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TCL > August 2012 Issue > Legislation Passed During the 2012 Legislative Session

August 2012       Vol. 41, No. 8       Page  49
In and Around the Bar
2012 CBA Legislative Update

Legislation Passed During the 2012 Legislative Session
by Michael Valdez

CONTENTS

Introduction
Agriculture
Consumer and Commercial Transactions
Corporations and Associations
Corrections
Courts
Criminal Law and Procedure
Elections
Family Law
Government—County
Government—Local
Government—Special Districts
Government—State
Health and Environment
Health Care Policy and Financing
Human Services—Behavioral Health
Human Services—Social Services
Insurance
Juvenile Law
Labor and Industry
Military and Veterans
Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation
Natural Resources
Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Professions and Occupations
Public Utilities
Real Property
Statutes
Taxation
Transportation
Water and Irrigation
Workers’ Compensation Law
Concurrent Resolution
Extraordinary Session—"Special Session"

 

ON THE COVER

The cover photograph of the State Capitol Building was taken in July 2010 by Rebecca H. Alfrey. She used an Olympus F340 digital camera. Alfrey is a legal assistant at the Denver law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.


INTRODUCTION

The CBA’s Department of Legislative Relations deals with legislative policy that is set by the CBA Board of Governors (Board), the CBA’s statewide governing body of attorneys. The Board meets twice a year; however, in the event legislative action needs to be taken between Board meetings, the CBA Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is empowered to act on behalf of the CBA. The LPC comprises the CBA President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past President, as well as eight appointed members.

The goal of the LPC is to promote improvements in the administration of justice and advancements in jurisprudence. The LPC generally is involved in legislation that affects the practice of law, the business of lawyering, the court system, lawyer fees, and lawyer–client relations.

Michael Valdez is the Director of the CBA Department of Legislative Relations. The Director is charged with representing CBA interests at the Colorado Legislature.

The 2012 CBA Legislative Update is a product of the Department of Legislative Relations. It was compiled by Michael Valdez and is provided as a free service to CBA members.

The abbreviations "S.B." and "H.B." in the Legislative Update refer to "Senate Bill" and "House Bill," respectively. Numerical references are to existing or to new sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The primary sponsor of the bill is listed, as well as the primary sponsor in the second house.

The Legislative Update is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legislation passed during the 2012 legislative session. It is intended only to alert practitioners to new legislation of general interest to attorneys. For more information on specific bills, please contact Michael Valdez at the CBA, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, Colorado 80203; (303) 860-1115 or (800) 332-6736; or mavaldez@cobar.org.

Summaries of bills may have been abbreviated for space. This Legislative Update also is available online in the August issue of The Colorado Lawyer at www.cobar.org.The Legislative Update has not been edited by the staff of The Colorado Lawyer. Corrections may be sent to mavaldez@cobar.org.


AGRICULTURE

H.B. 12-1158. Concerning the regulation of producers of materials that may be used in commercial livestock feed, and, in connection therewith, repealing the "Colorado Inedible Meat Rendering and Processing Act of 1967" and relocating some of its provisions to the "Colorado Feed Law." By Rep. Baumgardner and Sen. Giron. The act repeals the "Colorado Inedible Meat Rendering and Processing Act of 1967" and grants rule-making authority to the commissioner of agriculture to specify labeling and operating requirements for the production of commercial feed under the existing "Colorado Feed Law." Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1334. Concerning the extension of severance tax funding for the promotion of agricultural energy-related projects, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Hodge. In 2006, the general assembly approved a transfer of $500,000 from the operational account of the severance tax trust fund to the agricultural value-added cash fund for three years to promote agricultural energy-related projects. In 2009, the general assembly approved a two-year extension. The act extends the funding for an additional five years. Effective July 1, 2012.

CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS

S.B. 12-38. Concerning measures to protect consumers who engage a roofing contractor to perform roofing services on residential property. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Priola. The act requires residential roofing contractors to sign a written contract with residential property owners that details the following:

  • The scope of roofing services and materials to be provided;
  • The approximate dates of service;
  • The approximate costs of the services based on damages known at the time the contract is entered;
  • The roofing contractor’s contact information;
  • Identification of the roofing contractor’s surety and liability coverage insurer and their contact information, if applicable;
  • The roofing contractor’s policy regarding cancellation of the contract and refund of any deposit, including a rescission clause allowing the client to rescind the contract and obtain a full refund of any deposit within 72 hours after entering the contract; and
  • A written statement that if the residential property owner plans to use the proceeds of a property and casualty insurance policy to pay for the roofing work, the roofing contractor cannot pay, waive, rebate, or promise to pay, waive, or rebate all or part of any deductible applicable to the claim for payment for roofing work on the covered residential property. The roofing contractor must also include on the face of the contract a conspicuous statement indicating that the roofing contractor is to hold in trust any payment received from the property owner until the roofing contractor delivers roofing materials to the residential property site or performs a majority of the roofing work on the residential property.

A property owner who enters into a contract with a roofing contractor to perform roofing work on his or her residential property and who submits a claim to his or her property and casualty insurer for payment for the roofing work may rescind the contract for the roofing work if the insurer denies the claim in whole or in part, as long as the person notifies the roofing contractor within 72 hours after the claim is denied. The roofing contractor must refund any moneys paid by the customer within 10 days after receipt of the cancellation notice. The property owner’s right of rescission does not apply when the property and casualty insurer denies, in whole or in part, a claim related to a request for supplemental roofing services if the damage requiring the supplemental services could not have been reasonably foreseen at the time of the initial roofing inspection or the execution of the roofing contract.

When residential roofing work will be paid from the proceeds of a property and casualty insurance policy covering the residential property, the roofing contractor is prohibited from paying, waiving, rebating, or offering or promising to pay, waive, or rebate all or part of any deductible that applies to the claim. Effective June 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1236. Concerning the regulation of charitable solicitations, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Summers and Sen. Jahn. The act makes several changes to the laws governing charitable solicitations. The act excludes grant writers from the definition of "paid solicitor" unless the grant writer’s compensation is computed on the basis of funds raised from the grant. The act specifies that fundraising on behalf of a named individual is not a charitable appeal and therefore the fundraiser does not have to register with the secretary of state.

In addition, the act eliminates the need for a charity to request a three-month extension for the filing of its initial or annual financial report with the secretary of state if the charity has filed for an extension with the internal revenue service.

The act clarifies that only monetary contributions must be deposited with a financial institution. The act requires paid solicitors, near the beginning of a telephone solicitation, to disclose that a contribution is not tax-deductible, if that is the case, before soliciting the donation and to state their full and complete name. Effective January 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1262. Concerning enactment of amendments to the secured transactions provisions of the "Uniform Commercial Code." By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Roberts. The act enacts amendments to article 9, regarding secured transactions, of the "Uniform Commercial Code," that were adopted in 2010 by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws. Article 9 provides the rules governing any transaction (other than a finance lease) that couples a debt with a creditor’s interest in a debtor’s personal property. If the debtor defaults, the creditor may repossess and sell the property (collateral) to satisfy the debt. The creditor’s interest is called a "security interest." The 2010 amendments to article 9 modify the existing statutes to respond to filing issues and other matters.

The act provides greater guidance as to the name of a debtor to be provided on a financing statement. For business entities and other registered organizations, the amendments clarify that the proper name for perfection purposes is the name filed with the state and provided on the organization’s charter or other constitutive documents, to the extent of any conflict with the name on an entity database. In particular, the act adopts a "safe harbor" rule by leaving intact the requirement that the financing statement use the debtor’s "individual name," but specifying that the name on the driver’s license will also be sufficient as well as the debtor’s surname and first personal name.

A number of related changes were also made. For example, the 2010 amendments clarify that a change in the name used on a debtor’s driver’s license or the expiration of the driver’s license may qualify as a name change. With respect to trusts, if collateral is held by a statutory trust or in a Massachusetts-type business trust, the trust is a registered organization and the trust’s name is the debtor name. For common law trusts that are not Massachusetts-type business trusts, the financing statement must provide the name of the trust as identified in the trust’s organic records if it has name indicated there, or otherwise the name of the settlor or testator and sufficient additional information to distinguish a particular trust from others held by that same settlor or testator.

The amendments also deal with perfection issues arising on after-acquired property when a debtor moves to a new jurisdiction. article 9 currently provides that perfection by filing continues for four months after the jurisdiction in which the debtor is located changes. However, this temporary period of perfection applies only with respect to collateral owned by the debtor at the time of the change. Even if the security interest attaches to after-acquired collateral, there is currently no perfection with respect to such new collateral unless and until the secured party perfects pursuant to the law of the new jurisdiction. The amendments change this by giving the filer perfection for four months in collateral acquired post-move. A similar change is made with respect to a new debtor that is a successor by merger. The new rule provides for temporary perfection in collateral owned by the successor before the merger or collateral acquired by the successor within four months after the merger.

Existing law authorizes the debtor to file a correction statement: A claim that a financing statement filed against it was in fact unauthorized. While this filing has no legal effect on the underlying claim, it does put in the public record the debtor’s claim that the financing statement was wrongfully filed. The amendments change this in two ways. First, the filing is no longer called a "correction statement," but is instead referred to as an "information statement." Second, the amendments authorize the secured party of record to also file an information statement if the secured party believes that an amendment to its financing statement was not authorized. This change responds to the concerns of secured parties that an amendment to a different financing statement may be inadvertently filed on the secured party’s financing statement because the amendment contains an error when referring to the file number of the financing statement to be amended.

A number of additional technical amendments are also included in the act. For example, some extraneous information currently provided on financing statements will no longer be required. A safe harbor for the transfer of chattel paper in conformance with the "Uniform Electronic Transactions Act" is included, and the act clarifies that the broader override of contractual restrictions found in existing law applies with respect to enforcement of a security interest through the sale or strict foreclosure of payment intangibles and promissory notes. Certificates of title for goods are clarified where the certificates of title are, in whole or in part, in electronic form, and greater guidance is given with respect to the notice requirements applicable to electronic dispositions of collateral (specifically, time and "electronic location" of online auctions) when a security interest is enforced by sale or other disposition of the collateral.

The act has a uniform effective date of July 1, 2013, to allow states to adopt the amendments uniformly and have them become operative simultaneously, thereby avoiding unnecessary conflicts and confusion with respect to interstate transactions. Effective July 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1328. Concerning exclusion from the "Uniform Consumer Credit Code" of certain charges by persons regularly engaged in making contracts for purchase of tangible personal property in the course of business if those charges do not exceed amounts permitted by law. By Rep. Priola and Sen. Giron. The act clarifies that the pawnbroker exclusion to the "Uniform Consumer Credit Code" applies to all pawnbrokers’ rates and charges if the rates and charges do not exceed the fixed price set forth in the laws regulating pawnbrokers. The act also clarifies that the exclusion applies to pawnbrokers’ disclosures of rates and charges, but only for pawnbrokers who are locally licensed or regulated. Effective August 8, 2012.

CORPORATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS

S.B. 12-24. Concerning the obligations of a residential nonprofit corporation to its residential members, and, in connection therewith, clarifying open meeting provisions and limiting the conditions under which the corporation must refund moneys paid by a residential member. By Sen. Harvey and Rep. Holbert. The act relieves a residential nonprofit corporation of its current obligations to:

  • Refund the entrance fee of a residential member within ninety days after the member’s resignation, termination, expulsion, or suspension from the corporation; and
  • Hold a member or his or her heirs harmless from liability for any periodic payments due more than thirty days after the member’s termination due to death or another reason beyond the member’s control.

Meetings of a committee of the board of directors that is not authorized to take final action on the board’s behalf are not subject to open meeting and published agenda requirements, but residential members are entitled to regular notice of meetings and a general description of the subject matter via postings at a designated location or on a web site. Effective March 22, 2012.

S.B. 12-123. Concerning the secretary of state’s on-line business filing system, and, in connection therewith, authorizing enhancements to the system, the designation of commercial registered agents, and changes to a reporting entity’s anniversary month and making an appropriation. By Sen. Renfroe and Rep. Brown. The act directs the secretary of state to implement enhancements to the on-line business filing system, including enhancements to user accounts and for registered agents and records management, certifications, the integration of business documents with charitable solicitation documents, and greater search functionality.

The act authorizes a registered agent to become a "commercial registered agent," which allows a registered agent to file documents relating to multiple entities, thus saving the registered agent time and reducing filing fees. The act allows a reporting entity to change its anniversary month when it files a periodic report, its organic organizational document, or a restatement of its organic organizational document.

The act allows the secretary of state to charge a fee for the licensing or sale of business and licensing software developed by the secretary of state.

Several sections of the act take effect ninety days following certification by the secretary of state to the revisor of statutes that the secretary of state has implemented the necessary computer system changes to implement said sections. Effective May 11, 2012.

H.B. 12-1010. Concerning the reissuance of a lost share certificate of a mutual ditch company. By Rep. Baumgardner and Sen. Giron. If a person loses a mutual ditch share certificate, the person may file with the mutual ditch company a request for reissuance of the certificate, but current law requires the company to wait for three years before issuing a replacement certificate. The act eliminates the three-year period and specifies that a person who is named in the books of the company as a lienholder on the lost certificate is also entitled to file a request for reissuance of a lost certificate. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1068. Concerning the administration of a nonprofit cemetery corporation by persons who own the right to bury a deceased person within the cemetery. By Rep. McKinley and Sen. Grantham. The act requires the board of directors of a nonprofit cemetery to include at least one owner of a lot, grave space, niche, or crypt. A nonprofit cemetery is required to make an annual written report of its financial situation and governance and to keep copies of annual reports and other specified records. The report must be available for inspection and copying and be attested and verified. An owner of a lot, grave space, niche, or crypt may attend meetings of the board of directors. The board must provide reasonable notice of board meetings. Effective August 8, 2012.

CORRECTIONS

H.B. 12-1223. Concerning earned time for inmates, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Levy and Sen. Steadman. The act renders an offender who is sentenced and paroled for a felony offense committed after July 1, 1993, eligible to receive earned time while he or she is reincarcerated after a parole revocation.

An offender who successfully completes a milestone or phase of an educational, vocational, therapeutic, or reentry program, or who demonstrates exceptional conduct that promotes the safety of correctional staff, volunteers, contractors, or other persons under the supervision of the department of corrections, may be awarded as many as sixty days of achievement earned time per program milestone or phase or per instance of exceptional conduct, at the discretion of the executive director of the department of corrections, in addition to any earned time that is already authorized by law. An offender shall not be awarded more than 120 days of achievement earned time. Effective May 24, 2012

H.B. 12-1337. Concerning the closure of the south campus of the centennial correctional facility for housing purposes. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Steadman. The act closes the south campus of the Centennial correctional facility (south campus) for inmate housing purposes but, if necessary, allows the south campus to be maintained to provide support and services to the rest of the Centennial correctional facility. The act encourages the department of corrections to actively pursue options to sell or lease the south campus and requires any proceeds from a sale or lease to be first used towards the payment of the certificates of participation. Effective August 8, 2012.

COURTS

S.B. 12-35. Concerning limited liability for spaceflight activities. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Gardner. The act limits liability for a spaceflight entity (entity) for any loss, damage, or injury to a spaceflight participant (participant) unless the loss, damage, or injury is intentionally caused or proximately caused by gross negligence on the part of the entity. Before participating in a spaceflight activity, a participant must sign an agreement and warning statement acknowledging his or her understanding of limited liability for the entity. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-175. Concerning statutorily established time intervals. By Sen. Carroll and Rep. Gardner. The act changes time intervals for actions due from periods of ten days or a month, or multiples of those periods, to seven-day periods or periods that are multiples of seven days to avoid actions being due on weekends. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1073. Concerning the transfer of a judgeship from the first judicial district to the sixth judicial district. By Rep. Brown and Sen. Roberts. The act decreases the number of judges in the first judicial district from fourteen to thirteen and increases the number of judges in the sixth judicial district from three to four. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1085. Concerning an exception to the hearsay rule to allow testimony from persons with developmental disabilities. By Rep. Fields and Sen. Carroll. The act creates a statutory exception to the hearsay rule of evidence to admit an otherwise inadmissible out-of-court statement made by a person with a developmental disability in:

  • Any criminal or delinquency proceeding in which the person is alleged to have been a victim;
  • Instances in which the person’s statement describes all or part of any of certain sexual offenses performed with, by, on, or in the presence of the person in a criminal or civil proceeding in which a person is charged with committing a sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, or sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist;
  • Instances in which the person’s statement describes any act of child abuse in any criminal, delinquency, or civil proceeding in which a child is alleged to be a victim of child abuse or alleged to be neglected or dependent; and
  • Instances in which the person’s statement describes all or part of an offense involving homicide or a related offense or describing an act of domestic violence in any criminal, delinquency, or civil proceeding in which a child is alleged to be a victim of an offense involving homicide or a related offense or a victim of an act of domestic violence.

The new hearsay exception shall apply only if:

  • The court finds in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury that the time, content, and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient safeguards of reliability; and
  • Either (1) the statement is a nontestimonial statement or (2) the declarant testifies at the proceedings or, if the declarant is unavailable to testify, the defendant has had an opportunity to cross-examine the declarant in a previous proceeding and there is corroborative evidence of the act that is the subject of the statement.

If such a statement is admitted, the court shall instruct the jury in the final written instructions that during the proceeding the jury heard evidence repeating an out-of-court statement by a person with a developmental disability, that it is for the jury to determine the weight and credit to be given the statement, and that, in making the determination, the jury shall consider the nature of the statement, the circumstances under which the statement was made, and any other relevant factor. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1095. Concerning electronic court documents. By Rep. Waller and Sen. Newell. The act conforms statutory language related to electronic warrants to the language in court rules. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1229. Concerning publication requirements for a newspaper in which a legal notice or advertisement is printed. By Rep. Murray and Sen. Scheffel. The act defines the term "published" for purposes of publishing legal notices and specifies that, in circumstances where there is no newspaper published in a particular county or an adjoining county, a legal notice may be published in a newspaper having general circulation within the county. August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1323. Concerning the associate county judge for Montrose County. By Rep. Coram and Sen. Roberts. The act requires that the associate county judge for Montrose county have his or her official residence within Montrose County and his or her court chambers in that portion of Montrose County that is included in the southwestern water conservation district. Effective April 13, 2012.

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

S.B. 12-20. Concerning immunity from certain criminal offenses when a person reports in good faith an emergency drug or alcohol overdose event. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep. Summers. A person is immune from criminal prosecution for any of the following offenses if the person reports in good faith an emergency drug or alcohol overdose event (overdose event) to a law enforcement officer, to the 911 system, or to a medical provider; the person remains at the scene of the overdose event until a law enforcement officer or an emergency medical responder arrives, or the person remains at the facilities of the medical provider until a law enforcement officer arrives; the person identifies himself or herself to, and cooperates with, the law enforcement officer, emergency medical responder, or medical provider; and the offense arises from the same course of events from which the overdose event arose:

  • Class 6 felony and misdemeanor unlawful possession of a controlled substance;
  • Unlawful use of a controlled substance;
  • Unlawful possession of twelve ounces or less of marijuana or three ounces or less of marijuana concentrate;
  • Open and public display, consumption, or use of less than two ounces of marijuana;
  • Transferring or dispensing two ounces or less of marijuana from one person to another for no consideration;
  • Unlawful use or possession of synthetic cannabinoids or salvia divinorum;
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia; and
  • Illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person.

