by Patti Dahlberg and Thomas Morris
The Uniform Laws Commission (ULC) consists of commissioners appointed by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The ULC meets each year to consider and promote laws that could become more uniform. Colorado’s delegation to the ULC, the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws, may recommend ULC acts for introduction during a legislative session through one or more bills that are exempt from the bill limits imposed on legislators.
The CCUSL meets each year at the annual summer ULC conference to adopt a preliminary agenda for consideration by the Colorado General Assembly at its next legislative session. In addition, the CCUSL typically hosts one or more open meetings at the State Capitol to discuss proposed legislation and to finalize its legislative agenda. CCUSL meetings are posted on the CCUSL website and are open to the public.
At its November 30 meeting, the CCUSL voted to move the following three bills forward as part of its 2016 legislative agenda:
- Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets – This act ensures that holders of an electronic account (such as an e-mail or Facebook account) retain control of their digital assets and can plan for property disposition after their death. A digital asset is an electronic record in which a person has a right or an interest. Unless the account holder instructs otherwise, legally appointed fiduciaries will have the same access to digital assets that they have always had to tangible assets and the same duty to comply with the account holder’s instructions.
- Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act – The Colorado General Assembly adopted the 2000 ULC Uniform Athlete Agents Act in 2008, and the act has been enacted in 42 other states. The revised act makes numerous changes, including expanding the definition of “athlete agent,” adding new requirements to the signing of an agency contract, and expanding notification requirements.
- Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act – This act provides for the enforcement of domestic violence protection orders issued by Canadian courts. Canada granted recognition to protection orders of the United States in the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act.
The CCUSL will decide at its next meeting whether to introduce the following bills:
- Uniform Voidable Transactions Act Amendments (2014) – This act strengthens creditor protection by providing remedies for certain transactions by a debtor that are unfair to the debtor’s creditors. The 2014 amendments to the UVTA address a small number of narrowly defined issues and are not a comprehensive revision of the act.
- Uniform Recognition of Substitute Decision-Making Documents Act – This act promotes portability of substitute decision-making documents created outside of the jurisdiction where the substitute decision is needed. Commonly used substitute decision-making documents include powers of attorney and proxy delegations for personal decision making.
- Revised Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act – The original Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act was last amended in 1974. This updated version includes new articles covering the disposition of tenant property, lease termination in case of domestic violence or sexual assault, and security deposits. It also allows for notice by e-mail and incorporates some common law decisions that interpreted provisions of the 1974 act.
- Uniform Trust Decanting Act – Decanting refers to the distribution of assets from one trust into a second trust. It can be useful in changing the outdated terms of an otherwise irrevocable trust, but it can also be abused. This act limits decanting when it would defeat a charitable or tax-related purpose and includes both a stricter set of rules that apply when discretion over distributions is to be limited and a more liberal set of rules that apply when that discretion has been expanded.
The CCUSL’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. at the State Capitol.
Information about uniform acts, drafting projects, committees, meetings, and legislation information is available on the ULC website.
For information on Colorado’s ULC connection, visit the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws (CCUSL) website.
Subscribe to the CCUSL mailing list to receive e-mail notifications about CCUSL meetings and upcoming meeting agendas.