Advocacy & Legal

Advocacy

 

Statehouse Report

The Statehouse Report is published every Monday during the Legislative Session.

 

 Bill List

Click here for a list of bills that are or will be appearing before the Colorado General Assembly. 

This list will be updated weekly during the Legislative Session.

Position Papers

CML produces position papers on bills throughout the legislative session. Click here to view.

 

Legislative Priorities

 

Legislative Kickoff Webinar

Check out the recording of our Legislative Kickoff Webinar for information on CML's legislative priorities and session information.

 

Legislative Matters


Twice before, the General Assembly has considered legislation that purported to allow local governments (municipalities and counties) in Colorado the ability to set a minimum wage different than the state minimum wage. Each time, the legislation failed in a split legislature. In 2019, a different outcome is likely.

Read Legislative Matters

Legal

 

Spotlight Case


By Laurel Witt, CML Staff Attorney


High Court Rejects Doctors’ Latest Bid to Thwart Investigation of Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court blocked an attempt to expand the Open Meetings Law (OML) to include meetings of two or more persons in the staff of a public agency. A group of doctors, who had been referred to the State Medical Board due to suspicious patterns of behavior in recommending medical marijuana, sued alleging the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law (OML) by having staff create and enforce a policy for medical marijuana referrals. The doctors argued the definition of state public body within OML—which mirrors the definition of local public body—includes staff members when making internal agency policies. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed with the doctors, articulating the “absurd result” of having all state agency staff—and potentially local government staff—follow the involved OML requirements for routine conversations. Surely, the legislature did not intend such a result.

 

The Supreme Court also  rejected the Doctor’s argument that CDPHE violated the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The doctors claimed CDPHE’s referral policy amounted to final agency action under the APA, thus requiring CDPHE to follow the procedures outlined in the APA. The Court found that the action of creating the policy equates to an interpretive rule, where the agency may provide explanations of a word or phrase, and describe the type of factors the agency will consider in future administrative proceedings without binding the agency. Interpretive rules, unlike legislative rules which create standard with the force of law, are not subject to the APA’s requirements. Additionally, the Court found that referring the doctors to the Medical Board was not final agency action because the referrals merely began the Medical Board review and did not result in a “final” action. The Court has thus prevented the doctors’ latest bid to block state oversight for overprescribing medical marijuana, an issue since the inception of medical marijuana in 2000.

 

CML joined 17 state agencies amicus curiae in this case. Doe  v. Colorado Dep't of Pub. Health & Env't, 2019 CO 92, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019). In two companion cases decided on the same day, the Supreme Court further held that the Medical Board can issue a subpoena from the referral from CDPHE whether or not the subpoena is based on a valid referral so long as the subpoena has a lawfully authorized purpose. See Colorado Med. Bd. v. McLaughlin, 2019 CO 93, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019) and Boland v. Colorado Med. Bd., 2019 CO 94, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019).

Read the CML Amicus Brief Here

 

Amicus Update


By Laurel Witt, CML Staff Attorney


High Court Rejects Doctors’ Latest Bid to Thwart Investigation of Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court blocked an attempt to expand the Open Meetings Law (OML) to include meetings of two or more persons in the staff of a public agency. A group of doctors, who had been referred to the State Medical Board due to suspicious patterns of behavior in recommending medical marijuana, sued alleging the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law (OML) by having staff create and enforce a policy for medical marijuana referrals. The doctors argued the definition of state public body within OML—which mirrors the definition of local public body—includes staff members when making internal agency policies. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed with the doctors, articulating the “absurd result” of having all state agency staff—and potentially local government staff—follow the involved OML requirements for routine conversations. Surely, the legislature did not intend such a result.

 

The Supreme Court also  rejected the Doctor’s argument that CDPHE violated the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The doctors claimed CDPHE’s referral policy amounted to final agency action under the APA, thus requiring CDPHE to follow the procedures outlined in the APA. The Court found that the action of creating the policy equates to an interpretive rule, where the agency may provide explanations of a word or phrase, and describe the type of factors the agency will consider in future administrative proceedings without binding the agency. Interpretive rules, unlike legislative rules which create standard with the force of law, are not subject to the APA’s requirements. Additionally, the Court found that referring the doctors to the Medical Board was not final agency action because the referrals merely began the Medical Board review and did not result in a “final” action. The Court has thus prevented the doctors’ latest bid to block state oversight for overprescribing medical marijuana, an issue since the inception of medical marijuana in 2000.

 

CML joined 17 state agencies amicus curiae in this case. Doe  v. Colorado Dep't of Pub. Health & Env't, 2019 CO 92, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019). In two companion cases decided on the same day, the Supreme Court further held that the Medical Board can issue a subpoena from the referral from CDPHE whether or not the subpoena is based on a valid referral so long as the subpoena has a lawfully authorized purpose. See Colorado Med. Bd. v. McLaughlin, 2019 CO 93, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019) and Boland v. Colorado Med. Bd., 2019 CO 94, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019).

Read the CML Amicus Brief Here

 

New in the Courts


By Laurel Witt, CML Staff Attorney


High Court Rejects Doctors’ Latest Bid to Thwart Investigation of Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court blocked an attempt to expand the Open Meetings Law (OML) to include meetings of two or more persons in the staff of a public agency. A group of doctors, who had been referred to the State Medical Board due to suspicious patterns of behavior in recommending medical marijuana, sued alleging the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law (OML) by having staff create and enforce a policy for medical marijuana referrals. The doctors argued the definition of state public body within OML—which mirrors the definition of local public body—includes staff members when making internal agency policies. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed with the doctors, articulating the “absurd result” of having all state agency staff—and potentially local government staff—follow the involved OML requirements for routine conversations. Surely, the legislature did not intend such a result.

 

The Supreme Court also  rejected the Doctor’s argument that CDPHE violated the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The doctors claimed CDPHE’s referral policy amounted to final agency action under the APA, thus requiring CDPHE to follow the procedures outlined in the APA. The Court found that the action of creating the policy equates to an interpretive rule, where the agency may provide explanations of a word or phrase, and describe the type of factors the agency will consider in future administrative proceedings without binding the agency. Interpretive rules, unlike legislative rules which create standard with the force of law, are not subject to the APA’s requirements. Additionally, the Court found that referring the doctors to the Medical Board was not final agency action because the referrals merely began the Medical Board review and did not result in a “final” action. The Court has thus prevented the doctors’ latest bid to block state oversight for overprescribing medical marijuana, an issue since the inception of medical marijuana in 2000.

 

CML joined 17 state agencies amicus curiae in this case. Doe  v. Colorado Dep't of Pub. Health & Env't, 2019 CO 92, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019). In two companion cases decided on the same day, the Supreme Court further held that the Medical Board can issue a subpoena from the referral from CDPHE whether or not the subpoena is based on a valid referral so long as the subpoena has a lawfully authorized purpose. See Colorado Med. Bd. v. McLaughlin, 2019 CO 93, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019) and Boland v. Colorado Med. Bd., 2019 CO 94, ___ P.3d___ (Colo. 2019).

Read the CML Amicus Brief Here

 

2019 Laws Enacted is Available

2019 Colorado Laws Enacted Affecting Municipal Governments

Each year, CML analyzes the laws passed by the Colorado General Assembly that affect cities and towns, and compiles that information into the publication, Colorado Laws Enacted Affecting Municipalities. The 2019 edition is now available; previous years also are available for free online.

Learn More