by Patti Dahlberg and Thomas Morris
The Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws (CCUSL) meets each year during the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) annual conference in July to discuss a preliminary agenda of approved uniform acts for consideration in Colorado. In addition, the CCUSL typically hosts one or more public meetings at the State Capitol to discuss the proposed legislation and to finalize its legislative agenda. The CCUSL sends advance notice of any meetings held in the Capitol to interested parties, posts meeting information on the General Assembly and the CCUSL websites, opens the meetings to public testimony, and broadcasts the meetings over the internet.
The CCUSL held meetings to discuss its legislative agenda on September 22, 2017, and November 3, 2017, and approved two ULC acts for introduction as commission bills for the 2018 regular session. These acts were not newly approved acts from this past ULC annual meeting in July, but were ULC-approved acts previously discussed and approved. They are:
- Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. Approved by the ULC in 2016, this update to the 1954, 1981, and 1995 versions of the act addresses recent technological developments and updates provisions on numerous issues, including gift cards and other stored-value cards, life insurance benefits, securities, dormancy periods, and use of contract auditors. Colorado first adopted the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act in 1987, and this new version of the act repeals and reenacts our current law governing how unclaimed property is determined, accounted for, and distributed.
- The Uniform Trust Code (UTC) was first approved by the ULC in 2000, last amended by the ULC in 2010, and has been adopted in more than half the states. The UTC is more than 150 pages long and replaces much of current Colorado trust law, so it is no surprise that it has taken a couple of years for review and consideration. The Colorado Bar Association (CBA) undertook the huge task of adapting the UTC to Colorado law, included numerous interested parties in discussions, and still maintained the act’s uniformity. The CBA will continue to work on the draft of the CCUSL bill and will work with the bill’s sponsor for introduction and passage of the act. Because the uniform act adopted in Colorado will include numerous amendments to fit within current law, the Colorado version will be called the Colorado Uniform Trust Code.
(For links to a preliminary draft of the Colorado Uniform Trust Code and some of the other ULC acts discussed in CCUSL meetings this year go to the CCUSL Meeting Documents Archive page and open the agenda for November 3, 2017.)
The ULC also approved six new acts for states to consider for legislation at the annual July meeting, but none of these acts will be drafted for introduction in Colorado this year. The CCUSL may consider introducing the following 2017 ULC acts in 2019:
- The Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act: creates a statutory framework for regulating virtual currency business activity and covers a variety of businesses engaged in the exchange of virtual currencies.
- The Uniform Directed Trust Act: addresses the division of a trustee’s traditional responsibilities regarding estate planning and asset management among several specialists.
- The Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act: an updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1969. The commission is asking the CBA to form a special study group to look at how the act will work within current Colorado law and work with stakeholders most affected by the act’s changes.
The CCUSL, as a standing legislative committee, may recommend bills for introduction that are exempt from the five-bill limit imposed on legislators. Serving as CCUSL commissioners for 2017-18 are Senator Robert Gardner, former Senators Brandon Shaffer and Pat Steadman, Representative Cole Wist, and former Representatives Claire Levy and Anne McGihon. The CCUSL is Colorado’s delegation to the national ULC, which is comprised of more than 300 commissioners appointed by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The ULC has worked for the uniformity of state laws since 1892.
Other articles regarding the ULC and CCUSL:
- The Uniform Law Commission Works to Promote Uniformity of Law Among the States – August 6, 2015
- The Uniform Law Process Takes its Time – September 17, 2015
- The “C” in Uniform Law Commission – November 5, 2015