May 12, 2010
I will write separately focusing on some of the overall best and worst bills of the 2010 session but I wanted to update you on the status of the bills that I carried this year.
The following bills I carried passed this year:
GOOD GOVERNMENT REFORMS:
(Land Development & Subsidy Reform) HB 1107 (Fischer - M. Carroll) stops the worst abuses of "blighting" ag lands for purposes of triggering subsidies to private developers, including a forced backfill from the state budget.
(Campaign Finance Reform) SB 203 (M. Carroll - Weissmann) closes disclosure loopholes created in the wake of Citizens United v. FEC that authorized unlimited corporate and union independent expenditures in campaigns -- a practice previously outlawed by Colorado voters.
(HOA Reform) HB 1278 (Ryden - M. Carroll) creates an HOA information office to provide information about basic rights and responsibilities in Colorado law and a mechanism for tracking complaints.
(Rulemaking Reform) HB 1346 (Kagan - M. Carroll) fixes the timeline in rulemaking to reduce the use of "emergency rules", to give best process to rules.
(IT Transparency) HB 1401 (Ferrandino - M. Carroll) returns the State Internet Portal Authority handling all state sensitive information online back to oversight authority of the state auditory, chief information officer and increases reporting to the Joint Budget Committee.
HEALTH CARE REFORMS:
(Insurance Reform) SB 76 (M. Carroll - Primavera) prohibits bonuses for denial of claims or cancellation of insurance policies.
(Insurance Reform) HB 1008 (S. Schafer, McCann - M. Carroll, Schwartz) prohibits gender discrimination in the individual health insurance market, making rates gender-neutral.
(Medical Provider Transparency) SB 124 (M. Carroll - Ryden) Michael Skolnik Transparency Act of 2010 extends the same information to patients that we previously created for MDS to other critical health professions (credentials, education, honors, disciplinary, malpractice and criminal history.
(Phamaceutical Transparency) SB 126 (M. Carroll - Tyler) Pharmaceutical Transparency Act of 2010 captures federal information about pharmaceutical industry gifts to medical providers in Colorado on state web site.
CONSUMER PROTECTION REFORMS:
(Debt Collection) HB 1222 (Middleton - M. Carroll) protects the requirement that debt collection agencies keep and maintain a physical presence in the State of Colorado if collecting debt from Colorado consumers to ensure consumers have access to an actual place where debts can be paid or negotiated.
(Foreclosure Reforms) HB 1240 (Ferrandino - M. Carroll) makes some logistical improvements to last year's foreclosure reform bill to help direct people to the free Foreclosure Hotline and the ability to renegotiate loan terms.
WORKERS COMPENSATION REFORMS: The Interim Committee on Pinnacol Assurance met and recommended 7 bills to improve transparency, accountability and enforcement of our current workers compensation laws. I chaired that committee so include some bills that I did not carry.
SB 11 (M. Carroll - Miklosi) reduces conflicts of interest in WC in 4 key areas: independent medical examinations, conflicts in financial incentives in denying claims, ex parte communications with medical providers in absence of patient, prohibiting insurance carriers from making themselves beneficiaries of deceased workers benefits for purposes of taking back benefits owed.
SB 12 (Tochtrop - Pace) updates enforcement penalties for violation of the workers compensation act and puts teeth in the medical prompt pay statute.
SB 13 (Hodge - Ryden) reinstates the annual oversignt report on Pinnacol Assurance, creates an exit satisfaction survey of injured workers, and posts the complaint process online at the Division of Workers Compensation.
HB 1038 (Miklosi - M. Carroll) gives injured workers notice of their rights under Colorado law.
HB 1009 (Miklosi - Hodge) gives public notice prior to regularly scheduled Pinnacol Board meetings.
HB 1247 (Gagliardi - M. Carroll) extends the workers compensation appeals board that allows employers to challenge their risk classification in workers comp.
PUBLIC SAFETY REFORMS:
(Higher Ed Campus Safety) HB 1054 (S. King - M. Carroll) creates a requirement that every higher education campus have a critical incident safety protocol and that it be distributed to students, parents, faculty annually.