Vol. 43, No. 8
In and Around the Bar
2014 CBA Legislative Update
Legislation Passed During the 2014 Legislative Session
by Michael Valdez
Children and Domestic Relations
Consumer and Commercial Transactions
Corporations and Associations
Criminal Law—Substantive and Procedural
Health and Environment
Health Care Policy and Financing
Human Services—Social Services
Labor and Industry
Military and Veterans
Motor Vehicle Law
Probate and Trusts
Professions and Occupations
ON THE COVER
The photo on the cover of the 2014 Legislative Update was captured by Leah Achen, a CBA program coordinator. The snapshot was taken from the fourth floor of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, outside the Supreme Court chambers. Achen used a Samsung 4G LTE, with standard settings.
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.
The Director of the CBA Department of Legislative Relations is charged with representing CBA interests at the Colorado Legislature. The CBA Legislative Update, compiled by the department director, is provided as a free service to CBA members. Michael Valdez, pictured at right, served as the director of the department for twenty-two-and-one-half years. Valdez resigned his position in June 2014.
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 2014 legislative session. It is intended only to alert practitioners to new legislation of general interest to attorneys.
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/tcl.The Legislative Update has not been edited by The Colorado Lawyer editors.
S.B. 14-52. Concerning actions taken to remediate soil erosion creating property damage. By Sen. Crowder and Rep. Sonnenberg. Currently, a board of county commissioners may, after a complaint has been filed and the appropriate consultations made, determine that windblown soil from land in the county is harming neighboring property and the erosion constitutes an emergency. The county may mitigate the erosion and charge the benefitted land owner.
The act adds an extension agent with expertise in soil conservation or soil science to the list of people the board may consult, and the county is required to consult with local landowners. Additionally, the current $15 per acre cap on the treatment cost is replaced with a $40 cap. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B. 14-142. Concerning an exception for certain water system facilities from the facilities that the commissioner of agriculture has a duty to inspect regarding pesticide storage. By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Fischer. The commissioner of agriculture regulates the use of agricultural chemicals in Colorado. As part of that duty, the commissioner inspects all facilities in Colorado that store pesticides, including public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works. However, the water quality control division in the Colorado department of public health and environment also inspects public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works to facilitate the water quality control commission’s regulation of water quality throughout the state. The act eliminates this duplication of efforts by removing the commissioner of agriculture’s duty to regulate these facilities. Effective March 27, 2014.
S.B.14-184. Concerning oversight of the industrial hemp program. By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Coram. The act requires the industrial hemp committee to work with the department of agriculture (department) to establish a hemp seed certification program. The act removes the 10-acre limitation for growing industrial hemp. A person who wishes to grow industrial hemp may apply to the department at any time prior to planting. The department is directed to administer an industrial hemp grant research program that is funded through registration fees, private sources, and moneys from the marijuana cash fund or the marijuana tax cash fund. The grants allow state institutions of higher education to conduct the research. The act creates the industrial hemp research grant program fund. The act allows a person to process, sell, and distribute hemp cultivated by a registered person or to sell hemp products produced from the hemp. Effective May 31, 2014.
Children and Domestic Relations
S.B. 14-51. Concerning access to records relating to the adoption of children, and in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Saine. The act repeals and reenacts portions of existing law concerning access to adoption records to eliminate different standards for access by members of the adoption triad (consisting of the adoptee, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents) and their descendants based on the law in existence on the date the adoption was finalized. The act retains the confidentiality of adoption records from the general public unless the requesting party is legally eligible to access the records or unless the court finds good cause for release. The act retains current policy that after a birth parent is deceased or an adult adoptee is deceased, eligible relatives may receive access to the adoption records.
Contact preference forms. The act permits the continued use of the contact preference form issued by the state registrar of vital statistics (state registrar), which form may be used by a birth parent to indicate whether he or she prefers to be contacted by an adoptee, the descendant of an adoptee, or a representative of either directly, through a third party, or not at all. Effective January 1, 2016, the option on the contact preference form that allows a birth parent to authorize or to not authorize release of the original birth certificate to the adult adoptee, his or her descendants, or certain adoptive family members is eliminated. This option is phased out by January 1, 2016. The act specifies the procedures to be followed by the state registrar for releasing the original birth certificate during the phase-out of this option on the contact preference form and after the option is eliminated. Prior to releasing an original birth certificate to an eligible party, the state registrar must conduct a search to determine whether a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016, was filed with the state registrar. If both birth parents have filed a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016, authorizing the release of the original birth certificate, the state registrar must release the original birth certificate to the eligible party. If there is no contact preference form on file prior to January 1, 2016, from a birth parent named on the original birth certificate, or if a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016, states a preference that the original birth certificate not be released, then the state registrar may not release the original birth certificate to an eligible party prior to January 1, 2016, unless the birth parent rescinds the contact preference form, upon mutual consent of 2 or more reunited parties, the birth parent is deceased, or a court orders its release. When one birth parent has authorized the release of the birth certificate and the other birth parent has filed a contact preference form prior to January 1, 2016, not authorizing the release, the state registrar shall issue the original birth certificate to the eligible party with the name of the nonconsenting parent redacted. The state registrar shall maintain and make available to the public accurate statistics about the number of contact preference forms on file with the state registrar and how many of the forQms state a preference for contact, no contact, or contact through a third party.
The act includes a legislative declaration expressing the intent of the general assembly that access to adoption records should no longer be dependent upon the law in effect on the date of finalization of the adoption and that the purpose of revising the statute is to make access to adoption records to the adoption triad more uniform; to declare that it is the intent of the general assembly to not abrogate, limit, or change the holding in In the matter of Petition of J.N.H, a court of appeals decision that opened up access to records to adult adoptees of the names of his or her birth parents and to court records regarding the adoption; and to declare that the courts should liberally construe the statute in favor of releasing the records.
Access to adoption records by adult adoptees, their descendants, or adoptive family members. The act retains current policy regarding the parties who are eligible to apply for adoption records. A custodian of adoption records must release adoption records, including birth certificates, to an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a custodial grandparent of a minor adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual. In addition, the custodian of records must provide direct access for inspection and copying of adoption records to a spouse of an adult adoptee, adult descendant of an adoptee, adult sibling or half-sibling of an adult adoptee, adoptive parent or grandparent of an adult adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual, if the individual requesting access has the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee or if the adult adoptee is deceased.
Access to original birth certificates by birth parents. Upon request, the state registrar must provide to a birth parent who relinquished a child for adoption and whose termination of parental rights was not the result of a dependency and neglect action a copy of the unaltered original birth certificate that the birth parent signed or was named in.
Access to death certificates. The state registrar is authorized to conduct a search of death certificates to determine whether a birth parent or an adoptee is deceased and to provide a copy of any death certificate found to the requesting eligible individual. The state registrar may collect fees for conducting a search and for making copies and shall transmit any fees to the state treasurer who must credit the fees to the vital statistics records cash fund.
The legal custodian shall not release records unless the individual requesting access is eligible to access the records and provides proof of personal identification. The legal custodian may charge reasonable fees for copying records.
The act retains the existing policy that allows identifying information in adoption records of child placement agencies to remain confidential based on prior written statements of birth parents on file with the child placement agency or the court; except that the adoption records in possession of a child placement agency may be open for inspection and copying with respect to identifying information if a birth parent provides a consent form to the child placement agency consenting to the release of the identifying information. This provision applies only to adoption records in the possession of child placement agencies and does not apply to adoption records in the possession of the court or any other agency, entity, or person.
Subject to the provisions of the act, any party may seek direct contact with another party or use the services of a confidential intermediary, a licensed child placement agency that agrees to conduct a search, or the voluntary mutual consent registry operated by the state registrar.
The definition of "custodian of records" for purposes of access to adoption records by eligible parties, as provided in the act, includes records in the custody of a court, a state agency, or the legal representative of the court or a state agency. The definition specifically excludes licensed child placement agencies. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-62. Concerning reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Foote. The act creates a process for reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship (reinstatement) in limited circumstances for a child whose parent’s rights have previously been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated. A county department of human or social services (county department), the child’s guardian ad litem, or a child who is 16 years of age or older may file a petition for reinstatement. The court shall hold an initial hearing within sixty-three days after the filing of the petition to determine whether certain threshold conditions for pursuing reinstatement have been satisfied, including that:
The allegations in the petition have been established by clear and convincing evidence;
The child is of sufficient age and maturity and able to express his or her preference about reinstatement;
The former parent has remediated the problems that led to the termination of the parent–child relationship, if applicable, and can provide a safe and stable home for the child; and
The former parent has participated in an assessment that supports that the reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship is in the best interests of the child.
At the initial hearing on the petition, the court shall either dismiss the petition or enter an order finding that the threshold conditions for pursuing reinstatement have been met and that it is in the best interests of the child to work toward reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship. If the court finds that working toward reinstatement is in the best interests of the child, then the court must approve a transition plan for reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship, including visitation or placement of the child with the former parent for a designated trial period of up to six months while the child remains in the custody of the county department. During the trial period, the county department may stop the visitation or remove the child from placement with the former parent at any time if it deems that the child is not safe or that it is no longer in the best interests of the child to remain with the former parent. At the final hearing, the court shall make certain findings and may either dismiss the petition, continue the matter for another hearing, or grant the petition and order the reinstatement of the parent–child legal relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child.
The act states the effect of reinstatement, that granting the petition for reinstatement does not vacate or otherwise affect the validity of the original order terminating the parent–child legal relationship, and that granting a petition for reinstatement for one former parent does not restore or otherwise impact the rights of the other former parent. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B.14-201. Concerning reestablishing a child protection ombudsman advisory work group to develop a plan for accountable autonomy for the child protection ombudsman program. By Sen. Newell and Rep. Singer. The act creates a new advisory work group related to the office of the child protection ombudsman (office). The duties of the advisory work group include reconciling the implementation of recommendations from the 2010 advisory work group with the current operations and function of the office and making additional recommendations for autonomy and accountability as appropriate. Appointments to the advisory work group must be made no later than sixty days after May 14, 2014, and the advisory work group must convene on or before August 1, 2014. The advisory work group shall provide a report to the health and human services committee of the senate and the public health care and human services committee of the house of representatives, the governor, and the executive director on or before December 1, 2014. The advisory work group is repealed, effective July 1, 2016. Effective May 29, 2014.
S.B.14-203. Concerning the office of the respondent parents’ counsel in cases of alleged child abuse or neglect. By Sen. Lambert and Rep. May. The act establishes the office of the respondent parents’ counsel in the state judicial department, effective January 1, 2016, to provide high-quality legal representation to parents involved in dependency and neglect proceedings and who lack the financial means to obtain legal representation. The act repeals a provision authorizing the cost of a court proceeding to be assessed against the losing party. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1032. Concerning the provision of defense counsel to juvenile offenders, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Guzman. The act continues a promise to appear in court served upon a juvenile and the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian to state specified information concerning the right to assistance of counsel and the potential to have counsel appointed.
When a juvenile is placed in a detention facility, a temporary holding facility, or a shelter facility designated by the court, the screening team shall promptly notify the court, the district attorney, and the local office of the office of the state public defender (OSPD).
A juvenile who is detained shall be represented at the detention hearing by counsel. If the juvenile has not retained his or her own counsel, he or she shall be represented by the OSPD or, in the case of a conflict, by the office of alternate defense counsel (OADC). This representation shall continue unless:
The juvenile retains his or her own counsel; or
The juvenile is charged with an offense for which the juvenile may waive counsel and the juvenile has made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.
The scheduled time for a detention hearing must allow a juvenile’s defense counsel sufficient time to consult with the juvenile before the detention hearing. This consultation may be performed by secure electronic means if the conditions under which the electronic consultation is held allow the consultation to be confidential. The law enforcement agency that arrested the juvenile shall promptly provide to the court and to defense counsel the affidavit supporting probable cause for the arrest and the arrest report, if the arrest report is available, and the screening team shall promptly provide to the court and to defense counsel any screening material prepared pursuant to the juvenile’s arrest.
A detention hearing shall not be combined with a preliminary hearing or a first advisement. Due to the limited scope of a detention hearing, the representation of a juvenile by appointed counsel at a detention hearing does not, by itself, create a basis for disqualification in the event that such counsel is subsequently appointed to represent another individual whose case is related to the juvenile’s case.
The act requires a summons issued by a court to a juvenile to state specified information concerning the right to assistance of counsel and the potential for appointing counsel.
At a juvenile’s first appearance before the court, after the detention hearing or at the first appearance if the juvenile appears on a summons, the court shall advise the juvenile of his or her constitutional and legal rights, including the right to counsel.
If a juvenile respondent has made an early application for appointed counsel and the OSPD has made a preliminary determination that the juvenile is eligible for appointed counsel, or if the court has appointed counsel for the juvenile, an OSPD attorney or, in the case of a conflict, an OADC attorney, shall be available to represent the juvenile at the juvenile’s first appearance. If a juvenile respondent has not made an early application for appointed counsel for the juvenile but the juvenile requests appointment of counsel at the first appearance, the court shall determine if the juvenile is eligible for counsel. Failure of a juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian to apply for court-appointed counsel may not be construed as a waiver of the right to counsel or any other rights held by the juvenile.
If the juvenile and his or her parents, guardian, or other legal custodian are found to be indigent, or the juvenile’s parents, guardian, or other legal custodian refuses to retain counsel for the juvenile, or the court, on its own motion, determines that counsel is necessary to protect the interests of the juvenile or other parties, or the juvenile is in the custody of the state department of human services or a county department of social services, the court shall appoint OSPD or, in the case of a conflict, OADC for the juvenile; except that the court shall not appoint the OSPD or OADC if:
The juvenile has retained his or her own counsel; or
The juvenile has made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.
If the court appoints counsel for the juvenile because of the refusal of the parents, guardian, or other legal custodian to retain counsel for the juvenile, then the parents, guardian, or legal custodian, other than a county department of social services or the department of human services, shall be advised by the court that if the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian is determined not to be indigent, then the court will order the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian to reimburse the court for the cost of the representation unless the court, for good cause, waives the reimbursement requirement.
The court may accept a waiver of counsel by a juvenile only after making specified findings.
The appointment of counsel for a juvenile offender continues until the court’s jurisdiction is terminated; the juvenile or the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian retains counsel for the juvenile; the court finds that the juvenile or his or her parents, guardians, or other legal custodian has sufficient financial means to retain counsel or no longer refuses to retain counsel for the juvenile; or the juvenile makes a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.
A court shall not deem a guardian ad litem who is appointed by the court for a child in a delinquency proceeding to be a substitute for defense counsel for the juvenile.
The OSPD, before determining indigency, may provide representation to juveniles in detention hearings.
