Eye on the Legislature

June 20, 2016

Deadlines are what most would say “necessary evils.” When status of legislation gets updated, combined with a website “going live” deadline, just do not always coincide. Today's column represents a clean sweep for whatever was missed in the earlier go round. 

House Bill 16-1112:  Titled “Creation of the Training Veterans to Train Their Own Service Dogs Pilot Program,” the pilot program is to be within the Department of Human Services (DHS) that will identify up to ten eligible veterans to pair with dogs selected by qualified trainers. HB 1112 was signed by the Governor on June 10th, and took effect on that date.

House Bill 16-1263:  Signed on June 10th, HB 1263 modifies “the prohibition in current law against racial profiling by law enforcement by changing the definition to include the practice of relying on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability (listed characteristics)” in the following situations:

  • selecting a person to be subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities, including interviews, detentions, traffic or pedestrian stops, frisks or other bodily searches, or searches of personal or real property; or
  • determining the scope, substance or duration of an investigation or law enforcement activity to which a person will be subjected.

   HB 1263 took effect on June 10th, the date of the Governor's signature.

Senate Bill 16-147:  Signed by the Governor on June 10th, SB 147 concerns establishing the Colorado Zero Suicide Model to reduce death by suicide in the Colorado health care system. The “zero suicide” model is a key concept of the national strategy for suicide prevention, a priority of the national action alliance for suicide prevention, and a project of the suicide prevention resource center. The “zero suicide” model is built on the foundational belief and aspirational goal that suicide deaths of individuals who are under the care of our heath care systems, including mental and behavioral health systems, are almost always preventable. FYI – Colorado had the seventh-highest suicide rate in the country and is consistently among the states with the top ten highest suicide rates. SB 147 took effect on July 10th, the date of the Governor's signature.

House Bill 16-1260:  The criminal statute of limitations for a sexual assault is extended by HB 1260 to twenty years. Current law for felony sexual offenses is at least ten years, but may be extended under certain circumstances. There is no criminal statute of limitation for any sexual offenses against children. Class 2, 3, or 4 sexual assault offense felonies, depending on the circumstances, are covered by HB 1260. Signed by the Governor on June 10th, HB 1260 takes effect on July 1, 2016.

Senate Bill 16-146:  Statutes related to sexually transmitted infections is the subject of SB 146, signed by the Governor on June 6th. The legislative declaration states the purpose of Part 4, Article 4 of Title 25 of the Colorado Revised Statutes is to “protect the public health, empower individuals to take personal responsibility for their sexual health, and to prevent infections that may be sexually transmitted.” SB 146 directs the State Board of Health, within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to adopt rules to implement the bill, including rules addressing the control and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, to investigate sexually transmitted infections and to use appropriate means to prevent their spread. The bill takes effect July 1, 2016.

House Bill 16-1427:  Signed by the Governor on June 10th, HB 1427 exempts multi-serving liquid retail marijuana products from the equivalency restriction if the product complies with all statutory and rule packaging requirements for multi-serving edibles. Under current law, a retail marijuana store may not sell more than one ounce of retail marijuana or its equivalent to Colorado residents and no more than a quarter ounce of retail marijuana or its equivalent to non-residents. Beware, there are restrictions as to packaging, dosing component with the child-resistance cap or closure of the bottle and not as a separate component.

House Bill 16-1039:  Passed by the full House, HB 1039 then went to a Senate Committee of Reference where is was postponed indefinitely on March 24th. Then for some unexplained reason – there seems to be a bit of confusion – a fiscal note was done on June 13th which says the bill was not enacted and therefore the fiscal note had no impact. No doubt, this one will return another day.

HB 1039 would have required noncommercial motor vehicles be appropriately equipped when driving on the I-70 mountain corridor during winter storm conditions. HB would have required “ motor vehicles driving on Interstate 70 between milepost 133 (Dotsero) and milepost 259 (Morrison), when icy or snow-packed conditions are present, to be equipped with tire chains or an equivalent traction control device, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and tires with a tread depth of one-eighth of an inch or tires with any form of the mountain-snowflake symbol or “mud and snow” lettering on the side wall of the tire and a tread depth of one-eighth of an inch.”  

