Legislation - 2015

HB15-1127: NO LIABILITY FOR PERMITTING CONCEALED CARRY

Rep. Klingenschmitt & Sen. Garcia

An owner or operator of a place of business that makes its premises available to the public is not liable for damages in any civil action that are alleged to have occurred as a result of the place of business adopting a policy that allows the carrying of a concealed handgun by a person who possesses a permit to do so.

Postponed indefinitely in House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

HB15-1130: OVERSEAS CITIZENS MUNICIPAL ELECTION VOTING ACCESS

Rep. Nordberg, Rep. Ryden & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Hill

The federal "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act" (UOCAVA) and the state "Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act" (UMOVA) provide procedural requirements for the conduct of federal and state elections that help ensure that United States military personnel and American civilians living abroad can vote in such elections. Because county elections are coordinated with state elections, UOCAVA and UMOVA also indirectly help ensure that such military personnel and civilians can vote in county elections. The bill extends certain deadlines that govern the conduct of municipal elections to ensure that such military personnel and civilians have similar ability to vote in municipal elections as they do in federal, state, and county elections.

Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

HB15-1187: VETERINARIAN PEER HEALTH ASSISTANT MENTAL HEALTH EXAM

Rep. Lebsock & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Sonnenberg

Section 2 of the bill authorizes the state board of veterinary medicine (board), if it has reasonable cause to believe that a licensed veterinarian is unable to practice veterinary medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients and clients due to a mental illness or condition or excessive use of alcohol, a habit-forming drug, or a controlled substance, to require the licensed veterinarian to submit to a mental health examination to determine the licensed veterinarian's ability to practice. Section 3 authorizes the board, if it determines that a licensed veterinarian who submitted to a mental health examination can provide limited services with reasonable skill and safety to patients and clients, to enter into a confidential agreement with the licensed veterinarian to limit his or her practice based on the restrictions imposed by his or her illness, condition, or disorder, as determined by the board. Section 1 establishes that a licensed veterinarian's failure to comply with a confidential agreement constitutes grounds for discipline

Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

HB15-1319: PUC MEMBERSHIP GEOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION

Rep. Esgar & Sen. Garcia

The bill increases the membership of the public utilities commission from 3 to 5, with 2 of the commissioners representing the state at large and 3 representing one district each. The districts are defined to include named counties, consisting roughly of the western slope, the northeastern quadrant of the state, and the southeastern quadrant of the state.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

HB15-1326: STUDENT NOT AFFECTED BY DISTRICT ACCREDITATION STATUS

Rep. Esgar, Rep. Moreno & Sen. Garcia

The bill prohibits the Colorado commission on higher education and institutions of higher education from considering the accreditation status of the school district or the state charter school institute from which a student graduates in making admissions decisions and in awarding financial assistance, grants, and scholarships, including the college opportunity fund stipend.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

HB15-1327: LIMIT PROXY MARRIAGES TO MILITARY AND CONTRACTORS

Rep. Ginal, Rep. Roupe & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Cooke

Colorado law allows proxy marriages in cases where one of the parties to a marriage is unable to be present and to participate in the solemnization of the marriage and designates another person to stand in his or her place as a proxy. The bill limits proxy marriages to an absent person who is: A member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in another country or in another state in support of combat or another military operation; or A government contractor, or an employee of a government contractor, working in support of the armed forces of the United States in another country or in another state or in support of United States military operations in another country or in another state. The bill also states that the requirements for applying for a marriage license for a proxy marriage are the following: One party is a resident of Colorado; One party appears in person to apply for the marriage license and pays the required fees; The signatures of both parties to the proxy marriage are required, and the party present shall sign the marriage license application and provide an absentee affidavit form containing the notarized signature of the absent party, along with proper identification documents required for a marriage license for the absent party; and Both parties are 18 years of age or older.

Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

HB15-1381: OFFICE OF CONSUMER COUNSEL CONTINUATION

Rep. Esgar, Rep. Winter & Sen. Garcia

The bill continues the office of consumer counsel for 11 years to 2026 and continues the utility consumers' board indefinitely.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

SB15-037: YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS IN CORRECTIONS

Rep. Navarro & Sen. Garcia

The executive director of the state department of corrections (DOC) or his or her designee may transfer any youthful offender sentenced to the DOC into and out of the youthful offender system at his or her discretion. Under current law, the division of criminal justice (DCJ) is required to independently monitor and evaluate, or contract with a public or private entity to independently monitor and evaluate, the youthful offender system and report its findings, or the findings of the contract entity, to the judiciary committees of the senate and the house of representatives on or before November 1 every 2 years. The bill amends this reporting requirement to apply every 5 years.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate Judiciary Committee

SB15-089 STATE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROVIDING COURTS