The OSPD, the OADC, and the judicial branch shall annually report certain data concerning juvenile delinquency proceedings. Effective November 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Saine and Sen. Tochtrop. This act applies to access by birth parents to relinquishment records in cases where a parent consents to the relinquishment of a child and where the subsequent termination of the parent–child legal relationship is not the result of a dependency and neglect action. This act requires that a custodian of records relating to the relinquishment of a child provide to the child’s relinquishing birth parent to whom the document pertains a copy of the relinquishment records in the possession of the custodian that are signed by the relinquishing birth parent or by a parent, guardian, custodian, or legal guardian on behalf of the birth parent and any of the following records in which the relinquishing birth parent is named:
The original birth certificate;
The petition to relinquish;
The final order of relinquishment;
The affidavit of counseling, excluding any attachments and excluding any notes or pre-relinquishment counseling documents;
The temporary waiver of custody;
The expedited relinquishment documents, if applicable;
A relinquishment interrogatory from a birth parent;
The order for publication of relinquishment;
The notice to terminate the parent–child legal relationship; and
The medical records of a birth mother related to the pregnancy and birth, which records may only be released by the health care provider, hospital, or maternity home that created the record.
The custodian of records shall provide these relinquishment records to the relinquishing birth parent at the time of relinquishment of the child or at the time the document is created. If relinquishment records were not provided to a birth parent at the time of the relinquishment of the child or at the time the document was created and the subsequent termination of the parent–child legal relationship was not the result of a dependency and neglect action, then upon written request of the birth parent and proof of identification, the custodian of the records shall provide access to and copies of such records to the birth parent. Nothing in this statute prevents the release of relinquishment records to a birth parent who was a minor at the time of relinquishment where the record was signed by a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or legal representative on behalf of the relinquishing birth parent. A custodian of records, for purposes of this act, includes a court, state agency, licensed child placement agency, maternity home, or the legal representative thereof.
A licensed child placement agency is not liable to any person for the failure of a birth parent to request copies of the relinquishment records at the time of relinquishment or at a later date. A licensed child placement agency or succeeding custodian of records is not liable to any person for failure to produce a copy of a record that did not exist pursuant to the statutes or rules at the time of the relinquishment.
The act appropriates $14,423 out of the vital statistics records cash fund and 0.3 FTE to the department of public health and environment for fiscal year 2014-15. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1162. Concerning protection of the victim of a sexual assault in cases where a child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, and, in connection therewith, making legislative changes in response to the study by and the report of the recommendations from the task force on children conceived through rape. By Rep. Landgraf and Sen. Carroll. In the 2013 legislative session, the general assembly passed a bill that allows the victim of a sexual assault in which a child was conceived and in which the person who committed the sexual assault was convicted to file for the termination of the parent–child legal relationship of the person who committed the sexual assault. In that same bill, the general assembly created a task force on children conceived by rape to study whether changes should be made to that statute and to study issues associated with parental rights in cases where a child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault but a conviction did not occur. This act makes legislative changes in response to the study and report prepared by the task force.
The act makes the following changes to provisions passed last year for cases involving convictions:
Adding more due process protections, such as specifying the notice to the respondent, setting a date for hearing the petition, and notifying the Indian tribe if the child is an Indian child in accordance with the federal "Indian Child Welfare Act;"
Adding more protections for the victim and the child, including protecting the identity of the victim and the child in the summons, ordering protective measures for the victim in the courtroom, treating child support payments as confidential, and requiring the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the child;
Providing legal counsel for indigent petitioners and respondents and waiving filing fees for indigent petitioners;
Providing additional protections for parties who have a disability;
Providing for admission of parentage and for genetic testing to confirm paternity and allowing the court to order the parent against whom the petition has been filed to pay for genetic testing;
Authorizing the court, with the consent of both parties, to order relinquishment without a finding or admission of the factors necessary for such an order;
Stating that the court shall not presume that having only one remaining parent is contrary to the child’s best interests;
Creating a process for the parent whose parent–child legal relationship is terminated to provide medical and family information to be shared with the child and the victim in a way that protects the child from knowing the name of the person; and
Clarifying what happens if the court denies the petition to terminate the parent–child legal relationship, including that the juvenile court has continuing jurisdiction of the matter and has the authority to enter an order allocating parental responsibilities between the parties, including an order to not allocate parental responsibilities to the parent against whom the petition was filed.
The act repeals the statutes enacted last year that provided for a stay of a civil domestic relations proceeding or a paternity action while criminal charges of sexual assault brought against the alleged perpetrator are resolved.
The act creates a process to allow the victim of a sexual assault in cases where a child was conceived and in which a conviction did not occur to file a petition in juvenile court to prevent future contact with and to terminate the parent–child legal relationship of the parent who allegedly committed the sexual assault. This process is similar to the process for petitions involving convictions but does not include a rebuttable presumption that it is in best interests of the child to terminate the parent–child legal relationship. If the court denies the petition to terminate the parent–child legal relationship, the juvenile court has continuing jurisdiction and the authority to enter orders on allocation of parental rights, including an order to not allocate parental rights to the other parent. The juvenile court may order the parent to submit to a sex offense-specific evaluation and parental risk assessment that may factor in the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities and parenting time. The court shall order the parent who is found to have committed the sexual assault to pay for the costs of the evaluation and the assessment. All of the changes made in this act to the process for petitions involving convictions are also included in the process for petitions for non-convictions.
Since some issues involving the child conceived by a sexual assault might start in the domestic relations arena instead of in a juvenile proceeding, the act gives the domestic relations courts the authority to allocate parental rights and responsibilities, to address decision-making between the victim and the other parent in these cases, and to issue protective orders. The provisions are similar to the considerations that the court uses to address cases involving domestic violence. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that one of the parties has committed sexual assault and the child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, then it shall not be in the best interests of the child to allocate sole or split decision-making to the person who was found to have committed sexual assault or to allocate mutual decision making with respect to any issue over the objection of the other party or the guardian ad litem. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that one of the parties has committed sexual assault and the child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, the court shall consider whether it is in the best interests of the child to prohibit or limit the parenting time of that party with the child. Prior to entering an order relating to parenting time or parental contact, the court may order that party to submit to a sex offense-specific evaluation and a parental risk assessment in Colorado. The court shall order the parent who is found to have committed the sexual assault to pay the costs of the evaluation and parental risk assessment.
In addition, in cases where the court has found that the child was conceived as a result of sexual assault, a domestic relations court may not modify a prior order regarding allocation of decision making or modify a prior order regarding parenting time unless it finds that the child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical health or significantly impairs the child’s emotional development.
Under existing law, when a parent voluntarily relinquishes a child so that the child may be adopted, there is a private action filed to terminate the parent–child legal relationship of the other parent. A victim of sexual assault might want to voluntarily relinquish the child conceived from the sexual assault for adoption and terminate the other parent’s rights. This act amends the statute on termination in voluntary relinquishment cases so that the court may order the termination based on a finding that the other parent is unfit due to a history of violent behavior, which may include an incidence of sexual assault that resulted in the conception of the child. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1362. Concerning great-grandparent visitation with great-grandchildren. By Rep. Moreno and Sen. Ulibarri. The act amends the statutory provisions concerning visitation rights of grandparents and disputes concerning grandparent visitation to include great-grandparents, without changing the eligibility requirements or process outlined in the existing statutes. The act adds the definition for great-grandparent to the statute. Effective June 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1372. Concerning unauthorized advertising for adoption purposes. By Rep. Conti and Sen. Marble. The act prohibits advertising through a public medium for one of the following purposes:
To find a child to adopt or to otherwise take permanent physical custody of a child;
To find an adoptive home or any other permanent physical placement for a child or to arrange for or assist in the adoption, adoptive placement, or any other permanent physical placement of a child; or
To offer to place a child for adoption or in any other permanent physical placement with another person.
The act does not apply to specified individuals who are typically involved in the adoption of children. Unauthorized advertising of a child for adoption is a class 6 felony. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B.14-1379. Concerning clarifying the application of spousal maintenance statutes. By Rep. McCann and Sen. Kerr. The act clarifies that the spousal maintenance statute as it existed prior to January 1, 2014, governs claims for maintenance in dissolution of marriage and other actions filed prior to January 1, 2014. In addition, the act clarifies that, in addition to remarriage, a maintenance order also terminates upon the establishment of a civil union by the party receiving maintenance. Effective May 31, 2014.
Consumer and Commercial Transactions
S.B. 14-102. Concerning the addition of employment positions held at financial institutions to the circumstances under which an employer may use consumer credit information for employment purposes. By Sen. Ulibarri and Rep. Gardner. Under current law, only certain employers may use consumer credit information for employment purposes, and only if the information is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job. Current law also governs circumstances under which an employer may require a credit report.
To ensure that a bank or financial institution authorized to require a credit report may then use the credit report, the act allows bank or financial institution employers to use consumer credit information for employment purposes by amending the definition of "substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job" to include positions held at banks or financial institutions. Effective March 27, 2014.
S.B.14-103 Concerning the phase-out of the sale of certain low-efficiency plumbing fixtures. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Fischer. The act defines a "watersense-listed plumbing fixture" as one that has been:
Tested by an accredited third-party certifying body or laboratory in accordance with the federal environmental protection agency’s watersense program;
Certified by such body or laboratory as meeting the performance and efficiency requirements of the program; and
Authorized by the program to use its label.
Current law requires water-efficient indoor plumbing fixtures in only three contexts:
Builders of new single-family detached residences must offer the buyers toilets, faucets, and showerheads that meet the current standards of the watersense program;
Tank-type water closets and flushometer toilets in new state buildings must meet certain standards that are either less stringent than or as stringent as the current watersense standards; and
New construction and renovation of residential structures and office, commercial, or industrial buildings must meet standards that are less stringent than the current watersense standards.
The act prohibits the sale of new lavatory faucets, shower heads, flushing urinals, tank-type toilets, and tank-type water closets on and after September 1, 2016, unless they are a watersense-listed plumbing fixture. The bill amends or repeals conflicting portions of current law. Portions effective August 6, 2014 and portions effective September 1, 2016.
H.B. 14-1141. Concerning the confidentiality of social security numbers under statutes protecting the privacy of individuals. By Rep. Coram and Sen. Roberts. The act generally prohibits an entity with a board of directors, including an advisory board, from requiring an unpaid member of the board to disclose his or her social security number to the entity in order to serve as a member of the board. However, the act allows an entity to require a current or prospective board member to disclose his or her social security number to the entity to serve on the board if the entity states the reason for the requirement and specifies what use will be made of the social security number and if:
The entity is required by law or by a condition of accreditation to obtain the social security number for purposes of a background check or to properly account for reimbursement payments;
The board member would directly serve a clientele that includes minors, the elderly, victims of abuse, persons with developmental disabilities, or other vulnerable individuals, and the entity has an established policy of using a professional employment screening service to conduct background checks utilizing social security numbers to screen personnel, board members, or volunteers; or
The board member would be authorized to sign checks or engage in other transactions involving the entity’s assets or accounts, and the financial institution holding the assets or accounts requires a social security number to verify the identity of persons so authorized.
The act also:
Makes it unlawful for the state or any local government to deny an individual a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because the individual refuses to disclose his or her social security number unless the disclosure is required by state or federal law; and
Requires the state or any local government that requests an individual to disclose his or her social security number to inform the individual whether the disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the social security number is solicited, and what uses will be made of the individual’s social security number. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1206. Concerning modifications to the "Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act," and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain charitable solicitation practices, modifying the secretary of state’s fining authority, adjusting registration statement requirements, and specifying requirements for appointing registered agents. By Rep. Conti and Sen. Ulibarri. The act amends the "Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act" (act) as follows:
Modifies the required content of charitable organization registration statements to eliminate unnecessary content;
Prohibits a charitable organization from aiding, abetting, or permitting a paid solicitor to solicit contributions on its behalf unless the paid solicitor has complied with the requirements of the act;
Specifies that while information filed with the secretary of state’s office by a charitable organization, professional fundraising consultant, or paid solicitor in connection with the person or organization’s registration is a public record, account numbers at banks or other financial institutions are not public records;
Eliminates the fine amounts specified in the act for soliciting while unregistered, thereby allowing the secretary of state to set those fine amounts by rule;
Requires registered individuals and organizations to appoint a registered agent to receive notices, process, and other materials for the individual or organization; and
Modifies the fines that may be imposed for failing to timely file required documents with the secretary of state.
Effective August 6, 2014.
Corporations and Associations
S.B. 14-156. Concerning a requirement that a public benefit corporation file an annual report. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Lee. The act requires public benefit corporations to file an annual report. Effective May 15, 2014.
S.B.14-27. Concerning criminal history background checks for professionals who have the authority to appear in court, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Lee.
The act requires the application process for a law license and a child and family investigator appointment to include a fingerprint-based criminal history background check. The act updates the statute concerning the practice of law. Effective May 2, 2014.
S.B. 14-48. Concerning use of the most recent United States Census Bureau mortality table as evidence of the expectancy of continued life of any person in a civil action in Colorado. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Waller. The act requires courts to accept into evidence the most recent United States census bureau expectation of life and expected deaths by race, sex, and age table, as published by the United States census bureau, to establish the continued life expectancy of any person in a civil action in Colorado. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B. 14-138. Concerning civil immunity for community volunteers assisting at an emergency. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Sonnenberg. Current law provides limited immunity for volunteer firefighters who provide services at the scene of an emergency. The act extends the immunity to volunteers working for nonprofit organizations and corporations, a governmental entity, or a hospital. Effective March 21, 2014.
S.B. 14-206. Concerning criminal record sealing provisions, and, in connection therewith, relocating the record sealing provisions in a new part, clarifying when an arrest record can be sealed, and making other clarifying changes. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Singer. The act moves the sealing of criminal records statutes into a new part and reorganizes the statutes. The act allows a person to seal an arrest record if he or she is not charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations has not run, but the person is no longer being investigated by law enforcement. Effective May 31, 2014.
H.B. 14-1050. Concerning an increase in the number of judges for the eighteenth judicial district, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Guzman. The act increases the number of judges for the 18th judicial district from 21 to 23. Effective March 14, 2014.
H.B.14-1061. Concerning sentences imposing monetary payments in criminal actions, and, in connection therewith, eliminating prison sentences for persons who are unable to pay criminal monetary penalties. By Rep. Salazar and Sen. Guzman. Current law provides that part of a criminal sentence must include a sentence to prison if an individual criminal defendant fails to pay a fine. The act changes this requirement so that the sentence must include notice that:
If a defendant is unable to pay the monetary amount, the defendant must contact the court’s designated official or appear in court to explain the inability; and
If a defendant willfully fails to pay a monetary amount, the court may hold the person in contempt of court and sentence the person to prison.
