HB17-1119 Payment Of Workers' Compensation Benefits 
Short Title: Payment Of Workers' Compensation Benefits
Summary:

The bill creates the 'Colorado Uninsured Employer Act' to create a new mechanism for the payment of covered claims to workers who are injured while employed by employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance. The bill creates the Colorado uninsured employer fund, which consists of penalties from employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance.

The bill creates the uninsured employer board to establish the criteria for the payment of benefits, to set rates, to adjust claims, and to adopt rules. The board is required to adopt, by rule, a plan of operation to administer the fund and to institute procedures to collect money due to the fund.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: T. Kraft-Tharp | L. Sias / C. Jahn | J. Tate
Calendar Notification: Wednesday, May 10 2017
THIRD READING OF BILLS - FINAL PASSAGE
(22) in senate calendar.
Status: 1/20/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Business Affairs and Labor
3/28/2017 House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor Refer Amended to Finance
4/12/2017 House Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations
4/28/2017 House Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
4/28/2017 House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee
5/1/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
5/1/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
5/4/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to Finance
5/5/2017 Senate Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations
5/9/2017 Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
5/9/2017 Senate Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
5/10/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
5/10/2017 House Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass
5/19/2017 Signed by the Speaker of the House
5/19/2017 Signed by the President of the Senate
5/22/2017 Sent to the Governor
6/5/2017 Governor Signed
Position:
Comment:

HB17-1132 Judicial Disqualification In Civil Actions 
Short Title: Judicial Disqualification In Civil Actions
Summary:

Currently, under the Colorado rules of civil procedure, a party may file a motion and affidavit to disqualify a judge for specified reasons. The bill establishes a process for an automatic interlocutory appeal if the motion:

  • Is supported by an affidavit stating facts establishing grounds for disqualification; and
  • Is filed within 21 days after the assignment of the judge or the appearance of a party giving rise to the basis for disqualification.

For the interlocutory appeal of an order denying the motion, a petition for review must be filed within 7 days after the order.

The bill directs the Colorado supreme court to promulgate rules concerning the interlocutory appeal.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: P. Lundeen / B. Gardner
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 0/0/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Judiciary
3/16/2017 House Committee on Judiciary Lay Over Amended
4/13/2017 House Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
4/19/2017 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
4/20/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/21/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
5/1/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
Position:
Comment:

HB17-1169 Construction Defect Litigation Builder's Right To Repair 
Short Title: Construction Defect Litigation Builder's Right To Repair
Summary:

The bill clarifies that a construction professional has the right to receive notice from a prospective claimant concerning an alleged construction defect; to inspect the property; and then to elect to either repair the defect or tender an offer of settlement before the claimant can file a lawsuit seeking damages.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: T. Leonard / J. Tate
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/6/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
3/1/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position:
Comment:

HB17-1173 Health Care Providers And Carriers Contracts 
Short Title: Health Care Providers And Carriers Contracts
Summary:

The bill requires a contract between a health insurance carrier (carrier) and a health provider (provider) to include a provision that prohibits a carrier from taking an adverse action against the provider due to a provider's disagreement with a carrier's decision on the provision of health care services. Current law requires the contract to state that the carrier cannot terminate the contract for these same reasons.

The bill also requires the contract to contain provisions that prohibit a carrier from: Taking adverse actions for communicating with public officials on health care issues; filing complaints or reporting to public officials about conduct by a carrier that might negatively affect patient care; provides information in a forum concerning the required contract provisions; reporting alleged carrier violations; or participating in an investigation of an alleged violation.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: C. Hansen / T. Neville
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/6/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Health, Insurance, & Environment
2/21/2017 House Committee on Health, Insurance, & Environment Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
2/24/2017 House Second Reading Laid Over to 02/27/2017 - No Amendments
2/27/2017 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
2/28/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
2/28/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
3/20/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Unamended - Consent Calendar to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/21/2017 Senate Second Reading Special Order - Passed - No Amendments
3/21/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/22/2017 Senate Third Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/23/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 03/27/2017 - No Amendments
3/27/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/29/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/4/2017 Sent to the Governor
4/4/2017 Signed by the President of the Senate
4/4/2017 Signed by the Speaker of the House
4/6/2017 Governor Signed
Position: Oppose
Comment: As introduced, the bill creates new opportunities for litigation between health care providers and insurance carriers by adding further contractual prohibitions to state statute (i.e., impairing freedom to contract). The bill would seem to protect slanderous comments if provided as testimony to a governmental body or as "any other public activity in any forum". After inviting new litigation, the bill provides for recovery of court costs and attorney fees only if the plaintiff prevails. CCJL believes that contractual matters between private parties should be resolved privately and disputes should be resolved by negotiation rather than litigation.