Effective May 29, 2012.

S.B. 12-37. Concerning the ability to dispense a controlled substance based on an electronically transmitted prescription drug order. By Sen. S. King and Rep. Young. Under current law, a pharmacy is prohibited from dispensing a prescribed schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substance absent a written prescription from the practitioner prescribing the substance. The act allows a pharmacy to dispense those controlled substances if the practitioner electronically creates and transmits the prescription drug order in conformance with federal law. Effective March 22, 2012.

S.B. 12-44. Concerning failure to present valid evidence of mass transit fare payment, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Pabon. The act repeals the crime of theft of public transportation services and creates a class B traffic infraction, failure to present a valid transit pass or coupon, that covers the same prohibited conduct as the former crime. If the violation occurs in Denver, the Denver County court keeps the fine revenue; in all other jurisdictions, the fine revenue is sent to the judicial department.

If a person was convicted of theft of public transportation services by fare evasion prior to its repeal, and the person has completed the sentence at the time the act becomes law, the court that entered the conviction shall seal the conviction by January 1, 2013, or the person may petition the court for sealing if the person wants the conviction sealed before January 1, 2013. If a person was convicted of theft of public transportation services by fare evasion prior to its repeal, but has not completed the sentence at the time the act becomes law, that person can petition for sealing after completing the sentence. Effective June 8, 2012

S.B. 12-79. Concerning revisions to the Safe2Tell program relating to advances in communications technology. By Sen. S. King and Rep. Stephens. The act clarifies the existing structure of the Safe2tell program (program) as a single entity under that name and removes all references in the Safe2Tell statutes to a "hotline" to reflect that the program receives information through various methods of transmission in addition to telephone calls. In addition, the act clarifies that information received by the program through methods established by the program is confidential and is not subject to subpoena except under certain conditions. Materials that are confidential pursuant to the statute are not public records and the attorney general has standing on behalf the of the program to oppose the disclosure of confidential materials. The act adds the program and interoperable communications providers to the school response framework as community partners. Effective March 24, 2012.

S.B. 12-102. Concerning the repeal of the crime of criminal libel. By Sen. Brophy and Rep. Nikkel. The act repeals the crime of criminal libel, effective September 1, 2012. Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1026. Concerning peace officer status for certain municipality prosecuting attorneys. By Rep. Coram and Sen. Roberts. The act confers peace officer status on a city attorney, town attorney, senior assistant city attorney, assistant city attorney, chief deputy city attorney, deputy city attorney, special deputy city attorney, prosecuting attorney, senior prosecuting attorney, senior prosecutor, or special prosecutor employed or contracted by a municipality, city, town, statutory city or town, or city and county. The attorney may be certified by the peace officers standards and training board. However, the peace officer status will not be conferred if the attorney also practices criminal defense or contracts with the local government on less than a full-time basis. Effective April 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1114. Concerning the crime of stalking. By Rep. Hamner and Sen. Schwartz. When a defendant is arrested for stalking, the court must enter a protection order and state the terms of the protection order and the defendant must acknowledge the order. In a stalking case, the prosecutor can request a hearing to modify the protection order. Effective May 11, 2012.

H.B. 12-1125. Concerning procedures related to the costs of impounded animals. By Rep. Ramirez and Sen. Steadman. The act modifies procedural requirements related to the payment of impoundment, care, and provision costs for an animal that has been impounded because of alleged neglect or abuse or other criminal acts involving the animal. Currently, the owner or custodian (owner) of the impounded animal may request a hearing to contest the reasonableness of those costs. The act specifies that the owner must make that request within ten days after the date of impoundment. Because costs associated with caring for the animal continue to accrue during the pendency of an animal’s impoundment, the act requires the hearing to be conducted in a criminal court of competent jurisdiction no later than ten days after the request.

The act also:

  • Upon request by the owner of an impounded animal, requires an impound agency to allow a licensed veterinarian of the owner’s choosing and at his or her expense to examine the animal;
  • For an owner requesting a hearing, delays the payment of costs until the date of the hearing;
  • Expands the scope of the hearing to include a judicial determination as to whether probable cause existed to justify the impoundment;
  • Describes circumstances under which a payment for impoundment, care, and provision costs must be refunded to an owner; and
  • Clarifies that the criminal law procedures governing impoundments do not apply to matters solely brought in an administrative context.

In order to increase clarity, the act also reorganizes the existing statute governing impounded animals and makes corresponding nonsubstantive amendments to conform current law to that reorganization. Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1151. Concerning the trafficking of human beings. By Rep. McCann and Sen. S. King. The act repeals the interagency task force on trafficking in persons. A person is entitled to recover damages and to obtain injunctive relief from any person who commits trafficking in adults, trafficking in children, or coercion of involuntary servitude (a human trafficking crime). A conviction for a human trafficking crime is not a condition precedent to maintaining a civil action.

A building or part of a building, including the ground upon which it is situated and all fixtures and contents thereof, every vehicle, and any real property that is used for a human trafficking crime shall be deemed a class 1 public nuisance and thereby subject to seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture. Each escort bureau shall provide to each employee of the escort bureau a written notice that includes a statement that human trafficking and coercion of involuntary servitude are prohibited and the name, telephone number, and Internet website address of a local, statewide, or national organization that provides assistance to victims of human trafficking and slavery.

Current law requires each massage parlor to display at all times in a prominent place on the licensed premises a printed card stating that it is illegal for any person under 18 years of age to be on the premises, or for any person to allow any person under 18 years of age to be on the premises, unless he or she is accompanied by his or her parent or has a physician’s prescription for massage services. The act requires the card to also state that human trafficking crimes are prohibited and that courts may impose fines or imprisonment for violations of human trafficking crimes. The act also requires each massage parlor to display a card that provides the name and contact information of a state or local organization that provides services or other assistance to victims of human trafficking.

The act provides procedures for expungement of convictions associated with human trafficking; including sealing of the records.

The bar committee of the Colorado state board of law examiners (bar committee) is not precluded from making further inquiries into the fact of a sealed conviction that comes to the attention of the bar committee through other means. The bar committee has a right to inquire into the moral and ethical qualifications of an applicant, and the applicant does not have a right to privacy or privilege that justifies his or her refusal to answer a question concerning sealed conviction records that have come to the attention of the bar committee through other means.

The department of education (department) may require a licensed educator or an applicant for an educator’s license who files a petition to seal a criminal record to notify the department of the pending petition to seal. The department has the right to inquire into the facts of the criminal offense for which the petition to seal is pending. The educator or applicant has no right to privacy or privilege that justifies his or her refusal to answer any questions concerning the arrest and criminal records information contained in the pending petition to seal. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1213. Concerning the penalty for a person who escapes from a place of confinement other than a county jail or correctional facility. By Rep. Fields and Sen. S. King. Under current law, a person convicted of any class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 felony who has been convicted of two felonies within the previous ten years, or who has been convicted of three or more felonies within any time frame, may be adjudged a habitual criminal. The act renders such an adjudication inapplicable to a person who is convicted of escape or attempt to escape from a place other than a county jail or a correctional facility. Effective May 17, 2012.

H.B. 12-1226. Concerning a surcharge on persons convicted of crimes against at-risk persons, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Barker and Sen. Aguilar. The act imposes a surcharge on persons convicted of crimes against at-risk adults and at-risk juveniles. Once collected, the surcharge is transferred to the crimes against at-risk persons surcharge fund (fund) created by the act. The state office on aging (state office) shall distribute moneys from the fund to a fiscal agent who will oversee the award of moneys to programs that provide respite services for caregivers of at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles. The state office shall not expend any moneys until the fund has sufficient moneys to pay the expenses necessary to administer the fund. Programs receiving moneys from the fund must comply with provisions concerning the use of funds and reporting requirements.

The court is permitted to waive some or all of the surcharge if the person convicted of the crime is indigent or unable to pay the surcharge. Effective August 15, 2012.

H.B. 12-1304. Concerning measures to prevent organized retail theft. By Rep. Barker and Sen. Newell. If a person causes a fire or exit alarm to go off or deactivates an alarm, that conduct is an act of false reporting to authorities and is penalized as a class 2 misdemeanor. The definition of a "theft detection deactivating device" and "theft detection shielding device" are expanded. Effective May 29, 2012.

H.B. 12-1310. Concerning changes to statutory provisions related to criminal proceedings, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Carroll. The act creates standards and a procedure for the admissibility of commercial packages for evidence. The act defines "earnings" for garnishment purposes to collect court fines, fees, costs, restitution, and surcharges. When a garnishment is ordered to collect court fines, fees, costs, restitution, and surcharges, it has priority over all other orders except those for child support, maintenance, or a previous garnishment related to court assessments.

The act expands the information that would be included in the judicial department’s annual report regarding the state’s pretrial services programs. The reports must now include the total number of pretrial assessments performed and total number of closed cases by program sorted by outcome.

The act allows a surety to indicate on initial bond documents whether the surety consents to continuation of the bond after a defendant pleads guilty. If the surety does not indicate consent in the initial documents, it still may consent at the time of the plea or within a reasonable time thereafter.

The act clarifies that a witness to a grand jury proceeding has a right to have a court appoint an attorney for him or her, but that the witness may not consult with the public defender.

The act gives a party the right to have the court impanel an alternate juror if the case involves a class 1, 2, or 3 felony or a felony listed under the victim’s rights provisions.

A presentence report for each offense committed by a sex offender must contain a sex-offender evaluation if one has not been completed in the last two years rather than the last six months. A sex-offender evaluation is not required if the new offense is a traffic misdemeanor or if the history of sex offending was a juvenile misdemeanor offense, unless the court requires the sex-offender evaluation.

The act allows a collection investigator to issue an attachment of earnings for a defendant who defaults on a restitution order.

The act changes the calculation for how long a deferred judgment may last from the date of the plea if no presentence report is ordered or to the date when the court considers the presentence report. The deferred period maybe extended for an additional two years if the deferred judgment is for a sex offense and good cause is shown. The act extends the time period for a juvenile deferral of adjudication for a sex offense from one year to two years with the opportunity to extend it up to five years with good cause shown.

For purposes of eligibility for probation, the act clarifies that a plea to a deferred judgment and sentence does not become a conviction until the deferred judgment and sentence is revoked.

The act clarifies that the court cannot charge a probationer for the costs of returning the probationer to Colorado. If a probationer applies to transfer his or her probation to another state, the probationer must pay a $100 filing fee that is deposited into a fund to cover the costs associated with returning probationers to Colorado.

The act repeals the authority of a court to convert a determinate sentence to an indeterminate sentence for certain crimes related to child prostitution and child pornography.

The act clarifies what "under color of his or her official authority" means as it relates to a peace officer.

The act clarifies the record-sealing rights of a person convicted of minor in possession of alcohol.

The act allows the interest earned by the money in the sex offender surcharge fund to remain in the fund rather than being deposited in the general fund.

The act eliminates the requirement that a sentencing juvenile court make specific findings and record if the court’s sentencing decision deviates from the recommendation of the placement report.

The act clarifies that adjustments to trust funds based on simple accounting errors is not a crime. The act changes the penalties and amounts to correspond to the penalties and amounts for theft.

Under the act, if a defendant is convicted of a second, third, or subsequent DUI and is sentenced to the department of corrections, the court shall not sentence the defendant to probation in order to complete certain court-ordered programs and treatment. The defendant must complete the court-ordered programs and treatment while on parole.

The act expands the types of parole hearings that a release hearing officer may conduct to include those involving inmates convicted of class 4, 5, or 6 felonies who are assessed less than high risk.

The act directs the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice (commission), using empirical analysis and evidence-based data and research, to consider the development of a comprehensive drug sentencing scheme for all drug crimes. The sentencing scheme shall consider:

  • Development of a sentencing structure that better differentiates drug offenders who are primarily users and addicts from those more serious offenders who are involved in drug distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking;
  • Development of resources through changes in the criminal code that will enhance intervention, supervision, and treatment in the community and enhance public safety by addressing drug abuse and addiction and by decreasing crime through drug abuse recovery;
  • Methods by which offenders can gain access to assessment-based treatment services that are based on treatment need regardless of the level or classification of the crime;
  • Creation of equivalent penalties for crimes that pose similar risks to public safety;
  • Enhancement of penalties when behaviors clearly present a public safety risk;
  • Development of resources for additional pre-filling diversion programs around the state for drug offenders;
  • Use of drug courts and how legislative changes could support more effective use of those resources;
  • Relevant negative impacts related to criminal convictions; and
  • Any other issues.

By December 15, 2012, the commission shall provide to the judiciary committees of the house of representatives and the senate, or their successor committees, a written report of the commission’s recommendations for a comprehensive drug sentencing scheme. If the commission is unable to make any recommendations for consideration, the commission shall state the reasons the commission could not make any recommendations and, if possible, describe the specific areas of disagreement that prevented the commission from making any recommendations.

The act defines cathinones and establishes criminal penalties for possession of cathinones and for distributing, manufacturing, dispensing, or selling cathinones. Any person or entity that sells a product that is labeled as a "bath salt" or any other trademark and contains any amount of a cathinone commits a deceptive trade practice and is subject to a civil penalty.

The act consolidates the three major state funding sources for substance abuse treatment into the correctional treatment cash fund (fund). The act creates the correctional treatment board (board) that will prepare an annual treatment plan that the judicial department shall include in its annual presentation to the joint budget committee. The board shall review information regarding drug treatment programs in the state provided by the department of human services and suggestions from judicial district drug treatment boards before preparing the annual treatment plan.

The drug treatment board for each judicial district recommends allocations of moneys for local drug treatment needs from one of the existing treatment funds. Each judicial district drug treatment board will be expanded to include a community corrections board chair, a local parole officer, a person with expertise in juvenile matters, and a county sheriff, and a member of a drug or similar problem-solving court, if the district has one. The judicial district drug treatment boards will make suggestions to the board regarding assessed local drug treatment needs.

When a juvenile is adjudicated a delinquent for either murder in the first or second degree and adjudicated an aggravated juvenile offender or convicted of a crime of violence, the court may sentence the juvenile consecutively or concurrently for all adjudicated offenses arising from the petition. The act sets the period of parole for an aggravated juvenile offender who was adjudicated a delinquent for first-degree murder at ten years after the completion of his or her sentence.

The act requires the court to order a psychological evaluation and risk assessment before the hearing on the offender’s further placement at age 21 to determine if the juvenile is a danger to himself or herself or others. As part of the hearing, the court will reconsider the length of the remaining sentence. The act adds placement in a correctional facility, the youthful offender system, or a community corrections program or placing the juvenile on adult parole for five years as additional options. Effective June 7, 2012.

H.B. 12-1346. Concerning sex offender registration. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. S. King. Under current law, sex offenders must register based on their residence. The act creates a registration system for offenders who lack a fixed residence. An offender who registers under "lacks a fixed residence," which the act defines, must verify his or her registration with the registering agency every three months or every month, depending on the offender’s registration requirements. Failure to do so is an unclassified misdemeanor. Law enforcement agencies that receive registrations that include a lack of a fixed residence must report semi-annually the number of such registrations to the department of public safety for two years. The department of public safety must assess the effectiveness of the program after two years. The act clarifies the calculation for the timing of sex offender quarterly registration. Effective July 1, 2012.

ELECTIONS

S.B. 12-62. Concerning procedures that facilitate voting by military personnel. By Sen. Williams and Rep. Looper. The act allows the Internet-based voting pilot program for absent uniformed electors to be implemented with any moneys appropriated for that purpose, rather than requiring the pilot program to be funded solely with gifts, grants, and donations.

Additionally, the act allows a uniformed services elector who is a member of the U.S. armed forces and who is on active duty in a hostile fire zone to verbally provide a commissioned officer with the information necessary for the officer to request a mail-in ballot on behalf of the uniformed services elector.

Finally, a veteran identification card issued by the veterans health administration within the U.S.department of veterans affairs with a photograph of the eligible elector is added to the list of acceptable forms of identification for voter registration purposes. Effective April 12, 2012.

H.B. 12-1089. Concerning the specific wording related to a statewide ballot title. By Rep. Court and Sen. Steadman. For a statewide ballot title for an initiated or referred measure, the act requires a proposition to be described in a ballot title as a "change to the Colorado Revised Statutes" and an amendment to be described as an "amendment to the Colorado constitution." The act expands the "yes" and "no" responses to a ballot title that are currently used on the ballot to "YES/FOR" and "NO/AGAINST." Portions effective March 24, 2012 and the remainder is effective January 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1293. Concerning modifications to procedures that govern recall elections. By Rep. Todd and Sen. K. King. The act amends, updates, and clarifies various laws governing recall elections. Effective May 29, 2012.

H.B. 12-1313. Concerning procedures related to the statewide initiative title board. By Rep. Szabo and Sen. Bacon. The act makes the following changes related to the statewide initiative title board:

  • Clarifies the authority of the secretary of state and attorney general to designate a representative to serve on the title board;
  • Requires a person who submits a motion for rehearing to the title board to specify the grounds for the rehearing and requires the motion to be typewritten;
  • Specifies that after the title board takes action on a motion for rehearing, no further motions for rehearing may be heard; and
  • Codifies case law that appeals of title board decisions must be filed with the Colorado supreme court within five business days.

Effective April 26, 2012.

FAMILY LAW

S.B. 12-56. Concerning judicial appointments in domestic relations cases involving children. By Sen. Carroll and Rep. Holbert. The act requires a child’s legal representative, a child and family investigator, a parental responsibilities evaluator, a parenting coordinator, and a decision maker to disclose, at the time of appointment, any familial, financial, or social relationship that the appointed person has or has had with the child, either party, the attorneys, or the judicial officers, and, if a relationship exists, the nature of the relationship. The act contains the time frame for making the disclosure and for objecting to the appointment based upon the contents of the disclosure. The court may confirm the appointment or terminate an appointment and appoint a different person. If the court takes no further action, the appointment is deemed confirmed.

Further, the act permits a court to apportion the initial costs relating to a parental responsibilities evaluation between one or more of the parties and to assess the costs between the parties at the time the evaluation is completed.

Additionally, in appointing a parenting coordinator, the court may consider the effect of any claim of domestic violence by the other party, in addition to documented evidence of domestic violence on the parties’ ability to engage in parent coordination.

The act takes effect July 1, 2012, and applies to court appointments made on or after that date. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1233. Concerning the ability of a court to enter a decree of legal separation in certain circumstances without the appearance of the parties. By Rep. Labuda and Sen. Carroll. CBA-sponsored Legislation. The act allows a court to enter a decree of legal separation, by affidavit, without the appearance of the parties, in circumstances where there are no children of the marriage and the parties have entered into a written agreement concerning the division of marital property. The act takes effect July 1, 2012, and applies to petitions for legal separation filed on or after that date. Effective July 1, 2012.

