Statutory Revision Committee: Four Years In and Going Strong

by Jessica Wigent

In the four years since its (re)creation in 2016, the Statutory Revision Committee (SRC) (codified in part 9 of article 3 of title 2, C.R.S.) has, in accordance with its charge, introduced and passed more than 70 bills to modify or eliminate antiquated, redundant, or contradictory rules of law to harmonize the statutes with modern conditions.

During the lively hearings held during the 2018 interim and the 2019 legislative session, committee members heard memo presentations and testimony on issues including the federal preemption of Colorado statutes concerning human smuggling; duplicative statutes governing the disposal of cancer drugs; and obsolete statutes concerning powers of the board of health that arguably should’ve been updated decades ago.

Overall, hundreds of pages of statutory text have been repealed or brought into the 21st century through SRC-recommended legislation.

Membership
The SRC consists of eight legislators (two appointed by the majority and minority leadership in each house) and two nonlegislator, nonvoting attorneys appointed by the Committee on Legal Services. The appointees for 2019-20 are:

  • Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Chair
  • Senator Rob Woodward, Vice-chair
  • Representative Jeni Arndt
  • Representative Hugh McKean
  • Senator Dominick Moreno
  • Senator Jack Tate
  • Representative Donald Valdez
  • Representative Kevin Van Winkle
  • Patrice Collins
  • Brad Ramming

Attending to the Antiquated, Obsolete, and Anachronistic
The SRC is introducing 19 bills during the 2019 legislative session, including legislation:

  • Correcting a very small, yet significant error in the definition of “appraisal management company” ā€“ the word “train” should’ve been “retain” (SB 19-046);
  • Eliminating redundant and potentially confusing language in statute that was created when two bills amended the same section in 2018, concerning the requirements for issuing professional teacher and special services licenses to applicants from another state (HB 19-1059);
  • Clarifying that the scope of a certain sales tax exemption applies to manufactured homes (HB 19-1011);
  • Making consistent the laws and administrative rules that allow payment of taxes by electronic funds transfer; (SB 19-024); and
  • Removing statutes that have been outdated for decades regarding the state board of health and clarifying that the board: Does not accept, handle, or act as a custodian for money appropriated to the department of health and environment (SB 19-082); does not make rules regarding water quality, as that’s the job of the Water Quality Control Commission (HB 19-1071); and hasn’t for more than 50 years tested cancer drugs ā€“ that’s the FDA’s job (HB 19-1070).

How an SRC Idea Becomes a Bill
Executive department agencies, the judicial branch, interested Colorado residents, and nonpartisan staff from a number of agencies in and around the Capitol, as well as legislators themselves, have brought issues for the SRC to consider. Initially, staff considers these requests and whether they fall within the charge of the SRC and then prepares a memo detailing the requested change, often with a bill draft attached for the SRC to consider.

In addition, the statutory charge of the SRC includes examining “current judicial decisions.” To that end, the SRC has asked staff to review current statutes that are found by an appellate court to be unconstitutional. Staff annually prepares memos for the SRC to bring attention to these provisions.

An affirmative vote from at least five of the legislative SRC members is needed to introduce proposed legislation, and the SRC regularly considers more draft bills than it approves. In 2019, the SRC rejected multiple proposals it determined were outside its charge. All proposed drafts are publicly available on the SRC’s website and in the annual report submitted to the General Assembly. You may also email staff for more information.

The SRC plans to meet twice during the 2019 legislative interim, though they are still finalizing the dates and the issues to be considered. Join the SRC mailing list and be notified when the details are available.

Know of any antiquated, redundant, or contradictory laws? Please contact the SRC staff via email: statutoryrevision.ga@state.co.us All meetings are public, and everyone is encouraged to attend or to propose issues to the SRC staff.