The act establishes the following procedures when a defendant fails to pay a monetary amount:
Prohibits the imprisonment if the defendant is unable to pay the monetary amount without undue hardship to the defendant or his or her family;
Allows the court to consider imposing a suspended sentence, revoking probation, or instituting contempt of court proceedings; and
Requires the court prior to imprisoning the defendant to make findings that the defendant has the ability to pay without causing undue hardship and that the failure to pay was willful.
The act specifies that it applies to all courts in Colorado and that nothing in it prevents the collection of the monetary amount as a civil judgment. Effective May 9, 2014.
H.B. 14-1280. Concerning limits on liability for agritourism. By Rep. Dore and Sen. Schwartz. Current law limits the civil liability of persons involved in "agricultural recreation activities." The act adds "agritourism" as a form of agricultural recreational activities covered by the limited liability. It specifies that:
Medical or retail marijuana activity is not covered;
Independent contractors are covered; and
Participants expressly assume risks inherent in the activity.
The act authorizes the operator of a facility to provide notice of the inherent risks by a signed statement or a posted sign. Effective July 1 2014.
H.B. 14-1347. Concerning statutorily established time periods that are multiples of seven days. By Rep. Court and Sen. Newell. The act changes time periods in certain court proceedings to seven-day periods or periods that are multiples of seven days to avoid actions being due on weekends. Similar changes to seven-day periods or periods that are multiples of seven days were made to the Colorado Revised Statutes in 2012, pursuant to Senate Bill 12-175. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1388. Concerning a civil cause of action for damages that result from an unlawful termination of a pregnancy at any time prior to birth caused by at least reckless conduct without establishing legal personhood at any time prior to a live birth. By Rep. Foote and Sen. Steadman. The act creates a civil cause of action as a remedy for a woman who suffers an intentional, knowing, or reckless unlawful termination of her pregnancy. The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. The allowable damages are:
Her own economic damages;
Her own noneconomic damages; and
The act provides exceptions to liability for various medical personnel. The civil case must be filed within three years of the cause of action arising. The act states that it shall not be construed to confer the status of person upon a human embryo, fetus, or unborn child at any stage of development prior to a live birth. Effective July 1, 2014.
Criminal Law—Substantive and Procedural
S.B.14-21. Concerning the treatment of persons with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice systems, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Wright. The act extends the repeal date for the legislative oversight committee for the continuing examination of the treatment of persons with mental illness who are involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and associated task force from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2020. The legislative oversight committee and task force are renamed the legislative oversight committee and task force concerning the treatment of persons with mental illness in the criminal and juvenile justice systems (oversight committee and task force), and the cash fund is renamed accordingly. Two new members are added to the task force, one from the office of the child’s representative and one from the office of the alternate defense counsel. The task force is assigned additional duties. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-49. Concerning endangering public utility transmission, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Heath and Rep. Priola. Tampering with a public transportation facility with the intent to cause damage, malfunction, or nonfunction is a crime. The act amends the crime of endangering public transportation to include the intent to steal material or remove material from the public transportation facility as additional ways to commit the crime. The act clarifies that endangering public transportation applies to both freight and passenger trains. The act creates the crime of endangering utility transmission if someone tampers with a utility transmission facility with the intent to cause damage, malfunction, nonfunction, theft, or unauthorized removal of material. The crime is a class 3 felony. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-59. Concerning eliminating the statute of limitations for offenses that accompany sex offenses that are not subject to a statute of limitations. By Sen. Guzman and Rep. Lawrence. Under current law, certain sex offenses are not subject to a statute of limitations, but accompanying non-sex offenses are subject to a statute of limitations. The act eliminates the statute of limitations for those accompanying offenses; except it does not apply if the court finds there is no probable cause for the sex offense. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B.14-92. Concerning the creation of the crime of insurance fraud, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Rivera and Rep. Williams. The act creates the crime of insurance fraud and criminalizes various claimant and insurance broker or agent conduct that would result in defrauding an insurance company or customer. The offenses are class 5 felonies, except the conduct related to a falsified application is a class 1 misdemeanor. If an insurance producer is convicted of the offense, the insurance commission shall revoke the person’s license. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-98. Concerning clarifications to statutory language on crimes against at-risk elders. By Sen. Zenzinger and Rep. Foote. The act adds language that allows for "other thing of value" to the current definition of exploitation of at-risk elders, which currently includes "money, assets, or property." Language is added to the definition of "abuse" to include "exploitation." Language confining the action to someone "who exercises authority over an at-risk elder" is removed from the definition of "undue influence."
Instead of referencing the crime of theft, the bill establishes a new crime of criminal exploitation of an at-risk elder.
Reporting requirements related to the mistreatment, neglect, or exploitation of at-risk elders are modified so that the reports no longer have to be forwarded to the district attorney’s office, but rather to a local law enforcement agency or county department of social services. Effective April 7, 2014.
S.B.14-129. Concerning changes to criminal provisions related to marijuana, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. May. The act adds consumption and possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia to the crime of underage possession or consumption of alcohol and makes the crime an unclassified petty offense. The act changes the penalty structure for the crime as follows:
For a first offense, there is a fine of up to $100 or a requirement to attend substance abuse education classes, or both;
For a second offense, there is a fine of up to $100; a requirement to attend substance abuse education classes; if appropriate, an order for a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended by the assessment; and up to twenty-four hours of public service;
For a third or subsequent offense, there is a fine of up to $250, an order for a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended by the assessment, and up to thirty-six hours of public service; and
For all offenses there is an additional surcharge of $25 that is transferred to a new cash fund created by the act.
The act changes internal citations and references related to underage consumption and possession of alcohol and marijuana.
Under current law, the P.O.S.T. board is encouraged to offer an advanced roadside impaired driving training course at basic academy training. The act encourages the P.O.S.T. board to offer the course as an elective to basic field sobriety training recertification.
The act changes the open marijuana container crime to require that the prosecution prove that the container has a broken seal, that the contents were partially removed, and that there is evidence that marijuana was consumed in the vehicle. Current law only requires proof of one of those 3 elements. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B.14-135. Concerning the repeal of certain provisions concerning the purchasing of firearms in states that are contiguous to Colorado. By Sen. Brophy and Rep. Wright. The act repeals certain provisions concerning transfers of rifles and shotguns between parties in Colorado and parties in states that are contiguous to Colorado. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B.14-163. Concerning clarifying changes to provisions related to the sentencing of persons convicted of drug crimes. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Lee. In 2013, the general assembly adopted SB 13-250, which created a new sentencing structure for drug crimes. The act makes clarifying and conforming changes to the statutes based on last year’s legislation. Portions effective June 6, 2014 and portions effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-190. Concerning criminal discovery, and, in connection therewith, creating a statewide discovery sharing system, a criminal discovery surcharge, civil immunity for district attorneys that make a good-faith effort to redact information from discovery documents, and making an appropriation. By Sen. Lambert and Rep. Gerou. In 2013, a discovery task force (task force) was convened to develop recommendations regarding criminal discovery systems and costs. The task force recommended creating a statewide discovery sharing system (system). The act turns the task force into the discovery project steering committee (committee). The committee shall develop a request for proposal and selection process for choosing a vendor to develop the system. The committee shall recommend to the Colorado district attorneys’ council (CDAC) regarding the vendor after the application process is complete. CDAC shall select a vendor to develop the system after the application and selection processes are complete. The committee shall develop benchmarks and contractual requirements for the project. CDAC shall enter into a contract with the selected vendor to complete the system by October 31, 2016.
The general assembly shall appropriate moneys to the judicial department for allocation to CDAC for development, continued enhancement, and maintenance of the system. The act creates a criminal surcharge to fund the development, continued enhancement, and maintenance of the system. A $10 surcharge applies to each felony conviction, and a $5 surcharge applies to each misdemeanor conviction, if the defendant is represented by private counsel or appears pro se.
The act gives civil immunity to district attorneys who make a good-faith effort to redact all information legally required to be redacted and provide discovery documents that contain information that should have been redacted.
The act specifies that the statewide discovery sharing system surcharge provisions created in section 4 of the act are applicable to offenses committed on or after September 1, 2014. Effective May 29, 2014.
H.B.14-1023. Concerning the provision of social workers to juveniles, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Ulibarri. The act requires the state public defender to hire social workers to assist in defending juvenile defendants. Effective May 14, 2014.
H.B. 14-1035. Concerning collection of restitution ordered pursuant to a deferred judgment. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Johnston. The act clarifies that restitution ordered as part of a deferred judgment can be collected by the court after the deferred judgment is dismissed until the restitution judgment is satisfied. Effective March 7, 2014.
H.B. 14-1059. Concerning clarifying that the ritual discharge of blank ammunition cartridges at a military funeral does not constitute the criminal offense of disorderly conduct. By Rep. Garcia and Sen. Crowder. The ritual discharge of blank ammunition cartridges at a funeral for a deceased person who was a veteran of the United States armed forces does not constitute disorderly conduct. Effective March 7, 2014.
H.B. 14-1148. Concerning guidelines for ensuring the rights of victims of crime to participate in the criminal justice system. By Rep. Fields and Sen. Jahn. The definition of crime determines when the victims’ rights act applies. The act adds coercion of involuntary servitude and all child prostitution offenses to the definition of crime.
The act clarifies when a modification of sentence, including probation, is a critical stage.
Currently, a crime victim has the right to be informed about receiving a copy of the initial incident report. The act creates a specific right to receive the copy of the initial incident report, but the release of a document associated with the investigation is at the discretion of the law enforcement agency based on the status of the case or security and safety concerns in a correctional facility, local jail, or private contract prison. Under current law, a crime victim who is in the department of corrections has a right to be heard. The act adds that right to crime victims who are in the division of youth corrections.
The act creates a right to be notified of a hearing on a petition for record sealing in a case involving a crime under the victim’s rights act and directs the district attorney to make the notification using the last known contact information for the victim.
Current law allows a victim of a crime committed prior to 1993 that was previously unsolved to request victim notification. The act makes victim notification automatic. August 6, 2014
H.B. 14-1166. Concerning the renewal of concealed handgun permits by Colorado county sheriffs. By Rep. Vigil and Sen. Tochtrop. Under current law, a person who possesses a concealed handgun permit or a temporary emergency concealed handgun permit who seeks to renew the permit must seek such renewal from the sheriff who issued the permit.
The act permits a permit holder to renew the permit with the sheriff of the county or city and county in which the applicant resides or with the sheriff of the county or city and county in which the applicant maintains a secondary residence or owns or leases real property used by the applicant in a business. A temporary emergency concealed handgun permit holder may renew the temporary emergency permit with the sheriff of the county or city and county in which the person resides or in which the circumstances giving rise to the emergency exist. Effective March 14, 2014.
H.B.14-1260. Concerning the creation of three mandatory minimum presumptive ranges for defendants convicted of a felony sex offense involving intrusion against a child who is under twelve years of age when the adult defendant is at least ten years older that has one of the ranges starting at ten years as the minimum in the range, and, in connection therewith, creating an indeterminate lifetime sentence with a mandatory minimum presumptive range of ten to sixteen years for a class 4 felony; a mandatory minimum presumptive range of eighteen to thirty-two years for a class 3 felony; and a mandatory minimum presumptive range of twenty-four to forty-eight years for a class 2 felony. By Rep. Foote and Sen. Johnston. The act requires a court to impose a sentence within an indeterminate minimum presumptive range to a maximum of the offender’s life upon an adult offender if he or she commits a class 2, class 3, or class 4 felony sexual assault that includes intrusion or penetration against a child who is under 12 years of age at the time of the offense and the offender is at least 10 years older than the child. For a class 2 felony the presumptive range is twenty-four to forty-eight years, for a class 3 felony it is eighteen to thirty-two years, and for a class 4 felony it is ten to sixteen years. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B.14-1266. Concerning the penalties for certain value-based offenses, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. By Rep. McCann and Sen. Newell. Recently the penalties for theft changed based on the value of the loss. The act changes the penalties for criminal mischief, fraud by check, defrauding a secured creditor, and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and computer crime. The changes create new threshold loss levels for a full range of penalties from a class 2 felony down to a petty offense or a low level misdemeanor. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1273. Concerning human trafficking, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. McCann and The act repeals and reenacts existing provisions concerning human trafficking. A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, entices, provides, receives, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of coercing the other person to perform labor or services commits human trafficking for involuntary servitude. Human trafficking of an adult for involuntary servitude is a class 3 felony. Human trafficking of a minor for involuntary servitude is a class 2 felony.
A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, entices, provides, receives, or obtains by any means a person for the purpose of coercing the person to engage in commercial sexual activity commits human trafficking for sexual servitude. Human trafficking of an adult for sexual servitude is a class 3 felony. Human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude is a class 2 felony.
In any prosecution for human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude, it is not a defense that:
The minor consented to being sold, recruited, harbored, transported, transferred, isolated, enticed, provided, received, obtained, or maintained by the defendant for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual activity;
The minor consented to participating in commercial sexual activity; or
The defendant did not know the minor’s age or reasonably believed the minor to be 18 years of age or older or that the minor or another person represented the minor to be 18 years of age or older.
The act creates the Colorado human trafficking council (council) within the department of public safety (department). The act establishes the membership of the council and sets forth the duties of the council. The council is repealed, effective September 1, 2019. Before such repeal the department of regulatory agencies shall review the council.
In any criminal prosecution for a human trafficking offense or for any offense relating to child prostitution, evidence of specific instances of the victim’s or a witness’s prior or subsequent sexual conduct, or opinion evidence of the victim’s or a witness’s sexual conduct, or reputation evidence of the victim’s or a witness’s sexual conduct, or evidence that the victim or a witness has a history of false reporting of sexual assaults is to be offered at trial and may only by admitted under specific circumstances.
For a conviction for human trafficking for involuntary servitude or for human trafficking for sexual servitude, the court shall order restitution, if appropriate, even if the victim is unavailable to accept payment of restitution. If the victim is deceased or unavailable for five years after the date of the restitution order, the defendant shall pay the ordered restitution to the prostitution enforcement cash fund.
Human trafficking of an adult for involuntary servitude and human trafficking of an adult for sexual servitude are extraordinary risk crimes for criminal sentencing purposes. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1291. Concerning authorizing a charter school to employ a school security officer by contract to carry a concealed handgun if the person has a valid concealed carry permit. By Rep. McLachlan and Sen. Renfroe. Under current law, a school district may employ a school security officer who may carry a concealed handgun in the school and on its grounds if the person has a valid concealed carry permit. The act would grant this authority to a charter school. Effective May 9, 2014.
