Many bills harmful to your liberty, prosperity, and values await decision before the Colorado General Assembly quits in early May. Conservative insiders gave us this list of the worst ones. For what you can do, see "Call to Action" above. SB-164 By Groff & T. Carroll Re: Limitations on Damages For Noneconomic Loss or Injury Allows juries to award judgments beyond the $250,000 cap for physical impairment or disfigurement cases. Major trial-lawyers bill that loosens therestraints on runaway lawsuits against doctors. Will significantly drive up the cost of health care and drive doctors out of our state.
SB167 By Tupa & Massey Re: Degree Authorization Act All private and religious liberal arts schools and seminaries will have to apply to the Department of Higher Education to do business in Colorado (grandfathered). The commission will determine if such institutions are bona fide religious institutions and can revoke charter if status changes. The commission can order an investigation of the schools status “for cause.” The commission can set procedures by which students can file complaints with the department, plus procedure for filing complaints for “deceptive trade practice.”
SB-200 By Veiga & Judd Re: Expansion of Prohibitions Against Discrimination Adds the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation to non-discrimination statutes for 23 areas, including housing and employmemt.
SB 11 By Morse & Massey Hikes vehicle-registration fee to cover trauma-care providers and also requires motorists to get medical coverage in their auto policies, effectively reinstating the much-maligned PIP coverage that Coloradans used to have to carry.
HB 1329 By Marshall & Gordon Re: Concerning inactive voters Makes it easier for couch potatoes to stay registered to vote even when theyhave missed back-to-back elections.
SB 40 By Gordon Re: Online voter registration. Blows a bigger hole through election security.
HB-1080 By Madden & Veiga Re: Compliance With Nondiscrimination Laws Requires faith-based organizations that accept government funds to comply with the Unfair Unemployment Practices Act. Wouldn't allow them discretion to hire people with values aligned with those of the organization.
HB-1123 By Stafford & Johnson Re: Regulation of Persons Who Dispose of Dead Bodies Imposes requirements and regulations on the mortuary science profession. Gives the DORA director regulatory power over the industry and authority to set standards. Requires licensing/ registration/ renewal fees of industry personnel costing $422,960 in 2008-09.
HB-1138 By Borodkin & Isgar Re: Concerning the Authority of the Dept. of Revenue Imposes a $500 penalty on professionals who prepare tax returns and make mistakes. Each tax return the professional files that contains mistakes regarding the taxpayer's liability is subject to the fee. This is likely not an adequate deterrent and could result in higher fees for consumers.
HB-1150 By Todd & Williams Re: Medicaid Alternative Therapies Program Establishes a pilot program allowing certain Medicaid clients to receive complementary or alternative therapies, such as chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, and physical therapy.
HB-1164 By Solano & Schwartz Re: New Solar Energy Technologies Requires the PUC to consider the risk of higher future costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions when considering utility proposals to acquire new resources. Would also require the PUC to consider new environmental regulation.
HB-1203 By M. Carroll & Boyd Re: Regulating Transactions Involving Licensed Hospitals Increases the involvement of the AG in hospital business decisions and mergers, particularly if a hospital merger is deemed likely to result in a reduction of certain services. Could ultimately require religious hospitals (e.g. Catholic hospitals) to allow abortions and other procedures.
HB-1227 By Madden & Tapia Re: Sunset Continue Public Utilities Commission Would be routine if Madden hadn't included new, environmental criteria for the PUC's Office of Consumer Counsel to consider when the PUC regulates utilities. Requires net metering under all utilities; requires providers of VoIP to pay into the Colorado high-cost service mechanism.
HB-1239 By Green Re: Actions for No Background Check Establishes new penalties for public entities that fail to do a CBI background check prior to hiring someone who will work with children or in a setting with children. Eliminates the statute of limitations for a civil action
HB-1356 By Merrifield & Tupa Re: Concerning Landlord and Tenant Relations Imposes restrictions on residential rental agreements. Establishes responsibilities of landlords and tenants in rental agreements for the maintenance and care of the property.
HB-1389 By M. Carroll Re: Increased Oversight of Insurance Rates Requires insurance companies to file documents about their insurance rate practices. They must also notify of any rate increases, which the commissioner will then make public. The insurance commissioner may reject the rate increase.
HB-1342 By Kefalas & Ward Re: Child Support Enforcement Procedures Allows judicial branch to impose liens on insurance settlements and liquidate securities to satisfy child support obligations. Would put banks in the middle of child support collection by requiring them to liquidate assets of their customers.
HB-1306 By Riesberg Re: Construction Prompt Payment Reform Act of 2008 Imposes numerous regulations on construction agreements. Authorizes performance suspensions when payment isn't received by contractors or subcontractors according to schedule. Requires progress payments every 30 days for construction projects.
HB 1170 By Soper Attaches new restrictions/market barriers to the electrician licensure/apprenticeship process.
HB 1310 By Ferrandino & Groff Restricts "payday" loans.
Some additional comments from the Colorado Family Institute:
Bad Bill: Oppose! SB 200, highlighted above, would require all “public accommodations” to follow civil rights law for homosexuals. This would include any business which puts itself out as Christian or follows biblical hiring standards. A couple with a photography business in New Mexico was brought to court under a similar law for refusing to film a same-sex commitment ceremony. A Christian camp could not refuse to allow a homosexual group to use its facilities….etc
Good Bill: Support! SB 125 By Harvey Toughens Colorado law on providing pornography to children.
Good Bill: Support! SB 1372 Adult Stem Cell Donation Awareness…. Concerning the voluntary donation of umbilical cords for the purpose of aiding in the cure for life-threatening diseases through the use of adult blood stem cells.
Good Bill: Support! SB 134 Minimum Bail for Drug Distribution…. The bill raises the bond amounts for meth traffickers to a high statewide minimum and allows local authorities to keep half the bond if the defendant is known to be in the United States illegally and skips bail. SB 134 sets the minimum bail amount at $50,000 for all individuals arrested for drug trafficking and requires it to be adjusted every 10 years for inflation.