House Bill 16-1055:  Postponed indefinitely on January 29th, HB 1055 concerned the ability of Coloradans to sue the United States for its tortuous conduct. Note, the Federal Tort Claims Act provides remedies for individuals who are injured or whose property is damaged by the wrongful or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the scope of his or her official duties.

House Bill 16-1004: Postponed indefinitely on March 30th, would have required the Governor to “establish at least a part-time position with the term 'climate change' in the title in order to assess climate change issues within the state.”

Senate Bill 16-151:  Postponed on May 3rd, SB 151 was titled “The Right of Coloradans to Hunt Wildlife, and, in Connection Therewith, Establishing Hunting as the Primary Means of Managing Wildlife. The legislative impact analysis added this:   “Coloradans will always have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife and establishes that these are the primary methods of controlling and managing wildlife.”

House Bill 16-1340:   Postponed on April 27th, HB 1340 would have eliminated the requirement for a county or regional planning commission that has adopted a master plan to review a proposed project that is permitted under existing zoning laws or is contemplated by a plan, including the county's master plan, a proposal or an application that has already been approved by a planning commission.

Senate Bill 16-157:  Postponed on April 28th, SB 257 involved the dispute between Colorado and the U.S, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the EPA's rules on a finding that irreparable harm would result if a stay was not granted. Additionally, because implementing the EPA's rules could affect the cost, reliability and future improvement of electric service within the state of Colorado, the process of developing a state plan to implement the EPA's rules will be complex and resource-consuming.

House Bill 16-1331:  Postponed on April 19th, HB 1331 would have restricted what type of restraints, referred to in the bill as “Juvenile Shackling in Court,” as appropriate. The bill would have mandated that restraints – including handcuffs, chains, shackles, irons or a straight jacket – be taken off a juvenile before a court proceeding unless the court determines on the record that restraints are necessary to prevent physical harm to the juvenile or another person, disruptive courtroom behavior by the juvenile or the juvenile from fleeing the courtroom.

House Bill 16-1275:  Postponed on March 29th, HB 1275 would have put a dent in tax scofflaws earning money in Colorado that is shifted to tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes, in order to reduce their state income tax liability, and estimated at $20.4 million in 2016-2017, $49.4 million in 2017-2018 and $70.2 million in 2018-2019.

House Bill 16-1342:  Postponed i\on May 5th, HB 1342 would have required that vehicles considered sale-able as salvage, non-repairable, flood-damaged, junk or similarly branded motor vehicles be issued certain branded certificates of title. Licensed automobile dealers who sell such vehicles must report such transactions to the National Motor Vehicles Title Information System approved third-party consolidator within two days of sale. A brand is a permanent marking on a motor vehicle's title, associated with the vehicles identification number that provides information about the value of the vehicle.

Senate Bill 16-176:  Postponed April 26th, SB 176 would have eliminated the authority of the Governor to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of firearms during a state of  disaster or emergency.

House Bill 16-1434:  Postponed on May 3rd, HB 1434 would have changed disclosure communications under the Fair Campaign Practices Act, and would have:

  • added a definition of “party communication activity (a type of electioneering communication that mentions a political party;
  • required that any party communication activity made by any person that is controlled by or coordinated with a state political party be reported by both the person undertaking the party communication activity and the coordinating state political party; and
  • made large party expenditures on party communication activity subject to the same disclosure requirements as standard electioneering communications.

House Bill 16-1385:  Postponed on May 6th, HB 1385 concerned the definition of child abuse substance exposure, and would have expanded the definition of “abuse” and “child abuse or neglect” in regards to children's exposure to controlled substances in several provision of law in the Colorado Children's Code of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

House Bill 16-1403:  Postponed on May 4th, HB 1403 would have created the Colorado Secure Savings Plan, a plan the General Assembly declared was needed to provide a workplace savings plan for all Colorado workers whose employers do not provide such a plan. The declaration equated the future of Colorado's economic growth to being reliant on our aging population having sufficient income in retirement so they can afford to live independently and have quality health care.  Look for this one to return another day, probably as soon as next session.

House Bill 16-1430:  Postponed on April 29th, HB 1430 targeted oil and gas operators' development plans, and required the registration of said plans with both the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and with local governments in whose jurisdiction the operator has either an approved state drilling permit, or an application for a new well. Look for this one to return another day.

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