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April 7

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In this issue:   April 7, 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 did not meet on Friday, April 4.

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At the Capitol—Week of March 31

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, March 31

No bills were heard on 3rd reading.

Tuesday, April 1

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1315. Concerning the enactment of certain model acts adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners, and, in connection therewith, enacting the credit for reinsurance model act and the portion of the insurer receivership model act that governs netting agreements. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1313. Concerning a requirement that the owner of a pet animal provide a valid rabies vaccination certificate prior to registering the animal with a county. Vote: 40 yes and 25 no.
  • HB 14-1045. Concerning the continuation of the breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 50 yes and 15 no.
  • HB 14-1281. Concerning the allowance for terminally ill patients to have access to investigational products that have not been approved by the federal food and drug administration that other patients have access to when they participate in clinical trials. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1302. Concerning the addition of a judgment against a debtor or transferee who acts with actual intent as an available remedy for a creditor in a fraudulent transfer action. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.

Wednesday, April 2

No bills were heard on 3rd reading.

Thursday, April 3

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-135. Concerning the repeal of certain provisions concerning the purchasing of firearms in states that are contiguous to Colorado. Vote: 61 yes, 1 no, and 3 excused.

Friday, April 4

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-103. Concerning the phase-out of the sale of certain low efficiency plumbing fixtures. Vote: 35 yes, 28 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1001. Concerning the creation of a property tax reimbursement for a taxpayer that owes property tax on property that has been destroyed by a natural cause, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 46 yes, 17 no, and 2 excused.

In the Senate

Monday, March 31

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1195. Concerning the diversion of revenue collected by the division of insurance to cash funds. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.

Tuesday, April 1

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-163. Concerning clarifying changes to provisions related to the sentencing of persons convicted of drug crimes. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-160. Concerning removing limitations on a transitional living program for a person with a brain injury. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1141. Concerning the confidentiality of social security numbers under statutes protecting the privacy of individuals. Vote: 33 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.

Wednesday, April 2

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Thursday, April 3

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • The Senate spent numerous 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, April 4

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1282. Concerning the specification of what materials may be provided in a language other than English by an insurer to a customer. Vote: 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • 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: 26 yes, 8 no, and 1 excused.

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10 Bills of Interest
House Bills

HB 14-1274. Concerning the modification of certain limitations on the managers of a bank chartered by Colorado.

By Rep. Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Jahn

Current law prohibits a state bank from executing a contract for the employment of an officer for more than one year and requires 2/3 of the directors of a state bank to be residents of this state and a majority of the directors to reside within 100 miles of the place of business of the bank. The bill repeals these limitations and substitutes a requirement that a majority of the directors to be residents of this state.

The bill has passed both houses of the legislature on March 31 and is headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for action.

HB 14-1277. Concerning eligibility requirements for recipients of grants from the military family relief fund.

By Rep. Melton and Sen. Todd

Under current law, to be eligible to receive a grant from the military family relief fund (fund), a member of the Colorado National Guard or a reservist must be on active military duty for a minimum of 30 days on involuntary mobilization orders. The bill permits a member of the Colorado National Guard or a reservist to also be eligible to receive a grant from the fund if he or she is called to state active duty by executive order of the governor.

The bill has passed both houses of the legislature on March 31 and is headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for action.

HB 14-1278. Concerning continuation of the workers' compensation accreditation program administered by the division of workers' compensation, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies.

By By Rep. Rosenthal and Sen. Tochtrop
Sunset Process—House Business, Labor, Economic, and Workforce Development Committee.

The bill implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report on the workers' compensation accreditation program (WCAP) for medical professionals, administered by the division of workers’ compensation in the department of labor and employment, by:

  • Continuing the program for 11 years, until 2025;
  • Directing the division to study whether Colorado should adopt an edition of the American Medical Association’s guide to the evaluation of permanent impairment more recent than the 1991 edition, which is the edition currently specified by statute, as the standard that governs assessments of the degree of impairment in workers’ compensation cases; and
  • Allowing the division to set fees for WCAP training programs and materials administratively rather than specifying the amount of the fees in statute.

The bill has been approved by the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development, Finance, and Appropriations committees as well as the full house on 2nd reading. Third reading in the house is scheduled for Monday, April 7.

HB 14-1279. Concerning the creation of a state income tax credit to reimburse a business for personal property taxes paid in the state.

By Rep. Primavera and Sen. Heath

For five income tax years beginning on January 1, 2014, as introduced, the bill creates an income tax credit to reimburse a qualifying taxpayer for personal property taxes paid in Colorado for which the taxpayer does not already receive a state or federal income tax benefit. This is accomplished by allowing a tax credit that is equal to the taxpayer’s personal property taxes paid multiplied by a percentage equal to 100% minus the sum of the taxpayer’s federal marginal income tax rate for the year and 4.63%.

To qualify for a tax credit, a taxpayer must have $25,000 or less worth of personal property on which property taxes are paid in Colorado during an income tax year commencing in 2014, or have less than an inflation-adjusted amount for each income tax year thereafter. The amount of the credit that exceeds a taxpayer’s income taxes is refunded to the taxpayer.