GOVERNMENT—COUNTY

S.B. 12-31. Concerning federal mineral lease districts. By Sen. White and Rep. Bradford. The laws regarding the formation of a federal mineral lease district, including changes to the district’s and district board of director’s powers, are changed to allow the district to be more autonomous from the county creating the district. A federal mineral lease district is an independent body politic, separate and distinct from the county that creates it. Powers of the district and the board of directors are further enumerated. Methods for dissolving a district are established and the membership and terms of the board of directors are clarified. The district may reserve all or a portion of the federal mineral lease funding for use in subsequent years to maximize the usefulness of the direct or indirect distribution of funding for the areas socially or economically impacted by the development, processing, or energy conversion of fuels and minerals leased under a federal act. Effective April 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1282. Concerning the ability of the Colorado geological survey to exempt review of the geologic factors of a preliminary subdivision plan upon request from the board of county commissioners of a county. By Rep. Ramirez and Sen. Nicholson. The Colorado geological survey, on written request from a board of county commissioners or its authorized representative, is exempt from having to perform an evaluation of the geological factors that would have a significant impact on the land of a proposed subdivision that is under review by the board. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1285. Concerning modifications to statutory provisions governing intergovernmental cooperation to address wildland fire mitigation where a municipality owns land inside a county for utility purposes. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Jahn. If a municipality owns land for utility purposes either entirely or partially outside its own territorial boundaries and inside the territorial boundaries of a county and that contains at least 50% forest land or land that constitutes a wildland area, then, on or before July 1, 2012, the municipality shall either:

  • Enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the county for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires affecting the contiguous land areas of the municipality and county; or
  • Enter into an agreement with the Colorado state forest service for the purpose of mitigating forest land or wildland fires affecting the contiguous land areas of the municipality and county, and provide notification of the agreement to any county in which the municipality owns any land area.

In association with the governmental parties entering into any intergovernmental agreement or agreement with the Colorado state forest service, the parties to the agreement are required to consult with any utility providers that have facilities in the areas subject to the agreement to the extent the provisions of the agreement will affect the providers. Effective April 6, 2012.

GOVERNMENT—LOCAL

H.B. 12-1117. Concerning the ability of a local government to permit, in its discretion, the collection of charitable solicitations from motorists on a certain number of days per calendar year. By Rep. Balmer and Sen. Nicholson. The act gives state approval for a local government, in its discretion, to allow charitable organizations to solicit contributions from motorists for charitable purposes on a maximum of five days per charitable organization per calendar year. Effective March 22, 2012.

GOVERNMENT—SPECIAL DISTRICTS

H.B. 12-1239. Concerning required county approval for the expansion of special district domestic water or sanitary service into a county that has not previously approved the special district’s service plan. By Rep. Vaad and Sen. Carroll. The act prohibits a special district from furnishing domestic water or sanitary sewer service directly to residents and property owners in unincorporated territory of a county that has not approved the district’s service plan unless the district notifies the board of county commissioners of the county of its plan to furnish the service and the board approves the plan. The board may hold a public hearing and reasonably require the district to provide information and data before approving such a plan.

The board must also provide public notice of such a plan in the district’s proposed expanded service area and allow any owner of property in the proposed expanded service area to request to be excluded from the area. The requirements of the act do not apply if:

  • A district provides domestic water or sanitary sewer service only to private property owners who have agreed in writing to receive such service;
  • A district provides domestic water or sanitary sewer service within the boundaries of another governmental entity pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement;
  • A district provides storm drainage or storm sewer services within the county into which expansion is proposed; or
  • As of May 11, 2012, the district is providing or has been approved to provide domestic water service or sanitary sewer service within the unincorporated area of the county into which expansion is proposed.

Effective May 11, 2012.

GOVERNMENT—STATE

H.B. 12-1002. Concerning the rules of state agencies applicable to applications for permits. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Jahn. The act creates the "CLEAR Act," which stands for "Creating Level Expectations For Application Review." The act amends the "State Administrative Procedure Act" (APA) to state that the rules and any written statements of agency interpretation of the statutes of a state agency in effect on the date that a person applies for a new or renewed permit govern the application for a new permit or for renewal of the permit. If the rules or any written statements of agency interpretation governing the agency’s permit process or the requirements to qualify for a permit have been amended, the agency must grandfather in the application under the rules and any written statements of agency interpretation in effect on the date of the application, unless the agency determines in writing that:

  • The new rules materially affect the health and safety of the public and that use of the rules in effect on the date of application is likely to result in an unsafe situation if the applicant does not comply with new rules; or
  • New rules or new requirements are necessary to ensure that the agency and the permit will be in compliance with the requirements of federal law and federal regulations; or
  • New rules or new requirements are necessary to ensure that the agency and the permit will not be in conflict with state statutes; or
  • New rules or new requirements are necessary to ensure that the agency and the permit will be in compliance with the requirements of a court order.

If the agency determines that one of these four exceptions will occur, the agency must treat the application as pending, provide a written notice to the person that states the reasons the application is incomplete, and give the person a reasonable opportunity to comply with the new law or new requirements.

The act states that if an agency adopts or amends rules that govern or impact the application process or any permit eligibility requirements after a person has applied for a permit or renewal of a permit and while the application is pending with the agency, the person shall have the option to have the application processed under the rules in existence at the time of the filing of the application or under the new rules.

The act defines "permit" as a grant of authority by an agency that authorizes the holder of the permit to do some act not forbidden by law but not allowed to be performed without such authority. "Permit" does not include a professional license issued by a licensing board or agency to conduct a profession or occupation. "Permit" does not include a registration or certification issued by a board or state agency to an individual to pursue a profession, practice, or occupation. "Permit" does not include a water well permit issued by the state engineer. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1005. Concerning investment of public funds. By Rep. Pabon and Sen. Harvey. The act clarifies that it is legal to invest public funds in any nonsubordinated corporate or bank security that:

  • Is denominated in U.S. dollars;
  • Matures within three years from the date of settlement;
  • At the time of purchase carries at least two credit ratings from any of the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations; and
  • Is not rated below "A1, P1, or F1" or their equivalents by either rating if the security is a money market instrument such as commercial paper or bankers’ acceptance or is not rated below "AA- or Aa3" or their equivalents by either rating if the security is any other kind of security.

The act also prohibits the investment of public funds in a subordinated security issued by or guaranteed by one of several specified federally created and controlled entities and prohibits investment in a security issued by a corporation or bank that is not organized and operated within the United States unless the governing body of the public entity authorizes investment in such securities. Effective March 7, 2012.

H.B. 12-1008. Concerning additional methods for providing input to executive branch agencies about proposed rules, and, in connection therewith, directing agencies to establish representative groups to evaluate and comment on proposed rules, requiring agencies to notify the general assembly of any rule-making that results in increases in fees or fines, and requiring agencies to submit departmental regulatory agendas to the general assembly. By Rep. Acree and Sen. Jahn. An executive branch agency of state government considering adopting rules shall establish a representative group of participants with an interest in the subject of the rule-making to submit views or otherwise participate in conferences or to participate in the rule-making hearing on the proposals under consideration. If the agency convenes a representative group prior to issuing a notice of proposed rule-making, the agency shall include the group participants in the notice of the actual rule-making hearing.

If an agency proposes a rule to increase fees or fines, at the time of giving notice of proposed rule-making under the State Administrative Procedure Act or within ten days following the adoption of an emergency or temporary rule that increases fees or fines, the agency shall send a written or electronic notification to each member of the general assembly notifying the members about the proposed rule or about the adoption of an emergency rule and specifying the amount of the increase in the fees or fines.

Principal departments of state government shall submit a departmental regulatory agenda each November 1 to the legislative council staff for distribution to the applicable oversight committee of reference of the general assembly. The departmental regulatory agenda shall include:

  • A list of new rules or revisions to existing rules that the department expects to propose during the next calendar year;
  • The statutory or other basis for adoption of the proposed rules;
  • The purpose of the proposed rules;
  • The contemplated schedule for adoption of the rules;
  • An identification and listing of persons or parties that may be affected positively or negatively by the rules; and
  • An update and brief summary of all permanent and temporary rules actually adopted since the previous departmental regulatory agenda was filed.

Each principal department shall present its departmental regulatory agenda to the applicable oversight committee of reference of the general assembly during the departmental presentations on strategic plans and performance-based budgeting held during the first fifteen days of the legislative session. Effective May 17, 2012.

H.B. 12-1015. Concerning the procedure for the review of a proposal to regulate an unregulated profession or occupation. By Rep. Holbert and Sen. Neville. Under current law, persons proposing the regulation of a currently unregulated professional or occupational group must submit the proposal to the department of regulatory agencies (department), and the department normally must conduct a sunrise review and analysis of, and issue a sunrise report and recommendations on, the proposed regulation within 120 days after the proposal was submitted. However, the department need not conduct a sunrise review of a proposal if the department finds that:

  • The proposed regulatory scheme would regulate less than 250 people;
  • The department previously reviewed the same professional or occupational group and determines that it would not change its recommendations contained in the prior review;
  • A majority of states regulate the same profession or occupation; or
  • The unregulated profession or occupation poses an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare, in which case the department is to promptly notify the proponents and the general assembly and recommend regulation of the profession or occupation.

When the department declines to conduct a review, current law requires the department to notify the proponents and the general assembly of its decision, and the proponents may pursue legislation to regulate the profession or occupation during the next two regular legislative sessions of the general assembly or, if the notice is issued during a regular legislative session, legislation may be presented during that legislative session as well.

The act modifies the sunrise review process for analyzing proposals to regulate an unregulated professional or occupational group submitted on or after July 1, 2012, as follows:

  • Requires regulation proponents to submit a proposal by December 1 of any given year in order to obtain a review and report by October 15 of the following year;
  • Requires the department to issue sunrise reports no later than October 15 on proposals submitted by December 1 of the prior year;
  • Conditions the department’s duty to conduct a review on the receipt of signatures from at least ten persons requesting the review;
  • Eliminates the ability of the department to decline to review a proposal in all cases except when the department finds the profession or occupation poses an imminent threat, or has previously reviewed the same proposal, issued a report less than thirty-six months before the current proposal was submitted, and finds that its conclusions would be the same as in the initial report, in which case the department may reissue its original report by October 15 of the year following the year in which the proposal was submitted;
  • When the department declines a sunrise review because it finds the profession or occupation poses an imminent threat, requires the department to notify the legislative council of the general assembly of its finding and the basis for its finding, and requires the legislative council to conduct a hearing to examine the department’s findings and determine whether it concurs; and
  • If a report is issued or reissued or an imminent threat finding is made and concurred in by the legislative council during a legislative session, eliminates the ability of proponents to pursue legislation to regulate the profession or occupation during that same legislative session.

The changes to the sunrise process do not affect proposals to regulate a profession or occupation that are submitted prior to July 1, 2012. The act applies to proposals to regulate a professional or occupational group submitted to the department of regulatory agencies on or after July 1, 2012. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1019. Concerning the abolition of the motor carrier services division of the division of motor vehicles of the department of revenue, and, in connection therewith, transferring the powers, duties, and functions of the motor carrier services division relating to ports of entry to the Colorado state patrol of the department of public safety, transferring the powers, duties, and functions of the motor carrier services division relating to commercial driver’s licenses and the international registration plan to the department of revenue, and making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Vaad and Sen. S. King. The act abolishes the motor carrier services division (division) of the division of motor vehicles of the department of revenue (department) and transfers the powers, duties, and functions of the division by type 3 transfers as follows:

  • It transfers the ports of entry section of the division to the Colorado state patrol of the department of public safety.
  • It transfers the powers, duties, and functions of the division relating to commercial driver’s licenses to the department.
  • It transfers the powers, duties, and functions of the division relating to the international registration plan to the department.

The act also defines the term "port of entry officer" and makes multiple appropriations for the 2012-13 fiscal year in order to fund its implementation. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1036. Concerning clarification of the exemption from the "Colorado Open Records Act" for investigative files. By Rep. J. Kerr and Sen. Boyd. Investigative files of ongoing civil or administrative investigations conducted by a state agency for cases arising on or after August 19, 2011, are exempt from the "Colorado Open Records Act" (CORA). Records of closed investigations are not exempt; except that the custodian of the records is not required to disclose certain identifying information. Any agency may disclose information during an open investigation if disclosure is in the interest of public health, welfare, or safety.

The act prohibits a designated election official from fulfilling a request under CORA for the public inspection of ballots during the period commencing with the forty-fifth day preceding election day and concluding with the date either by which the official is required to certify an official abstract of votes cast for the applicable candidate contest or ballot issue or ballot question, as applicable, or by which any recount is completed under pertinent statutory provisions, whichever date is later. The denial of public ballot inspection (stay) applies to any internal batch reports generated by a designated election official for the specific purpose of auditing ballots received in the course of conducting an election.

The stay applies to a recount undertaken as provided by law; except that, during the stay period, an interested party may inspect and request copies of ballots in connection withthe recount without having to obtain a court order granting such inspection. An interested party may witness the handling of ballots involved in the recount to verify that the recount is being conducted in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner so as to determine that all ballots that have been cast are accurately interpreted and counted but the interested party cannot handle the original ballots. Nothing in the act prohibits an interested party from requesting copies of ballots in connection with a recount, affects the conduct of a recount, or affects the rights of an interested party in connection with a recount.

Public inspection of election records is not restricted; except that, for purposes of the act, election records do not include ballots. Prior to and later than the stay period, ballots are required to be made available for inspection by the public in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The records or ballots must remain in the custody of the official or his or her designee. The official or his or her designee must determine the manner in which the records or ballots may be viewed by the public.
  • The designated election official or his or her designee must cover or redact any markings or message on a ballot that may identify the elector who cast the ballot before the ballot is made available for public inspection.
  • To protect the privacy of particular electors, any ballots cast by electors within groups of discrete individuals who are more susceptible of being personally identified must be made available for public inspection only to the extent such ballots may be duplicated without identifying elector information. Ballots will not be made available for inspection where the ballot is identical to only nine or fewer ballots among all ballots used in the same election.
  • To protect the privacy of particular electors, the official may present ballots for inspection in random order.
  • For the purpose of minimizing the costs of making ballots available for public inspection, the person seeking the inspection may indicate the candidate contest, ballot issue, or ballot question for which the person seeks to inspect the ballots.
  • The official making the election records and ballots available for inspection may charge any actual costs to the person requesting the inspection of the records or ballots. If the official selects a person other than an employee of his or her office to conduct the duties required by the act, the actual costs to be charged the person seeking inspection are limited to the actual costs that would have been incurred if the work involved in complying with the requirements of the act was completed by an employee of the official.

The act does not affect the rights of a watcher or the operation of a canvass board. Effective June 7, 2012.

H.B. 12-1053. Concerning the victims’ rights act. By Rep Gardner and Sen. Giron. The act adds the following crimes to those that are included in the victims’ rights statute: Trafficking in adults, trafficking in children, first-degree burglary, retaliation against a judge, and retaliation against a juror. The definition of victim is expanded to include a grandchild.

The act requires those responsible for criminal justice records to use reasonable efforts to redact social security numbers of victims and witnesses from criminal justice records. In addition, the victim has the right to be notified of how to request protection of their address pursuant to the Colorado rules of criminal procedure, and the district attorney must inform a victim about the availability of the district attorney to seek a court order to protect the victim’s address.

Under current law, a victim must be notified by mail and telephone of all critical stages of a criminal proceeding. Electronic communication is added as a communication option. The act clarifies that a victim has the right to know when the defendant is released from county jail.

The act clarifies the public records about which a victim has a right to be informed, including a victim impact statement.

The act gives a victim the right to know if a subpoena is requested for records of the victim and to be heard before the ruling is made on the subpoena. A victim also has the right to be informed when the offender is transferred to a nonresidential setting or is terminated from a community corrections program.

If a victim is unable to attend a critical stage of the criminal justice process at which the victim has a right to be heard, the victim may request that the court make reasonable arrangements for the victim to provide input beyond a victim impact statement.

The act adds postconviction DNA testing for purposes of establishing innocence to the definition of "critical stages" of the criminal proceeding about which a victim must be notified.

The act clarifies when a victim must be notified of sentence modification matters, including probation modifications or a modification of a protection order. A victim who turns 18 years of age may request that he or she become a point of contact for victim notification, but the victim’s designee may continue to receive notification as well, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

A victim of a crime that was committed before 1993 whose offender is still serving a sentence for the crime may request notification of future critical stages. A victim will be permitted to provide a victim impact statement when the offender is referred to community corrections, and the victim has the right to provide a written statement. If the defendant is being considered for a direct sentence to community corrections, the victim has a right to make an oral statement to the community corrections board.

Under current law, a victim has one year from the date of injury to apply for victim compensation unless good cause is show. The act states "good cause" may be, but is not necessarily limited to, circumstances in which the crime was not solved or reported within a year. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1055. Concerning the division of registrations in the department of regulatory agencies, and, in connection therewith, renaming the division as the division of professions and occupations and requiring periodic review of the functions of the division. By Rep. Schafer and Sen. White. Under current law, the division of registrations (division) in the department of regulatory agencies (department) is tasked with providing supervision and control of boards that examine and license professions and occupations. The division also provides management support to other autonomous licensing boards. The division is headed by a director of registrations, who is appointed by the executive director of the department.

The act renames the division as the division of professions and occupations and directs the revisor of statutes to correct all references to the division within the three-year period following the effective date of the act. Additionally, the department is required to conduct periodic reviews of the division and its functions in the same manner it conducts reviews of other governmental entities under the sunset process, but the division is not subject to automatic termination under that process.

The act also renames the division of registrations cash fund as the division of professions and occupations cash fund and directs the revisor of statutes to correct all references to the cash fund within the next three years. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1147. Concerning the designation of the western tiger salamander as the state amphibian. By Rep. Williams and Sen. Foster. The western tiger salamander is designated as the state amphibian. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1169. Concerning a clarification of the circumstances under which voting to elect leadership of a public body may be held by secret ballot in accordance with the state open meetings law. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Brophy. The act prohibits a state or local public body from adopting any proposed policy, position, resolution, rule, or regulation or from taking formal action by secret ballot unless otherwise authorized in accordance with the provisions of the state open meetings law. The act permits a state or local public body to elect the leadership of that same public body by secret ballot, and authorizes a secret ballot in connection with the election by a state or local public body of members of a search committee, which committee is otherwise subject to the requirements of the open meetings law, but requires the outcome of the vote to be recorded contemporaneously in the minutes of the body. The act is not to be construed to affect the existing powers of a school board to use a secret ballot. Effective March 24, 2012.

H.B. 12-1209. Concerning the "Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act," and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Carroll. The "Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act" (act) drafted by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws (commissioners), is enacted. "Legal material" means the constitution of this state, the session laws of Colorado, the Colorado Revised Statutes, and a state agency rule.

If legal material is only published electronically, the official publisher is required to designate the record as official, but if it is published in another format, the publisher may make such designation. In either case, if electronic legal material is designated as official, the publisher is required to meet requirements related to the authentication and preservation of the electronic record and the availability of the preserved electronic record.