HB17-1254 Noneconomic Damages Cap Wrongful Death Of Child 
Short Title: Noneconomic Damages Cap Wrongful Death Of Child
Summary:

The bill eliminates the cap on noneconomic damages for the wrongful death of a minor child. The bill clarifies that, for purposes of the wrongful death statutes, 'minor child' is defined using the general statutory definition of 'minor', which is 'any person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years'.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: K. Becker | J. Salazar / D. Kagan
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 3/10/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/26/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
4/27/2017 House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee
4/28/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/28/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
5/3/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Oppose
Comment: Bill is a Trojan horse proposed by personal injury lawyers to undermine the rationale for limits on non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional stress, loss of enjoyment). Non-economic damages are currently capped at $468,000. These damages are subjective, so verdicts vary widely. Caps are necessary to balance the competing interests of the victim's family to be compensated with that of all consumers to afford insurance. If adopted, this bill would drive up liability costs for nonprofits, like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, summer camps, schools, and local governments, all of which provide services and activities for children. Those standing to gain the most from this change are personal injury lawyers who typically receive 33%-40% of the judgement awarded to their clients.

HB17-1279 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval 
Short Title: Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval
Summary:

The bill requires that, before the executive board of a unit owners' association (HOA) in a common interest community brings suit against a developer or builder on behalf of unit owners based on a defect in construction work not ordered by the HOA itself, the board must:

  • Notify all unit owners and the developer or builder against whom the lawsuit is being considered;
  • Call a meeting at which the executive board and the developer or builder will have an opportunity to present relevant facts and arguments and the developer or builder may, but is not required to, make an offer to remedy the defect; and
  • Obtain the approval of a majority of the unit owners after giving them detailed disclosures about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits.

The meeting of unit owners commences a 90-day voting period during which the HOA will accept votes for or against proceeding with the lawsuit. Statutes of limitation are tolled during this period. The HOA is required to keep copies of its mailing list and maintain records of the votes received. The voting period may end in less than 90 days if sufficient votes are received to approve the lawsuit before 90 days have elapsed.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: A. Garnett | L. Saine / J. Tate | L. Guzman
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 3/17/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/19/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
4/21/2017 House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
4/24/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/24/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
5/1/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Unamended - Consent Calendar to Senate Committee of the Whole
5/3/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed - No Amendments
5/4/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
5/15/2017 Signed by the Speaker of the House
5/18/2017 Sent to the Governor
5/18/2017 Signed by the President of the Senate
5/25/2017 Governor Signed
Position: Support
Comment: A worthwhile step in the right direction, the bill makes it more difficult for plaintiff’s attorneys to steamroll HOA members into litigation without fully advising them of other implications, such as difficulty selling their home while it is involved in litigation. However, many other issues that drive up costs are not addressed by this bill – e.g., affordability of contractor’s liability insurance or the rampant litigation that ensues between developers and subcontractors when a construction defect claim is filed.

HB17-1305 Limits On Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries 
Short Title: Limits On Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries
Summary:

The bill applies to employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits those employers from:

  • Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position;
  • Placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position; or
  • Making an inquiry about an applicant's criminal history on an initial application.

An employer may obtain a job applicant's criminal background report at any time.

An employer is exempt from the restrictions on advertising and initial employment applications when:

  • The law prohibits a person who has a particular criminal history from being employed in a particular job;
  • The employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories; or
  • The employer is required by law to conduct a criminal history record check for the particular position.

The department of labor and employment is charged with enforcing the requirements of the bill and may issue warnings and orders of compliance for violations and, for second or subsequent violations, impose civil penalties. A violation of the restrictions does not create a private cause of action, and the bill does not create a protected class under employment antidiscrimination laws. The department is directed to adopt rules regarding procedures for handling complaints against employers.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: J. Melton | M. Foote / L. Guzman
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 3/29/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Judiciary
4/13/2017 House Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations
4/21/2017 House Committee on Appropriations Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
4/21/2017 House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
4/24/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/24/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
5/1/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Oppose
Comment: Although sponsors have made significant improvements to this year’s bill, compared to previous iterations, employers remain concerned that such legislation creates implicit liability.

