Thirty-seven days in the books and we have one of the two bills we have been expecting that make changes to Senate Bill 20-217. SB 21-183 expands the peace officer personal liability components in SB 20-217 to state troopers and CBI agents. As I’m sure you remember, under SB 20-217, a peace officer may be liable for the lesser of 5% of any judgement or settlement or $25,000, if the officer’s employer determines that the officer did not act upon a good faith and reasonable belief that his or her action was lawful. This is something we anticipated happening ever since troopers were not included in SB 217 last year. Even though it is expected to be very rare that a trooper would be subject to this personal liability, since last year, the CSPA Board of Directors has been working to ensure CSPA members have access to some type of financial protection through insurance or similar means. The Board continues to work on this and expects to have something in place before SB 183 becomes effective, if it does pass.
On Thursday, the CSPA Board of Directors met and took positions on a few bills. The CSPA will be monitoring SB 183 Law Enforcement Support & Accountability, sponsored by Senator Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), and HB 1142 Eyewitness Identification Show-up Regulations, sponsored by Representative Jennifer Bacon (D-Denver) and Senator Julie Gonzales (D-Denver).
The CSPA will try to amend SB 174 Policies for Peace Officer Credibility Disclosures, sponsored by Senators John Cooke (R-Windsor) and Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) and Representatives Shannon Bird (D-Westminster) and Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs). SB 174 codifies the Brady disclosure process. As introduced, the bill requires a law enforcement agency to notify the District Attorney’s Office in its jurisdiction when the agency initiates an internal investigation regarding an allegation, or has determined there is a sustained finding, concerning a peace officer’s truthfulness. We are going to attempt to amend the bill to require the agency to make the disclosure only once there is a sustained finding. SB 174 is currently calendared to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 1st.
On Friday, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) heard presentations on the quarterly revenue forecasts from Legislative Council and the Governor’s Office of State Planning & Budgeting (OSPB). As I mentioned last week, it was good news. Both forecasts increased the amount of general fund they anticipate will be available next year. The JBC will now finalize each department’s spending and introduce next year’s budget (also known as the Long Bill) in the next few weeks. Only 83 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.