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e-Legislative Report

 
In this issue:   Jan. 26, 2015
 

Welcome to the 2015 edition of the CBA e-legislative report. This CBA member benefit will be delivered to your Inbox on Monday afternoons and will recap legislation from the current legislative session and the role the CBA plays at the State Capitol.

In addition to updates on the positions taken by the CBA through the Legislative Policy Committee (“LPC”) the e-leg report will highlight legislation that is of interest to the practicing bar.

We welcome your feedback. We welcome your questions. Or just drop me a line on how we are doing or raise an issue on a piece of legislation. Contact me at jschupbach@cobar.org

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CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For followers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (“LPC”) is the CBA’s legislative policy making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions from requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

 

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At the Capitol—Week of January 19

The week of January 19 was relatively light in terms of bills running through the committees of reference and floor work in both chambers. The Legislature is beginning to take up bills in committee after the usual pomp and circumstances of the first weeks of session. Highlights of the committee and floor work follows.

 

In the Senate

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee voted to Postpone Indefinitely (kill) SB 15-016 (Marriages By Individuals In Civil Unions). The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation at its December 16, 2015 meeting. The bill would have provided much needed clarity for Social Security, alimony calculations and trust & estate related issues when individuals in a civil union enter into a marriage.

 

In the House.

At its January 16 meeting the LPC voted to support HB 15-1034 (Concerning an increase in the number of judges for the twelfth judicial district) by Rep. Vigil and Sen. Crowder.
The bill increases the number of judges for the 12th judicial district from 3 to 4. The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a 13-0 vote on January 15. The bill moves to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the cost to the state.  The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation at its December 16, 2015 meeting.

The House heard HB 1071 (Surviving Entity Owns Attorney-client Privilege) by Rep. Jon Keyser in committee.  Attorneys from the business law section and members of the LPC weighed in on the bill, which passed its House Hearing unanimously.  On Friday it passed its 3rd reading and now moves to the senate.  The CBA supports this legislation as written.  The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation at its December 23, 2015 meeting.

 

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Bills of Inerest
House Bills

HB 15-1063 - Prohibited Communications Concerning Patents

Sen. David G. Balmer (R), Rep. Dan Pabon (D)
The bill prohibits a person from making a written or electronic communication with another concerning a patent if: The communication falsely states that litigation has been commenced against the recipient or an affiliated party; The communication threatens litigation and there is a consistent pattern of such threats having been made but no litigation is filed; or The allegations in the communication lack a reasonable basis because of specified deficiencies. The bill contains specified exclusions from the prohibition. The bill authorizes only the attorney general to file an action to enforce the prohibition and authorizes specified damages.

 

HB 15-1053 - Ages For Compulsory Education

Rep. Kim Ransom (R)
Under current law, a child who is at least 6 years of age and under 17 years of age must attend school. The bill changes the ages of compulsory education to at least 7 years of age and under 16 years of age.

HB 15-1035 – Update Crime Victim Compensation Laws

 

Sen. John Cooke (R), Rep. Rhonda Fields (D)
Under current law, in an incident of hit and run or careless driving, crime victim compensation (compensation) is only available if a death results. The bill allows for compensation when an incident of hit and run or careless driving causes bodily injury. The bill allows compensation to a person who is a dependent of the accused if the accused provided support for the person or the person's dependents. The bill expands compensable losses to include the cost of rekeying vehicles or other locks necessary to ensure a victim's safety. The bill clarifies the confidentiality of records of a crime victim compensation board (board) by prohibiting the discovery of certain records in a civil or criminal case except: To the extent necessary for a judicial review of the board's decision; or Upon a showing that the information is only in the records of the board, and, after review by the court, the court determines that the disclosure would not endanger the victim or another person. The bill increases the maximum compensation to $30,000 and emergency compensation to $2,000 and eliminates the requirement that losses be at least $25. The bill requires medical service providers to suspend collection proceedings for 90 days while a claim for compensation is considered. Finally, the bill specifies that a court shall include the amount of compensation requested by a crime victim compensation board in a restitution order and how the amount may be established.

 

HB 15-1011 – Restrict Revealing How Person Votes

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D) For elections conducted under the "Uniform Election Code of 1992", current law, which applies to any person, makes disclosing how or for whom an elector has voted a misdemeanor. The bill narrows this provision to those persons who, in the course of performing any elections-related duty or function, obtain any knowledge as to how a person has voted. Additionally, both the "Uniform Election Code of 1992" and the "Municipal Election Code" prohibit a voter from showing to anyone else his or her ballot in such way as to reveal its contents. The bill repeals this provision.

Senate Bills

SB 15-031 - Reciprocity To Practice Occupation Or Profession

By Sen. Newell and Rep. Singer

Sen. Owen Hill (R) Current law allows a military spouse to practice an occupation or profession during the person's first year of residence in Colorado if the person is authorized to practice in another state, there is no basis to disqualify the person from practice, and the person consents to the jurisdiction of the disciplinary authority of the appropriate agency. The bill expands this practice to all persons during their first year of residence in Colorado.

SB 15-079 – Doc Recording Fee To Fund Affordable Housing

 

Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D)
Section 1 of the bill raises to $2 the surcharge to be imposed by each county clerk and recorder (clerk) for each document received for recording or filing in his or her office on or after July 1, 2015. The surcharge is in addition to any other fees permitted by statute. Out of each $2 collected, the bill requires the clerk to retain one dollar to be used to defray the costs of an electronic or core filing system in accordance with existing law. The bill requires the clerk to transmit the other dollar collected to the state treasurer, who is to credit the same to the statewide affordable housing investment fund (fund). Section 2 of the bill creates the fund in the Colorado housing and finance authority (authority). The bill specifies the source of moneys to be deposited into the fund and that the authority is to administer the fund. Moneys in the fund are to be expended by the authority for the development and preservation of affordable housing on a statewide basis. Section 2 of the bill also requires the authority to submit a report, no later than June 1 of each year, specifying the use of the fund during the prior calendar year to the governor and to the senate and house finance committees

 

SB 15-086 – Repeal Gun Transfer Background Check Requirements & Fee

Rep. Janak Joshi (R), Sen. Kent Lambert (R) The bill repeals the requirement that before any person who is not a licensed gun dealer transfers possession of a firearm to a transferee, he or she must require that a criminal background check be conducted of the prospective transferee and must obtain approval of the transfer from the Colorado bureau of investigation (CBI). The bill repeals the requirement that CBI impose a fee for performing an instant criminal background check pursuant to the transfer of a firearm. The bill makes conforming amendments.

SB 15-099 – Eliminate Duties For Probation Officers

 

By Sen. Todd and Rep. Young

Sen. John Cooke (R) Several provisions of current law address the performance of certain duties by probation officers. The bill amends these provisions to eliminate these duties. Specifically, the bill so amends provisions concerning: The performance of supplemental evaluations concerning disputed issues in cases involving the allocation of parental responsibilities with respect to a child; The exercise of continuing supervision over a case to ensure that terms relating to an allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time are carried out; The duty to make a social study and written report in all children's cases under the "Colorado Children's Code"; and The appointment of a probation officer as attendance officer of a school district.