HB17-1307 Family And Medical Leave Insurance Program Wage Replacement 
Short Title: Family And Medical Leave Insurance Program Wage Replacement
Summary:

The bill creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program in the division of family and medical leave insurance (division) in the department of labor and employment (department) to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual's own serious health condition.

Each employee in the state will pay a premium determined by the director of the division by rule, which premium is based on a percentage of the employee's yearly wages and must not exceed .99%. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund from which family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals. The director may also impose a solvency surcharge by rule if determined necessary to ensure the soundness of the fund. The division is established as an enterprise, and premiums paid into the fund are not considered state revenues for purposes of the taxpayer's bill of rights (TABOR).


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: F. Winter / D. Moreno | R. Fields
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 3/29/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Business Affairs and Labor
4/11/2017 House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor Refer Amended to Finance
4/19/2017 House Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations
4/25/2017 House Committee on Appropriations Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
4/27/2017 House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
4/28/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/28/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
5/3/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Oppose
Comment: Creates several potential “litigation traps” for employers by prohibiting discharge, demotion or “adverse employment action” against employee who takes or attempts to take leave. So, an employee who is being discharged or demoted could file for leave and claim discrimination by the employer, thereby burdening the employer with proving that discharge or demotion was due to employee’s performance and not the attempt to take leave.

HB17-1314 Colorado Right To Rest Act 
Short Title: Colorado Right To Rest Act
Summary:

The bill creates the 'Colorado Right to Rest Act', which establishes basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one's property. The bill does not create an obligation for a provider of services for persons experiencing homelessness to provide shelter or services when none are available.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: J. Salazar | J. Melton
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 4/3/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Local Government
4/19/2017 House Committee on Local Government Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Oppose
Comment: By creating statutory “rights,” like a right to privacy in public places comparable to privacy in a private residence, the bill creates a cause of action (and litigation) for anyone who believes such rights are violated.

HB17-1319 Appraisals For Insurance Claims 
Short Title: Appraisals For Insurance Claims
Summary:

The bill, addressing appraisals conducted for insurance purposes, sets standards for when an appraiser, including an appraisals umpire, is considered fair, impartial, and neutral. The bill imposes the following requirements:

  • An appraiser is prohibited from having a direct, material interest in the amounts determined by the appraisal process;
  • An appraiser, including an appraisals umpire, must disclose to all parties any known fact discovered at any time that a reasonable person would consider likely to affect the appraiser's interest in the amount determined by the appraisal;
  • Both the insurer and the insured, and their representatives, are prohibited from communicating with the other party's appraiser without the consent and participation of both parties; except that appraisers may directly communicate with each other to reach an agreed-upon settlement amount;
  • The insurer, the insured, and their representatives, including adjusters, attorneys, and appraisers, must not have ex parte communications with the umpire during the appraisal process; and
  • The umpire must not have ex parte communications with the insurer, including adjusters, the insured, and their representatives, including public adjusters.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: L. Sias
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 4/4/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Judiciary
4/27/2017 House Committee on Judiciary Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
5/2/2017 House Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
Position:
Comment:

SB17-045 Construction Defect Claim Allocation Of Defense Costs 
Short Title: Construction Defect Claim Allocation Of Defense Costs
Summary:

In a construction defect action in which more than one insurer has a duty to defend a party, the bill requires the court to apportion the costs of defense, including reasonable attorney fees, among all insurers with a duty to defend. An initial order apportioning costs must be made within 90 days after an insurer files its claim for contribution, and the court must make a final apportionment of costs after entry of a final judgment resolving all of the underlying claims against the insured. An insurer seeking contribution may also make a claim against an insured or additional insured who chose not to procure liability insurance for a period of time relevant to the underlying action. A claim for contribution may be assigned and does not affect any insurer's duty to defend.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: A. Williams | K. Grantham / C. Wist | C. Duran
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 1/11/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
2/8/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Appropriations
5/9/2017 Senate Committee on Appropriations Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: This bill helps with one part of the construction litigation problem. Colorado eliminated joint and several liability for businesses more than three decades ago, but it was resurrected in construction litigation a few years ago. Now, when a homeowner brings a claim for defective construction against a homebuilder, a circular firing-squad of litigation ensues between the homebuilder and subcontractors who are required by law to provide a legal defense for the homebuilder -- even if they have no plausible liability. This results in needless litigation and unnecessary duplication of effort among subcontractors. Reducing these costs will make construction liability insurance more affordable which helps to make purchasing a home more affordable.

