2017 Legislation

My bills mainly deal with public finance and government efficiency. Information on other legislation of interest can be found in my newsletters, on the updates page, and on leg.colorado.gov. For any assistance testifying on bills or expressing support/opposition, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.

During the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, I served on the Finance, Local Government, and Business & Labor Affairs Committees.

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Click each bill to expand for more information

SB17-279: Applicability Recent Urban Renewal Legislation

The bill clarifies the applicability provisions of legislation enacted in 2015 and 2016 to promote an equitable financial contribution among affected public bodies in connection with urban redevelopment projects allocating tax revenues in the following respects:

The bill clarifies that a substantial modification of an urban renewal plan (plan) is a proposed modification that substantially changes provisions of the plan regarding land area, land use, authorization to collect incremental tax revenue, the extent of the use of tax increment financing, the scope or nature of the urban renewal project, the scope of method of financing, design, building requirements, timing, or procedure, as previously approved, or where the modification will substantially clarify a plan that, when approved, was lacking in specificity as to the urban renewal project or financing. If the modification is substantial, the modification is subject to pertinent requirements of the urban renewal law addressing modifications. For plans to which a pledge of the revenues deposited into the special fund was made by an indenture or other legally binding document that is separate from the plan itself prior to January 1, 2016, a pledge to secure the payment of refunding bonds is not a substantial modification and is not subject to the modification requirements of the urban renewal law.

Not less than 30 days prior to approving any modification of a plan, the bill requires the governing body or an urban renewal authority (authority) to provide a detailed written description of the proposed modification to each taxing entity that levies taxes on property located within the urban renewal area and a notice of the date and time of the meeting at which the governing body will consider the modification. Any taxing entity that levies taxes on property located within the urban renewal area may file an action in the state district court exercising jurisdiction over the county in which the urban renewal area is located for an order determining, under a de novo standard of review, whether the modification is a substantial modification. Further, if requested by the taxing entity, the court is required to enjoin any action by the authority pursuant to the modification until the court has determined whether the modification is a substantial modification and, if so, the court is required to further enjoin any action by the authority until there has been compliance with statutory provisions addressing the sharing of incremental property tax revenues.

The bill prohibits any action from being brought to enjoin any undertaking or activity of the authority to a plan, including the issuance of bonds, the incurrence of other financial obligations, or the pledge of revenue, unless the action is commenced within 45 days after the date the authority provided notice of its intention regarding such undertaking or activity. The notice must describe the undertaking or activity proposed to be engaged in by the authority and specify that any action to enjoin the undertaking or activity must be brought within 45 days from the date of the notice. The notice must be published one time in a newspaper of general circulation within the county. On or before the date of publication of the notice, the bill also requires the authority to mail a copy of the notice to each taxing entity that levies taxes on property within the urban renewal area.

Finally, the bill clarifies that legislation enacted in 2015 to promote an equitable financial contribution among affected public bodies in connection with urban redevelopment projects allocating tax revenues, legislation adopted in 2016 to clarify such 2015 legislation, and the bill apply to municipalities, authorities, and any plans created on or after January 1, 2016, and to any substantial modification of any plan approved on or after January 1, 2016.

Status: Signed into law by Governor

SB17-244: Retail Food Establishment Fees

Currently, retail food establishment license fees are established in statute. The bill authorizes a county or district board (local board) of health to establish fees that are lower than the fees set in statute as long as the local board is in compliance with current law regarding food safety. The bill removes language prohibiting a county government from supplanting funds from increased revenues based on increased license fees for other county programs. The bill requires a local board that chooses to establish fees lower than those in statute to continue to remit $43 from each fee to the state treasurer.

Status: Signed by the Governor

SB17-215: Sunset Licensed Real Estate Brokers & Subdivision Developers

Sunset Process - Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. Sections 1 through 4 of the bill continue the division of real estate, the real estate commission, and the regulation of real estate brokers and subdivision developers for 9 years, until 2026.

Section 5 directs the real estate commission (commission) to establish, by rule, the number of transactions that a broker must have completed before becoming an employing broker.