The bill has been approved by the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development and Finance Committees; the bill is scheduled next to go before the Appropriations Committee.

HB 14-1285. Concerning a requirement that a professional tax preparer provide certain disclosures to a client when preparing tax documents for the client.

By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Aguilar

The bill requires a person who prepares, for a fee, an income tax return or a claim for a refund on an income tax return for a taxpayer (professional tax preparer) to make certain disclosures to the taxpayer concerning the professional tax preparer’s qualifications, fees, year-round contact information for the tax preparer or the tax preparation company, willingness to represent the taxpayer in a government audit, and obligation to sign the tax documents prepared. The bill exempts certain certified public accountants, attorneys-at-law, enrolled agents, and individuals employed by a local, state, or federal government agency from having to comply with the disclosure requirements.

The bill makes a professional tax preparer's failure to provide a taxpayer with the requisite disclosures a deceptive trade practice, and provides the penalty scheme for the deceptive trade practice.

The bill requires the department of revenue to provide a disclosure form available on its web site and requires every professional tax preparer to provide a copy of either the department's disclosure form or a substantially similar disclosure form to each taxpayer before commencing work on preparing the taxpayer's income tax return or claim for refund on an income tax return.

The bill criminalizes the act of providing fraudulent information in a professional tax preparer’s disclosure form and makes the crime a class 2 misdemeanor.

The CBA Legislative Policy voted to amend the bill to exempt attorneys at law from the provisions of the act; the bill has been amended accordingly.

The bill passed out of the House on March 17 and is assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Bills

SB 14-171. Concerning the ability of the Colorado new energy improvement district to arrange financing for water conservation fixtures.

By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Tyler

The Colorado new energy improvement district may arrange financing, secured by a lien on the affected real estate, for the installation of energy efficiency improvements in residences and commercial buildings. The bill adds water conservation fixtures to the definition of an “energy efficiency improvement.”

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

SB 14-173. Concerning the recommendation that certain persons be offered a test for the hepatitis C virus.

By Sen. Jahn and Rep. Singer

The bill states that the department of public health and environment (department) recommends that each treating primary health care provider, physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who treats a patient born between 1945 and 1965 in an inpatient or outpatient setting offer the patient hepatitis C screening or hepatitis C diagnostic testing unless the patient:

  • Is being treated for a life-threatening emergency;
  • Has previously been offered the testing; or
  • Lacks capacity to give consent.

If the offer is accepted and the test is reactive, the health care provider is required to offer the patient follow-up care or refer the patient for follow-up care.

The bill is assigned to the Health & Human Services.

SB 14-174. Concerning the creation of the prosecution fellowship program.

By Sen. Heath

The bill creates the prosecution fellowship program (program) in the department of higher education. The program will provide money to the Colorado district attorneys’ council to fund six fellows at rural district attorneys’ offices in the state. The fellows will receive a five-day training prior to beginning work.

The bill creates the prosecution fellowship committee, which will select the fellowships and district attorneys’ office locations and match the fellows with a district attorney’s office.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

SB 175. Concerning freedom from government interference in an individual's reproductive health decisions.

By Sen. Kerr and Rep. Primavera

The bill prohibits a state or local policy that denies or interferes with an individual’s reproductive health care decisions or a state or local policy regarding reproductive health care that is inconsistent with, or that denies or interferes with access to information based on, current evidence-based scientific data and medical consensus.

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

SB 14-176. Concerning crimes related to entities that trade in stolen vehicles.

By Sen. Johnston

The bill defines a chop shop as any building, lot, facility, or other structure or premise where:

  • Any person or persons possess, receive, store, disassemble, or alter, including the alteration or concealment of any identifying feature or number, an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part for the purpose of using, selling, or disposing of the motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part; or
  • Two or more unlawfully obtained motor vehicles are present for the purpose of alteration, sale, or disposal; or
  • Six or more unlawfully obtained major component motor vehicle parts from two or more motor vehicles are present for the purpose of alteration, sale, or disposal.

A person commits a class 4 felony if he or she knowingly owns or operates a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop, or conspires with another person to own, operate, or conduct a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop.

A person commits a class 5 felony if he or she knowingly:

  • Transports an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part to or from a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop; or
  • Sells or transfers to, or purchases or receives from, a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop, an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part.

A person commits altering or removing a vehicle identification number if, except as necessary to effect legitimate repairs, he or she knowingly:

  • Removes, changes, alters, counterfeits, defaces, destroys, disguises, falsifies, forges, or obliterates the vehicle identification number, manufacturer's number, or engine number of a motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part; or
  • Possesses, purchases, disposes of, sells, or transfers a motor vehicle or a major component motor vehicle part that contains a removed, changed, altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, or obliterated vehicle identification number, manufacturer's number, or engine number.

Altering or removing a vehicle identification number is a class 5 felony.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.