SB17-053 Asbestos Litigation Trust Transparency Priorities 
Short Title: Asbestos Litigation Trust Transparency Priorities
Summary:

The bill enacts the 'Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act'. Federal bankruptcy law provides companies with asbestos-related liabilities the opportunity to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy with protection from lawsuits. Asbestos trusts established as part of the bankruptcy process assume the debtor company's asbestos-related liabilities. The trusts then pay present and future asbestos-related claims, thus relieving the reorganized company of all present and future asbestos-related liabilities. Plaintiffs may also file asbestos-related personal injury actions against companies that are still solvent and subject to suit in the civil system. The bill addresses this dual compensation system to give defendants access to information regarding all of a plaintiff's trust-related exposures and give fact finders information they need to properly assign fault.

The bill requires that a plaintiff must:

  • File and disclose all asbestos trust claims before proceeding to trial in any asbestos action;
  • Provide all parties with all trust claim materials connected to the plaintiff's exposure to asbestos; and
  • If the plaintiff's asbestos trust claim is based on exposure to asbestos through another individual, produce all trust claims materials submitted by that individual to any asbestos trusts.

The bill allows a defendant to file a motion requesting a stay of the proceedings if the defendant has information that could support the filing of additional trust claims by the plaintiff. If the court determines that there is sufficient basis, the court shall stay the asbestos action until the plaintiff files the asbestos trust claim and produces all related trust claims materials. The bill addresses discovery and access to materials relating to trust claims materials or trust governance documents by defendants. Prior to trial in an asbestos action, the court shall enter into the record a document that identifies every asbestos trust claim made by the plaintiff or on the plaintiff's behalf. If a plaintiff proceeds to trial in an asbestos action before an asbestos trust claim is resolved, there is a rebuttable presumption that the plaintiff is entitled to and will receive compensation specified in the trust governance document applicable to the claim. The court may impose sanctions, including vacating a judgment rendered in an asbestos action, against a plaintiff for failure to comply with the disclosure requirements of this bill.

If the plaintiff or a person on the plaintiff's behalf files an asbestos trust claim after the plaintiff obtains a judgment in an asbestos action, and that asbestos trust was in existence at the time the plaintiff obtained the judgment, the trial court, on motion by a defendant or a judgment debtor, has jurisdiction to reopen the judgement in the asbestos action and adjust the judgment or order other appropriate relief.

The bill also establishes procedures for the prioritization of asbestos-related claims. An asbestos action involving a nonmalignant condition shall not be brought or maintained in the absence of prima facie evidence that the exposed person has an asbestos-related physical impairment based on objective criteria developed by the medical community. When filing an asbestos-related claim, the plaintiff must submit signed medical reports from qualified physicians who have a doctor-patient relationship with the plaintiff. If the plaintiff has not established that he or she is sick as a result of the asbestos exposure, the court shall dismiss the action. The bill prevents the filing of class action lawsuits for asbestos-related exposures. The bill sets forth the elements of proof for asbestos-related actions and the evidence needed to establish evidence of physical impairment.

Until a court enters an order establishing that the exposed person has established prima facie evidence of impairment, an asbestos action is not subject to discovery, except for discovery relating to establishing or challenging the prima facie evidence or by order of the trial court, upon motion of one of the parties and for good cause. A defendant in an asbestos action is not liable for exposures from a product or component part made or sold by a third party, even if the third party is insolvent or otherwise not amenable to suit.

The bill provides that an exposed person's cause of action shall not accrue and the statute of limitations does not begin running for a person who has been exposed to asbestos prior to the earlier of the date:

  • The exposed person receives a medical diagnosis of asbestos-related impairment; or
  • The exposed person discovers facts that would have led a reasonable person to obtain a medical diagnosis with respect to the asbestos-related impairment; or
  • Of the death of the exposed person having an asbestos-related impairment.

The bill states that an asbestos action arising out of a nonmalignant condition is a distinct cause of action from an action for an asbestos-related cancer. Damages shall not be awarded in an asbestos action based upon the plaintiff's fear of or increased risk for future disease.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: J. Sonnenberg
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 1/13/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
2/15/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
2/21/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
2/22/2017 Senate Second Reading Lost - No Amendments
Position: Support
Comment: By requiring transparency between health care claims due to asbestos-related illness submitted in state courts and those submitted to asbestos bankruptcy trusts, the bill seeks to prevent "double-recovery" by unscrupulous plaintiffs and helps to assure the solvency of the trusts for those with future claims of asbestos-related illness.