Rep. Vigil & Sen. Garcia

Currently, the board of county commissioners in each county is fiscally responsible for providing and maintaining adequate courtrooms and other court facilities in their counties. The bill shifts that fiscal responsibility to the state over time by requiring the state to pay a specified amount of rent to each county based on the fair market value of the courtrooms and other facilities used by the judicial department in that county. The bill also specifies that after the state completely assumes such fiscal responsibility, the state may negotiate with the county to acquire the property from the county in lieu of continuing to pay rent.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate Appropriations Committee

SB15-127: TAX INCENTIVES FOR AGRITOURISM-RELATED ACTIVITIES

Rep. Dore & Sen. Garcia

For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, but before January 1, 2021, the bill allows a private advertising or marketing agency (agency) to deduct from its federal taxable income for state income tax purposes an amount equal to 50% of the costs the agency incurs in donating advertising or marketing services to a local government with fewer than 120,000 residents, for the purpose of advertising or marketing an agritourism activity hosted by or occurring within the boundaries of the local government. An agency that donates a portion of the advertising or marketing services provided for advertising or marketing an agritourism activity and receives compensation from the local government for a portion of such services provided may deduct 50% of only the costs that were donated. An agency is prohibited from deducting more than $10,000 in any income tax year for which the deduction is claimed. In addition, for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2015, but before January 1, 2020, the bill allows a taxpayer who purchases equipment to be used for agritourism purposes to claim an income tax credit in an amount equal to the purchase price of the equipment. A taxpayer is not allowed to claim more than $500 in any income tax year. If the amount of the credit allowed exceeds the amount of the taxpayer's income tax liability for the income tax year during which the purchase was made, the amount of the tax credit may not be refunded, but may be carried forward for up to 5 years.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate Appropriations Committee

SB15-176: SOUTHWEST CHIEF RAIL COMMISSION SPENDING AUTHORITY

Rep. Esgar & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Crowder

Current law allows the southwest chief rail line economic development, rural tourism, and infrastructure repair and maintenance commission (commission) to expend money from the southwest chief rail line economic development, rural tourism, and infrastructure repair and maintenance fund (fund) only if certain requirements are met. The bill modifies the current requirements by: Eliminating the requirements that the state of Kansas and New Mexico enter into an agreement; Replacing the requirement that a regular stop be added in Pueblo with a requirement that Amtrak explore the potential benefits of adding such a stop; and Replacing the requirement that Amtrak, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railway, and the states of Kansas and New Mexico all agree to spend an aggregate amount of at least $15.2 million per year for 10 years with a requirement that Amtrak and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railway spend at least $16 million towards repair. For the 2015-16 fiscal year, the bill appropriates $8.91 million from the general fund to the fund for use by the commission.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate Appropriations Committee

SB15-179: US HIGHWAY 50 ECONOMIC BENEFITS STUDY

Rep. Esgar & Sen. Garcia

The bill requires the department of transportation (CDOT) to conduct a study of the current economic benefits provided by the portion of U.S. highway 50 that runs between the Kansas border and U.S. highway 285 and the opportunities to increase those benefits. In preparing the study, CDOT must consult with, and may coordinate research efforts with or agree to delegate research to, relevant transportation planning or economic development entities, but CDOT itself, using its existing financial and staff resources, must study the extent to which various potential safety improvements are likely to increase the efficiency, capacity, and usage of the highway and thereby increase economic activity and benefits. CDOT must compile the results of the research into a single report no later than December 1, 2015, and must publish the report on its web site and provide copies of the report to the committees of reference of the general assembly that have jurisdiction over transportation.

Postponed Indefinitely in Senate Transportation Committee

SB15-182: DOC TRANSFER OFFENDERS TO YOUTHFUL OFFENDER SYSTEM

Rep. Navarro, Rep. Esgar & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Crowder

The executive director of the department of corrections (DOC) or his or her designee may transfer any youthful offender age twenty-four years or younger and sentenced to the DOC into and out of the youthful offender system at his or her discretion.

Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

SB15-205: VETERANS FIRE CORPS FOR WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING

Rep. Keyser, Rep. Hamner & Sen. Garcia, Sen. Roberts

The bill states legislative findings concerning the increasing severity of wildfires in Colorado, the scarcity of firefighting crews during the periods when fires often occur, the availability of post-9/11 era veterans to help if needed, and the importance of providing employment and training to these veterans in natural resource management and wildland fire control. The bill defines key terms and authorizes the division of fire prevention and control to use moneys in the wildfire preparedness fund to create or sustain firefighting units consisting primarily of post-9/11 era veterans.

Signed by Governor Hickenlooper

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HJR15-1008: U.S.S. PUEBLO

HJR15-1022: COLORADO LEGISLATIVE SPORTSMEN'S CAUCUS

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

SJR15-103: FIRST RESPONDER APPRECIATION DAY

SJR15-026: MARINE CORPS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION

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