Section 10 adds to the current provisions on referral fees to require that referral fee agreements conform to the requirements of both state and federal law.

Sections 8 and 11 through 18 consolidate the various cash funds used for several licensing functions and programs administered by the division of real estate into a single cash fund.

Section 7 makes broker licenses expire uniformly on December 31 rather than requiring licensees to apply for renewal at various times throughout the year on their individual anniversary dates.

Section 9 defines 'conviction' to include deferred judgments and deferred sentences, in provisions listing factors the commission may consider when determining whether to discipline a licensee.

Section 6 modifies the composition of the commission to require that one of the 3 broker members be a broker with experience in property management.

Status: Sent to the Governor

SB17-190: Insurance Carrier Fees Noncovered Dental Services

The bill prohibits a contract between a carrier and a dentist from requiring a dentist to provide services to a covered person at a fee set by, or subject to the approval of, the carrier unless:

The services are covered services under the person's policy; and The carrier provides payment for the service under the person's policy in an amount that is reasonable and not nominal or de minimis. The bill authorizes a dentist to charge a covered person for noncovered items or services in any amount determined by the dentist and agreed to by the patient if the amount is equal to, or less than, the usual and customary amount that the dentist charges individuals who are not enrolled for such items and services.

Status: Signed Into Law by Governor

SB17-185: District Attorney Salary Compensation And PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association

The district attorney of each judicial district, with the approval of the boards of county commissioners comprising the district, currently fixes the salaries of any assistant district attorney, chief deputy district attorney, and deputy district attorney in the district. There are currently no minimum salary amounts in law for these positions. The bill establishes minimum salary amounts for these positions based upon the salary ranges of certain employees of the state public defender's office.

The county or counties making up a judicial district currently pay the entire amount of the salaries of all deputy, chief deputy, and assistant district attorneys working in the district. The bill requires the state to pay a percentage of the salaries, starting at a lower percentage and scaling up to the following percentages after 4 years:

Assistant district attorney - 80%; Chief deputy district attorney - 50%; Deputy district attorney - 20%. The bill allows the boards of county commissioners of the counties within a judicial district, in consultation with the district attorney, to make a one-time irrevocable election to require an assistant district attorney to become a member of the public employees' retirement association's defined benefit plan. In such case, the state would pay 80% and the counties would pay 20% of the employer contribution for an assistant district attorney.

Status: Postponed Indefinitely

SB17-111 Medical Marijuana Inventory Shortfall Fixes

The medical marijuana system is a vertically integrated regulatory scheme, meaning a medical marijuana center must grow the marijuana that it sells. There is one exception to the vertically integrated market: A medical marijuana center can sell to or buy from other medical marijuana licensees up to 30% of its inventory. The bill changes the 30% limit to 50%. The bill states that a medical marijuana center may transfer medical marijuana to another medical marijuana licensee if the licensees have a common owner without the medical marijuana counting towards the 50% limit.

Satus: House Considered Senate Adherence - Result was to Recede

HB17-1297: Special District Meeting Compensation

Current law caps the compensation that a special district board member may receive at $1,600 per year and $100 per meeting attended. The bill increases this amount to $2,400 peryear and specifies that special meetings include study sessions in specified circumstances.

Status: Passed House and Senate

HB17-1200: Update Public Benefit Corporation Requirements

Authorizes a limited cooperative association to operate as a public benefit corporation; Deletes the requirement that a public benefit corporation's entity name explicitly refer to its status as a public benefit corporation, and instead requires that before issuing shares of stock or disposing of treasury shares that are not required to be federally registered, the public benefit corporation must provide notice to the person to whom the stock is issued or who acquires the treasury shares that it is a public benefit corporation ( section 1 of the bill); Subjects transactions to opt out of status as a public benefit corporation to the requirement to get shareholder approval ( section 2 ); Clarifies the requirements applicable to the filing of the annual public benefit report ( section 4 ); and Clarifies that the existence of a provision of the public benefit corporation law does not of itself create an implication that a contrary or different rule of law is or would be applicable to an entity that is not a public benefit corporation ( section 5 ).