H.B.14-1378. Concerning prohibiting the posting of a private image on social media without consent to cause serious emotional distress. By Rep. Stephens and Sen. King. The act makes it a crime for an actor 18 years of age or older, with the intent to harass and cause serious emotional distress, to post or distribute through social media, any photograph, video, or other image containing the intimate parts of an identified or identifiable person 18 years of age or older, without the depicted person’s consent or when the actor should have known the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the conduct results in serious emotional distress. The act makes it a crime for an actor 18 years of age or older, with the intent to obtain pecuniary gain from any person as a result of posting, viewing, or removal of a private image, to post or distribute through social media, any photograph, video, or other image containing the intimate parts of an identified or identifiable person 18 years of age or older, without the depicted person’s consent or when the actor should have known the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The crimes are class 1 misdemeanors. In addition to any other sentence, the court shall impose a fine of up to $10,000. It is an exception to the crimes if the image is related to a newsworthy event. Internet service providers have immunity to the crimes.
The act creates a private civil right of action for a violation of the crime with damages of $10,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater, and attorney’s fees and costs. A person whose private images have been posted in accordance with the act shall retain a protectable right of authorship regarding the commercial use of the private image.
A person convicted of the crime may apply to have the conviction record sealed if he or she has not been convicted of another crime in 5 years after the completion of his or her sentence. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1079. Concerning an increase in the monetary amount allowed for the limited offering registration procedure under the "Colorado Securities Act." By Rep. Lee and Sen. Zenzinger. This act increases the monetary amount allowed under the limited offering registration procedure in the "Colorado Securities Act" from $1,000,000 within a 12-month period to $5,000,000 within a 12-month period. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1215. Concerning the ability of a federal home loan bank to enforce its rights with regard to collateral subject to a security agreement. By Rep. Ginal and Sen. Tochtrop. In statutes governing the disposition of the assets of insolvent insurers, the act generally prohibits a receiver or liquidator from avoiding the obligations of an insolvent insurer to a federal home loan bank with respect to collateral under a security agreement or related agreement to which the bank is a party. Effective March 21, 2014.
H.B. 14-1274. Concerning the modification of certain limitations on the managers of a bank chartered by Colorado. By Rep. Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Jahn. Current law prohibits a state bank from executing a contract for the employment of an officer for more than one year. Current law also requires at least two-thirds of the directors of a state bank to be residents of this state and a majority of the directors to reside within 100 miles of the bank’s place of business. The act repeals these limitations and substitutes a requirement that a majority of the directors be residents of this state. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1398. Concerning the provision of financial services to licensed marijuana businesses, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep Singer and Sen. Steadman. The act finds and declares that because marijuana is illegal under federal law, financial institutions are reluctant to serve state-licensed marijuana businesses. These businesses therefore currently operate almost entirely on a cash-only basis, which raises their costs, increases the risk of crime, and impedes the state’s ability to account for these businesses’ revenues.
The act enacts the "Marijuana Financial Services Cooperatives Act." Marijuana financial services cooperatives (referred to as "cannabis credit co-ops") are a type of financial services entity, membership in which is restricted to entities that own or operate a licensed marijuana business or industrial hemp business or that provide goods or services to a licensed marijuana business. Cannabis credit co-ops are subject to regulation by the state commissioner of financial services in a manner similar to that of credit unions, with the following differences:
The commissioner has soxty days after the filing of an application for a charter to determine whether the application meets the applicable requirements;
The incorporators of the co-op must provide the commissioner with written evidence of approval by the federal reserve bank for access by the co-op to the federal reserve system;
The commissioner cannot allow more than ten charters for cannabis credit co-ops to be outstanding at any one time and cannot issue a charter until the commissioner files a report with the general assembly regarding conflicts with state law and the general assembly resolves the conflicts;
The commissioner must examine cannabis credit co-ops at least once every six months; and
Once a member no longer owns or operates a licensed marijuana business or industrial hemp business or no longer provides goods or services to a licensed marijuana business, the member is no longer qualified to be a member of a co-op.
A cannabis credit co-op:
Cannot refer to itself as a "credit union" or "bank";
Does not need to acquire and maintain deposit insurance;
Is subject to taxation; and
Is specifically required to comply with federal requirements relating to marijuana businesses and their proceeds, to conduct due diligence regarding its members’ compliance with marijuana laws, and to file reports with the commissioner regarding its compliance.
The act gives the court of appeals jurisdiction to review certain of the commissioner’s actions. The act repeals the regulation of cannabis credit co-ops on September 1, 2020, subject to review by the department of regulatory agencies. Effective June 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1303. Concerning the receipt of public testimony from remote locations around the state by committees, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Scott and Sen. Schwartz. The act vests the executive committee of the legislative council with the power and duty to consider, recommend, and establish policies regarding legislative committees taking public testimony from remote locations around the state. In 2016, the director of research of the legislative council is required to submit a report regarding the taking of remote testimony and making any recommendations to improve acceptance of remote testimony in the future. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1020. Concerning the consolidation of two reports on taxable property that county assessors submit to their boards of equalization. By Rep. Lebsock and Sen. Balmer. The act requires a county assessor to submit annual reports regarding taxable real property and taxable personal property to the county board of equalization simultaneously. The submission must occur on or before each July 15 or, for counties that have elected to use an alternate protest and appeal procedure, on or before each September 15. Effective February 19, 2014.
H.B.14-1073. Concerning the recording of legal documents. By Rep. Pabon and Sen. Rivera. The act modifies various provisions involving the recording of deeds or other legal documents as follows:
The act eliminates the existing fee of $25 charged for the registration of bonds by a school district and specifies that the amount of the fee is the amount required to be paid under general provisions authorizing a clerk to impose a fee for filing or recording.
In connection with the Colorado Open Records Act, the act removes from the group of records that may only be inspected by a person in interest records of an application for a marriage or a civil union license.
Once a certificate of death has been filed, the act permits a verification of death document to be used by local offices of vital statistics and the office of the state registrar of vital statistics when verifying a vital event to a person or organization that has requested a verification of fact-of-death. The act requires a verification of death document to include the name and address of the decedent, the date of death, the place of death, the date the document is filed, the state file number, and the name of any spouse of the decedent. A verification of death document is not required to contain a social security number of the deceased as is otherwise required of a certificate of death. Whenever in the Colorado revised statutes the terms "certificate of death" or "death certificate" are used, except as to the initial certificate of death, the act specifies that the same two terms include a verification of death document that is certified by the state registrar and issued pursuant to applicable statutory provisions.
The act eliminates the existing requirement that a subscription only be made available on an annual basis to provide right of inspection of abstract books and related papers by abstractors, title insurance personnel, and others via a daily copy in bulk of all documents recorded and filed.
The act modifies existing statutory provisions governing the process of filing with the clerk an order dissolving a special district. In such circumstances, where there are no remaining funds of the district, the division of local government is permitted to claim an existing statutory exemption from payment of recording fees at the time the document is offered for recording.
The act establishes that a verification of death document may be filed with the clerk as an alternative to a death certificate in connection with legal proceedings adjudicating an interest in real property of a person who is deceased.
The act permits the clerk to retain the original release of a deed of trust where it is electronically recorded.
A documentary fee is charged upon the conveyance of real property and the clerk is required to establish payment of the fee by imprinting evidence of payment on each document to which the fee applies. The act alternately permits the clerk to establish payment of the fee in the recording annotation.
Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1112. Concerning limited authorization for a county clerk and recorder to redact the first five digits of a social security number from a public document recorded with the clerk and recorder at the request of the individual to whom the social security number is assigned. By Rep. Lebsock and Sen. Ulibarri. A county clerk and recorder (clerk) is required to redact the first five digits of a social security number from a public document filed with the clerk upon the request of the individual assigned the social security number or that individual’s designee by power of attorney or appointment of personal representative, custodian, conservator, or guardian if:
The document is in electronic form;
The clerk has the equipment needed to make the redaction automatically; and
The individual requesting redaction makes the request in writing on a form provided by the clerk and pays a fee.
A clerk may, but is not required to, make a requested redaction even if he or she lacks the equipment to do so automatically. Effective January 1, 2015.
H.B. 14-1177. Concerning requirements governing meetings of the boards of county commissioners of the larger counties. By Rep. Swalm and Sen. Tochtrop. Each board of county commissioners (board) of a county containing more than 100,000 inhabitants is required to hold at least two meetings in each week of each year, with exceptions for meetings in July and August.
Under the act, in those same counties, the board may hold fewer than two meetings in each week of each year on the basis of, without limitation, the following circumstances:
A lack of a quorum caused by illness;
Scheduling conflicts with meetings of professional organizations whose membership includes county commissioners;
Natural disasters or emergency conditions;
Special events; or
Any other circumstance that a majority of the board deems reasonable justification for not holding the meeting in the majority’s sole discretion.
The act allows the board chair to cancel a regularly scheduled meeting of the board. If the decision to cancel a meeting is made more than twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting, the board is required to promptly provide notice to the public of the cancellation in the same manner in which it customarily provides the public notice of its meetings. Effective September 1, 2014.
S.B.14-183. Concerning an increase in the maximum term of a business incentive agreement that a local government enters into with a taxpayer who pays business personal property tax. By Sen. Heath and Rep. Pabon. Counties, municipalities, and special districts (local governments) are currently authorized to negotiate an incentive payment or credit with a taxpayer that pays business personal property tax. This payment or credit is included in an agreement that is commonly known as a business incentive agreement. The act increases the maximum term of a business incentive agreement from ten to thirty-five years, which does not include the term of any prior agreement. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1105. Concerning the exemption from the state gasoline and special fuel tax of sales between governmental entities. By Rep. Mitsch Bush and Sen. Todd. Sales of gasoline and other special fuels used by motor vehicles are subject to the state gasoline and special fuel tax. Sales from retailers to governmental entities are exempt from the tax. Subject to certain requirements, the act specifies that sales between governmental entities are also exempt. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1121. Concerning notice requirements for county highway contract bid solicitations, and, in connection therewith, increasing the threshold value of a contract for which a county must advertise in a newspaper in the county or post notice in the county courthouse from five thousand dollars to the amount at which a contract requires a contractor’s bond. By Rep. Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Jahn. With respect to contracting by a county for work on highways, the act requires a county to advertise in a newspaper in the county or post notice in the county courthouse for open contracts that involve expenditures equal to or greater than the amount at which a contract requires a contractor’s bond. Effective March 14, 2014.
S.B. 14-18. Concerning the prohibition against furnishing nicotine products to persons under eighteen years of age. By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Hamner. Under current law, it is illegal to furnish cigarettes or tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age. The act expands the prohibition to include all cigarettes, tobacco products, and nicotine products. Effective April 11, 2014.
S.B. 14-47. Concerning the payment of death benefits for seasonal wildland firefighters killed in the line of duty. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Dore. The act directs the division of fire prevention and control (division) within the department of public safety to make a lump-sum payment of $10,000 to the survivors of a seasonal wildland firefighter who is killed in the line of duty. "Seasonal wildland firefighter" means: A person employed by the state or a local government or a volunteer member of a nongovernmental volunteer fire department, who is trained as a wildland firefighter; or a member of a state wildland inmate fire team (SWIFT) crew.
The act specifies how benefits are to be paid depending on the number and character of survivors, e.g., spouse, children, or other designees; and prohibits payment in cases of deliberate self-injury or intoxication. The director of the division is authorized to make payments from any fund the director administers, purchase a group life insurance policy to provide the payment authorized by the act, and adopt rules as necessary for the funding and administration of death benefits. Effective March 20, 2014.
S.B. 14-97. Concerning the immunity of public agencies against liability arising from the wildfire mitigation activities of insurance companies. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Hamner. Existing protections held by public agencies concerning immunity from civil liability are extended to immunize such agencies from the acts of an insurer or insurance company, corporation, association, or partnership (insurer), including any employees, contractors, or agents (agents), engaged in activities intended to protect the insurable private property interests of the insurer’s policyholders from damage.
Neither an insurer nor any of its agents engaged in activities intended to protect the insurable private property interests of the insurer’s policyholders from damage constitutes a private organization entitled to immunity from liability under the statute, nor is any agent of the insurer a volunteer for purposes of the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act," regardless of whether such activities may be subject to the direction of a local emergency planning committee or a state or local fire or law enforcement agency.
An insurer is authorized to provide services protecting the property of its policyholders in the course of an emergency. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-109. Concerning the use of the prevention, early detection, and treatment fund, and, in connection therewith, eliminating the annual transfer of two million dollars from the fund to the department of health care policy and financing for Medicaid disease management and treatment programs that address cancer, heart disease, and lung disease or risk factors associated with those diseases and increasing the amount annually appropriated from the fund to the prevention services division of the department of public health and environment for the cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pulmonary disease. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. May. The act eliminates the annual transfer of $2,000,000 from the prevention, early detection, and treatment fund (fund), which receives 16% of the revenues collected from amendment 35 tobacco and cigarette taxes, to the department of health care policy and financing for Medicaid disease management and treatment programs that address cancer, heart disease, and lung disease or risk factors associated with those diseases. As a result, the amount of money annually appropriated from the fund to the prevention services division of the department of public health and environment for the cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pulmonary disease prevention, early detection, and treatment program increases by $2 million. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-120. Concerning the continuous appropriation of certain amounts in the state employee workers’ compensation account in the risk management fund. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. May. The act continuously appropriates moneys in the state employee workers’ compensation account in the risk management fund, not including direct and indirect administrative costs of operating the risk management system. The general assembly shall make annual appropriations from the account for the direct and indirect administrative costs of operating the risk management system, including legal services, litigation expenses, and third-party administrator expenses, that are attributable to the operation of the state employee workers’ compensation account. All unexpended amounts in the account remain in the account at the end of any fiscal year. Effective March 27, 2014.
H.B. 14-1004. Concerning emergency management, and, in connection therewith, eliminating and reorganizing two entities within the division of homeland security and emergency management in the department of public safety and authorizing the governor to provide individual assistance during a disaster absent a presidential declaration of the same. By Rep. Foote and Sen. Nicholson. The act makes various changes to the manner in which emergency management functions are administered.
The Colorado emergency planning commission is eliminated and its functions and duties are transferred as follows:
Current rules, the authority to promulgate new rules necessary to implement the federal "Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986," 42 U.S.C. § 11001 et seq., Title III of the federal "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986," Pub. L. 99-499 (federal act), and the duty to administer the SARA Title III fund are transferred to the department of public safety for allocation to the director of the division of fire prevention and control (division).
The commission’s other duties relating to implementation of the federal act are transferred to the emergency planning subcommittee, which is a new permanent body under the homeland security and all-hazards senior advisory committee in the division.
The composition and functions of the emergency planning subcommittee are described, and the subcommittee is subject to the sunset review required for new advisory entities.
The governor’s disaster emergency council is eliminated.
The governor may render financial assistance to individuals and families affected by a major disaster upon a gubernatorial declaration of disaster. Effective February 27, 2014.
