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2014 CO Legislative Session Update

As you may know, the 2014 Colorado legislative session began on January 8th. And, as always, Citizens Project is keeping an eye on bills as they are developed and proposed. Here’s a brief rundown on what we’re watching:

Bills related to voting and elections:

HB1043, “Create Voter Outreach through Enfranchisement Act” – Voter outreach through enfranchisement – eliminates key provisions of 1303, including: rescinding residency requirements for voting (which were made more lax in 1303),  removing calculations requiring additional polling places by population, removing obligation for service centers to offer extended hours, among others. Citizens Project opposes this bill. Update: This bill has been killed.

HB1062, “Optional Approval Voting in Nonpartisan Elections” – Gives local governments the option to use “approval voting” in nonpartisan elections if they choose to do so. Approval voting is a voting procedure in which voters can vote for as many candidates as they wish. Each candidate approved of receives one vote and the candidate with the most votes wins. Citizens Project supports this bill. Update: This bill has been killed.

HB1128, “Reduce Voter Identity Theft” – Eliminates the key provision of 1303 allowing for alternate forms of ID. Citizens Project opposes this bill. Update: This bill has been killed.

HB1164, “Nonpartisan Elections Not Coordinated County Clerks” – Nonpartisan non-county elections – would require clerks of special districts (like the home-rule municipality of Colorado Springs) to comply with some aspects of the state law on election administration (County Clerks are already required to comply), including: harmonizing voter registration residency requirements with state law, establishing permanent vote-by-mail-status, and other important aspects of the state law. Citizens Project Supports this bill. Update: This bill has passed.

Related to Workers’ Rights:

SB005, “Wage Protection Act” – Would: expand employee complaint grounds to include violation of minimum wage; require employer to retain records of employment for three years; require employer to verify address and send unpaid wages to a terminated employee within 60 days; and impose penalties on employers who willfully ignore terminated employee demands to pay unpaid wages. Citizens Project supports this bill.

SB074, “Repeal Damages, State Employees, Discrimination Claims” – Eliminates key provisions of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, including removing the ability of a victim to sue for punitive damages, and removing the ability of a victim to obtain compensatory damages if the perpetrating organization employs fewer than 15 people. Citizens Project opposes this bill. Update: This bill has been killed.

Related to Equal Rights:

SB019, “Status of Taxpayers Who May File Joint Returns” – Closes a loophole in Civil Unions by requiring any 2 taxpayers who may legally file a joint federal income tax return to file separate state income tax returns if they file separate federal income tax returns and to file a joint state income tax return if they file a joint federal income tax return. Citizens Project supports this bill. Update: This bill has passed.

 

Check back with us for future updates on this legislative session!


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