Status: Sent to Governor

HB17-1198: Increasing Special District Board to Seven Members

The bill allows a special district having a 5-member board to increase the number of board members to 7 by the adoption of a resolution by the board and the approval of the resolution by the board of county commissioners or the governing body of the municipality that approved the service plan of the special district. If an increase is made, a board cannot be reduced back to 5 members. The bill also specifies the length of the initial term of each new special district board member and sets forth the election requirements.

Status: Signed Into Law by Governor

HB17-1162 Outstanding Judgments And Driver's Licenses

Under current law, an individual who is cited for certain traffic infractions must either pay the penalty assessment or appear in court for a hearing. If the individual neither pays the infraction nor appears for a hearing, the court must issue a judgment against the individual. An individual who has an outstanding judgment:

May have their driver's license canceled; May not receive a new driver's license; and May not renew a current driver's license.

The bill repeals these penalties and provides courts with the option of withholding a driver's state income tax refund in order to satisfy the outstanding judgment.

Status: Signed into Law by Governor

HB17-1100 Owner Tax Obligation For District Voter Eligibility

Currently, a person may qualify as an eligible elector in certain district elections if the person is an owner of taxable real (or, for some districts, personal) property situated within the boundaries of the district or the area to be included in the district. Further, a person is considered to be an owner for election purposes if the person is obligated to pay taxes under a contract to purchase such taxable property.

For a person qualifying as an eligible elector as an owner by virtue of a contract to purchase taxable property in elections in the following types of districts, the bill mandates that the tax obligation must require the person to pay taxes prior to the date of purchase:

Local governments, as defined in the 'Local Government Election Code' (i.e., any district, business improvement district, special district created pursuant to title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, authority, or political subdivision of the state, authorized by law to conduct an election; but does not include a county, school district, regional transportation district, or municipality) ( section 1 of the bill); Law enforcement authorities ( section 2 ); Public improvement districts ( section 3 ); Local improvement districts ( section 4 ); Downtown development authorities ( section 5 ); Special districts formed under the 'Special District Act' ( sections 6 and 7 ); The urban drainage and flood control district ( section 8 ); Water conservancy districts ( section 9 ); and Groundwater management districts ( section 10 ).

Status: Postponed Indefinitely.

HB17-1075 Arrest Of An Offender On A Deferred Sentence

The bill sets forth the conditions under which a probation officer may arrest a defendant who has been granted a deferred judgment and sentence. The bill also makes corresponding amendments to the conditions under which a probation officer may arrest a probationer.

Status: Postponed Indefinitely

HB17-1049: Eliminate Property Tax Abatement Refund Interest

If property taxes are levied erroneously or illegally and a taxpayer has not protested the valuation within the time permitted by law, then the taxpayer has 2 years from the start of the property tax year to file a petition for abatement or refund. The board of county commissioners is required to abate the taxes, and the taxpayer is entitled to a refund for the incorrect amount and, in some circumstances, refund interest equal to 1% per month. The bill eliminates the refund interest related to a property tax abatement.

Status: Signed by Governor

HB17-1043: Continue Funding Fraud Investigators Unit

The secretary of state currently charges uniform commercial code (UCC) filing fees. Of this fee, $3 is transferred for deposit in the Colorado identity theft and financial fraud cash fund to support activities of the Colorado fraud investigators unit. Legislation enacted in 2014 increased the portion of the UCC filing fee that is transferred to the

Colorado identity theft and financial fraud cash fund from $3 to $4, which increase is scheduled to repeal in 2017. The bill extends the scheduled repeal date for the increased fee, and for an associated report to the general assembly, until 2018.

Status: Signed into Law by Governor

HB17-1016: Exclude Value Mineral Resources Tax Increment Financing Division

The bill permits the governing body of a municipality, as applicable, to provide in an urban renewal plan that the valuation attributable to the extraction of mineral resources located within the urban renewal area is not subject to the division of taxes between base and incremental revenues that accompanies the tax increment financing of urban renewal projects. In such circumstances, the taxes levied on the valuation will be distributed to the public bodies as if the urban renewal plan was not in effect.

Status: Signed Into Law by Governor