HB21-1025 Nonsubstantive Emails And Open Meetings Law 
Short Title: Nonsubstantive Emails And Open Meetings Law
Sponsors: J. Arndt / J. Ginal (D)
Summary:



Under current provisions of the Open Meetings Law (OML), if elected officials use electronic mail to discuss pending legislation or other public business among themselves, the electronic mail constitutes a meeting that is subject to the OML's requirements. The act substitutes the word "exchange" for the word "use" in describing the type of electronic mail communication that triggers the application of the OML.

The act also clarifies existing statutory provisions to specify that electronic mail communication between elected officials that does not relate to the merits or substance of pending legislation or other public business is not a meeting for OML purposes. Under the act, the type of electronic communication that also does not constitute a meeting for OML purposes includes electronic communication regarding scheduling and availability as well as electronic communication that is sent by an elected official for the purpose of forwarding information, responding to an inquiry from an individual who is not a member of the state or local public body, or posing a question for later discussion by the public body. The act defines the term "merits or substance" to mean any discussion, debate, or exchange of ideas, either generally or specifically, related to the essence of any public policy proposition, specific proposal, or any other matter being considered by the governing entity.

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

Status: 4/7/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-02-16

HB21-1074 Immunity For Entities During COVID-19 
Short Title: Immunity For Entities During COVID-19
Sponsors: M. Bradfield (R)
Summary:

The bill establishes immunity from civil liability for entities for any act or omission that results in exposure, loss, damage, injury, or death arising out of COVID-19 if the entity attempts in good faith to comply with applicable public health guidelines.

The bill is repealed 2 years after the date the governor terminates the state of disaster emergency declared on March 11, 2020.


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

Status: 3/11/2021 House Committee on State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
Date Introduced: 2021-02-16

HB21-1100 Electronic Filing Of Documents With Governmental Entities 
Short Title: Electronic Filing Of Documents With Governmental Entities
Sponsors: M. Soper (R) | S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D) / J. Bridges (D) | P. Lundeen (R)
Summary:



The act requires the office of information technology (office) in partnership with each principal department of the state to file a report by October 15, 2021, with the joint technology committee (committee) concerning the department's electronic filing capacity. The report must include information on the proportion of documents that can currently be filed electronically with the department, the actions required to allow at least 80% of documents filed with the department to be filed electronically, and any obstacles or barriers the department or the office would face in implementing electronic filing for at least 80% of documents filed with the department.

The governing body of each county and city and county is also required to file a report with the committee by October 15, 2021, concerning the county's electronic filing capacity. The report must include information on the proportion of documents that can currently be filed electronically with the county, the actions required to allow at least 80% of documents filed with the county to be filed electronically, and any obstacles or barriers the county would face in implementing electronic filing for at least 80% of documents filed with the county.

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

Status: 6/7/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-02-16

HB21-1110 Colorado Laws For Persons With Disabilities 
Short Title: Colorado Laws For Persons With Disabilities
Sponsors: D. Ortiz (D) / J. Danielson (D)
Summary:



The act adds language to strengthen current Colorado law related to protections against discrimination on the basis of disability for persons with disabilities, specifically as those laws relate to accessibility to government information technology. The added provisions include:

  • Prohibiting a person with a disability from being excluded from participating in or being denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity or a state agency;
  • Clarifying that such prohibition includes the failure of a public entity or state agency to develop an accessibility plan and fully comply, on or before July 1, 2024, with accessibility guidelines established by the office of information technology (office);
  • Any Colorado agency with the authority to promulgate rules shall not promulgate a rule that provides less protection than that provided by the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990".


Definitions related to disabilities are added to the statutory sections for the office. The chief information officer in the office is directed to maintain accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities (accessibility standards) for information technology systems employed by state agencies that provide access to information stored electronically and are designed to present information for interactive communications, in formats intended for visual and nonvisual use.

The chief information officer in the office is directed to promote and monitor the accessibility standards in the state's information technology infrastructure. The act directs each state agency to comply with the accessibility standards established by the office. The accessibility standards must be established using the most recent web content accessibility guidelines promulgated and published by the world wide web consortium web accessibility initiative or the international accessibility guidelines working group.

