Title 12 Recodification Project Enters Its Third and Final (?) Year

LegiSource is still on hiatus, but we’re making an exception this week to bring you an update on the Title 12 Recodification Project. Regular postings will resume July 12. 

By Jessica Wigent

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending,” and we in the Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS), along with our many stakeholder partners, certainly embrace the sentiment as the massive undertaking that is the Title 12 Recodification Project enters its final phase.

Since 2016, the OLLS staff have worked with stakeholders to draft 26 bills, all passed by the General Assembly. The first phase, during the 2016 interim and 2017 legislative session, involved relocating, in a series of 14 bills, provisions relating to subjects as varied as cemeteries, dance halls, fireworks, and anatomical gifts to their more appropriate titles in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). In addition, the OLLS recommended, based on stakeholder feedback, a bill to modify the rule-making procedure under the “State Administrative Procedure Act” to allow state agencies to correct statutory citations in the Code of Colorado Regulations without going through the formal rule-making process.

Most recently, the General Assembly passed nine bills in the 2018 legislative session that created a new Title 44 and relocated, without substantive change, another 13 articles and parts under the regulatory authority of the Department of Revenue from Title 12 to this shining new tome. The bills also relocated a final few provisions from Title 12 to their more organic titles and incorporated feedback from stakeholders to extend the timeline, from August to October, for state departments and agencies to update citations in their rules, forms, and guidelines to reflect the new statutory citations for relocated statutes.

For a detailed comparison of where the provisions in Title 12 were relocated, click here. In addition to these relocation bills, the OLLS recommended and the General Assembly passed a bill to extend the Title 12 Project, originally slated to end in 2018, for one additional year. The complexity of the remainder of the project, which entails reorganizing and restructuring the remaining articles in Title 12 that are administered by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), necessitated this extension to ensure that Title 12 is fully reorganized into a more coherent whole.

You might be wondering, “You’ve relocated hundreds of pages of law from Title 12 to other statutes, what’s left of Title 12?” Only the sections governing DORA’s Real Estate Division and the Division of Professions and Occupations. And a large number of repealed articles, whose numbers (including the number 1, for instance), as of right now, cannot be reused.

This next and last phase of the Title 12 Project involves identifying redundant and duplicative (or nearly so) provisions and combining them into common provisions (i.e., single sections of general applicability that contain provisions setting forth definitions or administrative procedures). The consolidation of these provisions into a general or common provisions article or articles could, when appropriate, apply broadly to many of the professions and occupations in Title 12.

The OLLS staff have begun preliminary meetings and plans to conduct further stakeholder outreach during the following months. The goal is to reach consensus in time to formally request, before the 2019 regular session, approval from the Committee on Legal Services for the introduction of one or more bills.

How can you be involved? The OLLS staff strive to make the Title 12 Project as inclusive, transparent, and thoughtful as possible. To that end, we will once again conduct public meetings during the interim to solicit feedback from stakeholders and interested persons.

Meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, and audio of stakeholder meetings, when available, will be posted here.

To sign-up for the Title 12 mailing list, please click here.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Christy Chase or Tom Morris.