrauding a secured creditor, and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and computer crime. The changes create new threshold loss levels for a full range of penalties from a class 2 felony down to a petty offense or a low level misdemeanor.

On March 11, the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Appropriations Committee.

HB 14-1269. Concerning the circumstances under which a person who sells items subject to sales tax must collect such sales tax on behalf of the state.

By Rep. Court and Sen. Johnston

The state imposes a sales tax collection obligation on every retailer or vendor, and the terms “retailer” and “vendor” are defined to include every person doing business in this state and selling to the user or consumer, and not for resale. The state also imposes a use tax collection obligation on every person in this state for the privilege of storing, using, or consuming in the state any tangible personal property purchased at retail. By operation of law, the definition of the term “doing business in this state” establishes which retailers must collect sales and use tax on behalf of the state from its customers. What qualifies as “doing business in this state” is what is understood as “nexus” among sales tax experts.

The bill modifies and expands the state's sales and use tax nexus provisions by:

  • Expanding the types of activities that will create nexus with the state if conducted by any person that already has a physical presence in this state, other than a common carrier acting in its capacity as such, pursuant to an agreement or arrangement with an out-of-state retailer;
  • Clarifying that the expanded nexus provisions create a rebuttable presumption that the specified activities create substantial nexus for the out-of-state retailer;
  • Requiring an out-of-state retailer to collect and remit sales and use taxes if that retailer contracts with the state for the sale of tangible personal property or taxable services; and
  • Limiting the effect of the expanded nexus provisions to sales and use tax by specifying that the nexus does not apply to franchise, income, or other taxes.

The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee has held two sessions where testimony was taken and the committee discussed the bill. The bill is scheduled for “action only” on April 2 at 1:30 p.m.

SB 14-1270. Concerning the sunset review of the licensing of pet animal facilities, and, in connection therewith, continuing the licensing functions of the commissioner of agriculture and making substantive changes to the regulatory statutes.

By Rep. Lebsock and Sen. Tochtrop
Sunset Process—House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee

An introduced, the bill continues the licensure of pet animal facilities by the commissioner of agriculture (commissioner) for 5 years, until 2019. It also:

  • Authorizes the commissioner to deny, revoke, or refuse to renew the license of any entity if any officer, principal owner, or other person in a position of control over the entity has been convicted of animal cruelty or animal fighting, and requires denial or revocation of a license after a second offense;
  • Directs the commissioner or the commissioner’s designees to report to law enforcement agencies and the bureau of animal protection any instance of suspected animal abuse that is discovered in the course of an investigation, and grants qualified immunity for a report made in good faith;
  • Allows the commissioner to specify, by rule, written disclosures that must be given concerning rabies vaccinations and the origin and medical history of a dog, cat, ferret, or bird;
  • Amends definitions related to small canine breeding operations to resolve potential conflicts;
  • Repeals certain existing exemptions for nonhuman primates; and
  • Increases the existing cap on license fees from $350 to $700.

On February 24 the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Finance Committee. On March 13, the Finance Committee approved the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. The bill is on the Appropriations Committee calendar for Wednesday, April 2 at 7:30 a.m.

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.

Rep. Melton and Sen. Newell

Current law grants immunity from liability to a mental health provider (provider) who has a duty to warn a specific person or persons when a patient has communicated to the provider a serious threat of imminent physical violence against that person or persons. The bill would extend that immunity and duty to warn to include persons or persons identifiable by their association with a specific location or entity.

On March 26 the bill cleared its final hurdle in the legislative and is now headed to the Governor’s desk for action.

HB 14-1273. Concerning human trafficking

By Rep. McCann and Sen. Newell

The bill repeals and reenacts, with amendments, existing provisions concerning human trafficking.

A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, induces, entices, provides, receives, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of coercing the other person to perform labor or services commits human trafficking for involuntary servitude. Human trafficking of an adult for involuntary servitude is a class 3 felony. Human trafficking of a minor for involuntary servitude is a class 2 felony.

A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, induces, entices, provides, receives, or obtains by any means a person for the purpose of coercing the person to engage in commercial sexual activity commits human trafficking for sexual servitude. Human trafficking of an adult for sexual servitude is a class 3 felony. Human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude is a class 2 felony.

