The CBA’s 2020 Legislative Session in Review, 0920 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 8 Pg. 34

PositionVol. 49, 8 [Page 34]

The CBA’s 2020 Legislative Session in Review

Vol. 49, No. 8 [Page 34]

Colorado Lawyer

September, 2020

August, 2020



Tis article provides an overview of the CBA’s legislative Efforts during the Colorado General Assembly’s 2020 session.

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned on June 15 after an unprecedented and unpredictable year. The legislature put its work on hold for 10 weeks due to public health concerns, faced a staggering 20% hole in its general fund tax revenues, adopted numerous measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reached bipartisan consensus on law enforcement reforms. The 2020 session was without parallel in recent history.

2020 Session Highlights

During the tumultuous 2020 session, the CBA actively worked on 27 legislative measures under consideration by the Colorado legislature. Considering that the legislature shortened its 120-day calendar by 36 days and largely could not fund new programs, the CBA experienced many successes with our key priorities. But we encountered some mixed results and roadblocks along the way that will require work in future legislative sessions.

Session Successes

■ HB 20-1013: Specify Procedure Ratify Defective Corporate Actions. The CBA successfully proposed a statutory procedure for the ratification of defective corporate actions, which will continue to be governed by common law until the bill takes effect on September 14. The CBA was the main proponent of this bill, which Governor Polis signed on March 20.

■ SB 20-093: Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness. The CBA opposed this bill, which sought to modify significantly how arbitrations are conducted in Colorado and to place additional requirements on the practice. The bill was defeated in committee on June 4.

■ HB 20-1200: Sunset Homeowners’ Association Information and Resource Center. The CBA successfully supported the five-year extension of the Homeowners’ Association Information and Resource Center within the Department of Regulatory Affairs. Tis bill originally proposed an alternative dispute resolution process to be housed within the department, but legislators removed the expanded role late in the session out of budget concerns. The CBA supported the extension of the office and expects the sponsors to revisit a dispute resolution mechanism during the 2021 session. The legislature adopted the bill on June 11, and Governor Polis signed it on June 30.

■ HB 20-1096: Authorize Protected Series of Limited Liability Company. The CBA opposed efforts that would have allowed, under Colorado law, the creation of a protected series of a series limited liability company (series LLC). A series LLC is a type of LLC that, in addition to traditional vertical liability shields, provides horizontal liability shields across multiple “series,” each of which is theoretically protected from liabilities arising from the other series. Based on discussions with proponents and the sponsor, the CBA anticipates the need to address this matter in a future legislative session for series LLCs that currently operate in this state but are formed under the laws of another jurisdiction. The bill was defeated in committee on February 27.

Mixed Results and Continuing Efforts

The CBA met with mixed results on SB 20-096, which authorizes Colorado-licensed notaries to perform notarial acts remotely. Legislators introduced the bill early in the legislative session, but in the wake of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary of State implemented emergency rules authorizing remote notarization on a temporary basis. The CBA provided critical guidance to the offices of both the Governor and the Secretary of State during the issuance of executive orders and the promulgation of the remote notary emergency rules. Adoption of SB 20-096 will largely codify the process currently allowed under the emergency rules. To prevent gaps, the Secretary of State is expected to continue following the current emergency rules on a temporary basis until final rules called for by the bill are adopted. While the CBA’s Efforts to amend several parts of the bill were successful, we continue to have concerns about the bill’s shortcomings in privacy protections. The CBA and lawmakers committed to work on a privacy protection bill for introduction in a future legislative session. The legislature passed SB 20-096, and Governor Polis signed the bill on June 26.

The CBA provided critical guidance to the offices of both the Governor and the Secretary of State during the issuance of executive orders and the promulgation of the remote notary emergency rules.

The CBA fell short in our Efforts to address the effects of the Colorado Supreme Court’s January 2020 opinion in In re Parental Responsibilities of W.C.1 The Court released the opinion after the legislature convened, so the CBA sought special permission to introduce a bill that would provide the trial court continuing jurisdiction during an appeal over parenting time, decision-making, child support, and maintenance. Unfortunately, timing was not our friend. While legislative leadership considered the CBA’s request, the legislature temporarily adjourned for 10 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the legislature reconvened in late May, legislative leadership did not consider the proposal of sufficient urgency to be introduced during the limited days remaining in its 2020 session. The CBA will explore resubmitting the bill for the 2021 legislative session.

The Session’s Unprecedented Delay

The CBA’s 2020 legislative Efforts were overshadowed by the extraordinary events of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature paused its substantive work for much of the spring. In a typical year, the Colorado legislature wraps up its work by the first week of May. The year 2020 was anything but typical.

On March 11, Governor Polis declared a disaster emergency for Colorado due to the COVID-19 pandemic by signing EO D 2020-003, which he has extended several times through the spring and into summer. Several days later, on March 14, the legislature temporarily adjourned out of concern for public health and challenges for legislators and the public to socially distance at the Capitol. The temporary adjournment set in motion a series of unprecedented actions for the legislature. When they adjourned, legislators were uncertain...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT