Jeff and I kept abreast of legislative developments throughout the year as members of the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Legislative Committee. However, the legislative session can get rather hectic, particularly in the final days and our posts about legislative developments may have room for improvement.
Because many bills passed during the 70th General Assembly have effective dates in the late summer and early fall, now is an excellent time to highlight some of the laws going into effect.
As expected, the divided chamber made it virtually impossible to pass partisan legislation. On the positive side, the division provided a backstop for generally “bad-for-business” bills. Unfortunately, it also had the effect of thwarting reform efforts. Despite a strong coalition of mayors and the support of the business community, efforts to revamp Colorado construction defect litigation failed in the Colorado House.
HB15-1197 Indemnity in Public Construction Contracts did pass and will become effective September 1, 2015. The bill clarifies the manner in which indemnification clauses can be used in construction contracts for public entities. Contracts containing a “hold harmless” clause are enforceable only to the extent of negligence of the contractor. Contractors cannot be required to hold a public entity harmless against its own negligence.
HB15-1223 Home Service Contracts extends the regulation of home warranty service contracts to include new homes. The bill becomes effective August 1, 2015.
SB15-265 Health Insurance Hospital Liens goes into effect August 5, 2015. Hospitals must now submit charges to all of an injured person’s payers of benefits (including a third party tortfeasor’s liability insurer). The bill alters previous hospital lien law.
SB15-283 Debt Collections Actions and Exemptions modifies exemptions and procedures in certain debt collection actions as well as allowing alternative methods to notify debtors of a pending levy. This bill went into effect July 1, 2015.
Stay tuned during 71st General Assembly. I will be serving as the CDLA Legislative Committee Chairperson and will continue to provide information from the State Capitol.