Electronic legal material in an electronic record that is authenticated by the official publisher is presumed to be an accurate copy of the legal material. This presumption applies to electronic legal material from states that have adopted a law that is substantially similar to the act. The official comments issued by the commissioners are published with the act. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1231. Concerning the authority of the department of revenue to allow licensed private investigators access to certain motor vehicle records for specified purposes. By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Spence. The act allows for access to information on driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations to licensed private investigators, licensed private investigative agencies, and licensed security services. This change conforms state law to the federal "Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994." Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1244. Concerning an inventory of local governmental entities maintained by the department of local affairs, and, in connection therewith, requiring the inclusion of certain information in the inventory. By Rep. Scott and Sen. Foster. The act requires the department of local affairs to update its on-line inventory of local governmental entities with certain information, including information about local governmental entity agents authorized to receive notices of claims under the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act" (CGIA). Filing a notice of a claim arising under the CGIA with a person listed as an agent in the inventory is deemed to satisfy requirements for filing such notice. Service to the most recently listed registered agent is deemed valid if the local governmental entity failed to timely update its registered agent information. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1263. Concerning reducing barriers to employment by state of Colorado agencies for people with criminal records. By Rep. Levy and Sen. Steadman. If a public agency requires an applicant’s criminal history in the hiring process, the agency may not:

  • Unless a statute prohibits a person convicted of a specific crime from serving in that position, indicate that a person with a criminal record may not apply; and
  • Inquire or determine the applicant’s criminal history until the agency determines that individual is a finalist or makes a conditional offer of employment.
  • If the applicant has an inactive criminal case or the applicant had a criminal conviction expunged or sealed, received a pardon, had the charges dismissed by successfully completing a deferred judgment or sentence, then the agency shall not use that information as a basis to not make an offer of employment or rescind an offer of employment.

If the finalist or applicant has a criminal conviction, the agency must consider the following factors when deciding whether the conviction disqualifies the applicant from the position:

  • The nature of the conviction;
  • The relationship between the conviction and the specific position for hire and the bearing, if any, the conviction will have on his or her fitness or ability to perform the duties and responsibilities including, but not limited to, whether the conviction was for unlawful sexual behavior and whether the employment would place the applicant in contact with vulnerable persons;
  • Any information produced by the applicant or produced on his or her behalf regarding his or her rehabilitation and good conduct; and
  • The time that has elapsed since the applicant’s conviction.

The act specifies that a regulatory authority cannot consider an individual’s criminal history when granting a state license unless there is a specific statutory disqualification. In all other cases, the agency is governed by the provisions related to public employment. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1283. Concerning the department of public safety, and, in connection therewith, renaming and reorganizing certain existing entities, and making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Barker and Sen. Giron. The act reorganizes and renames the entities under the department of public safety (department) that are concerned with homeland security, emergency management, and fire and transfers to those entities various powers and duties from other state agencies.

The act renames the office of preparedness, security, and fire safety the division of homeland security and emergency management, which division is responsible for coordinating responses across the state to various disasters. This division is comprised of:

  • The office of anti-terrorism planning and training, which is renamed the office of prevention and security;
  • The new office of preparedness, which is charged with improving homeland security-related communication, identifying opportunities for training efficiencies, coordinating planning efforts, and administering federal grants for homeland security activities; and
  • The office of emergency management, which office is relocated from the department of local affairs. This office’s duties include developing and administering the statewide all-hazards resource database and statewide resource mobilization system, the scopes of which are expanded to include all types of hazards, rather than fires alone, and add participation from tribal entities and private sector organizations.

For the purpose of advising the governor’s homeland security advisor, the act creates the homeland security and all-hazards senior advisory committee and schedules the advisory committee for sunset review.

The division of fire safety, which is currently organized under the office of preparedness, security, and fire safety, is reestablished directly under the department and renamed the division of fire prevention and control. Qualifications for appointees as director of this division are specified, and three funds are created for this division to administer for various purposes. Additionally, the act divests the state forest service in the Colorado state university system of responsibilities for wildfire response, suppression, and management, and transfers these duties to the division of fire prevention and control. Powers and duties retained by the state forest service are clarified.

As a result of the above reorganizations, the act also makes conforming amendments to current law, which amendments include removing obsolete provisions such as references to the Colorado law enforcement training academy, which no longer exists, and updating statutory language. Statutory provisions relating to disaster relief, civil defense workers’ compensation and liability, and emergency planning, including creation of the Colorado emergency planning commission, are relocated under the department. Further, the act adds two members to the fire service training and certification advisory board to restore the board to its original composition. The act makes several appropriations for the implementation of the act. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1286. Concerning film production activities in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Massey and Sen. Newell. Provisions governing the Colorado office of film, television, and media (office) are modified as follows:

  • The office is moved to the office of economic development;
  • "Television show" is added to the definition of "film";
  • The definition of "film" is modified to exclude an obscene film;
  • Sound recording is included in allowable payments for qualified local expenditures;
  • The payments allowed for each employee or contractor are reduced from $3 million to $1 million;
  • A loan guarantee program is created for production activities;
  • The state auditor is required to complete a performance audit of the office, the performance-based incentive program for film production in Colorado, and the loan guarantee program no later than July 1, 2017;
  • In-state production activities are required to be made up of at least 50% Colorado residents in order to claim a performance-based incentive for film production in Colorado (incentive), instead of the previous 25% requirement;
  • The amount of the incentive is increased to 20% of the total amount of the production company’s qualified local expenditures;
  • Except for television commercials and video games, the amount of qualified local expenditures for a production company that does not originate the film production activities in Colorado is increased to $1 million;
  • The Colorado economic development commission is required to approve all conditional approvals of the incentives granted by the office;
  • A production company that has received conditional approval for an incentive is required to retain a certified public accountant or a certified public accounting firm licensed to practice in this state to review and report in writing, and in accordance with professional standards, regarding the accuracy of the financial documents that detail the expenses incurred in the course of the film production activities in Colorado, to provide a copy of the certified public accountant’s written report to the office, and to certify in writing to the office that the requirements were met; and
  • The Colorado office of film, television, and media operational account cash fund is created. The cash fund includes a $3 million transfer from the general fund on July 1, 2012.

The act appropriates $3 million out of any moneys in the Colorado office of film, television, and media operational account cash fund to the Colorado office of film, television, and media for the implementation of the act. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1315. Concerning the reorganization of the governor’s energy office, and in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Steadman. The act changes the name of the governor’s energy office to the Colorado energy office (office). As part of the reorganization of the office, the mission of the office is changed to:

  • Sustaining the Colorado energy economy and promoting all Colorado energy;
  • Promoting economic development in Colorado through energy-market advances that create jobs;
  • Encouraging Colorado-based clean and innovative energy solutions that include traditional and renewable energy sources;
  • Promoting energy efficiency;
  • Increasing energy security;
  • Lowering long-term consumer costs; and
  • Protecting the environment.

The duties of the office are aligned with the new mission of the office and include the advancement of innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy, and efficiency throughout the state. The office is required to work with communities, utilities, private and public organizations, and individuals to promote:

  • The renewable energy standard;
  • Clean and renewable energy, such as wind, hydroelectricity, solar, and geothermal;
  • Cleaner energy sources such as biogas and biomass;
  • Traditional energy sources such as oil and other petroleum products, coal, and natural gas;
  • Energy efficiency technologies and practices;
  • Cleaner technologies by utilizing traditional, Colorado-sourced energy; and
  • New energy technologies.

The state auditor is required to complete a performance audit of the office no later than January 15, 2017. The office is required to notify the house of representatives and senate committees of reference to which the office is assigned as part of the "SMART Government Act" when changes are made to:

  • Any principles, policies, or performance-based goals that the office has outlined in its strategic plan;
  • Office policies related to energy transmission;
  • Office policies that positively or negatively impact the energy sector.
  • The clean energy fund is renamed the clean and renewable energy fund.

The act creates the innovative energy fund and specifies that the fund consists of moneys from several sources. the moneys in the fund are to be used by the office to advance innovative energy efficiency throughout the state; except that the moneys are limited to efficiency projects and any other projects related to the severance of minerals subject to taxation under state law. The moneys in the innovative energy fund are not to be transferred to the clean and renewable energy fund.

References to the "new energy economy" are changed to the "Colorado energy economy."

The act repeals the Colorado clean energy development authority and the green truck grant program. Improvements to the efficiency of traditional energy fixtures are included as part of the definition of "renewable energy improvement" for purposes of local improvement districts funded by the clean energy improvement debt reserve fund. The act makes several appropriations for the implementation of the act. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1321. Concerning the state personnel system, and, in connection therewith, enacting the "Modernization of the State Personnel System Act." By Rep. Ferrandino and Sen. Johnston. The state personnel system (system) is established in the state constitution. The following changes are contingent upon the voters approving an amendment to the constitutional provisions related to the system in 2012:

Merit principles. The act makes changes to reflect that appointments and promotions will be based on a comparative analysis of candidates based on objective criteria instead of competitive tests of competence. The act requires the state personnel director (director) to develop evaluation and examination procedures, describes a comparative analysis and its acceptable forms, and establishes a right to appeal certain decisions of the director relating to the selection and comparative analysis process to the state personnel board.

Exemptions. The act requires the director to establish procedures to approve the exemption of an employee from the system pursuant to the newly created constitutional exemptions.

Appointments from eligible list. The act makes changes to reflect that the number of persons eligible for appointment within the system is increased from the three highest persons on the eligible list to the six highest.

State personnel board. The act makes changes to reflect the constitutional changes related to the state personnel board and eliminates language that duplicates constitutional language.

Temporary employment. The act reflects the new constitutional limit on the length of temporary employment and establishes a four-month-waiting period between temporary appointments for the same position. For persons within the system, the act replaces the performance awards with merit pay. Section 6 establishes the following features of the merit pay system:

  • The purpose of the merit pay system is to provide salary increases for employees in the state personnel system based on performance evaluations and salary positions within the appropriate salary range;
  • The initial system must include quartiles for the salary range distribution and three performance categories, but the director may change the number of distribution zones or performance categories based on a biennial review;
  • The director shall establish one or more priority groups of employees that have priority to receive merit pay based on available moneys;
  • An institution of higher education is permitted to enact its own merit pay system;
  • Merit pay is subject to available appropriations;
  • The general assembly is required to appropriate any moneys for merit pay in suitable personal services line items or other line items that include salary appropriations;
  • The director must include information about merit pay in the annual compensation report and recommendations; and
  • The state employee reserve fund is created with separate accounts for each principal department. If a department does not expend all of the moneys in specified line item appropriations, the state controller and the state treasurer are required to transfer an amount equal to the unused appropriation to the department’s account. Moneys in a department’s account are continuously appropriated to the department to be used for merit pay, but the director of the office of state planning and budgeting must preapprove such use.

In addition, the act requires each department to include the costs of merit pay as part of the costs of personal services in the annual departmental budget requests.

The act makes the following changes related to persons in the system who are separated from state service due to lack of work, lack of funds, or reorganization:

  • Bumping rights, which allow a separated employee to take the job from a person with less seniority, are limited to those persons who, as of January 1, 2013, are within five years of being eligible for full retirement;
  • The director is required to establish by rule procedures for the separation and demotion of certified employees who do not have bumping rights, which procedures give consideration to performance evaluations and seniority;
  • All departments are required to consider placing an employee who would otherwise be separated into a funded, vacant position for which the employee is qualified; and
  • The director is required to create a layoff plan that may be used by a department to provide postemployment compensation or other benefits to a separated employee, up to a capped amount based on the employee’s service time. The plan may include a hiring preference, payments for health benefits, tuition or educational training vouchers, severance pay, or placement on a departmental reemployment list.

The act establishes an exception for the postemployment compensation authorized by the layoff plan established by the director from the current prohibition on such compensation to any government-supported official or employee.

The changes related to merit pay, bumping rights, and layoff plans are not contingent on the voters approving an amendment to the state constitution.

Certain provisions of the act are contingent on House Concurrent Resolution 12-1001 being approved by the voters at the general election in November, 2012. Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1339. Concerning the Colorado benefits management system improvement and modernization project, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Lambert. The act authorizes the general assembly to appropriate moneys for the Colorado benefits management system improvement and modernization project (project).

In addition, the act requires the chief information officer of the governor’s office of information technology to submit a written report to the joint budget committee on a quarterly basis concerning the project. Each quarterly report shall include an overview of the project and the management structure of the project. Each quarterly report shall also include a general overview indicator of the status for each project component and a detailed update for each project component. The statute is repealed on July 1, 2014. Effective May 3, 2012.

H.B. 12-1352. Concerning the creation of a state commission to address matters arising out of the lower north fork wildfire. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Cadman. The act creates the lower north fork wildfire commission (commission), which is comprised of the following five members:

  • Two members of the house of representatives, one each appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the minority leader of the house of representatives;
  • Two members of the senate, one each appointed by the president of the senate and the minority leader of the senate; and
  • The executive director of the department of public safety or his or her designee.

The act requires the commission to select a chair from among its members. The commission is required to meet at such time and such place as designated by the chair; except that the first meeting of the commission is required to take place not later than July 1, 2012.

A majority of the members of the commission constitute a quorum. Members of the commission receive no compensation for serving on the commission; except that commission members are entitled to reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. In the case of the legislative members of the commission, in connection with their necessary attendance at meetings of the commission, such members are entitled to receive the amount provided by law for necessary attendance at a meeting of an interim committee.

In accordance with existing legal requirements, meetings of the commission are public meetings. Any staff assistance required by the commission is to be performed by existing employees of the legislative staff agencies of the general assembly or the department of public safety within existing appropriations.

During the 2012 legislative interim, the commission is required to investigate, report its findings, and make recommendations for legislative or other action on all matters relating to the lower north fork wildfire, including, without limitation, causes of the wildfire, the impact on the affected community caused by the wildfire, the loss of life and financial devastation incurred by the community, the loss of confidence by the community in the response to the emergency by governmental bodies at all levels, and measures to prevent the occurrence of a similar tragedy. In connection with this duty, the commission is required to solicit and accept reports and take testimony at one or more public hearings held for such purposes. The commission may solicit other sources, including, without limitation, representatives from state and local governments and organizations of citizens, to provide testimony, written comments, and other relevant information.

Not later than December 31, 2012, the commission is required to submit a written report of its findings and any recommendations made pursuant to this section for legislative or other action to the judiciary and local government committees of the senate and the house of representatives. Upon the request of any member of the commission, summaries of dissenting opinions shall be prepared and attached to the final report of the commission’s findings and recommendations. The act is repealed July 1, 2014. Effective June 4, 2012.

H.B. 12-1361. Concerning claims against the state arising under the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act." By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Cadman. In connection with the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act" (CGIA):

  • In addition to any other claims for which the state waives immunity under the CGIA, the act waives sovereign immunity in connection with claims against the state in an action for injuries resulting from a prescribed fire started or maintained by the state or any of its employees on or after January 1, 2012.
  • The act specifies that it shall not be construed to constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity if the injury arises from any act, or failure to act, of a state employee if the act is the type of act for which the state employee would be or heretofore has been personally immune from liability.
  • The act specifies that the state shall also have the same immunity as a state employee for any act or failure to act for which a state employee would be or heretofore has been personally immune from liability.
  • Finally, the act also precludes any rule of law imposing absolute or strict liability from being applied in any action against the state for an injury resulting from a prescribed fire started or maintained by the state or any of its employees. No liability is to be imposed in any such action unless negligence is proven.

The act modifies existing law to clarify the requirements under which an amount may be recovered against the state in excess of the maximum liability amounts specified in the CGIA. The act clarifies existing provisions to specify that the general assembly acting by bill may authorize payment of all or a portion of a judgment against the state that exceeds the maximum amounts.

The act creates an alternate procedure under which the state claims board, after compromising or settling a claim on behalf of the state for the maximum liability limits under the CGIA, is empowered to determine, in its sole discretion, whether to recommend to the general assembly that the general assembly authorize by bill all or any portion of an additional payment. In determining whether to make such recommendation, the claims board is required to consider interests of fairness, the public interest, and the interests of the state.

A recommendation made by the claims board shall not include payment for noneconomic loss or injury and is to be reduced to the extent the claimant’s loss is or will be covered by another source, including any insurance proceeds that have been paid or will be paid, and an insurer is denied a right of subrogation, assignment, or any other right against the claimant or the state for any additional payment or any portion of such payment that is approved by the general assembly. Any additional payment or any portion of such payment approved by the general assembly is to be paid from the general fund. Effective June 4, 2012.

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

S.B. 12-34. Concerning repeal of the rapid screen program to identify high-emitting motor vehicles. By Sen. S. King and Rep. Miklosi. The act repeals the rapid screen program for identifying high-emitting motor vehicles. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-133. Concerning the diversion of electronic devices from landfills. By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Coram. The act prohibits the disposal of certain consumer electronic devices in landfills, effective July 1, 2013. Disposal in landfills located in communities that are not well-served by an electronic device recycling program may be exempted from the ban. Beginning July 1, 2013, state agencies must arrange for the recycling of such devices with a certified recycler. Recyclers and waste haulers have limited immunity. The department of public health and environment must coordinate with existing public and private efforts pertaining to the development and implementation of a public education program regarding electronic device recycling. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-134. Concerning financial assistance in Colorado hospitals. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep. Acree. The act requires each hospital to make available to patients, and to communicate to each patient, information about the hospital’s financial assistance, charity care, and payment plan policies in a clear and understandable manner and in languages appropriate to its communities. The act also requires hospitals to offer financial assistance to each qualified patient on a community-specific basis. A qualified patient is defined as an uninsured patient who has a family income of not more than 250% of the federal poverty income level, and who received services at a hospital where the Colorado indigent care program is not available.

A hospital is prohibited from charging a patient more than the lowest negotiated rate from a private health plan for emergency and medically necessary services.

Each hospital is required to fulfill specific obligations before sending a bill to a collection agency for payment. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1041. Concerning the creation of an electronic death registration system in the department of public health and environment, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Labuda and Sen. Guzman. The act directs the department of public health and environment (department) to create an electronic death registration system for purposes of allowing persons responsible for reporting death information to the office of the state registrar of vital statistics to do so electronically. Within two years after the act takes effect, the department is to submit a report to the health and environment committee of the house of representatives and the health and human services committee of the senate, or their successor committees, regarding the development and implementation of the electronic death registration system, detailing staffing level and fee modifications since implementation. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1097. Concerning civil penalties for retail food establishments. By Rep. Summers and Rep. Jahn. The act specifies that, except in the case of a closure due to an imminent health hazard, proceedings to suspend or revoke the license of a retail food establishment may be commenced only after the imposition of other civil penalties. The act also changes the time period for the assessment of a maximum of three civil penalties from a calendar year to any twelve-month period. Effective April 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1099. Concerning the establishment of an industrial hemp remediation pilot program to study phytoremediation through the growth of hemp on contaminated soil, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. McKinley and Sen. Tochtrop. The act requires the chair of the agriculture, livestock, and natural resources committee in the house of representatives and the chair of the agriculture, natural resources, and energy committee in the senate to appoint seven members to the industrial hemp remediation pilot program committee (committee). The committee is required to establish an industrial hemp remediation pilot program (pilot program) to study how soils and water may be made more pristine and healthy by phytoremediation, removal of contaminants, and rejuvenation through the growth of industrial hemp. Growing and possessing industrial hemp is permitted for the purposes of the study. The act requires the committee to make a final report of its findings and submit the report to the executive director of the department of public health and environment. The committee is authorized to accept gifts, grants, and donations for the pilot program. The pilot program is repealed on July 1, 2022. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1140. Concerning the duties of the department of public health and environment as coordinator for suicide prevention programs throughout the state. By Rep. Jones and Sen. Newell. The Colorado department of public health and environment (department) is designated in statute as the coordinator for suicide prevention programs throughout the state, and part of the department’s duties include submitting an annual report to legislative committees listing all suicide prevention programs in the state and describing the department’s effectiveness as programs coordinator.

