Colorado Chamber Takes Positions on Bills Environmental, Tech, Legal Reform and Liability Bills

This week the Energy & Environment Council had their first meeting of the 2024 Legislative Session. The group was joined by Representative Cathy Kipp, the Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee.

Rep. Kipp discussed her priorities and expectations in the energy and environment space this session with the group, including draft legislation promoting electrification and a new bill regulating PFAS chemicals.

The Technology Alliance and Legal Reform Alliance also both met today to review upcoming legislation, take positions, and discuss other business. Rep. Lindsey Daugherty and Senate Minority Leader Paul Lundeen joined the Technology Alliance to discuss their 2024 biometrics legislation, HB 1058, and answer questions from the group.

The Colorado Chamber took positions on the following bills:

Energy & Environment Council Positions:

SB 81: Oppose  

The bill makes several changes to the law regarding the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS chemicals). Specifically, it bans the use of all PFAS chemicals with very few exceptions starting January 2032. The Chamber took an opposed position to the bill due to the wide-ranging impact on multiple Colorado industries. Also, previous legislation regarding PFAS chemicals has not gone into effect yet and members of the council believe HB22-1345 should be implemented before further complicating regulations surrounding the chemicals.

HB 1030: Oppose

This bill established safety requirements on railroads operating trains in the state. The Colorado Chamber took an opposed position to the bill due to the overreaching nature of the bill and the possible supply chain issues that could result.

Legal Reform Alliance Positions:

HB 1085: Support

The bill establishes a statute of repose for claims against a real estate appraiser, requiring that such claims must be brought within 3 years after the date of the appraisal report. However, if the cause of action arises during the third year after the report, the claim must be brought within 2 years after the cause of action arises.

HB 1014: Oppose

The bill removes the significant public impact element for establishing a claim under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, simplifying the process for private individuals to pursue legal action against deceptive trade practices. This change potentially allows for easier access to legal remedies in cases involving true deceptive trade practices, even if they include criminal elements. The Legal Reform Alliance took an opposed position as they believe the bill is too broad and would encourage costly litigation.

HB 1008: Oppose

The bill would address wage claims from individuals working in the construction industry. The bill requires that a subcontractor that receives a written demand for payment forward a copy of the written demand for payment to the general contractor within 3 business days after receipt, specifies that a general contractor and a subcontractor that is a direct employer of an employee are jointly and severally liable for all debts owed, and allows a general contractor to require the certain information from each subcontractor.

The Legal Reform Alliance and the Labor & Employment Council both took an opposed position due to the far-reaching nature of the bill and concerns of an increase in costly litigation.

HB 1083: Oppose as Introduced

The bill mandates the Department of Insurance (DOI) to investigate construction liability insurance for construction professionals in Colorado. It also requires sellers of residential properties to provide buyers with detailed information about insurance policies covering contractors’ work on the residence, including policy limits, duration, type of policy, and any exclusions, before the real estate closing. The Legal Reform Alliance opposed this bill as introduced due to its overreaching nature and concerns regarding the policy limits mentioned in the bill.

SB 62: Support

The bill prohibits a plaintiff’s attorney from collecting contingency fees based on the amount of the judgment related to the accrual of the interest at 9% on damages. Currently, these contingency fees contribute to tactics used by trial attorneys to draw out litigation in order to collect higher fees. The Legal Reform Alliance believes that requiring interest to solely go to the client will ensure they are compensated fairly and will encourage cases to be resolved more efficiently.

Technology Alliance Positions:

SB 41Amend

The bill amends the “Colorado Privacy Act” to add enhanced protections when a minor’s data is processed and there is a heightened risk of harm to the minor. The bill applies to any entity that controls consumer personal data (controller) and that conducts business in Colorado or delivers products or services that are targeted at Colorado residents, regardless of the volume of or amount of revenue derived from that activity. The Technology Alliance took an amend position on the bill with the intent on clarifying and revising some of the language in the bill, specifically related to some of the definitions and exemptions.