2015 Colorado Legislative Summary

Strengthening Public Participation

SB15-060
Preventing Multiple Voter Registrations
Position: Support
Status: Signed into Law
Sponsors: Sen. Holbert & Rep. Everett

SB 60 will improve the quality of the voter registration rolls.  It allows for the more streamlined use of Department of Motor Vehicle data to update voter registration records, while still protecting voter records from erroneous changes.

HB15-1130      
Voting by Military and Overseas Voters in Municipal Elections
Position: Support
Status: Signed into Law
Sponsors: Reps. Nordberg & Ryden and Sens. Garcia & Hill         

HB 1130 requires that overseas and military voters be sent mail ballots before municipal elections, and gives them additional time to return those ballots.  It also changes various municipal election deadlines to facilitate participation by these voters.

HB15-1084      
Collection of Mail Ballots
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Rep. Tate

HB 1084 would have reduced the number of voter service and polling centers (VSPCs) required to allow voters to register to vote, update their voter information, obtain replacement ballots, or vote in person.

HB15-1169      
Photo ID for Same Day Voter Registration
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Rep. Ransom

HB 1169 would have required all voters registering to vote in person to show a state-issued photo ID.  Current law allows voters who do not have a state-issued photo ID to register to vote, then show another form of ID from a list of acceptable IDs.

HB15-1140      
Refer Ballot Question to Require Photo ID for Same Day Voter Registration
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Rep. Coram & Sens. Sonnenberg and Baumgardner      

HB 1140 would have required all voters registering to vote in person to show a state-issued photo ID.  Current law allows voters who do not have a state-issued photo ID to register to vote, then show another form of ID from a list of acceptable IDs.

HB15-1011      
Disclose Contents of Voter’s Ballot
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Rep. Rosenthal

HB 1011 would have removed the prohibition on showing one’s voted ballot (e.g. posting photos of the voted ballot on social media).  The prohibition is a long-standing protection against vote buying and intimidation.

SB15-277        
Promote Accuracy through Voter Registration Info
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Sens. Woods & Lundberg

SB 277 would have undermined current practices for clean voter rolls by requiring annual checks of the voter file against certain databases.  Voters who did not have state-issued photo ID and had not recently moved would have been flagged as problematic.

SB15-273        
Mail Ballot Opt Out
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Sens. Lundberg & Woods

SB 273 would have established a mail ballot opt-out list, creating confusion for voters and additional administrative concerns.  The law was unnecessary, as Colorado requires that voters have the option of voting in person if they prefer.

HB15-1237      
Postage for Mail Ballots
Position: Support
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Rep. Ryden

HB 1237 would have required the return envelopes for all mail ballots to be postage pre-paid, and for the Secretary of State to reimburse election officials for those postage costs.

Ensuring Government Serves the Public Interest


SB 15-061       
Disclosure Requirements for Issue Committees
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Sen. Holbert & Rep. Everett

SB 61 would weaken transparency requirements for ballot measure campaigns, allowing issue committees to raise up to $5,000 without filing disclosure reports (Colorado Constitution requires filing after $200) and never requiring that the first $5,000 to be disclosed. A similar administrative rule was found to be in violation of the Colorado Constitution by the Colorado Supreme Court. 

Promoting Government Accountability

HB15-1057      
Process for Placing Initiatives on the Ballot
Position: Oppose
Status: Signed into Law
Sponsors: Reps. Court & Delgrosso and Sens. Sonnenberg & Hodge

HB 1057 requires that petitions for ballot measures include a preliminary fiscal note, encouraging voters to decide if a measure is worthy of consideration based upon an initial impact of the cost rather than the merit of the policy.  Unlike the fiscal analysis included in the Blue Book, stakeholders will have no opportunity to provide feedback on the fiscal note. 

SCR15-002      
Ballot Procedure for Citizen-Initiated Constitutional Amendments
Position: Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Sens. Roberts & Steadman

SCR 002 would refer a question to voters to require that constitutional amendments proposed by the voters go through two votes before adoption. The second vote would take place in the historically lower-turnout off year elections. The requirement would not apply to measures referred by the General Assembly, nor to measures that repeal current constitutional provisions. 

SB15-088        
Independent Ethics Commission
Position: Support
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Sen. Steadman

SB 88 would have allowed the Independent Ethics Commission to retain their own independent legal counsel and update various statutory provisions related to ethics.

Economic Opportunity for All


SB15-271        
Reauthorization of the Office of Consumer Counsel
Position: Amend
Status: Signed into Law
Sponsors: Sen. Sonnenberg and Rep. J. Becker     

SB 271 reauthorizes the state’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel, for six years. The bill removes the OCC’s authority to advocate for consumers on telecommunications issues.

HB15-1381      
Reauthorization of the Office of Consumer Counsel
Position: Support
Status: Postponed Indefinitely
Sponsors: Reps. Esgar & Winter and Sen. Garcia

HB 1381 reauthorizes the Office of Consumer Counsel with its current authority for 11 years.

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