The act directs each state agency, on or before July 1, 2022, to submit its written accessibility plan to the office. The office shall then work collaboratively with the state agency to review sections related to accessibility standards and to establish implementation methodology. On or before July 1, 2024, each state agency shall fully implement the sections of the state agency's plan related to accessibility standards. The act states that any state agency that is not in full compliance by July 1, 2024, is in violation of the state's laws concerning discrimination against individuals with a disability and is subject to the remedies set forth in statute.

Liability for noncompliance as to content lies with the public entity or state agency that manages the content, whereas noncompliance of the platform hosting the content lies with the public entity or state agency that manages the platform.

For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $312,922 to the office of the governor for use by the office of information technology. This appropriation is from the general fund and is based on an assumption that the office will require an additional 0.9 FTE. To implement this act, the office may use this appropriation for enterprise solutions.

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

Status: 6/30/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-02-16

HB21-1250 Measures to Address Law Enforcement Accountability 
Short Title: Measures to Address Law Enforcement Accountability
Sponsors: L. Herod (D) | S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D) / R. Fields (D) | B. Gardner (R)
Summary:



The act makes changes to the provisions of Senate Bill 20-217, enacted in 2020, (SB 217) to provide clarity and address issues discovered since the passage of that bill. SB 217 used the term "exonerated", but never defined it; the act defines "exonerated" and further clarifies the term "contact".

The act clarifies some of the circumstances when a body-worn camera must be operating and provisions related to the release of the footage. The act changes the requirement that body-worn camera recordings be released within 21 days from the date of the complaint of misconduct to within 21 days from the date of the request for the video recording. The act states the sanctions for failing to activate a body-worn camera and the 21-day release requirement will take effect on passage of the act if the officer is wearing a body camera and the other body-camera provisions apply on or after July 1, 2022, if an officer is wearing a body-worn camera, even though the requirement for all officers to wear a body camera does not take effect until July 1, 2023. The act requires $2 million to be appropriated to the body-worn camera for law enforcement officers grant program in fiscal year 2021-22.

SB 217 required law enforcement to report certain information related to each contact an officer has with a person beginning January 1, 2023. The act changes the start date of the reporting requirement to April 1, 2022. The act clarifies and adds to some of the information that must be reported.

If a peace officer is convicted of, found civilly liable for, or found liable in an administrative proceeding for unlawful use of force or failure to intervene, the officer certification must be revoked if death or serious bodily injury occurred or, if serious bodily injury or death did not occur, then the certification must suspended for at least a year. The act creates a process to allow a peace officer to have a hearing by an administrative law judge to determine whether the peace officer's certification should be suspended or revoked.

The act prohibits a peace officer's employer or the employer's agent from discharging; disciplining; demoting; denying a promotion, transfer, or reassign; discriminating against; harassing; or threatening a peace officer's employment because the peace officer disclosed information that shows:

  • A danger to public health or safety; or
  • A violation of law or policy committed by another peace officer.


Under current law, there is a civil action that permits suit against employers of local law enforcement officers for misconduct. The act permits the Colorado state patrol to also be sued via that civil action. The act also requires the employer to conduct an investigation of an officer prior to determining if the officer acted in good faith.

If a person believes that a law enforcement agency has violated the investigation requirement, the person must submit a complaint to the P.O.S.T. board, which shall refer the complaint to an administrative law judge to determine whether a violation occurred. The administrative law judge shall notify the P.O.S.T. board chair of a finding that a violation occurred. If a violation is found, the P.O.S.T. board shall not provide P.O.S.T. cash fund money to the employer for one full year from the date of the finding.

Peace officers are required to intervene to prevent or stop unlawful force by another peace officer; the act clarifies the duty only applies to officers while on duty.

The act requires that prior to hiring a new employee, appointing a new employee, or transferring an existing employee to a position requiring P.O.S.T. certification, a law enforcement agency shall determine if the person has a record contained in the P.O.S.T. misconduct database. If the person is listed in the database and the law enforcement agency proceeds to employ the person in a position requiring P.O.S.T. certification, the agency shall notify the P.O.S.T. board of the hire, appointment, or transfer.