H.B. 14-1024. Concerning the designation of the claret cup cactus as the state cactus. By Rep. Murray and Sen. Schwartz. The act designates the claret cup cactus as the state cactus of the state of Colorado. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1047. Concerning restrictions on the publishing of basic identification information on commercial websites. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Guzman. The act makes it illegal to obtain a copy of a booking photograph knowing that:
The photograph will be placed in a publication or posted on a web site; and
Removal of the photograph from the publication or web site requires payment of a fee.
Current law requires a person obtaining criminal justice records to sign an affidavit affirming that the records will not be used for commercial solicitation for pecuniary gain.
The act provides that a person requesting a copy of a booking photograph, by signing the affidavit, is affirming that the photograph will not be placed in a publication or posted to a web site that requires payment of a fee for its removal.
Violation of either new provision is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Effective September 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1057. Concerning the Colorado fraud investigators unit. By Rep. Navarro and Sen. King. Currently there is a surcharge on all uniform commercial code filings with the secretary of state to fund the Colorado fraud investigators unit (unit) in the Colorado bureau of investigation. The act increases the surcharge from $3 to $4 for three years starting July 1, 2014. During the three years, the act requires the department of public safety to report on the activities of the unit at its "Smart Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" hearing. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1103. Concerning the criteria that certain securities must meet to qualify as legal investments for public funds. By Rep. Pabon and Sen. Harvey. The act reduces the minimum credit rating required from at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations before public funds may be invested in Colorado state or local government revenue bonds or Colorado local government general obligation bonds from AA to A. The act also increases the maximum term that such bonds may have to be eligible for investment of public funds from three to five years. Effective March 27, 2014.
H.B. 14-1152. Concerning passive surveillance records of governmental entities. By Rep. Lawrence and Sen. Scheffel. The act requires that video or still images obtained using passive surveillance by governmental entities, such as images from monitoring cameras, must be destroyed within three years after the recording of the images.
The act specifies that the custodian of a passive surveillance record may only access the record beyond the first anniversary after the date of creation of the record if there has been a notice of claim filed, or an accident or other specific incident that might cause the passive surveillance record to become evidence in any civil, labor, administrative, or felony criminal proceeding, in which case the passive surveillance record may be retained. The act requires the custodian to preserve a record of the reason for which the passive surveillance record was accessed and any person who accesses the record beyond the first anniversary after its creation.
The act creates exceptions allowing retention of passive surveillance records of any correctional facility, local jail, private contract prison, or juvenile facility operated by the Colorado department of human services. Passive surveillance records made or maintained as required under federal law also receive certain exceptions. The act also includes a definition of "passive surveillance." Effective April 4, 2014
H.B. 14-1171. Concerning rules on forensic medical evidence in sexual assault cases. By Rep. McNulty and Sen. Roberts. Current law requires department of public safety rules to include consent forms related to the collection, testing, and release of test results of forensic medical evidence in sexual assault cases. The act changes the requirement to information to be contained in the consent forms rather than the forms themselves. Effective March 27, 2014.
H.B. 14-1172. Concerning exempting certain public safety departments from certain statutory requirements related to the impact of a criminal conviction on state employment opportunities. By Rep. Lawrence and Sen. Steadman. Under current law, a felony conviction does not automatically disqualify a person from state employment. The act clarifies that the provision does not apply to the department of public safety and the department of corrections (departments). If the departments determine that an applicant has been convicted of a crime, they still must consider the statutory factors in deciding whether they preclude the applicant from receiving an offer of employment. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1191. Concerning the creation of an emergency alert program to notify the public after a serious hit-and-run accident. By Rep. Conti and Sen. King. Current law authorizes the Colorado bureau of investigation to establish several programs to alert the public of incidents when law enforcement wants the public’s assistance in locating a person or suspect. The act adds the Medina alert program when a hit-and-run accident involving serious bodily injury or death occurs and the law enforcement agency has additional information concerning the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle. The act directs the executive director of the department of public safety to promulgate rules governing the program. Effective March 25, 2014.
H.B. 14-1195. Concerning the diversion of revenue collected by the division of insurance to cash funds. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Lambert. All taxes, penalties, and fines collected by the division of insurance are deposited in the general fund; except that the general assembly can direct this revenue to be deposited in the division of insurance cash fund, the wildfire emergency response fund, and the wildfire preparedness fund. The act clarifies how the general assembly controls the amount of moneys that are deposited into these other cash funds. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1210. Concerning a requirement that a state agency enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a county to address wildland fires affecting certain state lands located within the county. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Roberts. A county and any state agency that owns forest land, rangeland, or wildland areas within the county are required to enter into an intergovernmental agreement, by January 1, 2017, to address the harm caused by wildland fires affecting such land. Furthermore, the department of natural resources must report to the wildfire matters review committee by September 1, 2014, regarding the feasibility of entering into similar agreements for state trust lands. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1337. Concerning an increase in the general fund reserve. By Rep. Duran and Sen. Steadman. The general fund reserve is currently equal to 5% of the amounts appropriated for expenditure from the general fund for the fiscal year. After a personal income trigger is met, the reserve percentage annually increases in half percent increments up to 6.5%. Beginning with the 2014-15 fiscal year, the act increases the general fund reserve to 6.5% of the amounts appropriated for that fiscal year and repeals the mechanism that would have eventually raised the reserve requirement to that same level. Effective April 21, 2014.
H.B. 14-1340. Concerning the state toxicology laboratory, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Gerou and Sen. Lambert. On or before July 1, 2015, and thereafter, the Colorado bureau of investigation (bureau) shall operate a state toxicology laboratory for the purpose of assisting law enforcement agencies in executing their duties, including but not limited to the enforcement of laws pertaining to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The bureau is authorized to impose a fee for performing the work of the laboratory. The amount of the fee shall not exceed the total amount of direct and indirect costs incurred by the bureau in performing the work of the laboratory. The bureau shall transmit all moneys collected as fees to the state treasurer, who shall credit the same to the state toxicology laboratory fund, which is created in the act.
Under existing law, the general assembly makes an annual appropriation out of the moneys in the law enforcement assistance fund to the department of public health and environment (department) in an amount sufficient to pay for the costs of laboratory services and implied consent specialists. The act requires a portion of this annual appropriation to go to the department to pay for the costs of evidential breath alcohol testing and a portion to go to the bureau to pay for the costs of toxicology laboratory services, including any education needs associated with such services.
Under existing law, the state board of health promulgates administrative regulations for the certification of laboratories to ensure that the collection and testing of samples is performed in a competent manner. The act states that these regulations may include waiving specific certification requirements for laboratories that are accredited by the American board of forensic toxicology or the international standards organization. Effective April 18, 2014.
Health and Environment
S.B. 14-25. Concerning grants for domestic wastewater treatment works for small communities. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Fischer. The act clarifies that severance tax dollars credited to the small communities water and wastewater grant fund may be used for domestic wastewater treatment works. The act also repeals a statute that separately governs the funding, through grant-making, of domestic wastewater treatment works for small municipalities because the statute is substantially duplicated by the provisions added or amended in the act. Effective February 27, 2014.
S.B.14-88. Concerning the creation of the suicide prevention commission, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Newell and Rep. Kraft-Tharp. The act creates the suicide prevention commission for the purpose of providing public and private leadership and recommendations regarding suicide prevention in Colorado. The commission will have members who represent the public and private sectors and who have experience with, or have been affected by, suicide and suicide prevention. The department of public health and environment will provide administrative support to the commission. The act requires the office of suicide prevention to include recommendations of the commission in its annual report to the general assembly and present the report in the annual State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act hearings.
The department of public health and environment may receive gifts, grants, and donations for the costs associated with the implementation and duties of the commission. Effective May 29, 2014.
S.B. 14-142. Concerning an exception for certain water system facilities from the facilities that the commissioner of agriculture has a duty to inspect regarding pesticide storage. By Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Fischer. The commissioner of agriculture regulates the use of agricultural chemicals in Colorado. As part of that duty, the commissioner inspects all facilities in Colorado that store pesticides, including public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works. However, the water quality control division in the Colorado department of public health and environment also inspects public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works to facilitate the water quality control commission’s regulation of water quality throughout the state. The act eliminates this duplication of efforts by removing the commissioner of agriculture’s duty to regulate these facilities. Effective March 27, 2014.
S.B.14-151. Concerning the use of moneys derived from civil penalties imposed on nursing facilities to fund innovations in nursing home care, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Young. The act makes changes to the law governing the use of moneys derived from civil penalties imposed on nursing facilities and used to fund innovations in nursing home care. Effective June 5, 2014.
S.B. 14-187. Concerning creation of the Colorado commission on affordable health care to analyze health care costs in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep. Stephens. The act creates the Colorado commission on affordable health care and tasks the commission with studying and making recommendations regarding health care costs, focusing on evidence-based cost controls and access to and quality of health care. The governor and legislative leadership from both houses and parties are to appoint the twelve-member commission, assuring representation by individuals from across the state and with expertise in various subject areas, including health care administration, financing, delivery, and consumption. Additionally, the commissioner of insurance; the executive directors of the departments of public health and environment, human services, and health care policy and financing; and an administrator from the all-payer health claims database serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the commission.
The commission is to make recommendations regarding legislative and regulatory modifications that could make health care affordable while improving access to and quality of health care.
The commission may hire staff and contract with experts to facilitate its work and to provide support for the commission’s activities. The commission is repealed on July 1, 2017. Effective May 29, 2014.
H.B. 14-1186. Concerning the release of medical records to a person other than the patient, and, in connection therewith, setting reasonable fees to be paid for the release of the medical records. By Rep. Schafer and Sen. Aguilar. The act clarifies that a medical record in the custody of a health care facility or an individual health care provider may be released to a third party with a valid subpoena or other valid authorization. The act requires the facility or provider to deliver the medical record in electronic format if requested and if there is no additional cost to the facility or provider. The act defines what reasonable fees may be charged for the copies of the medical records. Effective April 18, 2014.
H.B. 14-1360. Concerning the continuation of the regulation of home care agencies by the department of public health and environment, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies, as modified by the general assembly, and making an appropriation. By Rep. Young and Sen. Aguilar. The act extends the automatic termination date of the regulation of home care agencies and home care placement agencies by the Colorado department of public health and environment (department) for five years, until 2019, with modifications. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B.14-1396. Concerning clarification of the authority of persons acting on behalf of the department of public health and environment to administer the medical marijuana registry. By Rep. Ryden and Sen. King. The act clarifies that the term "authorized employees of the state health agency," as used in article XVIII, section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, which created the medical marijuana registry, includes independent contractors or other agencies acting on behalf of the department of public health and environment under a contract or intergovernmental agreement. The act also specifies that these contractors are not, as a result of this authorization, entitled to state employee benefits.
A primary caregiver is prohibited from growing, selling, or processing marijuana for any person unless that person has a registry identification card and the caregiver is identified on the registry as the person’s primary caregiver. Effective June 6, 2014.
Health Care Policy and Financing
S.B. 14-67. Concerning aligning certain state medical assistance programs’ eligibility laws with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. By Sen. Aguilar and Rep. Fischer. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 made certain changes to the eligibility groups in the Medicaid program. The act makes technical changes to the statutes to align the eligibility provisions of Colorado’s medical assistance program and the children’s basic health program with the changes under federal law. Effective February 27, 2014.
S.B.14-130. Concerning an increase to the personal needs allowance for persons in nursing care facilities, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Primavera. The act changes the personal needs allowance by increasing from $50 to $75 per month the minimum amount payable to a resident of a nursing facility or an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, on January 1, 2015, and on January 1 of each year thereafter, the basic minimum amount is increased by the same percentage increase as the nursing facility provider reimbursement rate. Any decrease in patient payments to nursing facilities is fully funded by payments from the state general fund and applicable federal funds. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B.14-180. Concerning the Colorado dental health care program for low-income seniors, and, in connection therewith, requiring a post-enactment review of the implementation of this act, and making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Swalm. There is currently a program in the department of public health and environment to provide dental services to eligible low-income seniors. As of July 1, 2015, the act moves the program to the department of health care policy and financing (department). The act directs the department to make grants to qualified grantees to provide or arrange for the provisions of dental services for eligible seniors. The act directs the medical services board (board) to promulgate rules governing the program and establishes a senior dental advisory committee to make recommendations to the department and the board.
The act directs the department of public health and environment to continue to provide dental services to eligible seniors who are not eligible for other public dental programs and repeals the existing program as of January 1, 2016. Effective May 31, 2014.
H.B.14-1045. Concerning the continuation of the breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Primavera and Sen. Aguilar. The act extends the repeal date by five years for the breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment program (detection program). The act permits a person to receive treatment if the person was screened by any provider, within his or her scope of practice, who does not receive funds through the center for disease control and prevention’s detection program but whose screening activities have been recognized under the detection program. The act permits the program to receive moneys from the sale of the breast cancer awareness license plates and removes language that prevents the transfer of those moneys until certain conditions are met. The act includes language concerning the source of funds for the annual appropriation for the program for the next budget year and budget years thereafter. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1252. Concerning funding for system capacity changes related to intellectual and developmental disabilities waiver services, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. May and Sen. Hodge. The act amends the intellectual and developmental disabilities cash fund to allow moneys in the fund to be used for administrative expenses relating to Medicaid waiver renewal and redesign and for increasing system capacity for home- and community-based services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Portions effective February 27, 2014 and portions effective March 1, 2014.
S.B.14-118. Concerning improving protections for individuals with disabilities. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Melton. The act conforms several definitions related to discrimination based on a disability (discrimination) to the federal "Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990," including changing the term "assistance dog" to "service animal." The statutory fine for discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing, and or violations of the rights of an individual with a disability who uses a service animal or a trainer of a service animal is increased to an amount not to exceed $3,500, plus actual monetary damages, attorney fees and costs, and an order for compliance, if applicable. A small business defendant is entitled to a 50% reduction of the statutory fine assessed if it corrects the accessibility violation within thirty days after the filing of the complaint, unless the defendant knowingly or intentionally caused the accessibility violation. Penalties are added for a person who causes harm to a service animal or service animal in training or a person who owns an animal that causes harm to a service animal or service animal in training. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1051. Concerning a strategic plan for enrolling all eligible persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities into programs at the time services and supports are needed, and, in connection therewith, requiring the department of health care policy and financing to develop and implement the strategic plan and to report annually on the number of persons waiting for services and supports. By Rep. Schafer and Sen. Kefalas. The act requires the department of health care policy and financing (state department), by November 1, 2014, to develop a strategic plan, in consultation with intellectual and developmental disability system stakeholders, to enroll eligible persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (eligible persons) in home- and community-based programs, services, and supports at the time those persons choose to enroll in the programs or need the services or supports. The strategic plan must include specific recommendations and annual benchmarks for achieving the enrollment goal by July 1, 2020. The state department shall submit the plan to the general assembly and present the plan at a joint budget committee hearing on or before December 1, 2014. The state department shall revise the strategic plan as necessary.
Additionally, on or before November 1, 2014, and each November 1 thereafter, the state department shall report to the general assembly concerning the number of eligible persons who are waiting for enrollment into a home- and community-based program or state program. In its budget submitted to the general assembly, the governor’s office shall specify those budget requests related to achieving the enrollment goal in the strategic plan.
Under current law, the joint budget committee and the health and human services committees of the general assembly hold an annual hearing concerning the status of the waiting lists for intellectual and developmental disabilities services and supports. The act requires the state department to present testimony at the hearing relating to the number of eligible persons waiting for enrollment into a home- and community-based program or state program and any revisions made to the strategic plan. In addition, community-centered boards and providers shall report concerning the use and effectiveness of any moneys received in the preceding fiscal year for increasing system capacity. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1173. Concerning continuation of the controlled substances abuse act, and, in connection therewith, the treatment of controlled substances abuse and making an appropriation. By Rep. Ginal and Sen. Newell. The act extends the Colorado Licensing of Controlled Substances Act (act) until 2019. The department of human services is granted authority to impose a wider range of disciplinary actions for violations of the act. The act grants the medical director, or his or her designee, at substance abuse treatment facilities, with patient permission, access to the state prescription drug monitoring program. The additional license fee of $75 for a controlled substance addiction treatment program is removed. Effective May 31, 2014.
H.B. 14-1271. Concerning extending a mental health provider’s duty to warn to include specific entities that, if purposefully damaged or attacked as a result of a mental health patient’s violent behavior, would jeopardize public health and safety. By Rep. Melton and Sen. Newell. Current law grants immunity from liability to a mental health provider who has a duty to warn a specific person or persons when a patient has communicated to the provider a serious threat of imminent physical violence against that person or persons. The act extends that immunity and duty to warn to include persons or persons identifiable by their association with a specific location or entity. Effective April 7, 2014.
Human Services—Social Services
S.B. 14-3. Concerning child care assistance for working families, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Pettersen. The act makes several changes to the statute that created a pilot program to address the cliff effect that occurs when working parents in the Colorado child care assistance program (CCCAP) receive a minor increase in their income that makes them ineligible for child care assistance and the increase in wages is not enough to cover the costs for child care without the child care assistance. The cliff effect pilot program was designed to allow families to remain in the CCCAP program notwithstanding the increase in income.
A county department selected to participate in the pilot program may apply for a grant through a grant program funded through the newly created Colorado child care assistance cliff effect pilot program fund (fund). Grant moneys may be used at the county’s discretion for administrative costs and the costs of providing continued benefits to families participating in the pilot program. The state department may adopt rules as necessary concerning the application process for the grant program. The cliff effect program is repealed, effective July 1, 2020. The department is directed to report annually about CCCAP and the results of the pilot program to the public health care and human services committee of the house of representatives and to the health and human services committee of the senate, or any successor committees. The act lists the items that should be included in the annual report. Effective May 22, 2014
S.B. 14-12. Concerning increasing the assistance payment for the program for aid to the needy disabled, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Exum. The act requires the department of human services (department), by rule, to increase the assistance payment under the program for aid to the needy disabled to an amount equal to the amount of the payment for the 2013–14 state fiscal year increased by 10%. For state fiscal years 2015–16 through 2018–19, subject to available appropriations, the department is encouraged to restore the assistance payment to the state fiscal year 2006–07 level and to adjust the assistance payment for increases in the cost of living. The act permits the department to promulgate rules describing the conditions under which a county department may waive the requirement that a person apply for federal supplemental security income benefits prior to receiving aid to the needy disabled assistance payments. The act creates the federal supplemental security income application assistance pilot program (pilot program) in the department to assist persons applying for the program for aid to the needy disabled in completing federal applications for supplemental security income benefits and social security disability insurance benefits. The department shall award a competitive contract to a nonprofit organization to implement the pilot program. The pilot program repeals in two years. The act amends the state supplemental security income stabilization fund to require that an amount not exceeding 20% of the total appropriation for the applicable fiscal year in the annual general appropriations act for the program for aid to the needy disabled remain in the stabilization fund at the end of the fiscal year. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1358. Concerning continuation of in-home support services, and, in connection therewith, authorizing in-home support services for spinal cord injury waiver pilot program participants. By Rep. Young and Sen. Aguilar. The act continues in-home support services until September 1, 2019, and requires a review of the program by the department of regulatory agencies prior to repeal. The act permits persons who are participating in the spinal cord injury waiver program to receive in-home support services. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1082. Concerning a requirement for written notice of cancellation of individual life insurance policies, and in connection therewith, requiring written notice prior to the lapse of individual life insurance policies. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Tochtrop. The act declares that citizens of Colorado benefit when life insurers, prior to the lapse of individual life insurance policies for nonpayment of premium, provide written notice in a uniform manner to policy owners. The act specifies that notice of lapse of an individual life insurance policy is effective only if the information is mailed along with the reason for the lapse by first-class United States mail to the last-known address of the policy owner at least twenty-five days before the effective date of lapse or, if the policy-owner has consented to receive information from the insurer by electronic mail, the information is transmitted electronically to the last-known electronic mail address of the policy owner at least twenty-five days before the effective date of lapse. The act specifies that the affidavit, executed under penalty of perjury, of any officer, clerk, or agent of the insurer or of anyone authorized to mail or electronically transmit notices required by the act constitutes proof of notice. The act also specifies that it does not apply to individual life insurance policies upon which premiums are paid monthly or at more frequent intervals. The act authorizes the insurance commissioner to adopt rules necessary for the administration of the act. Effective January 1, 2015
H.B.14-1344. Concerning the use of electronic means to document transactions related to the business of insurance. By Rep. Rosenthal and Sen. Tochtrop. The act allows certain notices and other documents related to insurance coverage to be sent electronically to an e-mail address specified by the policyholder if the policyholder consents to receiving the documents electronically. Consent may be withdrawn at any time, reinstating the insurer’s obligation to provide the documents in hard copy form and deliver them personally or by regular mail as the case may be. Effective August 6, 2014.
Labor and Industry
S.B. 14-5. Concerning alternative administrative remedies for the processing of certain wage claims, and, in connection therewith, amending the provisions for written notices of a wage claim, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Ulibarri and Rep. Singer. For purposes of duties, obligations, and liabilities related to the payment of wages, the act:
Requires an employer to maintain records reflecting information in an employee’s pay statement for at least three years after payment of the wages and to make the records available to the employee and the division of labor in the department of labor and employment (division). The act authorizes the executive director of the division to impose a fine on an employer who fails to retain or make available the records.
Requires an employer to mail a check for wages to the employee’s last-known address within sixty days after the check was due if an employer is unable to otherwise deliver the check to the employee.
Under current law to recover penalties in an action for unpaid wages, an employee must make a written demand of his or her employer to recover penalties, and the penalties are increased by 50% if the employer’s failure to pay is willful.
The act authorizes the director of the division to establish an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims. For wage claims filed with the division for $7,500 or less, the act establishes procedures for the division to adjudicate the claim and issue citations and notices of assessments for the amounts due. A person dissatisfied with a decision may appeal the decision in any district court of competent jurisdiction. Under current law fines collected by the division are deposited in the general fund. The act provides that the fines are deposited in a new wage theft enforcement fund. The act provides that an employee is entitled to reasonable attorney fees in an action to recover the minimum wage. Portions effective May 29, 2014 and portions effective January 1, 2015.
Military and Veterans
S.B. 14-96. Concerning renaming state veterans’ nursing homes to veterans’ community living centers to more accurately reflect the wide array of services provided to state veterans. By Sen. Crowder and Rep. Exum. The act changes the terms "state veterans nursing home" and "state nursing home" throughout statute to "veterans’ community living center" and "veterans’ center" to more accurately reflect the wide array of services provided by these facilities to meet the multiple needs of veterans and their families in Colorado. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1205. Concerning the veterans’ assistance grant program. By Rep. Ryden and Sen. Crowder. The veterans’ assistance grant program (program) is created in the division of veterans’ affairs within the state department of military and veterans affairs (department) to provide moneys to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies that provide services to ensure the health and well-being of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who live in Colorado. On or before September 1, 2014, the adjutant general, in consultation with the board of veterans’ affairs, shall adopt rules for the administration of the program. The veterans’ assistance grant program cash fund is created and consists of any moneys received by the division as gifts, grants, or donations and such moneys as are appropriated to the fund by the general assembly. The program is repealed, effective September 1, 2024. Before such repeal, the department of regulatory agencies shall review the program. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1277. Concerning eligibility requirements for recipients of grants from the military family relief fund. By Rep. Melton and Sen. Todd. Under current law, to be eligible to receive a grant from the military family relief fund (fund), a member of the Colorado National Guard or a reservist must be on active military duty for a minimum of 30 days on involuntary mobilization orders. The act permits a member of the Colorado National Guard or a reservist to also be eligible to receive a grant from the fund if he or she is called to state active duty by executive order of the governor. Effective April 25, 2014.
Motor Vehicle Law
S.B. 14-75. Concerning the registration of motor vehicles for members of the United States armed forces who are deployed outside the United States, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Sen. Baumgardner and Rep. Sonnenberg. The act exempts a member of the United States armed forces from paying the basic motor vehicle registration fees and authorizes payment of an alternate specific ownership tax of $1 if the person is deployed outside the United States for a full year. The vehicle may not be driven during this time. If the person is not deployed for a whole year, the basic fees and taxes are prorated. If the person has already paid the fees at the time of deployment, the department credits the fees towards succeeding years. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1027. Concerning the clarification of the definition of a plug-in electric motor vehicle. By Rep. Fischer and Sen. Jones. For purposes of registering a motor vehicle, a "plug-in electric motor vehicle" is defined to include motor vehicles that are certified to be eligible for a particular federal tax credit and a catch-all provision that applies to other vehicles; for example, one that is retrofitted to be plugged in. The act clarifies the catch-all component of the definition to be "any motor vehicle that can be recharged from any external source of electricity and the electricity stored in a rechargeable battery pack propels or contributes to propel the vehicle’s drive wheels." Effective February 19, 2014.
H.B. 14-1056. Concerning clarification of the statutes relating to the registration of collector’s item motor vehicles to specify that certain special emission inspection requirements for collector’s item motor vehicles registered prior to the enactment of house bill 13-1071 continue to apply to those vehicles until they are transferred. By Rep. Holbert and Sen. Tochtrop. The act clarifies changes made to the laws governing the registration of collector’s item motor vehicles by HB 13-1071. The act makes clear that emission inspection requirements for collector’s item motor vehicles registered before September 1, 2009, continue to apply to those vehicles until they are transferred. Effective March 7, 2014.
H.B. 14-1065. Concerning limits on indemnification provisions in motor carrier transportation contracts. By Rep. Moreno and Sen. Hodge. The act prohibits a party to a contract for the transportation of property, including provisions relating to the loading or unloading of cargo or the entry to premises for the purpose of loading or unloading cargo, from requiring indemnity for any liability resulting from the party’s own negligent or intentional acts. Effective March 24, 2014.
H.B. 14-1100. Concerning the use of title documents to give notice of characteristics of motor vehicles that affect a vehicle’s value, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Swalm and Sen. Grantham. The act expands the existing systems of branding the title of a motor vehicle to include a vehicle that:
Is flood damaged;
Has had its odometer tampered with; or
Has a designation placed on the title by another jurisdiction.
These brands are carried forward to all subsequent titles. Brands from other states are carried forward in Colorado. If a vehicle is classified as junk, its title is canceled and cannot be reissued. If a vehicle is nonrepairable, the owner must apply for a nonrepairable title and the vehicle can only be sold for parts or scrap. When a part is sold, a copy of the nonrepairable title shows ownership of the part. If, after two attempts, an insurer is unable to obtain a properly endorsed certificate of title within thirty days after a vehicle owner accepts a written or oral settlement offer of a total loss from the insurer, the act authorizes the department of revenue to issue a salvage or nonrepairable title to the insurer. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1299. Concerning the repeal of the six-year limitation on applying a salvage brand to a motor vehicle whose cost of being repaired exceeds the value of the vehicle without the recent damage. By Rep. Tyler and Sen. Todd. Currently, a motor vehicle is not considered salvage if the vehicle is at least 6 years old when damaged. The act repeals the 6-year requirement and replaces it with an exception for collector’s items, horseless carriages, and street rod vehicles. Effective April 25, 2014.
S.B. 14-76. Concerning the creation of a hard rock mining permit issued by the division of reclamation, mining, and safety for mining operations disturbing no more than five acres of surface area. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Becker. The mining statutes previously included two limited-impact permit categories, the smaller of which was for operations that affected less than two acres and extracted less than 70,000 tons of mineral or overburden. (The larger limited-impact permit category comprises operations of less than 10 acres and extractions of 70,000 tons or less. That category is not affected by the act.) Beginning in 1993, no new applications could be filed for the smaller category, but several such operations continue to be active. The act authorizes a new limited-impact permit for operations that affect five acres or less of surface acres and subjects new applicants to the same permitting standards as the existing larger limited-impact permit category. The existing small limited-impact permit operations have until July 1, 2015, to comply with the new permit standards with regard to financial warranties and demonstrating the operator’s right to conduct mining operations.
The act increases the annual fee for new small limited-impact permits for operations from $86 to $172. Existing small limited-impact permit operations have until July 1, 2015, to begin paying the $172 annual fee. Effective March 20, 2014.
H.B. 14-1174. Concerning the sunset review of the natural areas council. By Rep. Mitsch Bush and Sen. Schwartz. The act continues the natural areas council, which serves as an advisory council to the parks and wildlife commission, through September 1, 2024, and requires a sunset review of the council by the department of regulatory agencies prior to its repeal in 2024. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1356. Concerning an increase in the Colorado oil and gas commission’s penalty authority, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. Foote and Sen. Jones. The act:
Increases the maximum daily penalty for a violation of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act from $1,000 to $15,000, subject to a penalty schedule promulgated by the oil and gas conservation commission that considers aggravating and mitigating circumstances;
Directs the commission to:
Adopt rules that specify a process for determining the dates on which a violation begins and ends; and
Publish a quarterly report on its web site that specifies certain information about each penalty assessed in the previous quarter and discuss these reports at the department of natural resources’ SMART Act hearings; and
Repeals the $10,000 cap on the maximum total penalty for violations that do not result in significant waste of oil and gas resources, do not damage correlative rights, and do not result in a significant adverse impact on public health, safety, or welfare.
The commission must hold a hearing if an operator is responsible for gross negligence or knowing and willful misconduct that results in an egregious violation or a pattern of violations. The commission may issue an order that prohibits the issuance of any new permits to the operator, suspends any or all of the operator’s certificates of clearance, or both. The commission may vacate the order after the operator has come back into compliance and paid all penalties. Effective June 6, 2014.