SB17-088 Participating Provider Network Selection Criteria 
Short Title: Participating Provider Network Selection Criteria
Summary:

The bill requires a health insurer (carrier) to develop and use standards for:

  • Selecting participating health care providers (providers) for its network of providers; and
  • Tiering providers within a tiered network if the carrier offers a tiered network.

A carrier cannot establish selection and tiering criteria in a manner that would allow a carrier to discriminate against high-risk populations or exclude providers that treat high-risk populations.

A carrier must make its standards for selecting and tiering available to the commissioner of insurance for review, communicate the standards to providers participating in one or more of the carrier's networks, and make the standards available, in plain language, to the public. Additionally, upon request but not more often than quarterly, a carrier is required to provide a provider who is participating in one or more of its networks with a complete list of all network plans and products the carrier offers to consumers.

At least 60 days before implementing a decision to terminate or place a participating provider in a tiered network, a carrier must notify the affected provider in writing of the pending action, including an explanation of the reasons for the proposed action, and inform the provider of the right to request that the carrier reconsider its decision. The bill requires the carrier to develop procedures for providers to request reconsideration and sets forth minimum requirements for, components of, and deadlines for the procedures.

When a carrier does not select a provider to participate in the carrier's provider network, the carrier shall provide written notice to the provider.

If the commissioner determines that a carrier has failed to comply with a requirement of the bill, the commissioner shall require the carrier to follow a corrective plan and may use enforcement powers available under the insurance laws to obtain compliance.

The bill appropriates $42,006 to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the division of insurance to implement the bill, with $36,828 allocated for personal services and $5,178 allocated for operating expenses and capital outlay costs.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: C. Holbert | A. Williams / K. Van Winkle | E. Hooton
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 1/18/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
2/13/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Appropriations
2/28/2017 Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/2/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 03/10/2017 - No Amendments
3/10/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
3/13/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/15/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Health, Insurance, & Environment
3/30/2017 House Committee on Health, Insurance, & Environment Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
4/3/2017 House Second Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/4/2017 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/12/2017 Signed by the President of the Senate
4/13/2017 Sent to the Governor
4/13/2017 Signed by the Speaker of the House
4/18/2017 Governor Signed
Position: Neutral
Comment: As introduced, the bill restricts freedom of contract between insurers and health care providers by creating additional contractual prohibitions in state statute. Further, after writing these provisions into statute, the bill defines these contractual violations as "unfair or deceptive trade practice(s)" - akin to false advertising or knowingly making false statements - inviting new opportunities for litigation. CCJL believes that contractual matters between private parties should be resolved privately and disputes resolved by negotiation rather than litigation.

UPDATE: Senate amendments resolved issues indentified by CCJL; consequently, CCJL's position changed from OPPOSE to NEUTRAL.

SB17-155 Statutory Definition Of Construction Defect 
Short Title: Statutory Definition Of Construction Defect
Summary:

The bill separately defines and clarifies the term 'construction defect' in the 'Construction Defect Action Reform Act'.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: J. Tate / L. Saine
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/3/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
4/12/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
5/1/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
5/9/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 05/11/2017 - No Amendments
Position:
Comment:

SB17-156 Homeowners' Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines 
Short Title: Homeowners' Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines
Summary:

The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. These provisions are in section 3 of the bill. Section 3 also specifies that the mediation or arbitration must take place in the judicial district in which the community is located and that the arbitrator must:

  • Be a neutral third party;
  • Make certain disclosures before being selected; and
  • Be selected as specified in the common interest community's governing documents or, if not so specified, in accordance with applicable state or federal laws governing mediation or arbitration.

Section 1 of the bill specifies that, in the arbitration of a construction defect action, the arbitrator is required to follow the substantive law of Colorado with regard to any applicable claim or defense and any remedy granted, and a failure to do so is grounds for a district court to vacate or refuse to confirm the arbitrator's award.

Section 4 of the bill requires that, before a construction defect claim is filed on behalf of the association:

  • The parties must submit the matter to mediation before a neutral third party; and
  • The board must give advance notice to all unit owners, together with a disclosure of the projected costs, duration, and financial impact of the construction defect claim, and must obtain the written consent of the owners of units to which at least a majority of the votes in the association are allocated.

Section 5 of the bill adds to the disclosures required prior to the purchase and sale of property in a common interest community a notice that the community's governing documents may require binding arbitration of certain disputes.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: O. Hill / L. Saine | C. Wist
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/1/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
2/27/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/2/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/6/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
3/7/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/14/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/20/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: This bill helps with one part of the construction litigation problem by requiring that any litigation by a homeowner's association against a contractor must be approved by at least a majority of the unit owners. It also requires that owners must be fully informed of the costs, benefits, and other considerations of initiating construction litigation before deciding whether to proceed.