The act clarifies and adds to some of the information required to be included in the P.O.S.T. board database related to peace officer misconduct. The act requires the P.O.S.T. board to adopt procedures to allow a peace officer to seek review of the officer's status in the database.

The act requires a governmental entity that encrypts its radio communications to adopt an encryption policy to provide access to unencrypted radio transmissions for members of the media.

The act requires the attorney general to convene a study group to study procedures related to the use of no-knock entry warrants and forced entry. The attorney general shall include the study group's findings in its annual "SMART Act" hearing for the 2022 legislative session.

The act requires the division of local government in the department of local affairs to contract with a nationally recognized research and consulting entity that is an expert in data-driven, evidence-based policing that is community-focused for an independent study to assess and provide a report and findings on evidenced-based policing national best practices. The consulting entity shall complete an interim study no later than December 30, 2021, and the final study no later than July 1, 2022. An advisory committee is created to the oversee the study and make legislative recommendations based on the studies.

For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $4,065,016 to the department of public safety, of which $3,101,748 is from the general fund and $963,268 is from the highway users tax fund and provides an additional 13.5 FTE. The act appropriates $582,742 from the risk management fund to the department of law and provides an additional 3.0 FTE. The act appropriates $250,000 from the general fund to the department of local affairs.

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

Status: 7/6/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-03-30

HB21-1276 Prevention Of Substance Use Disorders 
Short Title: Prevention Of Substance Use Disorders
Sponsors: C. Kennedy (D) | L. Herod (D) / B. Pettersen (D) | K. Priola (R)
Summary:



The act requires a health benefit plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023, to provide a cost-sharing benefit for nonpharmacological treatment where an opioid might be prescribed. The required cost-sharing benefit must include a cost-sharing amount not to exceed the cost-sharing amount for a primary care visit for nonpreventive services, at least 6 physical therapy visits, 6 occupational therapy visits, 6 chiropractic visits, and 6 acupuncture visits per year. The division of insurance (division) is required to submit to the federal department of human services a determination as to whether the cost-sharing benefit is in addition to an essential benefit and subject to defrayal by the state pursuant to federal law and a request for confirmation of the determination. The division is required to implement the benefit only if the benefit does not constitute an additional benefit that requires a defrayal.

The act requires an insurance carrier (carrier) that provides prescription drug benefits to provide coverage, beginning January 1, 2023, for at least one atypical opioid that is approved by the federal food and drug administration (FDA) for the treatment of acute or chronic pain, which coverage must be at the lowest cost-sharing tier of the carrier's formulary with no requirement for step therapy or prior authorization. Additionally, a carrier cannot require step therapy for any additional FDA-approved atypical opioids.

The act precludes a carrier that has a contract with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist from:

  • Prohibiting the physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist from, or penalizing the physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist for, providing a covered person information on the amount of the covered person's financial responsibility for the covered person's physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic services, or acupuncture services; or
  • Requiring the physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist to charge a covered person an amount or collect a copayment from a covered person that exceeds the total charges submitted to the carrier by the physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist.


The commissioner of insurance is required to take action against a carrier that the commissioner determines is not complying with these prohibitions.

Current law limits specified prescribers from prescribing more than a 7-day supply of an opioid to a patient who has not obtained an opioid prescription from that prescriber within the previous 12 months unless certain conditions apply. This prescribing limitation is set to repeal on September 1, 2021.The act continues the prescribing limitation indefinitely.

The also requires the applicable board for each prescriber to promulgate rules that limit the supply of a benzodiazepine, which is a sedative commonly prescribed for anxiety and as a sleep aid, that a prescriber may prescribe to a patient who has not had a prescription for a benzodiazepine in the last 12 months, except for benzodiazepines prescribed to treat specific disorders or conditions.

The act continues indefinitely the requirement that a health-care provider query the prescription drug monitoring program (program) before prescribing an opioid, including a benzodiazepine, and changes current law to require the query on every prescription fill, not just the second fill. This section also requires a practitioner to query the program before prescribing a benzodiazepine unless it is to treat a specific disorder or condition.

