DENVER (KDVR) — With a new year comes new laws in Colorado. Legislators passed dozens of new laws during 2021 sessions.
Here’s a list of laws going into effect in 2022, according to the Colorado General Assembly.
Unless otherwise noted, the laws listed below went into effect on Jan. 1.
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 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.
SB21-088– Sexual Misconduct
The act creates a statutory cause of action for a victim of sexual misconduct that occurred when the victim was a minor. The victim may bring a civil claim against the actor who committed the sexual misconduct and against an organization that operates or manages a youth-related activity or program (youth program) if the organization knew or should have known of a risk of sexual misconduct against minors and the sexual misconduct occurred while the victim was participating in a youth program managed by the organization.
The act waives sovereign immunity for the claim so a victim may bring a claim against a public employee or public entity that operates a youth program, including an educational entity operating an educational program or a district preschool program.
SB21-073– Sexual Misconduct
Under existing law, the statute of limitations to bring a civil claim based on sexual assault or a sexual offense against a child is 6 years, but the statute is tolled when the victim is a person under disability or is in a special relationship with the perpetrator of the assault.
The act defines sexual misconduct and removes the limitation on bringing a civil claim based on sexual misconduct, including derivative claims and claims brought against a person or entity that is not the perpetrator of the sexual misconduct.
The statutory period to commence a civil action described in the act applies to a cause of action that accrues on or after January 1, 2022, or a cause of action accruing prior to January 1, 2022, so long as the applicable statute of limitations has not yet run as of January 1, 2022.
HB21-1211 (July)- Jails
Beginning July 1, 2022, the act prohibits a local jail with a bed capacity of over 400 beds from involuntarily placing an individual in restrictive housing if the individual meets any one of the following conditions:
- The individual is diagnosed with a serious mental illness or is exhibiting grossly abnormal and irrational behaviors or breaks with reality or perceptions of reality indicating the presence of a serious mental illness;
- The individual has self-reported a serious mental illness or suicidality, or is exhibiting self-harm, unless a licensed mental health professional or psychiatrist evaluates the individual and finds serious mental illness is not present;
- The individual has a significant auditory or visual impairment that cannot otherwise be accommodated;
- The individual is pregnant or in the postpartum period;
- The individual is significantly neurocognitively impaired by a condition such as dementia or a traumatic brain injury;
- The individual is under 18 years of age; or
- The individual has an intellectual or developmental disability.
HB21-1239– Dating Apps
The act states that, in addition to any other right to revoke an offer, a buyer has the right to cancel a dating service contract until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the buyer signs the contract.
A dating service contract must be set forth in writing, which, in the case of an online dating service contract, may be an electronic writing made available for viewing online. Each dating service contract must contain on its face, in close proximity to the space reserved for the signature of the buyer, a conspicuous statement concerning the buyer’s right to cancel the contract.
A dating service contract may not require payments or financing by the buyer over a period exceeding 2 years after the date the contract is entered into, nor may the term of any such contract be measured by the life of the buyer.
H.B. 21-1220– Child Support
Colorado child support commission – recommendations – establishment, calculation, and enforcement of child support orders. The act enacts the recommendations of the Colorado child support commission concerning the establishment, calculation, and enforcement of child support.
S.B. 21-91 (July)-Credit Cards
Sales or lease transactions – credit or charge card surcharge – maximum surcharge amount – notice required- violations. Under current law, a seller, lessor, or company issuing a credit or charge card is prohibited from imposing a surcharge against a person who elects to pay for a sales or lease transaction by using a credit or charge card. The act:
- Repeals the prohibition; and
- Limits the maximum surcharge amount per transaction to 2% of the total cost to the buyer or lessee for the sales or lease transaction or the merchant discount fee, which is defined as the actual fee that a seller or lessor (merchant) paysits processor or service provider to process the transaction
H.B. 21-1282– Mortgage Loans
Mortgage servicers – regulation by attorney general – appropriation. The act subjects mortgage servicers to regulation by the assistant attorney general designated by the attorney general as the administrator of the “Uniform Consumer Credit Code”.
A “mortgage servicer” is a person that is responsible for servicing a Colorado residential mortgage loan. Regulation of mortgage services includes the requirements of notification, record keeping, payment of fees, compliance with applicable federal laws, reporting, examinations, inspections, and enforcement. A violation of the requirements is subject to enforcement by the administrator, which may include an order requiring the payment of refunds to injured consumers, penalties, costs, and attorney fees.
S.B. 21-143– Family/domestic relations
The act enacts the “Uniform Collaborative Law Act”. The act authorizes a collaborative law process for proceedings arising under family or domestic relations law whereby disputes are resolved without intervention by a court or other tribunal.
The act specifies the requirements for a collaborative law participation agreement, including that both sides be represented and advised by collaborative law lawyers, and that communications made during the collaborative law process are confidential and may not be used in later proceedings except in specified situations.
S.B. 21-271 (March)- Sentencing Reform
The act reforms the sentencing provisions related to misdemeanors and petty offenses. Under current law, there are 3 classifications for misdemeanors and 2 classifications for petty offenses.
The act reduces the misdemeanor classifications to 2 and reduces the petty offenses to one classification and adds a new classification of civil infraction. A class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 or both, and a class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days in jail or a fine of up to $750 or both. A petty offense is punishable by up to 10 days in jail or a fine of up to $300 or both. A civil infraction is punishable by a fine of up to $100.
H.B. 21-1207– Worker’s Compensation
The act defines “overpayments” of workers’ compensation benefits as money received by a claimant that:
- Is a result of fraud;
- Is the result of an error due only to miscalculation, omission, or clerical error asserted in a new admission of liability;
- Is paid in error or in excess of an admission or order that exists at the time that the benefits are paid to a claimant; or
- Results in duplicate benefits as specified in the act.
S.B. 21-257– Motor Vehicle Registration
The act allows an owner of special mobile machinery who regularly rents or leases the special mobile machinery and who pays specific ownership tax on a monthly basis in an amount equal to 2% of the rental or lease payments for the special mobile machinery to apply to the department of revenue for a registration exempt certificate. The department shall issue the certificate if:
- The department verifies that the owner regularly has 1,000 or more items of such special mobile machinery in the state;
- Each item of such special mobile machinery is clearly marked or painted in a manner that identifies it as being owned by the owner;
- Each item of such special mobile machinery bears a visible and readily identifiable unique identification number assigned by the owner; and
- Each item of such special mobile machinery bears a visible toll-free telephone number for the owner that can be used for verification of ownership
H.B. 21-1014– Driver’s License
The act creates an option for a person with a disability that interferes with the person’ ability to effectively communicate with a peace officer to request that the department of revenue (department) place a discreet disability identifier symbol on the person’s driver’s license or identification card.
The symbol must represent all types of disabilities, such as cognitive disabilities, neurological diversities, mental health disorders, sensory needs, chronic illness, chronic pain, and physical disabilities. The person
may also choose to have the disability information removed from the driver’s license or identification card and the department will issue a new driver’s license or identification card. There is no fee to either place the symbol on or remove the symbol from a driver’s license or identification card.
HB21-1314– Driver’s License
The act repeals the department of revenue’s (department) discretionary authority to take administrative action to:
- Cancel, deny, or deny renewal of a person’s driver’s license:
- For unlawful or fraudulent use or conviction of misuse of license, titles, permits, or license plates;
- Because the person failed to pay a monetary judgment or has an outstanding warrant relating to a traffic violation or a municipal violation committed when the person was under 18 years of age; or
- Because the person failed to pay a judgment for using public transportation without paying the fare; and
- Cancel, deny, or deny renewal of a person’s driver’s license or identification card because the person failed to register all vehicles owned by the person.
S.B. 21-171– Trusts
The act repeals the “Uniform Principal and Income Act” and replaces it with the “Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act” (UFIPA), as drafted by the Uniform Law Commission, with Colorado-specific amendments. The UFIPA includes provisions concerning:
- Duties of fiduciaries;
- Judicial review of fiduciaries;
- Trusts in which the beneficiary receives a periodic payout of a percentage of the net value of trust assets, known as “unitrusts”;
- Allocation of trust receipts and disbursements; and
- Procedures followed at the termination of a trust or an income interest in a trust.
H.B. 21-1322– Taxes
The act restructures the excise tax on gasoline and special fuel (fuels) by:
- Modifying the point of taxation;
- Eliminating the 3 tax deferred transactions;
- Exempting the tax from the import or removal of fuels by bulk transfer to from, or within a terminal or refinery in certain circumstances;
- Permitting the 2% allowance to cover losses for terminals that are outside of the state;
- Requiring a terminal operator to verify that the person receiving the fuels is a licensee or is exempt from taxation;
- Specifying when the tax is imposed on an importer, blender, seller of liquefied petroleum gas or natural gas, user, and other distributor;
- Harmonizing provisions applicable to the exemption for governments;
- Explicitly identifying certain fuels used in aircrafts as being exempt;
- Codifying that a distributor has the burden of proving that fuels are exempt;
- Codifying the exemption for the removal of fuels from a terminal by a licensed exporter exclusively for delivery to another state;
- Requiring a terminal operator to be licensed, which is the current practice;
- Consolidating the penalties for acting without a license;
- Making conforming changes related to the aforementioned changes;
- Reorganizing and relocating provisions; and
- Modernizing language.