Probate and Trusts
H.B.14-1322. Concerning the Colorado probate code. By Rep. McLachlan and Sen. Roberts. The act repeals and reenacts certain provisions relating to the elective-share of a surviving spouse. A specific devisee has a right to specifically devised property in a testator’s estate at death and, in the absence of other statutorily described property and moneys, a general pecuniary devise equal to the value, as of its date of disposition, of other specifically devised property disposed of during the testator’s lifetime, but only to the extent it is established that ademption would be inconsistent with the testator’s manifested plan of distribution or that the testator did not intend ademption of the devise. To be effective to nominate a personal representative, a will must be declared valid by an order of informal probate by the registrar or by the court.
Under current law, a successor of a decedent may collect from another person any debts owed to the decedent and any personal property belonging to the decedent if the fair market value of the property owned by the decedent at the time of his or her death does not exceed $60,000. Under the act, this amount may not exceed twice the value of property that the decedent’s surviving spouse is entitled to exempt from the estate, as adjusted for cost of living.
An instrument or other property that is payable or deliverable to a decedent or to the estate of a decedent is considered property of the decedent. A successor of the decedent or a person acting on behalf of a successor may endorse an instrument that is so payable and collect such amount. The duties owed to a successor by a person acting on behalf of the successor in the making, presentation, or other use of an affidavit to collect personal property of a decedent are the same as the duties of an agent to the agent’s principal. The breach of this duty is subject to the same remedies as are available under the law with respect to an agent. If a proof of right is established in a proceeding, any person to whom an affidavit was delivered and who refused, without reasonable cause, to pay, deliver, transfer, or issue any personal property or evidence thereof shall be liable for all costs, including reasonable attorneys fees and costs, incurred by or on behalf of the persons entitled thereto.
A provision in a trust specifying a method to revoke or amend the trust does not make the specified method exclusive unless the method is referred to as the "sole," "exclusive." or "only" method of revoking or amending the trust or the provision includes similar language manifesting the settlor’s intent that the trust may not be revoked or amended by any other method. The act sets forth certain duties and powers of trustees and trust advisors. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1353. Concerning powers of appointment. By Rep. Gardner and Sen. Johnston. The "Uniform Powers of Appointment Act" as recommended by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws is enacted. The act also repeals existing statutory authority for the creation, release, and exercise of powers of appointment and makes conforming amendments for certain definitions in the probate code to the new uniform act. Effective July 1, 2015.
Professions and Occupations
S.B. 14-54. Concerning the ability of an alcohol beverage licensee to petition the licensing authority to pay a fine in lieu of a license suspension ordered by the licensing authority. By Sen. Balmer and Rep. Pabon. The act expands the ability of the state or a local licensing authority, upon petition of an alcohol beverage license or permit holder and in the licensing authority’s sole discretion, to impose a fine on the license or permit holder in lieu of a license or permit suspension by:
Eliminating the restriction on the ability to petition for a fine in cases where the licensing authority has issued a final decision suspending the license or permit for more than 14 days, thereby allowing the license or permit holder to petition for a fine regardless of the length of the suspension; and
Allowing the license or permit holder to petition to pay a fine, and allowing the licensing authority to grant the petition, regardless of whether the license or permit holder had a license or permit suspended or paid a fine in lieu of a suspension within the prior two years.
The act applies to final alcohol beverage license or permit suspension decisions issued by the state or a local licensing authority on or after April 11, 2014. Effective April 11, 2014.
S.B. 14-95. Concerning the ability of a prescription drug outlet to compound drugs for distribution to a Colorado hospital. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. McCann. Currently, a prescription drug outlet may distribute compounded drugs for office use only to practitioners who are authorized to prescribe drugs. The act allows a prescription drug outlet to also distribute compounded drugs to a hospital located in Colorado. Effective March 27, 2014.
S.B. 14-133. Concerning the regulation of private investigators by the department of regulatory agencies, and, in connection therewith, making appropriations. By Sen. Newell and Rep. Melton. In 2011, the general assembly enacted the Private Investigators Voluntary Licensure Act (voluntary licensure act), under which a private investigator, at his or her option, may apply for a license from the division of professions and occupations (division) in the department of regulatory agencies and, upon satisfaction of the criteria for licensure, the director of the division is to issue a license to the private investigator. Only a person who obtains a license from the division may refer to himself or herself as a licensed private investigator, but no private investigator is required to be licensed by the division.
The act repeals the voluntary licensure program and creates the Private Investigators Licensure Act (mandatory licensure act), which establishes a new mandatory licensure program under which all persons conducting private investigations in this state must obtain a license from the division starting June 1, 2015. The act recognizes that the voluntary program was operating at a loss, transfers the deficit fund balance from the voluntary program to the mandatory program for repayment by licensees under the mandatory program, and allows the division to spread the repayment of the deficit over the life of the mandatory program. The definition of "private investigation," as it was defined under the voluntary licensure act, is expanded. Effective June 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1083. Concerning the authority of a licensed acute treatment unit to receive emergency medications from certain other outlets. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Crowder. The act allows an acute treatment unit to procure, store, order, dispense, and administer prescription medications and to receive a supply of emergency kits or starter doses for patient treatment from a registered prescription drug outlet or licensed hospital. Effective March 14, 2014.
H.B. 14-1099. Concerning prescription drugs in the practice of optometry. By Rep. Schafer and Sen. Aguilar. The act allows an optometrist to prescribe hydrocodone combination drugs, and the act clarifies that an optometrist may charge a fee for prescribing and dispensing drugs for ophthalmic purposes. Effective March 14, 2014.
H.B. 14-1122. Concerning provisions to keep legal marijuana from underage persons. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Newell. Under current law, medical marijuana-infused products must be sold in either child-proof packaging or in packaging that warns "medicinal product—keep out of reach of children." The act removes the option of selling the products in the packaging with the warning. The act requires that medical marijuana and medical marijuana-infused products must be sold in either child-proof packaging or in an opaque and resealable exit package or container that meets standards established by rule.
The act gives a retail marijuana store the ability to confiscate a fraudulent identification and detain and question the person who provided the fraudulent identification. The act makes selling marijuana to a person under 21 years of age at a retail marijuana store a class 1 misdemeanor.
The act requires that, if a person is growing marijuana in a residence and a person under 21 years of age lives at the residence, the grow site must be in an enclosed and locked space. If no one under 21 years of age lives in the residence but a person under 21 years of age enters the residence, the person growing the marijuana must ensure access to the growsite is reasonably restricted while the person under 21 years of age is staying at the residence. Effective March 17, 2014.
H.B. 14-1146. Concerning a prohibition against greyhound racing in Colorado. By Rep. Becker and Sen. Tochtrop. Under current law, greyhound racing is permitted in Colorado. The act prohibits greyhound racing in Colorado but maintains the practice of wagering on greyhound races that are held at race tracks in other states and are simultaneously broadcast at race tracks in Colorado. Effective March 10, 2014.
H.B. 14-1229. Concerning authorizing sharing information between state and local government agencies related to legal marijuana. By Rep. Kagan and Sen. Johnston. For retail marijuana licensing purposes, the act allows a local jurisdiction to submit fingerprints for purposes of conducting a criminal history background check or to acquire a name-based criminal history check if the licensee’s fingerprints are unclassifiable. Effective March 17, 2014.
H.B. 14-1254. Concerning a requirement to disclose fees charged to a unit owners’ association by a community association manager. By Rep. Labuda and Sen. Balmer. The act requires a licensed community association manager that performs services for a homeowners’ association (HOA) or provides services to the HOA through employees or subcontractors to fully disclose to the HOA, during contract negotiations and annually thereafter, all fees and charges that the manager will bill to the HOA, unit owners, or purchasers of units in the common interest community for services performed by the manager or those employees or subcontractors. A fee or charge is not enforceable unless it is disclosed in the manager’s contract, an addendum to the contract, or a real estate closing settlement statement. The manager must also disclose to the HOA executive board all remuneration the manager or any subsidiary or affiliate receives or will receive in connection with its relationship with the HOA.
The director of the division of real estate may take disciplinary action, including assessing an administrative fine of up to $2,500, against a manager that violates the requirements of the act. Effective January 1, 2015.
H.B. 14-1265. Concerning the regulation of games of chance. By Rep. Moreno and Sen. Roberts. The act reorganizes the Bingo and Raffles Law and makes technical amendments to the law. In addition, the act makes the following substantive changes:
The office of the secretary of state (the "licensing authority") may specify the method of selecting winning numbers in a raffle;
For purposes of the prohibition on remunerating volunteer workers at a game of chance, food is excluded so long as the retail value of the food does not exceed a limit set by rules of the licensing authority;
Games of chance other than bingo and pull tab games may be conducted with equipment not owned or leased by the bingo-raffle licensee or landlord of the premises on which the game of chance is held;
If a game of progressive bingo is not won at the first occasion on which it is played, the play may continue on subsequent occasions that fall on the same day of the week as the first occasion as well as on every subsequent occasion as required under current law; and
Licensees may maintain a bank account containing only proceeds from progressive games.
Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1361. Concerning the authority of the state licensing authority to establish equivalencies for retail marijuana products, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Rep. McNulty and Sen. Guzman. The act directs the department of revenue (department) to promulgate rules by January 1, 2016, establishing the equivalent of one ounce of retail marijuana flower in various retail marijuana products. The act authorizes the department to contract for a scientific study of the equivalency of marijuana flower in marijuana products.
The act prohibits a retail marijuana store from selling more than one ounce of retail marijuana or the equivalent in retail marijuana products during any single transaction to a Colorado resident. Current law prohibits the sale of more than one-quarter ounce of retail marijuana to a person who is not a resident of Colorado. The act expands this prohibition to include the equivalent of one-quarter ounce in retail marijuana products. Effective May 21, 2014.
H.B.14-1366. Concerning reasonable restrictions on the sale of edible retail marijuana products. By Rep. Singer and Sen. Johnston. The act requires the department of revenue (department), by January 1, 2016, to adopt rules requiring edible retail marijuana products to be clearly identifiable, when practicable, with a standard symbol indicating that they contain marijuana and are not for consumption by children. The act requires the department to convene a stakeholders group to make recommendations on the rule and to reports its findings to the health committees of the general assembly. Effective May 21, 2014.
S.B. 14-9. Concerning a disclosure of possible separate ownership of the mineral estate in the sale of real property. By Sen. Hodge and Rep. Moreno. The act requires a seller to disclose in the sale of real property that a separate mineral estate may subject the property to oil, gas, or mineral extraction. This requirement does not include a duty to investigate or disclose specific facts. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B. 14-22. Concerning certified community development financial institutions, and, in connection therewith, authorizing such institutions to serve as a qualified holder and to present a request for full or partial release of collateral pledged without presentation of the original promissory note. By Sen. Kefalas and Rep. Fields. The act includes within the definition of a "qualified holder" any community development financial institution that has been certified and maintains such current status from the community development financial institutions fund administered by the United States department of the treasury (fund). In order to be a qualified holder, the community development financial institution must:
Be a legal entity;
Have a primary mission of promoting community development;
Be a financing entity;
Primarily serve one or more target markets as defined by the fund;
Promote development services in conjunction with its financing activities;
Maintain accountability to its defined target market; and
Be a nongovernmental entity and not be under the control of any governmental entity (except that a tribal government is exempt from this last requirement).
The act amends the definition of "qualified holder" in connection with statutory provisions governing foreclosure sales to include any entity with active certification under the fund that originates, insures, guarantees, or purchases loans or a person acting on behalf of such an entity to enforce an evidence of debt or the deed of trust securing an evidence of debt.
The entities covered under the definition of "qualified holder" are allowed to present a request for full or partial release of collateral pledged without presentation of the original promissory note. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1125. Concerning the circumstances under which a unit owners’ association may disclose contact information for members and residents under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. By Rep. Mitsch Bush and Sen. Balmer. The act specifies that, notwithstanding the general prohibition against sharing personal information about members of a common interest community, the unit owners’ association may publish members’ and residents’ contact information with their prior written consent. Residents may give written consent electronically. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1130. Concerning the disposition of moneys charged to borrowers for costs to be paid in connection with foreclosure. By Rep. McCann and Sen. Ulibarri. Current law is silent on when and how fees for court filings, published notices, and other costs of foreclosure are to be calculated and paid and, if overpaid, refunded. The act specifies that all costs and fees charged to a borrower must be accurately accounted for and that any overpayments based on prepayments or estimates must be promptly refunded to the borrower. Effective May 9, 2014.
H.B. 14-1295. Concerning residential mortgage foreclosures, and, in connection therewith, requiring a single point of contact and prohibiting dual tracking. By Rep. McCann and Sen. Ulibarri. The act requires a lender (or a loan servicer acting on the lender’s behalf) to establish a single point of contact with whom a borrower can communicate about foreclosure matters within 45 days from the date the borrower becomes delinquent in payments. The act also prohibits "dual tracking," in which a lender simultaneously negotiates with the borrower for a loan modification and also pursues foreclosure through the public trustee.
Existing notice provisions are expanded to include notice to the borrower that:
It is illegal for any person acting as a foreclosure consultant to charge an up-front fee or deposit for services related to the foreclosure; and
If the borrower believes that the servicer has violated the single-point-of-contact or dual-tracking provisions, the borrower may file a complaint with the Colorado attorney general or the federal consumer financial protection bureau (CFPB), but filing the complaint will not stop the foreclosure process.
The public trustee of the county in which a foreclosure is commenced must contact the servicer if the borrower alleges that the servicer has received a completed application for an alternative to foreclosure, or that the borrower and servicer have entered into an agreement to avoid foreclosure and the borrower is complying with the terms of that agreement. If the servicer does not dispute the borrower’s statements, the public trustee must postpone the foreclosure sale.
The act exempts servicers who service 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans and deems services who comply with or are exempt from relevant CFPB rules addressing single-point-of-contact and dual-tracking issues to be in compliance with the act. The act applies to foreclosure proceedings in which the notice of election and demand is filed on or after January 1, 2015. Effective January 1, 2015.
H.B. 14-1302. Concerning the addition of a judgment against a debtor or transferee who acts with actual intent as an available remedy for a creditor in a fraudulent transfer action. By Rep. Buckner and Sen. Johnston. The act allows a creditor to seek a judgment in a fraudulent transfer action for 1.5 times the value of the asset transferred or for 1.5 times the amount necessary to satisfy the creditor’s claim, whichever is less, together with the creditor’s actual costs, against any debtor or transferee who acts with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor, either alone or in conspiracy with another. The act also specifies that a judgment may not be entered against a person other than the debtor unless that person also acts with wrongful intent and that a judgment may not be entered unless a court of competent jurisdiction enters or has entered a judgment or order establishing the validity of the creditor’s claim against the debtor. Effective May 2, 2014.