For reports submitted in 2013 and each year thereafter, the act requires the department to include in the annual report any findings and recommendations it has to improve suicide prevention in Colorado.

The act also authorizes the department, in its coordinator role, to collaborate with all facilities that it licenses or certifies to coordinate suicide prevention services. Facilities treating a person who attempts suicide or exhibits suicidal gestures may provide information and educational materials to the person, or in the case of a minor, to parents, relatives, or other responsible persons to whom the minor will be released, regarding the warning signs of depression, risk factors of suicide, methods of preventing suicide, available suicide prevention resources, and other information concerning suicide awareness and prevention.

The department is authorized to work with facilities to determine whether and where gaps exist in suicide prevention programs and services. Effective May 11, 2012.

H.B. 12-1204. Concerning the continuation of the regulation of hemodialysis technicians, and, in connection therewith, implementing the sunset review recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies. By Rep. McCann and Sen. Boyd. The act continues the regulation of hemodialysis technicians until 2019. The act also clarifies that the department of public health and environment may verify the qualifications of hemodialysis technicians each time it conducts a routine survey of a licensed dialysis clinic and that physicians and nurses who supervise dialysis technicians must be licensed. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1294. Concerning modifications to the system of regulation of health facilities currently regulated by the department of public health and environment, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Liston and Sen. Tochtrop. Under current law, the department of public health and environment (CDPHE) licenses, and establishes and enforces standards for the operation of, health facilities in the state, including hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, community mental health centers, acute treatment units, facilities for persons with developmental disabilities, nursing care facilities, hospice care, assisted living residences, and home care agencies. CDPHE conducts periodic, announced and unannounced inspections of licensed facilities to ensure compliance with the standards it develops. The state board of health (board) is required to establish, by rule, a schedule of fees to be assessed against health facilities that is sufficient to meet CDPHE’s direct and indirect costs in regulating health facilities.

Additionally, under current law, both CDPHE and the department of human services (DHS) jointly regulate community residential homes for persons with developmental disabilities.

The act declares that the legislative intent of the act is to eliminate duplication and unnecessary government oversight in the regulation of health facilities in Colorado.

The act:

  • Requires CDPHE to establish, by rule, a schedule for an extended survey cycle or a tiered inspection or survey system, which it must use for health facilities that have been licensed for at least three years, have not been subject to any enforcement activity, have no patterns of deficient practices, as documented in the CDPHE inspections and survey reports, and have not been the subject of any substantiated complaints resulting in the discovery of significant deficiencies that negatively affect the life, health, or safety of consumers of the facilities within the prior three years;
  • Permits CDPHE to expand the scope of an inspection or survey to an extended or full survey if, during a tiered inspection, CDPHE finds deficient practice; and
  • Precludes CDPHE from citing a deficiency from an isolated event that can be effectively remedied during the survey or inspection as a deficiency in the survey or inspection report unless the deficiency caused harm, created a life or limb-threatening emergency, or was caused by abuse or neglect.

The act makes numerous other changes not listed in this summary. Effective June 4, 2012.

HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING

S.B. 12-23. Concerning the program of all-inclusive care for the elderly, and, in connection therewith, addressing enrollment of persons who are eligible for the PACE program and addressing how the pace program works with integrative initiatives involving the Medicaid population in Colorado. By Sen. Boyd and Rep. Summers. The medical services board (board) is required to adopt rules to allow program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) providers to contract with an enrollment broker to include the PACE program in its marketing materials to eligible long-term clients.

The term "eligible person," for purposes of the PACE program, is amended to include dually eligible persons. A "dually eligible person" is defined as a person who is eligible for assistance or benefits under both Medicaid and Medicare. An eligible person who is enrolled in a managed care organization, an organization contracted with the department of health care policy and financing (department) to provide services in the statewide managed care system, or other risk-bearing entity may elect to withdraw from or terminate such enrollment and enroll in and receive services from a PACE program. The board’s rules shall define how such election is made. The effective date of an eligible person’s election shall not be more than thirty days after the eligible person’s date of election.

The act adds to the list of major functions of the single entry point system informing eligible persons about the benefits of participating in the PACE program as an alternative to enrollment in a managed care organization, an organization contracted with the department to provide services in the statewide managed care system, or other risk-bearing entity. Effective April 12, 2012.

S.B. 12-60. Concerning improving Medicaid fraud prosecution, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Roberts an Rep. Gerou. The act requires the department of health care policy and financing (HCPF) to submit a written report annually to the health and environment committee and the judiciary committee of the house of representatives and to the health and human services and judiciary committees of the senate concerning client fraud in the medical assistance program. In addition, the attorney general’s office is required to submit a written report annually concerning provider fraud.

The act also changes the amount of a county’s share of recoveries of fraudulently obtained medical assistance when the recovery is initiated by a county department, county board, district attorney, or HCPF on behalf of the county. Instead of sharing one-half of the state funds paid with the state, the county may retain the full amount of the recovery after payment of the federal government’s share. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-74. Concerning services provided by a person designated by a person eligible for consumer-directed care services. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep Gardner. The act authorizes a caregiver to a person eligible for consumer-directed services to be a direct service provider for the eligible person, as well as the person’s guardian or conservator. Effective April 13, 2012.

S.B. 12-127. Concerning the participation of providers of long-term care in Medicaid care coordination programs. By Sen. Newell and Rep. Summers. The act requires the department of health care policy and financing (department) to allow providers of long-term services and supports to participate, to the extent permitted under federal law, as health homes or as part of health homes under the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." The act describes the services that a health home may provide. The health home may consist of a multi-disciplinary team including various providers described in the act.

Further, in integrating dually eligible persons, persons with chronic conditions, and persons in need of long-term care services and supports in an organization with which the department contracts pursuant to the statewide managed care system statutes, the act directs the department to permit providers of long-term care services and supports to contract with organizations contracted with the department as health homes or to provide some or all of the services provided by the organizations contracted with the department.

The act clarifies that in integrating dually eligible clients in an organization with which the department contracts pursuant to the statewide managed care system statutes, dually eligible clients may voluntarily elect to participate in a recognized Medicare coordinated care system and may voluntarily elect to participate in the department’s Medicaid coordinated care system. Effective April 23, 2012.

S.B. 12-127. Concerning the participation of providers of long-term care in Medicaid care coordination programs. By Sen. Newell and Rep. Summers. The act requires the department of health care policy and financing (department) to allow providers of long-term services and supports to participate, to the extent permitted under federal law, as health homes or as part of health homes under the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." The act describes the services that a health home may provide. The health home may consist of a multi-disciplinary team including various providers described in the act.

Further, in integrating dually eligible persons, persons with chronic conditions, and persons in need of long-term care services and supports in an organization with which the department contracts pursuant to the statewide managed care system statutes, the act directs the department to permit providers of long-term care services and supports to contract with organizations contracted with the department as health homes or to provide some or all of the services provided by the organizations contracted with the department.

The act clarifies that in integrating dually eligible clients in an organization with which the department contracts pursuant to the statewide managed care system statutes, dually eligible clients may voluntarily elect to participate in a recognized Medicare coordinated care system and may voluntarily elect to participate in the department’s Medicaid coordinated care system. Effective April 23, 2012.

S.B. 12-128. Concerning achieving efficiencies in the Medicaid long-term care program through greater utilization of alternative care facilities. By Sen. Roberts and Rep. Summers. The act allows the department of health care policy and financing (department) to establish a program that provides a temporary increase in reimbursement rates for alternative care facilities for Medicaid clients discharged from a nursing facility to the alternative care facility. The department shall develop criteria for participation in any program.

In addition, the department may create a program, informed by prior studies, that may include, but need not be limited to, tiered-rate, acuity, and enhanced reimbursements for alternative care facilities and enhanced alternative care services to address the needs of Medicaid clients who are at risk of nursing home placement. Any programs created by the department shall be budget-neutral.

As part of its annual reporting requirement, the department shall report to the joint budget committee of the general assembly and the health and human services committee of the senate and the health and environment committee of the house of representatives concerning any programs created by the department. The section repeals, effective July 1, 2015. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-159. Concerning the evaluation of home- and community-based services for children with autism under the Medicaid waiver program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Hudak and Rep. J. Kerr. The act requires that the evaluation of children receiving long-term care services and supports through the Medicaid autism waiver program (program) must occur at the time the child begins receiving services, when services terminate, and at least once every six months during the course of services. The evaluations must include norm-referenced and standardized assessment of the child’s expressive and receptive communication, the child’s adaptive skills, including self-help skills, and the child’s maladaptive behavior, including self-injurious and aggressive behavior. A copy of the evaluations must be provided to the child’s parents or legal guardian and to the agency responsible for the child’s care planning.

The department of health care policy and financing (department) shall annually review the balance in the Colorado autism treatment fund (fund) to determine whether additional eligible children may receive services and supports under the program consistent with federal law.

So long as children who are determined eligible for the program are on a wait list to receive services, the act directs the department to prioritize the delivery of services to those children who are determined to have an imminent need for services, as determined through an objective assessment process.

The department shall conduct an evaluation of the program and the children served through the program that must include information about the improvement in communication and adaptive behavior of children receiving services and supports. The department may contract with an independent program evaluator to review individual treatment evaluations.

The act clarifies that moneys in the fund may be used for the evaluation of children receiving services through the program, as well as for the evaluation of the program. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1203. Concerning the reenactment of the statutes that authorize grants from the primary care fund for comprehensive primary care services. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Steadman. This act recreates and reenacts statutes that were erroneously repealed that authorized expenditures from the primary care fund for comprehensive primary care services, thereby reauthorizing the department of health care policy and financing to expend funds to provide comprehensive primary care grants to providers who are community health centers or who serve a large percentage of people who are uninsured or medically indigent patients, Medicaid patients, or children’s basic health plan enrollees. Effective March 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1281. Concerning a pilot program establishing new payment methodologies in Medicaid, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Young and Sen. Steadman. The act directs the department of health care policy and financing (department) to facilitate collaboration among Medicaid providers, clients, advocates, and payors in order to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction and support the financial sustainability of the Medicaid program. The executive director of the department may promulgate rules relating to the collaborative process.

The act creates the Medicaid payment reform and innovation pilot program (pilot program) in the department to implement payment reform projects in Medicaid within the existing Medicaid coordinated care system. Contractors of the department’s current Medicaid coordinated care system may submit payment proposals to the department for the pilot program. A contractor shall work with providers and managed care entities contracted with the contractor to develop the payment project. Payment projects may include, but are not limited to, global payments, risk adjustment, risk sharing, and aligned payment incentives, including, but not limited to gainsharing, to improve quality and to control costs. The department shall select payment projects for inclusion in the pilot program based upon certain criteria. On or before July 1, 2013, the department shall select payment projects and shall respond to contractors who submit payment projects that are not selected for the pilot program, stating the reason why the payment projects were not selected and shall copy the response to certain committees of the general assembly. Payment projects shall be implemented for at least two years, but shall not extend beyond June 30, 2016, and certain provisions apply to payments under the pilot program. The department shall seek any federal authorization necessary to implement the pilot program. The department shall report to certain committees of the general assembly concerning the design, implementation, and outcome of the pilot program.

The act requires the department, in requests for proposals occurring on or after January 1, 2015, relating to managed care, to allow for payment proposals that include, but need not be limited to, global payments, risk adjustment, risk sharing and aligned payment incentives, including, but not limited to gainsharing, to improve quality and to control costs.

The act includes some of the criteria the department shall consider in awarding contracts under a request for proposal. Global payment is defined for purposes of managed care. After January 1, 2015, the department shall open a competitive bidding process for the department’s Medicaid coordinated care system within regions of the state and shall analyze the appropriate number of regions and contractors in each region as part of that process.

The act requires the department to report concerning the department’s recommendations for streamlining and simplifying the administrative structure for managing contracts relating to Medicaid managed care. Effective June 4, 2012.

H.B. 12-1340. Concerning a reduction in the general fund portion of the per diem rates paid to nursing facilities, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Lambert. The act reduces the general fund portion of the per diem rate paid to nursing facilities by 1.5%, commencing July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. Effective May 3, 2012.

HUMAN SERVICES—BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

H.B. 12-1100. Concerning the admissibility in criminal proceedings of the results of a prenatal screening for illegal substances. By Rep. Summers and Sen. Aguilar. The act makes the results of any information related to substance use obtained as part of a screening or test performed for the purpose of determining pregnancy or providing prenatal care inadmissible in any criminal proceeding. Effective March 9, 2012.

HUMAN SERVICES—SOCIAL SERVICES

S.B. 12-22. Concerning maintaining child care assistance for working families. By Sen. Williams and Rep. Massey. This act creates a pilot program to study whether a different approach to the Colorado child care assistance program can address the "cliff effect" that occurs when an increase in a working parent’s income makes the parent ineligible for child care assistance and the increase in wages is not enough to cover the costs of child care without the assistance. County departments of social services may apply to the executive director of the department of human services (department) or a designee to participate in the pilot program.

Under the pilot program, instead of discontinuing child care assistance, the county department will continue to provide child care assistance to the parent for a period of up to two years after the parent’s income exceeds the county-adopted eligibility level and the parent will pay a series of incremental increases in the portion of the parental share of the child care.

The executive director or his or her designee may select up to ten counties varying in size, population, and demographic composition to participate in the pilot program.

Each county department participating in the pilot program shall set its own parental fee schedule for the parent’s share of the child care and may consult with the department on setting the parental fee schedule. A family that receives child care assistance during the extended two-year period is required to report any income changes during the two-year period and is subject to a redetermination of eligibility after the first twelve months.

A county is encouraged to create public and private partnerships with nonprofit organizations and businesses to find innovative ways to supplement its child care assistance program.

Each participating county will collect data on the pilot program and assist the department in evaluating the pilot program. The department will compile data on the pilot program and submit a report on or before October 1, 2015, to the house health and environment committee and to the senate health and human services committee. The pilot program is repealed on July 1, 2016. Effective April 13, 2012.

S.B. 12-33. Concerning adding near fatalities to the responsibilities of the department of human services child fatality review team. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Massey. The act defines the terms "near fatalities" and "incidents of egregious abuse or neglect" and adds the review of those events to the responsibilities of the department of human services child fatality review team.

Counties are required to notify the department of human services (department) of any suspicious near fatality or incident of egregious abuse or neglect. The department is required to promulgate rules concerning confidential information for different types of incidents. The department is required to disclose to the public within set time frames the receipt of information concerning child fatalities, near fatalities, or incidents of egregious abuse or neglect. The information to be included in the executive summary report posted on the department’s web site is detailed and clarified, including confidentiality concerns. Effective April 12, 2012.

S.B. 12-42. Concerning bringing certain statutory provisions related to child support into compliance with federal law. By Sen. Spence and Rep. Summers. The act authorizes the state department of human services (department) to identify for another state, upon request and through a data match system (system), any assets owned by a person who owes child support in another state. The department is further authorized to seize such assets through levy or other appropriate processes.

The department and financial institutions are required to enter into agreements to implement the system. The data match required through the system shall be conducted quarterly. Effective March 19, 2012.

S.B. 12-43. Concerning clarification of the ages of children who may attend a children’s resident camp. By Sen. K. King and Rep. Stephens. The act raises the upper age limit in the child care licensing statute for attending a children’s resident camp from younger than 17 years of age to include children who are younger than 19 years of age and to include a person who is 19 or 20 years of age if, within six months prior to attending the children’s resident camp, the person has attended or has graduated from high school. Effective March 9, 2012.

S.B. 12-78. Concerning protections for at-risk adults. By Sen. Hudak and Rep. Schafer. The act amends statutory provisions concerning the mistreatment, self-neglect, and exploitation of at-risk adults. Each county department shall require each protective services employee to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history records check utilizing the records of the Colorado bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation.

The elder abuse task force (task force) is created to:

  • Study the problem of mistreatment and exploitation of at-risk adults; and
  • Prepare certain recommendations for the consideration of the general assembly, including but not limited to recommendations concerning how to require certain persons, on and after September 1, 2013, to report known or suspected mistreatment or exploitation of at-risk elderly adults.

All appointments to the task force shall be made on or before June 15, 2012. The task force shall submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the health and human services committee of the senate and to the health and environment committee of the house of representatives on or before December 1, 2012. The task force is repealed, effective November 2, 2013. Effective May 29, 2012.

S.B. 12-113. Concerning the designation in the annual general appropriations act of the portion to be redirected to the counties of the state’s share of recoveries for public assistance paid for family support obligations. By Sen. Lambert and Rep. Gerou. The act clarifies that the amount of the state’s share of recoveries for public assistance paid for child support and maintenance that is redirected to the counties will be specified in a footnote in the annual general appropriations act. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1047. Concerning the waiver of non-safety licensing standards for kinship foster care. By Rep. Kefalas and Sen. Newell. The act allows a county director of social services, or his or her designee, to waive certain non-safety licensing standards for kinship foster care if certain conditions are met and to limit or restrict a license for kinship foster care. The state board of human services is directed to promulgate rules to define "kinship foster care" and for the waiver of certain non-safety licensing standards for kinship foster care. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1177. Concerning a grant program to provide home care allowance benefits to certain eligible individuals, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Hodge. Effective January 1, 2012, persons were prohibited from receiving both home care allowance benefits and benefits under a home- and community-based waiver. The act establishes a new grant program (program) in the department of human services (department) to provide to certain individuals with developmental disabilities receiving benefits under either the home and community-based supported living services or the children’s extensive support waiver a home care allowance benefit consistent with benefits received by persons under the home care allowance program. The grants may be made retroactive to January 1, 2012. The act authorizes the state board of human services to adopt rules to implement the program. The act directs the department to submit a written report to certain committees of the general assembly on the program and to solicit feedback from individuals receiving grants under the program and from their families. The program is repealed, effective July 1, 2017, unless extended by the general assembly. Effective March 22, 2012.

H.B. 12-1228. Concerning criminal background checks for neighborhood youth organizations seeking to obtain a license. By Rep. DelGrosso and Sen. Steadman. The act expands the list of methods by which a neighborhood youth organization that is seeking to obtain a license can satisfy the requirements of criminal history background checks for its employees and volunteers. Each acceptable method must be able to determine whether the person being investigated has been convicted of felony child abuse or a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior. The neighborhood youth organization shall not hire a person as an employee or approve a person as a volunteer after confirmation of such a criminal history. Effective April 23, 2012.

H.B. 12-1326. Concerning assistance to the elderly, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Acree and Sen. Spence. The Colorado constitution specifies that the award under the old age pension program shall be $100 per month and authorizes the state board of human services (state board) to adjust the award to more than $100 per month if living costs have changed. The state board has adopted rules that set the monthly standard assistance at $699. The act encourages the state board to raise the monthly standard assistance for the old age pension to $725.