In addition to current law allowing medical examiners and coroners to query the program when conducting an autopsy, section 16 allows medical examiners and coroners to query the program when conducting a death investigation.

The act also authorizes the state board of pharmacy to provide a means of sharing prescription information from the program with the health information organization network in order to work collaboratively with statewide health information exchanges designated by the department of health care policy and financing.

The act requires the center for research into substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery support strategies to include in its continuing education activities the best practices for prescribing benzodiazepines and the potential harm of inappropriately limiting prescriptions to chronic pain patients and makes an appropriation for this purpose.

The act directs the office of behavioral health in the department of human services to convene a collaborative with institutions of higher education, nonprofit agencies, and state agencies for the purpose of gathering feedback from local public health agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit agencies, and state agencies concerning evidence-based prevention practices.

$382,908 is appropriated to the department of human services for use by the office of behavioral health. $13,000 is appropriated to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the division of insurance. $215,207 is appropriated to the department of regulatory agencies.

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

Status: 6/28/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-04-15

HB21-1277 Eligible Recipients For Final Disposition Expenses 
Short Title: Eligible Recipients For Final Disposition Expenses
Sponsors: D. Valdez (D) | P. Will (R) / L. Liston (R) | B. Pettersen (D)
Summary:



Current law does not include the definitions "public assistance" and "medical assistance" relating to death reimbursements for funeral, cremation, and burial expenses for deceased public assistance or medical assistance recipients. The act adds the definitions "public assistance" and "medical assistance" to clarify who qualifies as a public assistance or medical assistance recipient.

Current law authorizes death reimbursements for a person who has applied or was eligible for public benefits. The act requires the person to be receiving the public benefits at the time of death.

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

Status: 6/18/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-04-15

HB21-1317 Regulating Marijuana Concentrates 
Short Title: Regulating Marijuana Concentrates
Sponsors: A. Garnett (D) | Y. Caraveo (D) / C. Hansen (D) | P. Lundeen (R)
Summary:



The act requires the Colorado school of public health to do a systematic review of the scientific research related to the possible physical and mental health effects of high-potency THC marijuana and concentrates using only funding provided by the general assembly. The act creates a scientific review council (council) to review the report and make recommendations to the general assembly. Based on the research and findings, the Colorado school of public health shall produce a public education campaign for the general public, to be approved by the council, regarding the effect of high-potency THC marijuana on the developing brain and mental health.

Current law requires a doctor to conduct a full assessment of the patient's medical history when making a medical marijuana recommendation. The act requires that assessment to include the patient's mental health history. If the recommending physician is not the patient's primary care physician, the act directs the recommending physician to review the records of a diagnosing physician or licensed mental health provider. When a practitioner makes a medical marijuana authorization, the practitioner must certify that authorization to the department of public health and environment (department). The act requires the certification to include:

  • The date of issue and the effective date of the recommendation;
  • The patient's name and address;
  • The recommending physician's name, address, and federal drug enforcement agency number;
  • The maximum THC potency level of medical marijuana being recommended;
  • The recommended product, if any;
  • The daily authorized quantity, if the quantity exceeds the maximum statutorily allowed amount for the patient's age;
  • Directions for use; and
  • The recommending physician's signature.


The act prohibits a physician for charging an additional fee for recommending an extended plant count or making a recommendation related to an exception to a medical marijuana requirement. The act directs the department to annually report on the number of physicians who made medical marijuana recommendations in the past year, how many recommendations each physician made, and the number of homebound patients ages 18 to 20 years old in the registry.

The act imposes the following requirements on medical marijuana patients ages 18 to 20 years old:

  • Two physicians from different medical practices have to diagnose the patient as having a debilitating or disabling medical condition after an in-person consultation;
  • One of the physicians must explain the possible risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana to the patient;
  • One physician must provide the patient with the written documentation specifying that the patient has been diagnosed with a debilitating or disabling medical condition and the physician has concluded that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana; and
  • The patient attends follow-up appointments every 6 months after the initial visit with one of the physicians unless the patient is homebound.