SB17-157 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval 
Short Title: Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval
Summary:

The bill requires that, before the executive board of a unit owners' association (HOA) in a common interest community brings suit against a developer or builder on behalf of unit owners, the board must:

  • Notify all unit owners; and
  • Except when the HOA contracted with the developer or builder for the work complained of or the amount in controversy is less than $100,000, obtain the approval of a majority of the unit owners after giving them detailed disclosures about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits.

The bill also limits the amount and type of contact that a developer or builder that is potentially subject to a lawsuit may have with individual unit owners while the HOA is seeking their approval for the lawsuit.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: A. Williams / J. Melton
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/17/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
3/13/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Postpone Indefinitely
Position:
Comment:

SB17-181 Collateral-Source Rule Evidence Of Insurance 
Short Title: Collateral-Source Rule Evidence Of Insurance
Summary:

The bill modifies the collateral-source rule, which generally states that in a civil action for damages the jury should not be told about insurance coverage or other sources from which the plaintiff has received or may receive compensation (collateral sources). The bill allows evidence of collateral sources unless the plaintiff agrees to have the jury's award reduced by the lesser of:

  • The amount paid or available to the plaintiff from collateral sources; or
  • The amount of premiums or other contributions the plaintiff paid to those collateral sources.

The bill establishes the procedure for determining these amounts and the conditions under which the plaintiff may elect to invoke the collateral-source rule.

The bill retains the original collateral-source rule, without the changes specified above, if the defendant has been convicted of a second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offense that resulted in injury.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: B. Gardner / Y. Willett
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/14/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
3/7/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/10/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/15/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
3/16/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/21/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/19/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: Addresses an obscure law which keeps Colorado juries in the dark when evaluating the amount of reimbursement to which an injured victim is entitled. Let's say someone injured in an auto accident receives an initial bill for $140,000 for medical costs. The injured party's insurance company settles the bill for a negotiated amount of $40,000. But when the injured party sues the at-fault driver for other damages, he will begin by claiming the full $140,000 in damages for medical costs. That's because the law says juries cannot be told that those bills were actually settled for $40,000. The $100,000 difference is called "phantom damages" because it represents costs that were never truly owed and never paid. Colorado drivers and homeowners must pay higher insurance premiums to cover these unjustified costs.

SB17-182 Uninsured Motor Vehicle And Medical Coverage 
Short Title: Uninsured Motor Vehicle And Medical Coverage
Summary:

Current law forbids uninsured and underinsured medical coverage to take a setoff when medical insurance pays a part of the damages caused by a crash. The bill clarifies that this does not require the insurers to pay more than the actual damages caused by the crash.

An insurer is authorized to prohibit stacking the limits of more than one uninsured motorist coverage policy if the provisions are included in a single policy covering multiple vehicles or in multiple policies issued by one insurer or by insurers under common ownership or management. But this provision must not prohibit stacking of the uninsured or underinsured policies issued to an insured by different companies or to an unrelated person.

The maximum liability under the uninsured motorist coverage is the lesser of the policy limits and amounts paid by a legally liable person or the amount of damages sustained but not recovered.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: B. Gardner / Y. Willett | P. Neville
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/14/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
3/7/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/10/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/15/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee
3/16/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/21/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/19/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position:
Comment:

SB17-191 Market-based Interest Rates On Judgments 
Short Title: Market-based Interest Rates On Judgments
Summary:

The current rate of postjudgment interest is 2% over the Kansas City discount rate with a floor of 8%. The bill eliminates the floor.

The current interest rate for judgments for personal injury damages caused by a tort is 9%. The bill ties this interest rate to the current rate of postjudgment interest.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: J. Tate / Y. Willett | C. Wist
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/14/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
3/7/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/10/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/15/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/16/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
3/21/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/19/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: Addresses an out-dated Colorado law that sets interest rates on judgments arbitrarily at 8% or 9% - which encourages plaintiffs and their attorneys (who receive 33%-40% of the judgment) to drag out litigation. Where else can you get 9% interest? Colorado drivers and homeowners must pay higher insurance premiums to cover these unjustified costs.