A program for dental care for persons eligible for the old age pension is expanded to include persons who are qualified Medicare beneficiaries who are not eligible for long-term care services.

The act directs that moneys unused from the amount estimated for the senior property tax exemption be transferred into a new account in the older Coloradans cash fund for distribution to area agencies on aging to provide additional senior services.

The act increases the estimate of expenditures from the old age pension cash fund to pay for the recommended increase in the old age pension assistance. Effective May 22, 2012.

INSURANCE

S.B. 12-110. Concerning a fund consisting of surcharges on insurance premiums to pay for costs associated with criminal prosecution of insurance fraud investigations, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Levy. The act requires the commissioner of insurance to establish a tiered fee schedule based upon the prior year’s direct written premiums, gross contract funds, or charges received in Colorado by each regulated insurance entity. The act requires the fees to be transmitted to the insurance fraud cash fund to pay for insurance fraud investigations and prosecutions by the attorney general’s office. The tiered fee schedule is set to approximate the direct and indirect costs of the investigations and prosecutions of insurance fraud.

The act allows the department of law to give the same attention to all workers’ compensation companies, including Pinnacol Assurance. The act moves the insurance fraud cash fund from the division of insurance in the department of regulatory agencies to the department of law. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1071. Concerning portable electronics insurance. By Rep. Liston and Sen. Jahn. The act requires a vendor of portable electronics to hold a limited license to sell or offer portable electronics insurance. The limited license authorizes an employee or authorized representative of the vendor to sell or offer coverage to customers at each vendor location.

Each vendor is required to make written materials available to customers that disclose that portable electronics insurance may provide duplicate coverage; state that the purchase of coverage is not required; summarize the material terms of the insurance; summarize the process for filing a claim; and state that the coverage may be cancelled at any time. The act outlines the criteria that a person must meet in order to sell portable electronics insurance without a limited license and the billing and collections procedures for vendors.

Each vendor who violates the terms for selling portable electronics insurance is subject to fines and suspension or revocation of the privilege of selling the insurance. A vendor is permitted to terminate coverage with the required notice upon discovery of fraud or misrepresentation by the customer, for nonpayment of the premium, if the customer no longer has active service with the vendor, or if the customer exhausts the aggregate limit of liability. The act outlines notice requirements for correspondence between the vendor and the customer.

The commissioner of insurance is required to prescribe an application for insurance and accept applications from the vendors. Each vendor is required to pay a fee to the commissioner for a limited license. Effective January 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1221. Concerning billing for anatomic pathology services. By Rep. Liston and Sen. Tochtrop. The act requires clinical laboratories and physicians that provide anatomic pathology services to submit claims for payment for pathology services only to the patient; the insurance carrier; the hospital or clinic that ordered the service, or the referring laboratory, unless the laboratory is from a physician’s office or group practice that does not perform the professional component of the anatomic pathology service; or a governmental agency on behalf of the recipient of services.

Licensed health care practitioners are prohibited from charging for anatomic pathology services unless the services were personally delivered by the practitioner or under the direct supervision of the practitioner. Laboratories that refer to another physician or laboratory for consultation or histological processing are exempt from the personal delivery and direct supervision requirement, unless the laboratory that makes the referral does not perform the professional component of the service.

The term "anatomic pathology services" is defined to include histopathology or surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematology, sub-cellular pathology or molecular pathology, and blood-banking services performed by pathologists. Effective January 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1266. Concerning the continuation of the licensing of persons who furnish bail for compensation, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Morse. The regulation of bail bonding agents as an occupation is repealed, but the regulation of bail bonding as insurance is continued until September 2017. The regulation of cash bonding agents and professional cash bail agents is moved from profession and occupation statutes to the insurance statutes, changed from licensure to registration, and simplified. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1289. Concerning complaints to the division of insurance on certain adverse actions of auto insurers. By Rep. Nikkel and Sen. Jahn. The act changes the process that allows auto insurance policyholders to file formal protests with the insurance commissioner against certain adverse actions of insurers to a complaint process. The complaint process affords auto insurance policyholders similar rights to those under the formal protest process while making the process more flexible and streamlined for policyholders and insurers. Effective August 8, 2012.

JUVENILE LAW

S.B. 12-11. Concerning the differential response pilot program for child abuse or neglect cases of low or moderate risk. By Sen. Spence and Rep. Summers. The act eliminates the five-county limit on the number of counties that may participate in the differential response pilot program for child abuse or neglect cases of low or moderate risk (pilot program) and allows the executive director of the state department of human services to select participating counties. The state board of human services will promulgate rules to define and implement differential response and for the administration of the pilot program. Effective March 24, 2012.

S.B. 12-66. Concerning expanding those persons eligible as guardians in the guardianship assistance program to include persons ascribed by the family as having a family-like relationship with the child. By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Gardner. The act adds persons ascribed by a family as having a family-like relationship with the child or who have had a prior significant relationship with the child to the type of individuals eligible to participate in the guardianship assistance program. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-99. Concerning expansion of access to services for juveniles at the academic model juvenile facility. By Sen. Spence and Rep. Todd. The act allows the academic model juvenile facility that is owned by the state of Colorado and operated pursuant to a contract with a private provider (Ridge View Youth Services Center) to house and serve juveniles who are in the temporary custody of a county department of social services.

The contractor shall work with the department of human services to develop and maintain high-quality programming that is appropriate for and meets the needs of the juveniles placed in the facility. Effective April 12, 2012.

H.B. 12-1139. Concerning pretrial detention of children prosecuted as adults. By Rep. Levy and Sen. Guzman. The act prohibits a juvenile who is to be tried as an adult from being held in an adult jail or pretrial facility unless the district court, after a hearing, finds that an adult jail or pretrial facility is the appropriate place of confinement for the juvenile. The act sets forth the following factors the district court must consider in making its decision:

  • The age of the juvenile;
  • Whether, in order to provide physical separation from adults, the juvenile would be deprived of contact with other people for a significant portion of the day or would not have access to recreational facilities or age-appropriate educational opportunities;
  • The juvenile’s current emotional state, intelligence, and developmental maturity, including any emotional and psychological trauma, and the risk to the juvenile caused by his or her placement in an adult jail, which risk may be evidenced by mental health or psychological assessments or screenings made available to the district attorney and to defense counsel;
  • Whether detention in a juvenile facility will adequately serve the need for community protection pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings;
  • Whether detention in a juvenile facility will negatively impact the functioning of the juvenile facility by compromising the goals of detention to maintain a safe, positive, and secure environment for all juveniles within the facility;
  • The relative ability of the available adult and juvenile detention facilities to meet the needs of the juvenile, including the juvenile’s need for mental health and educational services;
  • Whether the juvenile presents an imminent risk of harm to himself or herself or others within a juvenile facility;
  • The physical maturity of the juvenile; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

If the juvenile is held at a juvenile facility and poses an imminent danger to the other juveniles or staff of the facility, the division of youth corrections can petition the court for a hearing to transfer the juvenile to an adult jail.

If the juvenile is ordered held in an adult jail, the juvenile may move for a review hearing at least thirty days after the decision to place the juvenile in an adult jail. The court may set the matter for hearing if the juvenile has alleged facts or circumstances that would warrant reconsideration of the juvenile’s placement. Effective March 15, 2012.

H.B. 12-1271. Concerning charging of juveniles by direct file of information or indictment in district court. By Rep. Nikkel and Sen. Giron. Under current law, a juvenile charged with a specific serious crime can be prosecuted in district court under the district attorney’s authority to direct file certain juveniles. This act amends the direct file statute to limit the offenses for which a juvenile may be subject to direct file to class 1 felonies, class 2 felonies, crime of violence felonies or sex offenses if the juvenile has a previous felony adjudication, violent sex offenses, and instances in which the juvenile was subject to certain previous district court proceedings. The act limits direct file to juveniles age 16 or 17.

After a juvenile is charged in district court, the juvenile may petition the adult court for a reverse-transfer hearing to transfer the case to juvenile court. The juvenile must make the request at or before the time to request a preliminary hearing, and the court shall set the reverse-transfer hearing at the same time as the preliminary hearing. If, after a reverse-transfer hearing, the court finds that the juvenile and community would be better served by juvenile proceedings, the court shall order the case to juvenile court. If, after a preliminary hearing, the district court does not find probable cause for a direct-file-eligible offense, the court shall remand the case to the juvenile court.

Under the act, a juvenile’s non-felony conviction must be remanded to juvenile court and, when a juvenile sentence is selected, the conviction converts to a juvenile adjudication. A juvenile sentenced under a direct file shall be treated as a juvenile adjudication. Effective April 20, 2012.

H.B. 12-1276. Concerning child care licensure waivers for materials related to a child care center’s curriculum. By Rep. Duran and Sen. Newell. The act allows child care centers (centers) that are subject to child care licensure regulations, including centers that are already licensed, to apply to the department of human services (department) for waivers to use certain materials in conjunction with their curricula (waiver). Centers are required to adopt policies concerning parental notification of possible safety risks of those materials and the training of instructors in the use of those materials. The state board of human services is directed to promulgate rules concerning the criteria for denying waiver requests, as well as an appeals process for centers to utilize if their waiver request is denied. Whenever practicable, the department shall use the same inspector for multiple visits to a center or a group of commonly owned centers seeking a waiver. The department shall not post any denial of a waiver until the appeals process is final. Effective May 18, 2012.

LABOR AND INDUSTRY

H.B. 12-1120. Concerning the creation of the division of unemployment insurance in the department of labor and employment to administer the unemployment insurance program. By Rep. Swerdfeger and Sen. Tochtrop. The division of employment and training (E&T division) in the department of labor and employment (department) is currently tasked with administering both the unemployment compensation program and the work force development program within the department. The act creates a new division of unemployment insurance (UI division) within the department and tasks the UI division with administering the unemployment compensation program. The E&T division is relocated to a new article in the statutes and is tasked with administering the work force development program. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1127. Concerning elimination of an increase in the unemployment insurance premium rate for new employers. By Rep. Liston and Sen. Williams. The current unemployment insurance premium rate for new employers is 0.017%. In legislation enacted in 2011 (House Bill 11-1288), once solvency in the unemployment insurance fund is achieved, the rate for new employers would increase. The act eliminates this rate increase and keeps the rate at 0.017% after solvency in the unemployment insurance fund is reached. The act also adds language omitted from House Bill 11-1288 to specify that the new employer rate continues to be determined at the unrated level or the computed rate, whichever is higher. Effective March 19, 2012.

H.B. 12-1217. Concerning the authority of an organization that maintains a regularly established inspection department to conduct inspections of its own pressure-retaining items. By Rep. Tyler and Sen. Aguilar. The act allows an owner or user of boilers or pressure vessels who maintains a regularly established inspection department, and whose organization and inspection procedures meet the requirements of the national board of boiler and pressure vessel inspectors rules to conduct inspection of its nonexempt boilers and pressure vessels, to utilize qualified inspection personnel. In order to be qualified to inspect its own boilers and pressure vessels, the owner or user must apply to the director of the division of oil and public safety, meet specific requirements, and provide information to the director. The act also requires an individual or organization that performs boiler inspections to carry liability insurance. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1272 Concerning continuation of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for unemployed individuals participating in approved training programs, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Duran and Sen. Newell. The act extends the availability of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits through June 30, 2014, for an eligible claimant participating in an approved training program targeted at training the claimant for an occupation. The division of employment and training (division) in the department of labor and employment is authorized to obligate up to $8 million during the 2012–13 and 2013–14 fiscal years to pay enhanced unemployment compensation benefits to eligible claimants during that period.

"Eligible" claimants are defined to include, in addition to those receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits, those claimants receiving extended unemployment insurance benefits or benefits under a military or federal claim. Additionally, the act expands the types of approved training programs to include employer-based and entrepreneurial training programs and expands the list of training program providers to include employers and entities that provide apprenticeship or entrepreneurial training.

Current law requires the division to submit an annual report to the joint budget committee, the business, labor, and technology committee of the senate, and the economic and business development committee of the house of representatives, or their successor committees, regarding the status of the enhanced unemployment insurance compensation benefits program and its outcomes. The act modifies the specific components of the report as follows:

  • Eliminates the requirement that the demographic analysis of participants include the number of claimants per North American industry classification system code;
  • Eliminates the requirement that the division include an analysis of the training provided to program participants; and
  • Deletes the requirement that the report include an identification and analysis of state and local administrative costs for administering the program and instead requires the report to include a return on investment calculation to determine the benefits and fiscal contributions of program participants who become employed. Participating employers must provide information to the division to enable it to conduct the calculation.

Effective July 1, 2012.

MILITARY AND VETERANS

H.B. 12-1063. Concerning the state veterans nursing home at Homelake, Colorado, and in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Ramirez and Sen. Schwartz. The act authorizes the military veterans’ cemetery at Homelake, Colorado (cemetery), and directs the state department of human services (department) to maintain the cemetery.

The act establishes within the state treasury the Homelake military veterans cemetery fund (fund) and authorizes the department to accept gifts, grants, and donations for the fund. The act requires the department to adopt procedures whereby persons who are eligible for burial and interment at the Colorado state veterans center in Homelake may reserve plots in the cemetery. Effective May 3, 2012.

MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATION

S.B. 12-7. Concerning the standardization of the procedural requirements for the issuance of special license plates. By Sen. Hudak and Rep. Hamner. The act requires a nonprofit organization requesting a group special license plate to obtain the department’s written notification that the organization has complied with the requirements for a group special license plate before seeking legislative action to authorize the new license plate. The nonprofit organization must verify that it has collected the signatures of at least three thousand people who have committed to purchase the proposed license plate.

The department of revenue is allowed to make available group special license plates and alumni association plates that have not reached the minimum number of plates issued until the inventory of those plates is exhausted.

The act also repeals the requirement that an applicant for a Denver firefighters’ special license plate or an Elks special license plate provide evidence to the department of their membership in such organization. Effective April 6, 2012.

S.B. 12-12. Concerning the department of revenue’s audits of automobile emission inspection facilities. By Sen. S. King and Rep. Miklosi. The act implements the recommendations of the legislative audit committee regarding the department of revenue’s audits of facilities that conduct automobile emission inspections. Specifically, federal environmental protection agency rules require such inspections at least twice per year while current state law generally requires them every ninety days; the act conforms state law with federal law. Current law requires the department to conduct performance audits on each test lane at enhanced inspection centers and equipment audits on each lane at all types of inspection centers; the act requires such audits to be conducted at least twice per year on each lane at the facilities. Finally, the act authorizes the department to conduct risk-based audits for stations and facilities employing inspectors or mechanics suspected of violating rules. The act will be implemented within existing appropriations. Effective July 1, 2012.

S.B. 12-13. Concerning low-speed electric vehicles. By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Jones. The act allows the operation of low-speed electric vehicles on a state highway having a speed of 40 miles per hour under certain conditions. The act also allows these vehicles to cross a roadway with a speed limit equal to 40 miles per hour. The act amends existing law to raise the age limit for driving golf cars on streets from age 14 to 16. Effective May 3, 2012.

S.B. 12-59. Concerning commercial vehicle standards applied to certain vehicles under twenty-six thousand one pounds. By Sen. Brophy and Rep. Sonnenberg. The act exempts from compliance with commercial vehicle standards a motor vehicle or motor vehicle and trailer combination that weighs less than 26,001 pounds, is not operated in interstate commerce, does not carry hazardous materials, does not carry sixteen or more passengers, and is used for agricultural purposes. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-92. Concerning the use of a video display in a motor vehicle that is being operated on a roadway. By Sen. Jahn and Rep. Liston. Currently, it is illegal to have a screen that receives a television broadcast at any point forward of the driver’s seat or visible to the driver. The act allows the screen to be forward of the driver’s seat so long as visual entertainment is not visible to the driver and clarifies that it is the display of video programming, not the reception of television, that triggers the prohibition. Effective July 1, 2012.

S.B. 12-95. Concerning requirements for the valid transfer of title to a motor vehicle. By Sen. Lundberg and Rep. Barker. The act clarifies the requirements for transfer of title to a motor vehicle when the certificate of title is not available by specifying that a bill of sale alone is not a valid substitute for the certificate of title but that the executive director of the department of revenue may specify, by rule, other documentation that may be accepted. Effective August 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-170. Concerning authorization for personalized license plates of one position to fund a program that helps persons with disabilities obtain benefits. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep Gerou. Currently, a personalized plate may have two to seven positions for letters or numbers. The act allows the license plate auction group to sell personalized plates of one position. August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1023. Concerning the creation of a fallen heroes license plate, and in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Nikkel and Sen. S. King. The act creates the fallen heroes license plate. A person becomes eligible to use the plate by donating $50 to the Colorado chapter of the concerns of police survivors. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25. One of the fees is credited to the highway users tax fund and the other to the licensing services cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1084. Concerning increasing the punishment for leaving the scene of a traffic accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to any person. By Rep. Fields and Sen. Jahn. Under current law, a driver of any vehicle directly involved in an accident resulting in injury or worse to any person is required to remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled certain statutory requirements. The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to any person is increased from a class 5 felony to a class 4 felony. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1094. Concerning increasing the fine for parking in front of a fire hydrant in an unincorporated area of a county. By Rep. A. Kerr and Sen. S. King. The act makes the fine $50 for parking in front of a fire hydrant in an unincorporated area of a county. Effective April 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1131. Concerning the creation of a child loss awareness license plate, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Labuda and Sen. Tochtrop. The act creates the child loss awareness license plate. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25. One of the fees is credited to the highway users tax fund and the other to the licensing services cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1153. Concerning the creation of a special license plate commemorating recipients of the distinguished flying cross, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Soper and Sen. Lambert. The act creates a special license plate to identify that an owner of a motor vehicle has received the distinguished flying cross. Current law requires two one-time fees of $25 in addition to the normal motor vehicle fees for the license plate. One of the fees is credited to the highway users tax fund and the other to the licensing services cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1162. Concerning the creation of an Operation Desert Storm license plate, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Todd and Sen. Heath. The act creates the Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm license plate to identify that the owner of the motor vehicle is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1168. Concerning clarification of provisions authorizing ignition interlock devices. By Rep. Young and Sen. Morse. The act repeals and reenacts, with amendments, the statute authorizing the department of revenue to require ignition interlock devices for persons driving with an interlock-restricted license. The act also relocates statutory provisions regarding crimes related to ignition interlock devices to the interlock statute. The act removes suffering irreparable harm as factor in issuing a stay of revocation when a person’s driver’s license is revoked based on an administrative determination. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1216. Concerning the financing of the division of motor vehicles in the department of revenue, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Lambert. The act extends for three years the current diversion, from the highway users tax fund to the licensing services cash fund, of revenue collected for examinations for driver’s licenses and for the issuance or renewal of instruction permits, driver’s licenses, and identification cards. In addition, it permits the use of funds in the motorist insurance identification account to be used for expenses incurred by the department of revenue in licensing drivers and issuing identification cards for three more years. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1275. Concerning the encouragement of outdoor recreational opportunities, and, in connection therewith, creating the wildlife sporting license plate and making an appropriation. By Rep. Pace and Sen. White. The act creates the wildlife sporting license plate. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25, a one-time fee of $10, and an annual renewal fee of $25. Of the one-time fees, $25 is credited to the highway users tax fund, $25 to the licensing services cash fund, and $10 to the wildlife cash fund. The renewal fee is also credited to the wildlife cash fund. The money in the wildlife cash fund is used for grants to create or enhance shooting ranges and projects to improve fishing opportunities. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1295. Concerning the creation of a Colorado Rockies license plate, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Priola and Sen. Tochtrop. The act creates the Colorado Rockies special license plate. A person becomes eligible to use the plate by donating $52.80 to the Colorado Rockies baseball club foundation. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25. One of the fees is credited to the highway users tax fund and the other to the licensing services cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1302. Concerning the creation of a Flight for Life Colorado license plate, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Massey and Sen. Tochtrop. The act creates the Flight for Life Colorado license plate. A person becomes eligible to use the plate by donating $25 to Flight for Life Colorado. In addition to the normal motor vehicle fees, the plate requires two one-time fees of $25. One of the fees is credited to the highway users tax fund and the other to the licensing services cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

NATURAL RESOURCES

H.B. 12-1317. Concerning the creation of the parks and wildlife commission to replace the parks and wildlife board in the department of natural resources, and, in connection therewith, describing the composition and terms of the commission, and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Schwartz. In 2011, Senate Bill 11-208 combined the wildlife entities and parks and outdoor recreation entities and functions under the department of natural resources. In so doing, the existing wildlife commission was merged with the existing board of parks and outdoor recreation to form a 16-member parks and wildlife board.