The act requires the department to create a report from emergency room and hospital discharge data of patients who presented with conditions or a diagnosis that reflects marijuana use and provide that report at the department's annual "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act" hearing.

The act directs the association representing coroners to establish a working group to study methods to test for all scheduled drugs and the presence and quantity of THC in each case of a non-natural death and make recommendations by July 1, 2022. The recommendation must be reported to the house of representatives health and insurance committee and the senate health and human services committee, or their successor committees. Beginning January 1, 2022, the act requires the coroner in each case of a non-natural death to complete a toxicology screen. The coroner shall report the results of the toxicology screen to the Colorado violent death reporting system. The department then produces an annual report of the data beginning January 2, 2023, and annually each year thereafter.

The act prohibits medical marijuana advertising that is specifically directed to persons ages 18 to 20 years old and requires medical and retail marijuana concentrate advertising to include a warning regarding the risks of medical marijuana concentrate overconsumption.

A medical marijuana store and retail marijuana store shall provide a patient with a tangible education resource regarding the use of medical or retail marijuana concentrate when selling concentrate.

The act requires medical marijuana stores to immediately record transactions in the seed-to-sale inventory tracking system to allow the system to:

  • Continuously monitor entry of patient data to identify discrepancies with daily purchase limits and potency authorizations;
  • Access and retrieve real-time sales data based on patient identification number; and
  • Respond with a user error message if a sale to a patient or caregiver will exceed the patient's allowed purchase limit for that business day or potency authorization.

The data collected is confidential and shall not be shared with anyone except when necessary to complete a sale.

The act limits the amount of medical marijuana concentrate that a patient can purchase in one day to 8 grams, unless the patient is 18 to 20 years old then the limit is 2 grams, except in the case of a homebound patient, if the patient's certification states that the patient needs more than 8 grams or 2 grams respectively. The limit does not apply to medical marijuana patients if it would be a significant physical or geographic hardship for the patient to make a daily purchase or if the patient had a registry identification card prior to being 18 years old.

The act limits the amount of retail marijuana concentrate that a patient can purchase in one day to 8 grams.

The marijuana enforcement division shall convene a stakeholder work group to develop and complete by January 1, 2022:

  • A uniform certification form to be used by recommending physicians when authorizing the patient to purchase more than the statutorily allowed quantities, as required by section 25-1.5-106 (5), Colorado Revised Statutes, which may be relied upon by medical marijuana stores. The form must contain a uniform weight and uniform potency description to enable a medical marijuana store to fulfill its obligations without the need to make a further calculation or examine other documents. The form shall not contain any information concerning the patient's medical condition or diagnosis.
  • A tangible educational resource regarding the use of regulated marijuana concentrate.


For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates:

  • $4,000,000 from the marijuana tax cash fund to the department of higher education for use by the Colorado school of public health and any unexpended money from the appropriation is further appropriated to the department for the same purpose;
  • $541,826 to the department of public health and environment for use by the center for health and environmental information: $265,656 of the appropriation is from the general fund and is $276,170 from the medical marijuana program cash fund;
  • $50,000 from the general fund to the department of public health and environment for use by disease control and public health response;
  • $255,167 from the marijuana cash fund to the department of revenue to implement the act;
  • $95,706 and allocates 0.5 FTE to the department of law from reappropriated funds from the department of revenue; and
  • $2,000,000 from the first time drunk driving offender account to the department of transportation.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status: 6/24/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-05-15

SB21-006 Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil 
Short Title: Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil
Sponsors: R. Rodriguez (D) / M. Soper (R) | B. Titone (D)
Summary:



The act authorizes human remains to be converted to soil using a container that accelerates the process of biological decomposition, also known as "natural reduction". Natural reduction is added to the statutes that regulate funeral establishments, and this addition will result in the regulation of the natural reduction process. But the definitions of "cremation" and "mortuary science practitioner" are amended so that a practitioner of natural reduction is not regulated as a cremationist or mortuary science practitioner.