SB17-204 Improper Denial Of Property And Casualty Claims 
Short Title: Improper Denial Of Property And Casualty Claims
Summary:

Current law allows a third party, 'on behalf of' the insured, to claim double damages and attorney fees from a property and casualty insurer for an unreasonable delay or denial of benefits. The bill eliminates the 'on behalf of' language so that only the named insured may claim double damages and attorney fees from a property and casualty insurer.

The bill also requires an insured to provide notice to the property and casualty insurer of the insured's intent to file for double damages and attorney fees under the law.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: K. Priola / P. Lawrence
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 2/28/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
3/22/2017 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
3/27/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
3/28/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 03/31/2017 - No Amendments
3/31/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
4/3/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/4/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/26/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: Current law allows third-parties to sue insurance companies "on behalf of" insured consumers, reducing the ability of consumers to control the costs and benefits of coverage. In Larson v. Allstate (2011), the Court of Appeals allowed a roofing contractor to sue and receive payment for work that had not been approved by the insurer and which the insured consumer had already agreed was not covered by the insurance policy.

SB17-281 Hold Colorado Government Accountable Sanctuary Jurisdictions 
Short Title: Hold Colorado Government Accountable Sanctuary Jurisdictions
Summary:

The bill is known as the 'Colorado Citizen Protection Against Sanctuary Policies Act'. The bill includes a legislative declaration that states that addressing sanctuary jurisdictions is a matter of statewide concern and that makes findings about how sanctuary policies are contrary to federal law and state interests.

The bill states that it is the policy of this state to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that the state or a political subdivision (jurisdiction) of the state complies with federal immigration law. In addition, pursuant to a recent presidential executive order, the United States secretary of homeland security has the authority to designate, in his or her discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction that willfully refuses to comply with federal immigration law. A jurisdiction that violates the following requirements is deemed to be out of compliance with the requirements of federal immigration law and is deemed to have established a sanctuary jurisdiction policy if it:

  • Prohibits, or in any way restricts any jurisdiction, official, or employee from sending to, or receiving from, federal immigration agencies information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual; or
  • Prohibits, or in any way restricts, a jurisdiction from doing any of the following with respect to information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:
  • Sending such information to, or requesting such information from, federal immigration agencies;
  • Maintaining such information;
  • Exchanging such information with any other federal, state, or political subdivision of the state; or
  • Encourages the physical harboring of an alien in violation of federal law.

A jurisdiction is also deemed to have created a sanctuary jurisdiction policy for purposes of the bill if it is officially notified by the federal department of justice or the federal department of homeland security that it is not in compliance with federal immigration law or if it has been denied federal grant funds based on lack of compliance with federal immigration law.

The governing body of a jurisdiction is required to provide written notice to each elected official, employee, and law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction of his or her duty to communicate and cooperate with the federal government concerning enforcement of any federal or state immigration law. On or before July 1, 2018, and on or before July 1 of each year thereafter, the governing body of any jurisdiction in this state is required to annually submit a written report and affirmation to the department of public safety (department) that the jurisdiction is in compliance with federal immigration law and the provisions of the bill. If the department does not receive those written reports and affirmations, the department is required to provide the name of that jurisdiction to the state controller.

On or before September 1, 2018, and on or before September 1 of each year thereafter, the department is directed to compile and submit annual reports on compliance to the general assembly and to the state controller. Commencing with the 2018-19 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, the state controller is required to withhold the payment of any state funds to any jurisdiction that is found by the department to have failed to comply with the compliance and affirmation requirement. The state controller shall withhold funds until the department notifies the state controller that the jurisdiction is in compliance.

The department is required to republish on its website, once the information is available, the data reported by the federal immigration and customs enforcement agency that pertains to Colorado on the apprehension and release of aliens from custody as compiled by that agency and reported weekly pursuant to a federal memorandum issued by the federal department of homeland security.

The bill waives governmental immunity protection from claims brought against a jurisdiction and against its public employees for personal injuries caused to crime victims as a result of the jurisdiction creating sanctuary jurisdiction policies in violation of the federal law. Governmental immunity is waived and compensatory damages may be awarded under the 'Colorado Governmental Immunity Act' to the crime victim if the person who engaged in the criminal activity:

  • Is determined to be an illegal alien;
  • Had established residency in a jurisdiction that had adopted a sanctuary jurisdiction policy; and
  • Is convicted of the crime that is a proximate cause of the injury to the crime victim.

The bill states that nothing in the bill relating to compliance with federal immigration laws and nothing in the 'Colorado Governmental Immunity Act' shall be construed to require a jurisdiction or a public employee to violate an applicable court ruling from the United States tenth circuit court of appeals or the United States supreme court regarding the enforcement of any provision of federal immigration law.