Effective July 1, 2012, the act replaces the board with the new parks and wildlife commission (commission). The commission is comprised of 11 voting members and two nonvoting ex officio members (the executive director of the department and the commissioner of the department of agriculture). The voting members are appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate and must represent certain areas of experience or knowledge. Initial term lengths are staggered to reduce the impact to the board that results from member turnover. At least four voting members must be appointed from west of the continental divide, and the governor is directed to make appointments that achieve a balanced representation of the diverse areas of the state.

The commission is required to submit a five-year strategic plan to specified committees of reference of the general assembly. Components of the plan are specified. The act makes conforming amendments to various statutes to replace references to obsolete predecessor entities with references to the commission. The commission’s authority to set parks fees is extended until September 1, 2017. Effective June 4, 2012.

PROBATE, TRUSTS, AND FIDUCIARIES

S.B. 12-131. Concerning the responsibilities of a fiduciary with regard to the estate of a person who may have executed a designated beneficiary agreement. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Pabon. CBA Sponsored Legislation. A personal representative in any probate proceeding regarding a decedent’s estate shall not be surcharged for making distributions to devisees or heirs at law that do not take into consideration a designated beneficiary agreement (DBA) if:

  • The personal representative has made a search in every county in which the personal representative has actual knowledge that the decedent was domiciled at any time during the three years prior to the decedent’s death for a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession; and
  • The personal representative has not received actual notice nor has actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession.

A personal representative or trustee is not individually or personally liable for making a distribution of property to devisees or heirs at law that does not take into consideration the right of a party to a DBA to inherit property due to a valid, unrevoked DBA if the personal representative or trustee complied with the fiduciary duty to search for the existence of a DBA and does not have actual notice or actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted a right of intestate succession. April 13, 2012.

H.B. 12-1074. Concerning access to data to assist the courts in overseeing persons appointed to manage the affairs of persons under disability. By Rep. J. Kerr and Sen. S. King. The clerk of the court with jurisdiction over a guardianship of an incapacitated person or over a conservatorship of a protected person, or the clerk’s designee, is authorized access to data maintained by other state agencies in order to research the whereabouts of and contact information for a guardian, conservator, incapacitated person, or protected person when a guardian or conservator has failed to file required reports with the court or has failed to respond to court orders. The act specifies which types of data may be accessed. The court may access the data only to obtain contact information for the guardian, conservator, incapacitated person, or protected person. The judicial department and the courts shall not access data maintained pursuant to the address confidentiality program.

The court is required to preserve the confidentiality of the data obtained from state agencies and use the data only for the purposes of researching the whereabouts of the guardian, conservator, incapacitated person, or protected person. Notwithstanding the provisions of the open records law, documents and information obtained by the court pursuant to an investigation are not public records and shall be open to public inspection only upon an order of the court based on a finding of good cause; except to the extent they would otherwise be open to inspection from the providing state agency.

The judicial department and other state agencies may enter into agreements for the sharing of this data with the applicable court.

The act amends the statute on acceptance of office that a nominee signs prior to appointment as a guardian or conservator to include an acknowledgment that the nominee understands that Colorado law allows the court to access personal contact information held by state agencies if the nominee fails to file required reports or fails to respond to a court order. Effective March 22, 2012.

PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS

S.B. 12-91. Concerning modifications to provisions governing the practice of nursing home administration, and, in connection therewith, modifying the criteria for nursing home administrators to qualify to serve on the board of examiners of nursing home administrators, modifying the experience requirements for persons applying to take the nursing home administrator licensure examination or to participate in the administrator-in-training program, and permitting a nursing home administrator who has passed a national examination and an examination in another state to sit for the Colorado licensure examination. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Bradford. In order to qualify to serve on the board of examiners of nursing home administrators (board), current law requires nursing home administrator (NHA) members to be engaged in particular areas of discipline in the profession and to have been actively engaged in the profession for at least five years. The act eliminates the requirement that NHAs practice in a specific discipline area, other than the requirement that at least one board member come from nonprofit facility administration, in order to serve on the board, but permits the governor to appoint any qualified NHA to that position on the board if, after a good-faith attempt, the governor is unable to find a qualified NHA from nonprofit facility administration to serve on the board.

Additionally, the act reduces the period during which an NHA must be engaged in the profession from five to three years to be eligible to serve on the board.

Under current law, an NHA applying to take the NHA licensure examination must have either successfully completed the administrator-in-training (AIT) program; completed a bachelor’s degree in public health administration; or completed an associate’s degree in a health care-related field and have at least two years experience in administration in a nursing home or hospital. Under board rules, to satisfy the experience-in-administration component, an applicant must be supervising and exercising reasonable control over at least five subordinates.

The act:

  • Adds as qualifying degrees for NHA licensure a master’s degree in management or business administration or a bachelor’s degree in business or public administration;
  • For purposes of satisfying the experience requirement, supersedes the board rules requiring an applicant to supervise at least five subordinates and instead specifies that an applicant must supervise an unspecified number of subordinates and reduces the required amount of experience supervising subordinates from two years to one year.

Additionally, current law requires an AIT program participant to complete 2,000 hours of training before he or she is eligible to take the NHA licensure examination. The act reduces the required training period to 1,000 hours.

Finally, the act eliminates the requirement that a person licensed as an NHA in another state or territory must possess substantially equivalent credentials and qualifications, thereby allowing a person licensed in another state who has passed both a national NHA examination and an examination in the other state to obtain a Colorado license if the person passes the Colorado NHA licensure examination. Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1059. Concerning the authority of a person credentialed in another state whose residence is determined by military orders to practice an occupation regulated by Colorado law. By Rep. Looper and Sen. K. King. The act authorizes the spouse of an active-duty military service member stationed in Colorado to practice in a regulated profession or occupation for one year if the spouse is licensed, registered, or certified to practice in another state; there is no other reason to deny the license; and the person consents to be governed by Colorado law. The occupations of engineering, surveying, architecture, using and selling fireworks, optometry, medicine, and real estate are not included. If applying for authority to continue to practice in Colorado, the applicant must notify the agency that the person is practicing in Colorado and include the contact information for the applicant’s employer. If the agency denies the application, the agency notifies the employer. The director of the division of registrations may promulgate rules to implement the act.

An agency may accept continuing medical education, training, or service in the armed services in satisfaction of Colorado continuing education requirements. A service member or spouse who is an emergency medical service provider certified or licensed in another state is exempt from certification in Colorado. The term "emergency medical technician" is changed to "emergency medical service provider" to align with the trend in other states. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1065. Concerning the deadline for an advanced practice nurse who was granted prescriptive authority prior to July 1, 2010, to develop an articulated plan for purposes of retaining prescriptive authority. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Nicholson. Pursuant to legislation in 2009, the standards for advanced practice nurses (APNs) to obtain prescriptive authority were modified to require APNs, in addition to obtaining specified levels of education and experience, to develop an articulated plan for safe prescribing that documents how the APN will collaborate with physicians and other health care professionals in his or her practice of prescribing medications. Under the 2009 legislation, APNs who were granted prescriptive authority prior to July 1, 2010, were permitted to retain that authority but were required to develop an articulated plan of safe prescribing within one year, or by July 1, 2011.

The act requires the state board of nursing (board) to extend the deadline by which an APN with prescriptive authority granted before July 1, 2010, is required to develop an articulated plan if the APN submits the following to the board before September 30, 2012:

  • An application and required fee;
  • A signed verification indicating that as of July 1, 2011, the APN had either developed an articulated plan or had an existing collaborative agreement with a physician in place; and
  • Any other information or documentation required by the board.

The board cannot extend the deadline beyond September 30, 2012. Effective April 2, 2012.

H.B. 12-1110. Concerning the regulation of appraisal management companies, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Williams and Sen. Carroll. The act authorizes the board of real estate appraisers (board) to regulate appraisal management companies. Appraisal management companies must be licensed by the board. The act sets forth the requirements for registration and exemptions for certain types of activities. The board is reorganized to include one member who is an officer or employee of an appraisal management company and the number of public members is reduced from two to one. The act establishes requirements for owners and controlling persons of appraisal management companies, including a requirement that certain persons submit information, including fingerprints, for criminal history record checks.

The act sets forth prohibited activities and grounds for disciplinary action against appraisal management companies and owners and controlling persons. The act establishes administrative and criminal penalties for violations, and the board has the power to administer the provisions of the act.

Active real estate appraisers, other than appraisers employed by state or local government, must maintain errors and omissions insurance. Appraisal management companies must post a surety bond with the board in the amount of $25,000. Effective July 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1270. Concerning an increase in the limit on the amount of alcohol beverages a person licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption may purchase from a licensed alcohol beverage retailer. By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Heath. Current law limits the amount of alcohol beverages persons licensed to sell alcohol beverages for consumption on a licensed premises may purchase at retail, rather than from a licensed alcohol beverage wholesaler. For hotel and restaurant licensees, the limit is $1,000 worth of alcohol beverages per year; for all other on-premises licensees, the limit is $500 worth of alcohol beverages per year.

The act increases the limit to $2,000 worth of alcohol beverages per year for persons licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption, which includes hotels, restaurants, taverns, retail gaming taverns, brew pubs, clubs, and racetracks. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1270. Concerning an increase in the limit on the amount of alcohol beverages a person licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption may purchase from a licensed alcohol beverage retailer. By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Heath. Current law limits the amount of alcohol beverages persons licensed to sell alcohol beverages for consumption on a licensed premises may purchase at retail, rather than from a licensed alcohol beverage wholesaler. For hotel and restaurant licensees, the limit is $1,000 worth of alcohol beverages per year; for all other on-premises licensees, the limit is $500 worth of alcohol beverages per year.

The act increases the limit to $2,000 worth of alcohol beverages per year for persons licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption, which includes hotels, restaurants, taverns, retail gaming taverns, brew pubs, clubs, and racetracks. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1274. Concerning the regulation of notaries public, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Swerdfeger and Sen. Jahn. The act modifies the secretary of state’s regulation of notaries public by:

  • Allowing, in the secretary of state’s discretion, electronic filing of applications and renewals;
  • Clarifying the disciplinary and nondisciplinary actions that the secretary of state may take against a notary public;
  • Disallowing the use of a seal embosser; and
  • Updating the information a notary public includes on his or her official notary seal and requiring the seal to be rectangular.

The act also transfers fees collected in connection with the regulation of notaries public from the notary administration cash fund, which fund is repealed, to the department of state cash fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1297. Concerning the committee on anticompetitive conduct, and, in connection therewith, continuing the committee’s statutory authorization until September 1, 2013. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Tochtrop. The act extends the statutory authorization for the committee on anticompetitive conduct until September 1, 2013, and expresses support for constructive discussion among licensed professionals and other interested parties regarding the proper role, structure, and functions of the committee if it is continued beyond that date by House Bill 12-1300. Portions effective April 26, 2012 and portions effective September 1, 2013. NOTE: House Bill 12-1300 was signed by the Governor June 4, 2012.

H.B. 12-1300. Concerning professional review committees, and, in connection therewith, implementing the sunset review recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies and making an appropriation. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Aguilar. The act implements the recommendations made by the department of regulatory agencies (DORA) pursuant to DORA’s 2011 sunset review report of professional review committees and the committee on anticompetitive conduct.

The act continue the functions of professional review committees for seven years, until 2019. The act authorizes professional review of physician assistants and advanced practice nurses.

The act expands the list of entities that may establish professional review committees to include certain professional societies, provider networks, and health care institutions. The act also specifies that the sharing of professional review records and information with regulators and other professional review entities does not waive the professional review privilege or violate applicable confidentiality provisions.

The act requires entities that conduct professional review activities to register with the division of registrations in DORA and report on their activities, and directs the division to publish summary data in aggregated form. The act also directs the division to maintain, on its web site, a current list of all registered professional review committees. If an entity fails to register and report as required, the entity and its governing board lose the qualified immunity that would otherwise apply for acts and omissions occurring during the period of noncompliance.

The act also corrects inconsistent references to peer review and professional review and makes nonsubstantive clarifications and corrections to statutory language. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1311. Concerning continuation of the state board of pharmacy, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations contained in the sunset review and report regarding the board and recodifying the laws regulating pharmacists, the practice of pharmacy, and the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of prescription drugs and controlled substances, and making an appropriation. By Rep. Summers and Sen. Boyd. The act implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report on the Colorado state board of pharmacy. The act continues the state board of pharmacy (board) and its functions and the regulation of the practice of pharmacy through September 1, 2021. The act makes numerous changes to the state board of pharmacy statutes. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1332. Concerning licensure of anesthesiologist assistants. By Rep. Balmer and Sen. Guzman. The act prohibits an individual from practicing as an anesthesiologist assistant without a license issued by the Colorado medical board (board), effective July 1, 2013. In order to be licensed as an anesthesiologist assistant, an applicant must be at least 21 years of age and have successfully completed an education program for anesthesiologist assistants that conforms to standards delineated by the commission on accreditation of allied health education programs and approved by the board; successfully completed the national certifying examination for anesthesiologist assistants that is administered by the national commission for certification of anesthesiologist assistants; and submitted an application to the board in the manner designated by the board and paid the appropriate fee established by the board.

The act allows a physician who specializes in anesthesiology to delegate medical tasks to a licensed anesthesiologist assistant. The tasks are limited to the medical functions that constitute the delivery of or provision of anesthesia services as practiced by the supervising physician.

The act subjects an anesthesiologist assistant to the same standards for licensing, unprofessional conduct, and discipline that exist for physician assistants. Effective August 8, 2012.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

H.B. 12-1258. Concerning regulation of public utilities in terms of alternative fuel vehicles. By Rep. DelGrosso and Sen. Jahn. The act specifies that sellers of electricity, natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas as fuel for alternative fuel vehicles are not regulated as public utilities. Generating electricity for sale as fuel for alternative fuel vehicles does not make the seller subject to regulation as a public utility if the seller generates the electricity on the property where the alternative vehicle charging facilities are located and the electricity is generated from a renewable resource.

The act specifies that the sale of electricity or natural gas by a public utility to the owner of an alternative vehicle charging facility is a retail transaction. Regulated expenditures and investments made by a public utility to accommodate alternative vehicle charging facilities are equal in priority to all other infrastructure necessary to serve any customer of the public utility in its service territory, but are subordinate to the safety and reliability obligations of the utility. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1312. Concerning the exclusion of land use issues addressed by local governing bodies from the public utilities commission’s proper scope of review with respect to applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity for transmission lines. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Brophy. The act clarifies that the public utilities commission, in determining whether or not to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity for proposed electric transmission lines and associated facilities not constructed in the ordinary course of business, shall not consider land use issues such as the location or alignment of the proposed lines and associated facilities because a local government can address the land use considerations through its land use regulations. Effective April 12, 2012.

REAL PROPERTY

S.B. 12-30. Concerning administrative matters related to a foreclosure sale. By Sen. Jahn and Rep. Liston. The act makes the following changes related to a foreclosure sale:

  • Requires an electronic payment to an account of a public trustee to be in compliance with conditions placed on the account by the public trustee;
  • Requires a holder of an evidence of debt (holder) or the attorney for a holder, when commencing a foreclosure, to file a statement identifying the loan servicer of the evidence of debt, if any;
  • Requires a public trustee to include in a combined notice the following statement in bold: "If a sale is continued, the deadline to file a notice of intent to cure by those parties entitled to cure may also be extended";
  • Establishes a form for the cure statement, which is a statement of all sums necessary to cure the default that caused the foreclosure;
  • Modifies procedures related to the cure statement;
  • Permits a rule 120 hearing notice, which relates to a court order authorizing a sale of the foreclosed property, to be presented to the occupant of the residential property, if a person at the residence is impeding posting;
  • Adds a line for a confirmation deed fee and a confirmation deed recording fee to the bid form submitted by a holder, which fees are collected by and paid to an officer from the proceeds of a foreclosure sale;
  • Modifies foreclosure procedures for a property that is part of a bankruptcy proceeding;
  • Requires a public trustee to post notice about excess proceeds from a foreclosure sale (excess proceeds) on the trustee’s web site;
  • If the excess proceeds are at least $25, requires the public trustee to make reasonable efforts to identify the owner’s current address;
  • Requires an officer to retain excess proceeds, instead of transferring them to the county treasurer;
  • After five years, requires any excess proceeds greater than or equal to $25 to be transferred to the state treasurer as unclaimed property for purposes of the "Unclaimed Property Act," instead of depositing the proceeds in the county general fund;
  • Clarifies that an assignment of a lien must always be attached to the notice of intent to redeem by a lienor;
  • Modifies when an officer is required to execute and record a confirmation deed and specifies the conditions under which an assignee must be listed as the grantee on the deed; and
  • Specifies the procedures for releasing a deed of trust that has been recorded in the wrong county.

Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1105. Concerning wind energy property rights. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Tochtrop. The act establishes a nonseverable wind energy right in real property. The act defines "wind energy agreement" as a lease, license, easement, or other agreement to develop wind-powered energy generation. Unless the parties agree otherwise, all wind energy interests revert to the owner of the surface estate if the wind energy production has ceased for a period of fifteen years or if the generation of electricity has not begun within fifteen years. The act specifically exempts equipment used in the development of wind energy from personal property tax until the equipment is first used. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1237. Concerning the records kept by the unit owners’ association of a common interest community. By Rep. Williams and Sen. Harvey. The act adopts, with some revisions, suggested language from the uniform law commission concerning the records required to be kept by a unit owners’ association concerning the finances, board meeting minutes, and other affairs of a common interest community under the "Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act." Effective January 1, 2013.

