by Jessica Wigent
Since its (re)creation in 2016, the Statutory Revision Committee (codified in part 9 of article 3 of title 2, C.R.S.) has introduced more than 100 bills that have repealed, refreshed, and cleared conflicts, glitches, and outdated provisions from hundreds of pages of statutory text, bringing the Colorado Revised Statutes into the 21st century and now into this new decade.
During hearings held during the 2019 interim and early in the 2020 legislative session, committee members have heard memo presentations and testimony on issues including the thorny technical matter of correctly stating effective dates and references to referred initiatives in bills concerning firefighting chemicals and transportation revenue notes; tax exemptions and deductions that haven’t been updated or available to taxpayers since Beatles, Turtles, and Monkees ruled the radio waves; and the need to rehome the definition of “alternative fuel.”
The SRC consists of eight legislators (two appointed by the majority and minority leadership in each house) and two nonlegislators who are nonvoting attorneys appointed by the Committee on Legal Services. Per the statute that created the SRC, the chair and vice-chair elected in the 2019 legislative session have switched positions. The membership now includes:
Senator Rob Woodward, Chair
Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Vice-chair
Representative Jeni Arndt
Representative Hugh McKean
Senator Dominick Moreno
Senator Jack Tate
Representative Donald Valdez
Representative Kevin Van Winkle
Attending to the Antiquated, Obsolete, and Anachronistic
The SRC is introducing 20 bills during the 2020 legislative session, including:
- Four bills referred to the committee by the Tax Expenditure Interim Study Committee, which remove various outdated and inapplicable tax exemptions and deductions – HB 20-1181, HB 20-1182, HB 20-1202, and HB 20-1205;
- Five bills referred to the committee by the Department of Revenue, which clean up references to repealed tax exemptions, update cross-references, and align statutes to the legislature’s intent – HB 20-1166, HB 20-1174, HB 20-1175, HB 20-1176, and HB 20-1177; and
- Bills to make clear the meaning of the phrase “prior fiscal year” in regard to uncommitted reserves (SB 20-134); to add references to licensed EMS providers that were missed when two different bills amended the EMS statutes in 2019 (HB 20-1036); to add a missing cross-reference in the electrician’s practice act regarding inspection fees (SB 20-046); and, among other bills, to correct an incorrect reimbursement rate in a bill from last year concerning out-of-network health care providers, which was the result of a flurry of amendments at the end of session when two of the three provisions in a bill were updated with the correct rate, but the third was mistakenly overlooked.
How an SRC Idea Becomes a Bill
Executive branch agencies, the judicial branch, interested Colorado residents, legislators, 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 2020, the SRC rejected multiple proposals it determined were outside its charge. All proposed bill drafts, including those not approved for introduction, are publicly available on the SRC’s website and in the committee’s annual report submitted to the General Assembly. You may also email staff for more information.
The SRC plans to meet at least once during the 2020 interim, though they are still finalizing the date and the issues to be considered. Join the SRC mailing list to be notified when these details are available.
Know of any antiquated, redundant, or contradictory laws? Please contact the SRC staff via email: firstname.lastname@example.org All meetings are public, and everyone is encouraged to attend or to propose issues to the SRC staff.