The bill sets forth the requirements for determining when an illegal alien has established residency in a sanctuary jurisdiction. An 'illegal alien' is defined as a person who is not lawfully present within the United States, as determined by federal immigration law or by a federal immigration agency.

The bill includes a severability clause. The bill takes effect January 1, 2018, and applies to acts or omissions occurring on or after said date.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: V. Marble | T. Neville / P. Covarrubias | D. Williams
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 4/3/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
4/10/2017 Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
4/13/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 04/24/2017 - No Amendments
4/24/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
4/25/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
4/25/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
5/3/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Oppose
Comment: This bill unwisely uses personal injury litigation as an enforcement mechanism in the political controversy surrounding illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. The bill would allow lawsuits against a state or local government that is deemed a “sanctuary jurisdiction.” If a crime is committed by someone determined to be an illegal alien, crime victims would be allowed to sue the local jurisdiction for damages - if they can also prove that the illegal alien was a resident of that jurisdiction. Ironically, crime victims cannot sue state or local governments for criminal acts committed by legal residents (except when the criminal act was committed by someone while acting as a government employee). That is, you cannot sue a the police department for failure to prevent a crime. It’s doubtful that a crime victim could prove all of the criteria required to successfully bring such a lawsuit against a “sanctuary jurisdiction." Regardless, using litigation as an enforcement tool is almost always a poor public policy choice.

SB17-284 A Woman's Right To Accurate Health Care Information 
Short Title: A Woman's Right To Accurate Health Care Information
Summary:

The bill ensures that women are fully and accurately informed about their personal medical conditions regarding their pregnancies and health care options. Current medical procedures already use ultrasound technology to provide information regarding the gestational age of a child in utero. The bill ensures that a woman has the opportunity to see or forego seeing her ultrasound. The bill gives the woman a choice between an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound. The bill allows a woman the opportunity to find a provider of ultrasound technology that will provide the service free of charge. The bill requires that a woman be given full and accurate information regarding her abortion. The bill describes the information that the physician performing the abortion provides to the woman, and gives the woman an opportunity to sign or refuse to sign a receipt of information. The bill requires the abortion provider to provide certain information to the woman at least 24 hours prior to performing an abortion.

The bill creates a civil right of action for noncompliance with the requirements, making a physician's noncompliance with the requirements unprofessional conduct and making a violation of the requirements a crime.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Sponsors: K. Lundberg | V. Marble / K. Ransom | L. Saine
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 4/3/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
4/5/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Unamended to Appropriations
4/11/2017 Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
4/13/2017 Senate Second Reading Lost with Amendments - Committee
Position: Oppose
Comment: This bill wouldn’t be on CCJL’s radar except for a ham-fisted lawsuit provision that creates one of the bill’s enforcement mechanisms. That provision allows someone who suffers a "loss or injury" due to an abortion providers failure to provide required information to sue an abortion provider for “damages, punitive damages, treble damages, and such equitable remedies as the court may deem appropriate.” Translation: sue for everything your lawyer can dream up! With rare exceptions (e.g., abridgment of constitutional rights), enforcement through litigation is poor public policy.

SB17-288 Decouple GA Compensation From Judges' Compensation 
Short Title: Decouple GA Compensation From Judges' Compensation
Summary:

Members of the general assembly currently receive an annual salary of $30,000. For terms commencing on or after 2019, current law provides that the salary will be an amount equal to 25% of the total annual salary paid to the judges of the county court in a Class B county.

For terms commencing on or after 2019 but prior to 2025, the bill establishes the salary for members of the general assembly at 25% of the amount of the total annual salary paid to judges of the county court in a Class B county as established in the 2016 long bill. (The 2016 long bill established the judges' salary at $152,466. Twenty-five percent of this amount would be $38,116.) Starting in 2025, the director of research of the legislative council would adjust this salary amount for inflation from 2019 through 2025, and then adjust the amount again every 2 years thereafter.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Sponsors: B. Gardner / K. Becker | D. Young
Calendar Notification: NOT ON CALENDAR
Status: 4/7/2017 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Appropriations
4/11/2017 Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
4/13/2017 Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
4/17/2017 Senate Third Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
4/17/2017 Introduced In House - Assigned to Appropriations
5/8/2017 House Committee on Appropriations Postpone Indefinitely
Position: Support
Comment: This bill is necessary to encourage attorneys with a private-sector background to consider serving as judges.