H.B.14-1312. Concerning efforts to reduce the number of foreclosures in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, continuing the foreclosure deferment program. By Rep. Williams and Sen Ulibarri. The act continues the existing foreclosure deferment program, which is scheduled to expire in 2014, until 2015. Effective May 9, 2014.
S.B. 14-19. Concerning the state income tax filing status of two taxpayers who may legally file a joint federal income tax return. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Moreno. Any two taxpayers who may legally file a joint federal income tax return are required to file separate state income tax returns if they file separate federal income tax returns and file a joint state income tax return if they file a joint federal income tax return. Effective February 27, 2014.
S.B. 14-43. Concerning the inclusion of certain land areas used to grow products that originate above the ground within the classification of "all other agricultural property" for property tax purposes. By Sen. Grantham and Rep. Priola. Commencing January 1, 2015, the act includes within the property tax category of "all other agricultural property" greenhouse and nursery production areas used to grow food products, agricultural products, or horticultural stock for wholesale purposes only that originate above the ground. Effective March 20, 2014.
S.B. 14-80. Concerning the elimination of the list of certain additional qualifications that apply to property valuation appeal arbitrators. By Sen. Grantham and Rep. Fields. In addition to pursuing an appeal of the valuation of his or her property through the county board of equalization or district court, a taxpayer may appeal by utilizing an arbitration process. The act repeals the requirement that arbitrators so utilized must be either an attorney licensed to practice law in the state, an appraiser who is a member of the institute of real estate appraisers, a former county assessor, a retired judge, or a licensed real estate broker. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B. 14-83. Concerning reimbursement to be paid by a county to the state for costs incurred by the state in connection with the reappraisal of property in the county. By Sen. Crowder and Rep. Ferrandino. The state annually contracts with a private person for an annual statewide valuation for assessment study that determines whether or not the county assessor has followed all required procedures in assessing each and every class of real and personal property in each county. If the study indicates that a county assessor has failed to appraise any class or classes of property in a manner consistent with the property tax provisions of the state constitution or state law, the state board of equalization must order the reappraisal of the improperly appraised class or classes of property at the expense of the county. If the state assists the county assessor in conducting the reappraisal, which it generally does, the county must reimburse the state for the costs it incurs.
The act allows the state board of equalization to waive the requirement that a county reimburse the state for reappraisal costs if the county submits a plan to use the money saved to improve the functioning of the county assessor’s office and implements the plan in a timely manner. The act also clarifies that salaries and benefits paid to state employees who work on a reappraisal are not reimbursable state costs. Effective August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1101. Concerning the provision of social workers to juveniles, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Ulibarri. The act specifies that, for property tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2015, but before January 1, 2021, there is exempt from the levy and collection of property tax the percentage of alternating current electricity capacity of a community solar garden that is attributed to residential or governmental subscribers, or to subscribers that are not-for-profit or charitable organizations that have been granted property tax exemptions in law. August 6, 2014.
H.B. 14-1074. Concerning payments that a nonprofit owner of a tax-exempt property may receive for reasonable expenses incurred without affecting the tax-exempt status of the property. By Rep. Court and Sen. Johnston. Real property that is owned and used by a nonprofit entity is generally exempt from the levy and collection of property tax. The nonprofit owner is allowed to lease the property to another nonprofit entity without losing the exemption as long as the amount received by the owner does not exceed one dollar plus the reasonable expenses incurred in operating and maintaining the property. The act specifies the following to be included as expenses incurred in operating and maintaining the property:
Long-term maintenance expenses;
Capital expenses dedicated to refurbishing the property; and
Expenses incurred to allow the property to conserve energy, water, or other natural resources.
Effective March 14, 2014
H.B. 14-1107. Concerning the authority of the department of revenue to offer taxpayers the option to receive electronic notices. By Rep. Tyler and Sen. Newell. The act allows the department of revenue the flexibility to offer taxpayers the option to receive electronic communications rather than requiring the department to send notices by first-class mail. Effective April 25, 2014.
H.B. 14-1163. Concerning a clarification of the cap imposed on the enterprise zone investment tax credit. By Rep. Hullinghorst and Sen. Heath. Language added during the 2013 legislative session that could interfere with the general assembly’s intent in adopting House Bill 13-1142 is amended. The intent stated in committee hearings regarding the bill and noted correctly in the fiscal note was that the amount of the enterprise zone investment tax credit that a taxpayer may claim in any year be limited to $750,000 per year beginning in tax year 2014. Credits earned on and after tax year 2014 over the $750,000 limit were intended to be allowed as a carryforward in future tax years for fourteen years (or twenty-two years for renewable energy investments as determined in Senate Bill 13-286). Credits carried forward from tax years before 2014 were to be exempt from the $750,000 limit. In error, the statute allows the amount of the credits earned on and after tax year 2014 over the $750,000 limit to be added to the $750,000 limit in future tax years. This was not the intent and would render the $750,000 cap ineffective. Effective March 27, 2014.
H.B. 14-1348. Concerning an extension of the effective date of the amended "retail sale" sales tax definition adopted in house bill 13-1295 to take effect only if congress enacts an act that authorizes states to require certain retailers to pay, collect, or remit state or local sales taxes. By Rep. Ferrandino and Sen. Heath. The act delays the effective date of the amended sales tax definition of "retail sale" that was adopted in House Bill 13-1295, which concerned the implementation of the minimum simplification requirements of the proposed federal "Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013." so that the definition does not take effect on July 1, 2014, but instead takes effect only if congress enacts an act that authorizes states to require certain retailers to pay, collect, or remit state or local sales taxes. The act also makes technical changes to remove erroneous references to the term "remote sale" in the definition. Effective May 31, 2014.
H.B. 14-1349. Concerning the creation of an exemption from property taxes for qualifying business entities controlled by nonprofit organizations that are formed for the purpose of qualifying for federal tax credits. By Hullinghorst and Sen. Heath. For property tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, real and personal property is exempt from the levy and collection of property tax if:
The property tax is owed by a qualified business entity; and
The property is used for charitable, religious, or educational purposes in accordance with existing property tax exemptions and requirements.
The act defines "qualified business entity" to mean a limited partnership or a limited liability company:
That is formed for the purpose of obtaining federal tax credits and that does obtain such credits; and
The general partner or managing member of which is an entity that would qualify for an existing property tax exemption for charitable, religious, or educational purposes.
The act also repeals statutory provisions that had required an entity that is formed to obtain the federal new markets tax credits or federal rehabilitation tax credits and that claims a property tax exemption to pay annually to the applicable county a payment in lieu of property taxes. Effective May 17, 2014.
H.B. 14-1373. Concerning individuals who may claim the property tax exemption for qualifying seniors and disabled veterans. By Lebsock and Sen. Crowder. For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2015, the act clarifies eligibility for the property tax exemption for seniors and disabled veterans by specifying that:
A senior who has received a property tax exemption for his or her former primary residence but has moved to a new primary residence after January 1, 2014, may continue to claim an exemption for his or her new primary residence if a natural disaster forced the move by destroying the former primary residence or otherwise rendering it uninhabitable. The surviving spouse of a deceased senior may also claim the exemption for his or her new primary residence if the deceased senior:
Previously qualified for a property tax exemption for the new primary residence; or
Would have qualified for a property tax exemption for the new primary residence if he or she had not died before the surviving spouse moved to the new primary residence.
The surviving spouse of a deceased disabled veteran who had received a property tax exemption before his or her death may claim the exemption.
Effective May 26, 2014.
S.B. 14-55. Concerning more precise specification of the class of vehicles subject to the daily vehicle rental fee. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Coram. The act specifies that the $2 daily vehicle rental fee is imposed without regard to the primary business of the renter on any short-term rental of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of twenty-six thousand pounds or less that is rented in the state for a period of less than 30 days and that a subsequent renewal of such a short-term vehicle rental is exempt from the fee to the extent that the renewal extends the total rental period beyond 30 days. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-60. Concerning the authorization of the department of transportation to conduct flagperson training. By Sen. Todd and Rep. Coram. The act requires a person to obey the instructions, signals, and directions given by a flagperson and creates a class A traffic infraction for a failure to obey. The act allows the department of transportation to authorize public and private entities to conduct flagperson training.
The act requires flagpersons to wear high-visibility clothing, use a prescribed device while directing traffic, and abide by Colorado’s manuals for traffic control. The act clarifies that law enforcement personnel are exempt from these requirements. Effective July 1, 2014.
S.B. 14-17. Concerning a limitation on the approval of real estate developments that use water rights decreed for agricultural purposes to irrigate lawn grass. By Sen. Roberts and Rep. Vigil. The act directs the water resources review committee to investigate how to minimize agricultural dry-up by limiting municipal outdoor water consumption. The investigation should identify and quantify best practices that limit municipal outdoor water consumption. The committee can propose legislation, if appropriate, to facilitate the implementation of those practices that are both reasonable and likely to result in the measurable conservation of municipal water used for outdoor purposes. Effective April 11, 2014.
S.B.14-179. Concerning the creation of a flood debris cleanup grant account to facilitate watershed cleanup efforts in areas affected by the September 2013 flood, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Foote. In response to the September 2013 flood, the act creates a stream restoration grant account in the flood and drought response fund for the purpose of allowing the Colorado water conservation board to make grants to help pay the costs of watershed cleanup and stream restoration in areas affected by the flood.
The act makes a statutory appropriation of $2,500,000 from the disaster emergency fund to the board for implementation of the grant program. The appropriation and the special account are both subject to automatic repeal on July 1, 2015. Effective May 17, 2014.
S.B. 14-195. Concerning a study of phreatophyte growth along the South Platte River in the aftermath of the September 2013 flood. By Sen. Nicholson and Rep. Singer. The act directs the Colorado water conservation board (board) to conduct at least the preliminary stages or, if appropriate, all stages of a study to evaluate the growth and identification of phreatophytes, which are deep-rooted plants that absorb water from the water table or the layer of soil just above the water table, along the South Platte river in the aftermath of the September 2013 flood. The board may enter into contracts with Colorado state university’s bioagricultural sciences and pest management program to conduct the study. The board shall coordinate with the department of agriculture and weed management specialists on the study. The objectives of the study are to determine the relationship between high groundwater and nonbeneficial consumptive use by the phreatophytes and to develop a cost analysis for the removal of unwanted phreatophytes.
The board is authorized to accept and expend gifts, grants, and donations to help fund the study. The act appropriates $1,000,000 from the Colorado water conservation board construction fund to the department of natural resources, for allocation to the board for the board to continue funding phreatophyte control cost-sharing grants and to conduct the study. Effective June 6, 2014.
H.B.14-1005. Concerning clarification of the requirements applicable to a change of point of water diversion. By Rep. Sonnenberg and Sen. Lundberg. A statute enacted in 1881 allows the owner of a ditch to relocate the ditch’s headgate if changes to the stream prevent the headgate from effectuating the diversion. The "Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969" (1969 act) requires changes of water rights, including changes of points of diversion, to be adjudicated. The 1969 act does not exempt changes authorized by the 1881 act. The act clarifies that a water right owner may relocate a ditch headgate pursuant to the 1881 act without filing for a change of water right under the 1969 act if the relocation does not physically interfere with the complete use or enjoyment of other water rights. Effective May 15, 2014.
H.B. 14-1052. Concerning an increase in the enforcement authority of ground water management districts. By Rep. Fischer and Sen. Jones. Ground water management districts are currently authorized to enforce the terms of permits issued for small-capacity wells. The act authorizes a district to:
Enforce permits for all wells located within the district;
Enforce the district’s rules with regard to those wells; and
Issue orders requiring compliance with the rules and permits.
Effective March 21, 2014.
H.B. 14-137. Concerning certification of workers’ compensation insurance forms. By Sen. Jahn and Rep. McNulty. The act allows a workers’ compensation carrier to write a policy of insurance or an endorsement, rider, letter, or other document affecting an insurance contract on a form that has not received prior approval from the commissioner of insurance if the carrier certifies that, to the best of its knowledge, the document complies with Colorado law. The act allows the forms to be certified on an annual basis after submission by the workers’ compensation carriers. Effective August 6, 2014.
S.B.14-191. Concerning the procedures for resolution of workers’ compensation claims. By Sen. Tochtrop and Rep. Pabon. The act explicitly authorizes the director of the division of workers’ compensation (director), or an administrative law judge (ALJ) presiding over a workers’ compensation case, to consider, but not necessarily to rely solely on, the medical treatment guidelines adopted by the director in determining whether certain medical treatment is appropriate. The act requires the director to adopt rules governing the approval of settlements in workers’ compensation cases, including procedures for electronic transmission of documents and verification of signatures. The act adjusts the measurement of time within which a hearing must commence, from 100 days after the date the hearing is set to 120 days after the date of service of the hearing request or the notice that the hearing is set. The act extends the time for objecting to a summary order issued by an ALJ from seven days to ten days. The act allows the director or an ALJ to summon out-of-state parties to appear, either in person or by telephone, at a hearing or deposition and authorizes sanctions for a failure to appear. The act sets a thirty-day deadline for the director, ALJ, or administrative panel to comply with the directions accompanying the remand of a case or order by an appellate tribunal. The act allows a claimant to receive $75 per day, in addition to transportation and lodging, if the claimant is required to travel for a medical examination requested by the employer and misses work as a result. The act also requires an authorized physician to give written notice, with an explanation, to the claimant and the employer if the physician refuses to treat the claimant or discharges the claimant from medical care for a nonmedical reason. After receiving the notice, the employer has fifteen days to select another physician before the claimant is allowed to select a physician independently. The act adjusts the maximum amount payable in a lump-sum settlement, replacing the current limit of $60,000 with a range of $80,868.10 to $161,734.15, depending on the number of claimants, to be adjusted periodically whenever adjustments are made to the state average weekly wage. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1278. Concerning continuation of the workers’ compensation accreditation program administered by the division of workers’ compensation, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies. By Rep. Rosenthal and Sen. Tochtrop. The act implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report on the workers’ compensation accreditation program (WCAP) for medical professionals, administered by the division of workers’ compensation in the department of labor and employment, by allowing the division to set fees for WCAP training programs and materials administratively rather than specifying the amount of the fees in statute. The automatic termination date of the program is extended until September 1, 2025, pursuant to the sunset law. Effective July 1, 2014.
H.B. 14-1383. Concerning the required number of physicians that must be provided to an injured employee for selection of a treating physician in workers’ compensation cases. By Rep. Williams and Sen. Tochtrop. The act generally requires an employer or a workers’ compensation insurer to provide a list of at least four separate and independent physicians or corporate medical providers to an injured employee from which to select a treating physician. But the act allows an employer or insurer to instead designate fewer than four medical providers or a combination of the providers in a rural area where there are a limited number of physicians or corporate medical providers within thirty miles of the employer’s place of business. Effective April 1, 2015.
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