In any prosecution for human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude, it is not a defense that:

  • The minor consented to being sold, recruited, harbored, transported, transferred, isolated, induced, enticed, provided, received, obtained, or maintained by the defendant for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual activity;
  • The minor consented to participating in commercial sexual activity; or
  • The defendant did not know the minor's age or reasonably believed the minor to be 18 years of age or older, or that the minor or another person represented the minor to be 18 years of age or older.

Human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude is a “sex offense against a child” for the purposes of the statute of limitations. This means that there is no limit to the period of time within which criminal proceedings may be initiated against an offender.

The bill creates the Colorado human trafficking council (council) within the department of public safety (department). The bill establishes the membership of the council and sets forth the duties of the council.

In any criminal prosecution for a human trafficking offense or for any offense relating to child prostitution, evidence of specific instances of the victim's or a witness's prior or subsequent sexual conduct, or opinion evidence of the victim's or a witness’s sexual conduct, or reputation evidence of the victim's or a witness's sexual conduct, or evidence that the victim or a witness has a history of false reporting of sexual assaults is to be offered at trial, may only by admitted under specific circumstances.

For a conviction for human trafficking for involuntary servitude or for human trafficking for sexual servitude, the court shall order restitution, if appropriate, even if the victim is unavailable to accept payment of restitution. If the victim is deceased or unavailable for 5 years after the date of the restitution order, the defendant shall pay the ordered restitution to the prostitution enforcement cash fund.

The bill makes conforming amendments.

On March 11, the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Appropriations Committee; the bill is scheduled to be heard by the Appropriations Committee on Friday, April 4 at 7:30 a.m.

Senate Bills

SB 14-162. Concerning quality management programs for emergency medical service providers providing care in the prehospital setting.

By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Mitsch Bush

The bill specifies the mandatory components of a quality management program established by an emergency medical services organization, the purpose of which is to conduct assessments of prehospital care provided by emergency medical service (EMS) providers.

Information collected and maintained pursuant to a quality management program that contains the required components is confidential, and persons who participate in a quality management program cannot be compelled to testify in a civil or administrative proceeding. The confidentiality protections do not apply to factual testimony about which a person has personal knowledge. Persons participating in a quality management program in good faith are not liable for any damages resulting from the proceedings.

The bill is assigned to the Health & Human Services Committee.

SB 14-163. Concerning clarifying changes to provisions related to the sentencing of persons convicted of drug crimes.

By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Lee

In 2013, the general assembly adopted SB13-250, which created a new sentencing structure for drug crimes. The bill makes clarifying and conforming changes to the statutes based on last year’s legislation.

On March 26, the Judiciary Committee approved the bill and moved it to the Senate Consent Calendar for consideration on 2nd Reading.

SB 14-164. Concerning aerial firefighting.

By Sen. Carroll

Senate Bill 13-245 created the Colorado firefighting air corps (C-FAC) under the division of fire prevention and control (division) in the department of public safety and empowered the division to acquire firefighting aircraft for the C-FAC. Currently, the division has no such aircraft.

  • For use during the 2014 fire season, the bill authorizes the division to purchase, lease, or contract for the use and operation of up to 3 firefighting helicopters.
  • For use in the 2015 fire season and beyond, the bill authorizes the division to purchase, lease, or contract for the use of up to 4 large aircraft from the federal government or other sources. The division is further permitted to contract for the retrofitting, maintenance, storage, and operation of these planes. In awarding any such contract, the division is directed to consider certain specified factors, including whether bidders will perform the airplane modifications in Colorado or employ veterans.

The bill also allows the division to establish a center of excellence for advanced technology aerial firefighting and specifies the functions that the center must perform, if so established.

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

SB 14-166. Concerning the development of mobile application software in the Colorado office of economic development that users may access to identify local businesses.

By Sen. Carroll and Rep. Tyler

The bill directs the Colorado office of economic development (office) to contract for the creation of mobile application software (app) that identifies local businesses in Colorado. Local businesses, which are defined as businesses that are owned, located, or headquartered in, or that manufacture in, the state, may elect to participate in the app.

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

SB 14-170. Concerning the authority of a vehicle that is being used to escort a funeral.

By Sen. Todd and Rep. Kraft-Tharp

The bill expands the statutory definition of “authorized emergency vehicle” to include privately owned vehicles that are designated as such by the state motor vehicle licensing agency (agency) for the limited purpose of escorting funeral processions. If the agency designates a vehicle as an authorized emergency vehicle for the purpose of escorting a funeral procession, the vehicle is an authorized emergency vehicle only while the vehicle is being used for this purpose.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.