Eye on the Legislature

April 30, 2018

House Bill 18-1399:  This writer must admit that HB 1399 is the first time of hearing about the subject matter of this bill – “exposure to surgical smoke during surgery at certain licensed health care facilities.”

The bill “requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to establish rules on the evacuation of surgical smoke during surgery by March 1, 2019. Further, “health facilities that perform surgery (hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers) must adopt a plan for limiting human exposure to surgical smoke by July 1, 2019.”

For those unfamiliar with “surgical smoke,” it is defined as the gaseous byproduct produced by energy-generating devices including surgical plume, smoke plume, bio-aerosols, laser-generated airborne.

HB 1399 further explains how this process is to be accomplished by defining surgical smoke evacuation system as “smoke evacuators, laser plume evacuators, plume scavengers, or local exhaust ventilators that capture and neutralize surgical smoke at the site of origin and before surgical smoke can make ocular or respiratory contact.”

As serious as this subject matter is, HB 1399 is yet to have its first committee hearing as the legislature approaches adjournment on May 9, 2018.

Sponsors of House Bill 18-1399: Representative Janet P. Buckner (D-Arapaho) 866-2944; and Senator Irene Aguilar, M.D. (D-Denver) 866-4852.

House Bill 18-1417:  This writer has a real problem with HB 1417 for this reason:  the U. S. Constitution and Colorado Constitution states clearly protection is afforded to citizens. The Constitutions do not state residents of the U. S. and Colorado.

HB 1417 is titled “Concerning Protecting the Constitutional Rights of All Colorado Citizens,” and “prohibits local law enforcement from enforcing civil immigration on behalf of the federal immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) without a federal warrant. It also directs the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop policies concerning immigration enforcement in public spaces.”

The bill also:

  • prohibits county law enforcement agencies from detaining a person for ICE or providing nonpublic personal information about a person to ICE without a federal warrant; and
  • a city, county or local law enforcement agency may not renew an existing contract or enter into a new contract, including an intergovernmental service and basic ordering agreement, to house or detain non-citizens for purposes of civil immigration custody.”

Lead Sponsors of House Bill 18-1417:  Representatives Dan Pabon (D-Denver) 866-2954, and Susan Lontine (D-Denver, Jefferson) 866-2966. No sponsor as yet in the Senate.

House Bill 18-1377:  Most probably, all those reading this column have been faced with a really awkward question during job interviews:  the one about earnings history. If HB 1377 passes and is enacted, such questions will become an “unfair employment practice for an employer to seek salary history information, including information about prior compensation and benefits, from an applicant for employment unless an employer has provided a salary range for the open position or the applicant voluntarily agreed to discuss his or her salary with the employer.”

HB 1377 passed its third reading in the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Lead Sponsors of HB 1377:  Representative James Coleman (D-Denver) 866- 2909 and Brittany Pettersen (D-Jefferson) 866- 2939; and Senators Kerry Donovan (D-Chaffee, Delta, Eagle, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, Pitkin) 866-4871 and Dominick Moreno (D-Adams) 866-4859.

House Bill 1368:  Under current Colorado law, local governments cannot enact minimum wage laws separate from those of the state.

HB 1368 “repeals that provision and allows units of local government to establish minimum wages for individuals performing work while physically present within their jurisdictions through their governing body, an initiative or referendum.”

Prior to 2007 Colorado’s minimum wage law was set by federal law. Colorado’s minimum wage has twice been raised by Colorado’s voters, Since January 1, 2017, it increases by $0.90 per hour until it reaches $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2020. Beginning 2021, it will be adjusted by the increase in the Consumer Price Index.          

Lead Sponsors of House Bill 18-1368:  Representatives Jessie Danielson (D-Jefferson) 866-5522 and Jovan Melton (D-Arapaho) 866-2919; and Senators  Michael Merrifield (D-El Paso) and Dominick Moreno D-Adams) 866-4857.

House Bill 18-1276:  Legislators are trying again to amend the accuracy and thoroughness of the history taught to Colorado children. HB 1276 adds the history, culture and contributions of Asian Americans to the required subject matter. Current law requires the history, culture and contributions of American Indians, Hispanic Americans and African Americans be taught in Colorado schools.

HB 1276 also creates a 15-member History, Culture and Civil Government in Education Commission and sets the conditions for the commission’s selection and composition, and requires the Commission to make recommendations to the State Boards of Education and the Colorado Department of Education related to the learning of history, culture and civil government.

Current law also requires that each school district convene once every ten years a community forum to discuss the district’s adopted standards for civics.. HB 1276 will change that to at least once every two years.

HB 1276 passed its third reading in the House and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Lead Sponsors of House Bill 18-1276:  Representative Joseph A. Salazar (D-Adams) 866-2918; and Senator Rhonda Fields D-Arapaho) 866-4879.

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