H.B. 12-1329. Concerning the county treasurer becoming the public trustee in certain counties where the public trustee is currently appointed by the governor. By Rep. Scott and Sen. Nicholson. The public trustee of each county is required to adopt a budget pursuant to the requirements of the "Local Government Budget Law of Colorado" and to submit the budget to the board of county commissioners of the county in which he or she serves.

The office of the public trustee of any trustee who is appointed by the governor is subject to an individual annual audit under the provisions of the "Colorado Local Government Audit Law."

Each public trustee who is appointed by the governor is subject to the state "Procurement Code" for any purchase of $20,000 more and for any multi-year purchase agreement; except that, if the procurement rules established for the county in which the public trustee serves require an open and competitive bidding process, the public trustee may apply the county procurement rules. Effective August 8, 2012.

STATUTES

S.B. 12-29. Concerning the enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2011 as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado. By Sewn. Morse and Rep. Gardner. The act enacts the softbound volumes of Colorado Revised Statutes 2011 as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado and establishes the effective date of said publication. Effective March 29, 2012.

TAXATION

S.B. 12-94. Concerning clarification of the definition of food used in state sales tax laws to ensure that the treatment for sales tax purposes of a food product sold for domestic home consumption by a grocery store, supermarket, or convenience store does not change solely because the store sells the food product or markets the food product for sale as a convenience food. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Szabo. The act clarifies the definition of "food" used in state sales tax laws to ensure that the treatment for state and local sales tax purposes of a food product sold for domestic home consumption by a vendor, including but not limited to a grocery store, supermarket, convenience store, or drugstore, does not change solely due to the location of the food product within the vendor’s store or the manner in which the vendor markets the food product. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1028. Concerning the continuation of energy-related assistance to low-income households from the operational account of the severance tax trust fund. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Steadman. The act extends the funding through 2018-19 from the operational account of the severance tax trust fund to provide energy-related assistance to low-income households through direct bill payment assistance and home energy efficiency improvements. Effective March 24, 2012.

H.B. 12-1029. Concerning an economic stimulus through a property tax exemption for business personal property, and, in connection therewith, enacting the "Save Colorado Jobs Act." By Rep. Holbert and Sen. Scheffel. Counties, municipalities, and special districts currently have statutory authority to negotiate for an incentive payment or credit with a taxpayer who establishes a new business facility or expands an existing business facility. The maximum amount of the payment or credit is 50% of the amount of taxes levied by the respective local government upon the taxable business personal property located at or within the business facility and used in connection with the operation of the business facility for the current property tax year.

The act increases the maximum amount of the payment or credit to the total amount of the taxes levied by the respective local government upon such taxable business personal property. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1037. Concerning the classification of the sales of certain items used in agricultural production as wholesale sales. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Tochtrop. The act classifies the sales of certain agricultural items as wholesale sales rather than retail sales. The effect of such a classification is that the following sales will not be subject to sales tax:

  • Sales of agricultural compounds and spray adjuvants to be consumed by, administered to, or otherwise used in caring for livestock;
  • Sales of semen for agricultural or ranching purposes; and
  • Sales of pesticides that are registered by the commissioner of agriculture for use in the production of agricultural and livestock products.

"Spray adjuvants" are defined as products that are used to increase the effectiveness of a pesticide. Effective June 4, 2012.

H.B. 12-1042. Concerning a state income tax credit related to the portion of Colorado estate taxes paid that are attributable to agricultural land. By Rep. Pace and Sen. Schwartz. The act establishes an income tax credit for a person who inherits agricultural land located within the state that is based on the Colorado estate taxes that are attributable to the transfer of the agricultural land. The tax credit is subject to the following requirements:

  • If more than one person inherits the land, the credit is apportioned among all beneficiaries;
  • If the credit exceeds the income taxes owed, the excess is refundable to the taxpayer;
  • If the land is reclassified in the ten years after the credit is claimed, the taxpayer is required to repay the credit, with interest, to the state as part of an amended income tax return; and
  • The credit is only effective if congress enacts legislation that has the effect of delaying the state estate tax. After the delay is over and there is a state estate tax again, the credit may be claimed.

Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1045. Concerning sales and use tax exemptions for the sale and use of wood from trees harvested in Colorado damaged by beetles. By Rep. Bradford and Sen. S. King. Wood and wood products from trees killed or infested in Colorado by the mountain pine beetle are exempt from sales and use tax. The act specifies that the exemption also includes trees killed or infested in Colorado by the spruce beetle and extends the expiration of the exemption to July 1, 2020. Effective July 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1050. Concerning the voluntary contribution designation benefiting the nongame and endangered wildlife fund that appears on the state individual income tax return forms, and, in connection therewith, extending the period for the contribution designation. By Rep. Wilson and Sen. Nicholson. The act extends, through the tax year commencing January 1, 2016, the period for which state income tax return forms shall include a line whereby individual taxpayers may make a voluntary contribution to the nongame and endangered wildlife fund. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1096. Concerning an extension of the period for which the voluntary contribution designation line benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado fund appears on state individual income tax return forms. By Rep. A. Kerr and Sen. Brophy. The act extends, through the tax year commencing January 1, 2016, the period for which state income tax return forms include a line whereby individual taxpayers may make a voluntary contribution to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado fund. Effective March 19, 2012.

H.B. 12-1104. Concerning a change to the voluntary contribution designation benefiting the Colorado breast and women’s reproductive cancers fund, and, in connection therewith, changing the name of the fund to the Colorado cancer fund and expanding the purpose of the fund to include furtherance of the Colorado cancer coalition’s work on behalf of the cancer community. By Rep. Swerdfeger and Sen. Giron. The Colorado breast and women’s reproductive cancers voluntary contribution on the state income tax return form is changed to the Colorado cancer fund voluntary contribution, and the duration of time that the fund appears on the form is altered to five years unless continued by the general assembly acting by bill. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1178. Concerning the deadline for filing notice for reimbursement of tax payments for lost gasoline or special fuel. By Rep. Vigil and Sen. Schwartz. Under current law, a distributor or transporter is entitled to a refund or credit for the tax paid or accrued on gasoline or special fuel that is lost or destroyed by fire, lightning, flood, windstorm, explosion, accident, or other cause beyond the control of the distributor or transporter of the gasoline or special fuel. In order to claim this refund or credit, the distributor or transporter is required to notify the department of revenue (department) within seven days of the loss or destruction. The act increases the deadline for notifying the department to thirty days from the loss or destruction. Effective September 1, 2012.

H.B. 12-1241. Concerning enterprise zone designations. By Rep. Ferrandino and Sen. Heath. An enterprise zone review task force is created to review the effectiveness of the "Urban and Rural Enterprise Zone Act." The fifteen members of the task force are required to review the criteria for designation of an enterprise zone, the tax credits available in order to assess their effectiveness in achieving the purposes of the enterprise zones, and all other issues related to enterprise zones that the task force finds necessary. The act specifies that the task force must report its progress, findings, and recommendations to the finance committees of the house of representatives and the senate, the economic and business development committee of the house of representatives, and the business, labor, and technology committee of the senate, on or before November 1, 2013. The task force is subject to a sunset review of advisory committees prior to its repeal on July 1, 2014. Additionally, the director of the Colorado office of economic development (director) and the Colorado economic development commission (commission) are required to review the enterprise zone designations at least once every five years to ensure that the existing zones continue to meet one of the three criteria. The director and the commission are allowed to modify existing enterprise zone designations based on the review. If it is determined that existing enterprise zone designations need to be modified, the modification shall not be undertaken in a high unemployment period. All enterprise zones are required to submit annual documentation of efforts to improve economic conditions. Effective June 6, 2012.

H.B. 12-1273. Concerning the inclusion of approved facility schools affiliated with a hospital to the definition of child care facility for purposes of the child care contribution income tax credit. By Rep. Pabon and Sen. Steadman. For income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2013, the act includes approved facility schools that are also affiliated with a licensed or certified hospital in the state and are also nonprofit organizations as eligible child care facilities for purposes of the child care contribution income tax credit; except that, subject to other limitations in the law, any credit for a monetary contribution made to an approved facility school in the income tax year commencing on or after January 1, 2013, but before January 1, 2014, shall not be claimed until the income tax year commencing on or after January 1, 2014. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1299. Concerning the specification that a motor vehicle lessee is entitled to claim the innovative motor vehicle tax credit. By Rep. Singer and Sen. Shaffer. For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2012, it is the motor vehicle lessee, not the lessor, that is entitled to claim the innovative motor vehicle tax credit. Effective April 12, 2012.

H.B. 12-1307. Concerning the authority of a nonlawyer trustee of a certain size trust to represent the trust before the board of assessment appeals. By Rep. J. Kerr and Sen. Roberts. The act authorizes a trust to be represented in a proceeding before the board of assessment appeals by an attorney admitted to practice law in this state, by the trustee of the trust, or by the trustee’s designee. Effective August 8, 2012.

H.B. 12-1314. Concerning an exception to the requirement to file an oil and gas severance tax return for a person who has less than a certain amount withheld, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Hodge. The act creates an exception to the requirement that everyone subject to the severance tax on oil and gas must file a return with the department of revenue. This exception applies to any person who has less than $250 withheld by all unit operators or first purchasers in a taxable year and whose withholding is greater than or equal to the taxes owed by the person for the taxable year.

In addition, if any person fails to file a report related to the severance tax, the executive director of the department of revenue may estimate the amount of tax, interest, and penalties due and mail the estimate to the last-known address of the person. If, within ten days of receiving the estimate, the person fails to file a correct report and payment, the estimate becomes the amount payable to the state. The act prohibits the executive director from sending this estimate to a person who has less than $250 withheld by all unit operators or first purchasers for the taxable year; unless the executive director has good cause to believe that such person does not qualify for the filing exception. Effective June 4, 2012.

TRANSPORTATION

H.B. 12-1012. Concerning authorization for reimbursement for up to fifty thousand dollars of actual, reasonable, and necessary business reestablishment expenses to be paid by a state agency in connection with the reestablishment of an operation displaced by a department of transportation project or a project with department of transportation oversight. By Rep. Williams and Sen. Guzman. For a project administered or overseen by the department of transportation, the act increases from $10,000 to $50,000 the maximum amount of actual reasonable expenses to be paid by the department in connection with the reestablishment at a new site of a farm, nonprofit organization, or small business displaced by the project. Effective May 3, 2012.

H.B. 12-1108. Concerning the authority of the Colorado department of transportation to have signs within rights-of-way on the highway system. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Scheffel. The act repeals restrictions on the placement of department of transportation logo signs in urbanized areas on the interstate system. Effective August 8, 2012.

WATER AND IRRIGATION

S.B. 12-8. Concerning postponement of the repeal of requirements to replace well depletions to the Denver basin aquifers. By Sen. Brophy and Rep. Sonnenberg. Law that is currently in effect:

  • Requires wells that pump from the Dawson aquifer to replace actual out-of-priority depletions; and
  • Specifies that the replacement obligation for all Denver basin aquifers continues after pumping stops to compensate for depletions.

This law is scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2012.

The new law that will automatically become effective on July 1, 2012, requires:

  • Wells that pump from the Dawson aquifer to replace actual stream depletions to the extent necessary to prevent any injurious effect on other water rights based on actual aquifer conditions; and
  • Replacement after pumping ceases for all Denver basin aquifers only if required to compensate for injurious depletions.

There is currently no modeling tool available to calculate depletions according to actual aquifer conditions. Accordingly, the act postpones the repeal of the current law until July 1, 2015. Effective March 8, 2012.

S.B. 12-9. Concerning the consolidation of cash funds administered by the division of water resources, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Swerdfeger. The act consolidates several funds administered by the division of water resources into a newly created water resources cash fund and consolidates the laws governing the fund’s allowable uses into one section. The act repeals the water data bank cash fund, division of water resources publication cash fund, division of water resources ground water management cash fund, ground water publication fund, gravel pit lakes augmentation fund, and well enforcement cash fund. Effective July 1, 2012.

S.B. 12-97. Concerning a simplified procedure for the adjudication of certain changes of the points of diversion of water rights. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Sonnenberg. Under current law, all changes of water rights, including changes in the point of diversion, must be adjudicated. The act creates a simplified procedure for the adjudication of a simple change in a surface point of diversion, which is defined as a change in the point of diversion from a decreed surface diversion point to a new surface diversion point that is not combined with, and does not include, any other type of change of water right and for which there is no intervening surface diversion point or inflow between the new point of diversion and the diversion point from which a change is being made. The new procedure applies to a change of point of diversion that has already been physically accomplished or with respect to a requested future change of point of diversion.

There is a rebuttable presumption that a simple change in a surface point of diversion will not cause an enlargement of the historical use associated with the water rights being changed. The resulting decree must not requantify the water rights for which the point of diversion is being changed. The applicant is not required to prove:

  • That the water diverted at the new point of diversion can and will be diverted and put to use within a reasonable period of time;
  • Compliance with the anti-speculation doctrine; or
  • Future need for the water imposed by case law or statute.

Effective March 22, 2012.

H.B. 12-1022. Concerning the amount of water that permitted mining operations that construct impermeable areas that eliminate preexisting natural evapotranspiration are required to replace. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Schwartz. Some mining operations construct impermeable areas that capture precipitation and eliminate preexisting natural evapotranspiration. Current law requires that the portion of the captured precipitation that historically reached the stream must be replaced to prevent injury to senior water rights. However, capturing the amount of water that was lost through plant transpiration or evaporation does not increase the actual stream depletions caused by the mining operation because the evapotranspiration did not historically reach the stream. Current law does not give the mine operator any credit for this reduction in evapotranspiration when calculating the obligation to replace stream depletions unless it is a sand and gravel mine. The act specifies that for all permitted mining operations, there will be no requirement to replace the amount of historic natural depletion to the waters of the state that was caused by the preexisting natural evapotranspiration on the surface of an area that will be, or that has been, eliminated or made impermeable. Effective August 8, 2012.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW

H.B. 12-1033. Concerning conditions on the authority of the director of the division of workers’ compensation to impose administrative fines as a result of compliance audits finding instances of late reporting of injuries under the "Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado." By Rep. Swalm and Sen. Newell. The act specifies that the director of the division of workers’ compensation may not impose an administrative fine on an insurer or self-insured pool as a result of a compliance audit for late reporting of an injury, occupational disease, or fatality when the late reporting resulted from the insurer or self-insured pool not having notice or knowledge of the injury, occupational disease, or fatality in sufficient time to comply with the reporting period. The act permits the director to impose a fine if the director finds that the late reporting constituted a knowing or repeated pattern of noncompliance with the reporting requirements and was not caused by the insurer’s or self-insured pool’s lack of notice or knowledge of the injury, occupational disease, or fatality. Effective August 8, 2012.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

H.C.R.12-1001. Submitting to the registered electors of the state of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the state personnel system, and, in connection therewith, expanding the veterans’ preference; increasing the number of candidates eligible to be appointed to a position; adjusting the duration of allowable temporary employment; allowing the flexibility to remove a limited number of positions from the system; modifying the residency requirement; adjusting the terms of service for members of the state personnel board; and requiring merit-based appointments to be made through a comparative analysis process. By Rep. Ferrandino and Rep. Johnston. Referred measure for November 2012 ballot. The concurrent resolution makes the following changes to the state personnel system (system):

Merit principles. Currently, appointments and promotions in the system are made based on competitive tests of competence. Competitive tests of competence are replaced with the requirement that there be a comparative analysis of candidates based on objective criteria.

Exemptions. Subject to the approval of the state personnel director, specified departmental positions and senior executive service employees are exempted from the system, but the total number of these new exemptions may not exceed one percent of the total number of persons in the system.

Appointments from eligible list. Currently, appointments within the system must be made to one of the three persons ranking highest on the eligible list for the position. The number of persons eligible for appointment is expanded from three to six.

Residency requirement. All appointees are currently required to reside in the state, but applications may be accepted for positions that the state personnel board determines cannot be readily filled from among residents of this state based on training, education, or qualifications. The concurrent resolution allows the state personnel director to make exceptions and removes the criteria relating to that authority. It also creates an exception to the residency requirement for a position located at a work site that is within thirty miles of the state border.

Temporary employment. Currently, the state personnel director may authorize the use of temporary employees for up to six months. This limit is changed to nine months.

State personnel board. Members of the state personnel board currently serve five-year terms and may only be removed from the board for specified reasons.

The concurrent resolution changes a board member’s term to three years and limits each member to two terms, regardless of whether a term is a full term or a partial term filling a vacancy. In addition, two of the board members appointed by the governor will serve at the governor’s pleasure. The concurrent resolution also removes the conduct of competitive examinations of competence from the list of provisions for which the board is required to adopt rules.

Veterans’ preference. Currently, veterans receive additional points on a passing grade on a competitive examination. The concurrent resolution adapts the veterans’ preference to the new comparative analysis system and eliminates the prohibition on a veteran using the preference more than once.

EXTRAORDINARY SESSION—"SPECIAL SESSION"

H.B. 12S-1002. Concerning administration of the unemployment insurance program in order to stabilize unemployment insurance rates, and, in connection therewith, facilitating the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds, accelerating the creation of the division of unemployment insurance in the department of labor and employment, and making technical changes to provisions enacted as part of House Bill 11-1288 to ensure appropriate transition to the new unemployment insurance premium rate structure. By Rep. Liston and Rep. Jahn. The act makes the following changes to current law with respect to the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds:

Makes the unemployment insurance laws consistent with those of the Colorado housing and finance authority with respect to the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds by either the division of unemployment insurance or the Colorado housing and finance authority.

Authorizes the deposit of all or any portion of bond assessments paid by employers for principal of the bonds into the unemployment compensation fund prior to being transferred to the issuer of the bonds. This allows these payments to count toward improving the experience rating of employers.

Authorizes the assessment of interest and other bond costs through the employment support fund and requires the transfer of these assessments to the issuer of the bonds for the payment of interest and other costs associated with the bonds.

In order to facilitate the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds, the act accelerates the date for the creation of the division of unemployment insurance by adding an effective date of June 1, 2012, to House Bill 12-1120 and placing a safety clause on that bill.

The act also makes technical changes to language enacted in House Bill 11-1288 in order to ensure appropriate transition to the new unemployment insurance premium rate structure once solvency is established in the unemployment compensation fund. Effective June 1, 2012.

S.B. 12S-1. Concerning the registration of special mobile machinery fleets, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Cadman and Rep. Priola. The act allows an owner of more than 10 pieces of special mobile machinery to register all new special mobile machinery quarterly with the county and to obtain and use special mobile machinery plates, identifying decals, or certificates to designate that the registration for the machinery is pending. This allows the owner to renew the registrations for all of the machinery on the same date each year. The license plate for special mobile machinery is not required to have an annual validating tab or sticker. Fees are set to implement the bill. Effective August 15, 2012.

S.B. 12S-2. Concerning the funding of Colorado water conservation board projects, and, in connection therewith, making appropriations. The act appropriates various amounts from the Colorado water conservation board construction fund for the projects statewide. The act repurposes the flood response program to include drought preparedness and response and renames the flood response fund to the flood and drought response fund. The state engineer may receive and expend grants and distributions of money from the Colorado water conservation board for use in discharging the state engineer’s duties. The act transfers funds from the perpetual base account of the severance tax trust fund to the Colorado water conservation board construction fund. Effective June 8, 2012.

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