Eye on the Legislature

May 7, 2018

   Today begins the “end of the legislature wrap up” when the bills written about during the session are reviewed and reported on what happened – signed by the Governor, postponed indefinitely (killed) or deemed lost. Adjournment day is May 9th.

House Bill 18-1051 was signed by the Governor on March 22nd, and changes the penalty for leaving a campfire unattended or failing to extinguish a campfire from a class 2 petty offense punishable by a fine of $50.00 to a class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum $50.00 fine and a maximum of six months in jail, or a $750.009 fine or both. Effective date is July 1, 2018 and counties will no longer be required to post certain notices related to unattended campfires.

House Bill 18-1028 was signed by the Governor on March15th, and is meant to toughen the law in Colorado on deceptive trade practices. Tampering with the odometer of a vehicle with the intent to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge is high on the list of those practices. Several other areas of commerce are also impacted: 

  • advertised good, services, or property with intent not to sell them as advertised;
  • advertised goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
  • advertised under the guise of obtaining sales personnel when in fact the purpose is to first sell a product or service to the sales personnel applicant;
  • making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the price of goods, services or property or the reasons for existence of, or amounts of price reductions;
  • fails to deliver to the customer at the time of an installment sale of goods or services a written order, contract, or receipt setting forth the name and address of the seller, the name and address of the organization which he represents, and all of the terms and conditions of the sale, including a description of the goods or services, stated in readable, clear and unambiguous language; and
  • employs “bait and switch” advertising which is advertising accompanied by an effort to sell goods, services, or property other than those advertised or on terms other than those advertised.

   House Bill 18-1041 expands the Colorado Revised Statutes, and adds “certified   police working horse” to those already in the statutes – a service animal or a certified police working dog, and was signed by the Governor on March 7th. “Restitution, including veterinary expenses and replacement costs, must be paid if the certified police working horse is permanently disabled or killed and the court finds the offense to have been committed with malicious intent.”

   House Bill 180-1043 was postponed indefinitely (killed) on January 30th and would have amended the Colorado Food and Drug Act to require anyone selling meat at retail to the public to conspicuously display a placard next to the beef designating it as either “U.S. A. Beef” or “imported,’ depending on where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. Imported beef must be designated to indicate the beef’s country of origin.

House Bill 18-1018 was signed on April 12th, with a goal of curtailing human trafficking. The Department of Revenue through the Division of Motor Vehicles is required to “promulgate rules requiring commercial driver schools to include training on the recognition, prevention and reporting of human trafficking.”

Two requirements of HB 1018 must be incorporated into training offered by these schools:

  • collaborate with organizations that specialize in the recognition and prevention of human trafficking and other state agencies when promulgating these rules; and
  • publication of information about human trafficking in a manner that is likely to be read by licensed commercial drivers or people training testing performed by third-party testing organizations is conducted by the Driver Testing and Education Unit in the Driver License Section of the Division of Motor Vehicles. Training and education performed by these third-party organizations is overseen by the Division of Private Occupational Schools in the Department of Higher Education.  

   House Bill 18-1021 would have created a task force concerning youth who are experiencing homelessness. Sadly, it was postponed indefinitely on March 22nd. Considering the statistics included in the legislative declaration, it makes legislators look downright heartless.

HB 1021 defines “youth who is experiencing homelessness” as a “youth who is at least eleven years of age but is less than twenty-five years of age,” and:

  • who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; or
  • who has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, other than a publicly or privately operated accommodations that has a primary purpose of detaining or otherwise or
  •  a public or private place not designed for, nor ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

    Senate Bill 18-084 Yet again, as in HB1021, minors were thrown to the wolves by legislators. HB 084 was titled “Enhanced Protections for Minors Who Are Victims of Human Trafficking.” Here is part of what the intention of HB 084 was about:

  • Human trafficking is a serious problem in Colorado and across the nation;
  • Children and youth are forced into involuntary servitude and commercial sexual activity are more properly identified as victims and not as criminals; and
  • Human trafficking in all forms creates a cycle of violence and impacts victims, families and communities.  

   Senate Bill 18-089 was postponed indefinitely on February 15th, and would have expanded the criminal act of hazing – other activities that may not be covered by existing criminal statutes may threaten the physical, emotional and psychological health of students and adults, or if not stopped early enough, may escalate into serious physical, emotional or psychological injury.

Senate Bill 18-090 was signed by the Governor on March 29, and changes statutory language referring to “rights of married women” to “the rights of married persons” to be more inclusive. The most significant amendments to the Colorado Revised Statutes are:

  • Property ownership such as property, real and personal at the time of his or her marriage; and
  • any real, personal or mixed property that comes to him or her by descent, devise or bequest or the gift of any person except his or her husband or wife.

    Senate Bill 151 was signed by the Governor on April 23rd. SB 151 requires the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to research policies, approaches and practices related to bullying prevention and education used by other states.

The purpose of SB 151 is to develop by July 1, 2019 a model bullying prevention and education policy, in consultation with the School Safety Resource Center. Said Research and Model Policy must be updated every three years, and posted on the CDE website “for school districts, charter schools and the Charter School Institute to consider when to develop and implement bullying prevention and education policies.”

Senate Bill 18-096 was signed on March 21st. Just as technology advances, so does the need to modernize outdated use of certain terms that have been around since ancient times. SB 096 amends the Colorado Revised Statutes, Sections 1029, to effect a non-substantive change in statute to modernize the outdated use of the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” where appropriate.

SB 096 sets forth numerous provisions for courts in dealing with cases involving a “defendant with an intellectual and developmental disability,” the preferred term in such matters.

Senate Bill 18-157 was postponed indefinitely on February 27th. Even though more and more women are entering military service, women have not enjoyed the same status and benefits as men in military service, and even today women in the military and women veterans face cultural barriers to full integration into military service, recognition as veterans and access to services and benefits. 

The General Assembly provides these reasons for creating the state women’s veterans veterans office and the state women veterans steering committee in the governor’s office, but will have to wait for another day:

  • Colorado’s goal is to be the most veteran-friendly state in America;
  • Nearly 40,000 women veterans reside in Colorado; and
  • Upon discharge, separation or retirement from the military, women veterans may “disappear” as they transition from the highly structured military service environment to an unstructured, seemingly under-resourced life in civilian society.


House Bill 18-1188 was postponed indefinitely on April 11th. The bill would have allowed the Colorado Department of Transportation to use location information derived from a motor vehicle’s communication with transportation infrastructure for the purpose of facilitating and managing traffic. Current law requires that a state or local agency must get a search warrant before obtaining location information from an electronic device, and with the failure to pass HB 1188, that requirement will remain valid.

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