February 29, 2016

House Bill 16-1213:  Titled "Concerning a Civil Remedy for Certain Damages Caused By An Intrusion Committed Through the Use of a Device," HB 1213 "creates a private civil right of action if a person, with malicious intent, intrudes upon another person without his or her consent through the use of a device to capture a photograph, sound recording, physical impression or digital image." For creation of such a right, the intrusion must be unreasonably offensive or objectionable and the victim must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy and suffer emotional distress as a result of the intrusion.
There are exceptions for lawful activities:

  • when the agency is acting within the scope of its statutory authority;
  • when activities are performed pursuant to the operation of a device in compliance with the term of any current and enforceable authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration;
  •  when performed by a person or entity that is engaged in a business or professional-related activity or performed by an employee, contractor or other agent thereof; and
  • when the device in question is used only to perform reasonable tasks that are within the scope of the business or professional related activity.

   The legislative declaration expresses the need for HB 1213 as:

  • "Emerging technological devices" refer to the current and future development of devices that permit greater intrusion of privacy due to an increased ability to capture photographs, sound recordings, and other physical impressions or digital images without committing a trespass;
  • Emerging technological devices will post significant public policy issues for the general assembly to resolve in the near future; and
  • Foremost among these issues is the threat to individual service to unreasonably intrude upon another individual and capture, without the person's consent, a photograph, sound recording or other physical impression or digital image of the person.

   The legislative declaration was summarized with this statement:  ". . .the general assembly hereby declares that because of the threat to individual privacy that is posted by a person who misuses an emerging technological device, it is appropriate at this time to provide additional protection for citizens from inappropriate and malicious use of these devices."
Sponsors of House Bill 16-1213:  Representative Polly Lawrence (R-Douglas, Teller) 866-2935; Senators Kevin Lundberg (R-Larimer) 866-4853 and Linda Newell (D-Arapahoe) 866-4846.
House Bill 16-1142:  The lack and quality of rural health care is getting much needed attention by the General Assembly. The legislative declaration of HB 1142 declares that:

  • It is vital to the well-being, quality of life and economic development of the entire state that excellent health care be available in all regions of the state, including rural and frontier areas;
  • Rural areas of the state currently suffer from a shortage of primary health care providers and, as a result, these communities experience reduced access to such providers and poorer health care outcomes; and
  • A consistent problem is a lack of professional instruction, training and supervision in rural and frontier areas that allows students studying primary care to obtain the requisite professional mentoring and supervision to allow them to practice in such areas upon obtaining a professional degree.

   HB 1142 creates a tax credit against the state income tax "for licensed Colorado health care professionals who provide personalized instruction, training, and supervision to one or more graduate students seeking a medical degree at a Colorado institution for higher education."
There are requirements for qualifying:

  • Instruction, training and supervision must last at least four weeks during the income tax year in which the credit is claimed;
  • The credit is limited to 300 qualifying taxpayers each year at $1,000 per taxpayer;
  • Tax credit is non-refundable, meaning it is limited to a taxpayer's income tax liability;
  • Credit in excess of this amount may be carried forward for up to five years;
  • Health professionals must be practicing in a rural county (with a population less than 25,000 or frontier county (with a population density of six or fewer people per square mile) of Colorado; and
  • A certification form (stating they have satisfied the requirements for the tax credit) may be provided by an institution of higher education, hospital or area health education center (AHEC) located in the jurisdiction of the preceptor's practice.

   An interesting statement in the fiscal impact analysis under TABOR Impact is that "This bill reduces state revenue to the General Fund, which will reduce the amount required to be refunded under TABOR" (the Taxpayers Bill of Rights). "TABOR refunds are paid from the General Fund. Since the bill reduces both revenue to the General Fund and the refund obligation by equal amounts, there is no net impact on the amount of money available in the General Fund for the budget.  However, the bill will reduce money available for the General Fund budget in the future during years the state does not collect money above the TABOR limit." The statement provides a quick review to readers just how state finances are intertwined.
With very minor amendment in wording, HB 1142 passed and was referred to the Committee on Finance with favorable recommendation.
Sponsors of House Bill 16-1142:  Representatives Perry Buck (R-Larimer) 866-2907 and Joann Ginal (D-Larimer) 866-4569; Senators Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Crowley, Custer, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Mineral, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache) 866-4875 and John Cooke (R-Weld) 866-4451.
House Bill 16-1215:  The 2014-2015 sessions of the General Assembly passed two key pieces of legislation toward reducing recidivism – House Bill 14-1355 and Senate Bill 15-124.
HB 14-1355 directed the Department of Corrections to "develop and implement initiatives to decrease recidivism, enhance public safety and increase each offender's chances of achieving success upon his or her release." Among the programs are initiatives "to assist offenders in a correctional facility to prepare for release and a grant program that provides funding to community organizations that provide re-entry services to offenders."
SB 15-124 established a program to "provide intermediate sanctions, including brief periods of incarceration in a county jail, rather than requiring a return to prison for all technical parole violations."
SB 16-1215 redefines the purpose of parole as to:

  • further all purposes of sentencing and improve public safety by reducing the incidence of crime and technical parole violations committed by people on parole;
  • prepare, select, and assist people who, after serving a statutorily defined period of incarceration, will be transitioned and returned to the community;
  • set individualized conditions of parole and to provide supervision services and support to assist people on parole in addressing identified risks and needs; and
  • achieve a successful discharge from parole supervision for people on parole through compliance with the terms and conditions of release that address their risks and needs. 

   The fiscal impact analysis states the bill has no fiscal impact because it does not change the revenue, expenditures, or workload for any agency of state or local government, and makes the statutory definition of parole consistent with current practice within the Department of Corrections.
Sponsors of House Bill 16-1215:  Representative Elizabeth "Beth" McCann (D-Denver) 866-2959 and Daniel Kagan (D-Arapahoe) 866-2921; Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) 866-4862.

The reader’s comments or questions are always welcome.  E-mail me at doris@dorisbeaver.com.

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