The act allows the disposal of abandoned naturally reduced remains if the remains are not claimed within 180 days after natural reduction.

The act prohibits the following when done in the course of business:

  • Selling or offering to sell the soil;
  • Commingling the soil of more than one person without the consent of the person or persons with the right of final disposition unless the soil is abandoned;
  • Commingling the human remains of more than one person without the consent of the person or persons with the right of final disposition within the container wherein natural reduction produces soil; or
  • Using the soil to grow food for human consumption.


Colorado law has various provisions that deal with burial, cremation, interment, and entombment. In connection with authorizing natural reduction, the act replaces these terms with the phrase "final disposition", which term is defined to include natural reduction. The act updates the following types of provisions to reflect the option to use natural reduction:

  • Life insurance statutes;
  • Preneed funeral insurance contracts;
  • The "Mortuary Science Code";
  • Funeral picketing statutes;
  • Litigation damages;
  • The "Colorado Probate Code";
  • The "Disposition of Last Remains Act";
  • The "Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act";
  • Missing person reports for unidentified human remains;
  • Public peace and order statutes;
  • Vital statistics statutes;
  • The "Colorado Medical Assistance Act";
  • The "Colorado Human Services Code";
  • The "Colorado Public Assistance Act"; and
  • Firefighter pension plans.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status: 5/10/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-02-16

SB21-098 Sunset Prescription Drug Monitoring Program 
Short Title: Sunset Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Sponsors: S. Jaquez Lewis (D) | B. Pettersen (D) / K. Mullica (D) | J. Rich (R)
Summary:



The act continues the prescription drug monitoring program (program) indefinitely.

Additionally, the act:

  • Authorizes the state board of pharmacy (board) to promulgate rules that identify a list of prescription drugs that are not currently listed as controlled substances and require such drugs to be tracked through the program;
  • Authorizes each coroner to authorize deputy coroners to access the program;
  • Authorizes the board to create a data retention schedule for information obtained and stored by the program;
  • Eliminates the requirements that the board seek gifts, grants, and donations in order to maintain the program and report annually to committees of reference of the general assembly on the gifts, grants, and donations; and
  • Makes a technical change to remove a reference to the department of health care policy and financing from the statute as that department does not have access to the program.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status: 6/22/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-02-17

SB21-176 Protecting Opportunities And Workers' Rights Act 
Short Title: Protecting Opportunities And Workers' Rights Act
Sponsors: F. Winter (D) | B. Pettersen (D) / S. Lontine (D) | M. Gray (D)
Summary:

For purposes of addressing discriminatory or unfair employment practices pursuant to Colorado's anti-discrimination laws, the bill enacts the "Protecting Opportunities and Workers' Rights (POWR) Act", which:

  • Continues the Colorado civil rights division (division) and the Colorado civil rights commission (commission) indefinitely;
  • Directs the division to include "harassment" as a basis or description of discrimination on any charge form or charge intake mechanism;
  • Allows an employment discrimination claim to be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county or district where the alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practice occurred; and allows an individual to file a civil action, without otherwise exhausting administrative proceedings and remedies, as long as the individual either files a charge with the Colorado civil rights commission (commission) or serves a written demand for the relief on the individual's employer and allows the employer 14 days to respond;
  • Directs the division to develop and provide to employers, free of charge, training and education programs regarding the prevention of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, bystander intervention, and workplace civility;
  • Expands the definition of "employee" to include individuals in domestic service individuals who perform a service for a price, including independent contractors, subcontractors, and their employees; and individuals who offer services or labor without pay and specifies that an individual performing services for pay for another is deemed an employee unless, by a preponderance of the evidence, it is proven that the individual satisfies the conditions under the state wage law for a determination that the individual is not an employee;
  • Adds a requirement that a written, electronic, or oral agreement or contract under which a person performs services for another must require that the person for whom the services are performed shall not engage in any discriminatory or unfair employment practice with respect to the individual performing the services ;
  • Adds new definitions of "caregiver", "care recipient", "child", "minor child", and "harass" or "harassment" "hostile work environment", and "independent contractor" and repeals the current definition of "harass" that requires creation of a hostile work environment;
  • Adds protections from discriminatory or unfair employment practices for individuals based on their "marital status" or "caregiver status";
  • Specifies that in harassment claims, the alleged conduct need not be severe or pervasive to constitute a discriminatory or unfair employment practice, and an employer has an affirmative defense to the claim if the employer demonstrates that, when the employer knew or should have known of the harassment, the employer took prompt, reasonable, and, if warranted, remedial action to end the harassment, deter future harassers, and protect employees;
  • Specifies that it is a discriminatory or unfair employment practice for an employer to fail to initiate an investigation of a complaint or fail to take prompt , reasonable, and, if warranted, remedial action; if appropriate;
  • Specifies the requirements for an employer to avoid liability when an employee proves that a supervisor unlawfully harassed that employee;
  • Prohibits certain preemployment medical examinations, imposes limitations on inquiries and examinations about an employee's disability during employment, and specifies that violations of these prohibitions and limitations constitute discriminatory or unfair employment practices;
  • Expands the time limit to file a charge with the commission from 6 months to 300 days after the alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practice occurred;
  • Repeals the limits on remedies in cases involving age discrimination;
  • Limits the ability of an employer to require confidentiality of claims once a charge is filed with the commission Specifies requirements that must be satisfied for a nondisclosure provision in an agreement between an employer and employee to be enforceable; voids a nondisclosure provision if a party makes a material misrepresentation; and requires the division to provide to a charging party other charges filed with the division against the same respondent; and
  • Requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide and maintain records of training and education to all employees regarding harassment and discrimination prevention, bystander intervention, and workplace civility, encourages other employers to provide the training and education, and authorizes the division director to impose penalties on employers that fail to comply with the training and recordkeeping requirements.

The bill appropriates the following amounts to the following departments to implement the bill:

  • $539,292 and 6.0 FTE to the department of corrections;
  • $71,905 and 0.8 FTE to the department of education;
  • $134,823 and 1.5 FTE to the office of the governor;
  • $22,471 and 0.5 FTE to the department of health care policy and financing;
  • $449,410 and 5.0 FTE to the department of human services;
  • $449,410 and 5.0 FTE to the judicial department;
  • $107,858 and 1.2 FTE to the department of labor and employment;
  • $401,180 and 2.5 FTE to the department of law;
  • $134,823 and 1.5 FTE to the department of natural resources;
  • $630,465 and 1.5 FTE to the department of personnel;
  • $125,835 and 1.4 FTE to the department of public health and environment;
  • $161,788 and 1.8 FTE to the department of public safety;
  • $652,879 and 9.7 FTE to the department of regulatory agencies;
  • $134,823 and 1.5 FTE to the department of revenue; and
  • $269,646 and 3.0 FTE to the department of transportation.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


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

Status: 6/7/2021 House Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
Date Introduced: 2021-03-08

SB21-245 Backcountry Search And Rescue In Colorado 
Short Title: Backcountry Search And Rescue In Colorado
Sponsors: K. Donovan (D) | B. Rankin (R) / J. McCluskie (D) | P. Will (R)
Summary:



The act defines "backcountry search and rescue" as the utilization, training, and support of responders, with their specialized equipment, to locate, provide assistance to, and remove to safety individuals who are lost, injured, stranded, or entrapped, generally in remote areas of the state. The division of parks and wildlife (division) within the department of natural resources must conduct a study and develop recommendations on the issues related to backcountry search and rescue, including how to develop a sustainable structure for coordination among the local, state, federal, and nonprofit organizations involved in backcountry search and rescue, the adequacy of resources and benefits available to volunteers who provide backcountry search and rescue services, the funding needs for equipment and reimbursement, and the needs for volunteer training and public education. The division must also conduct outreach and training related to the physical and psychological support needs of backcountry search and rescue volunteers, which may include working with consultants, providing programs, or creating a grant program for local governments or nonprofit organizations providing backcountry search and rescue. The act makes conforming amendments related to the definition of "backcountry search and rescue".

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

Status: 6/27/2021 Governor Signed
Date Introduced: 2021-04-14