DENVER - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Wednesday signed 52 bills into law.
The deadline for signing the bills is Friday, but Hickenlooper decided to put his pen to these bills in a final marathon signing. The signatures mean the governor has now signed into law every measure sent to him by the Democratic Legislature.
None of the bills from this session were vetoed, which the governor said was a sign of good work but not necessarily good politics.
"My interpretation of how the General Assembly should work with the Governor's Office is they should be communicating as much as possible. To make sure in those places, wherever possible, we can get a bill that has the maximum impact and the least unintended consequences," Hickenlooper said, but acknowledged, "Certainly politically, it is better to have a few vetoes."
The batch of bills signed Wednesday cover an eclectic range of topics, from business regulations to compensation for individuals who were wrongly incarcerated.
Perhaps the most controversial bill signed Wednesday was Senate Bill 13-251, which will allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver's license, register their car and purchase automobile insurance. In the General Assembly, proponents argued it was about roadway safety but opponents said it would draw more immigrant to Colorado illegally.
Signing the bills, instead of just allowing them to become law with the passing of a deadline, gave Hickenlooper an opportunity to comment on the legislation. He said he struggled with Senate Bill 13-252, which raises the renewable energy requirement for rural electricity providers. He also added an executive order allowing them to weigh in on that law's feasibility so that compromise can be found "in the next legislative session."
The governor said he signed the firefighter collective bargaining bill, Senate Bill 13-025, because it avoids a mandate on collective bargaining but still enhances firefighters' labor rights.
House Bill 13-1020, which was inspired by the CALL7 Investigators' reporting on untested rape kits, was also among the measures signed into law. It requires forensic evidence be collected if an alleged victim asks and creates a framework for rules requiring the evidence to be tested within certain timeframes.
A full list of the bills signed Wednesday:
SB13-001 - Colorado Working Families Economic Opportunity Act
SB13-025 - Collective Bargaining Firefighters
SB13-050 - Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Fund
SB13-073 - General Permits Stormwater Rule-making
SB13-082 - Wildfire Matters Review Committee
SB13-120 - Navy SEAL Motor Vehicle License Plate
SB13-146 - Board Of Assessment Appeals
SB13-147 - Workers' Compensation Liability Statutory Employer
SB13-148 - Sunset Colorado Youth Advisory Council
SB13-150 - Sunset Water & Wastewater Operations Board
SB13-155 - Sunset Board Of Real Estate Appraisers
SB13-156 - Sunset Board of Mortgage Loan Originators
SB13-167 - Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
SB13-169 - Reintroduce Black-footed Ferret Landowner Consent
SB13-171 - Sunset Continue Licensing Of Money Transmitters
SB13-172 - Sunset Continue Acupuncture Regulation
SB13-173 - Sunset Review Division Of Gaming
SB13-180 - Sunset Review Occupational Therapy Practice Act
SB13-189 - Motor Carrier Fines Suspension Outreach
SB13-197 - No Firearms For Domestic Violence Offenders
SB13-207 - Auricular Acudetox Mental Health Professionals
SB13-214 - BEST Program Oversight & Funding
SB13-215 - Alternative Health Care Consumer Protections
SB13-235 - Transfer To The Colorado State Veterans Trust Fund
SB13-238 - Regulation Hearing Aid Providers Sellers
SB13-245 - Create The Colorado Firefighting Air Corps
SB13-251 - Driver’s License & Identification Documentation
SB13-252 - Renewable Energy Standard Retail Wholesale Methane
SB13-254 - Fleet Vehicle Energy Cost-savings Contracts
SB13-261 - Oral Health Community Programs
SB13-265 - Motor Vehicle Dealer Franchise Agreements
SB13-273 - Renewable Energy Forest Biomass Incentives
SB13-279 - K-12 School Energy Resource Efficiency
SB13-280 - Title Off-highway Vehicles
HB13-1007 - Early Childhood & School Readiness Leg Commission
HB13-1020 - Testing Evidence Of Sexual Assault
HB13-1031 - All-hazards Resource Mobilization & Reimbursement
HB13-1071 - Register Collector's Motor Vehicles
HB13-1111 - Regulate Naturopathic Doctors
HB13-1130 - Reapprove Interruptible Water Supply Agreements
HB13-1154 - Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act
HB13-1160 - Consolidate Theft Statutes With New Penalties
HB13-1206 - Expand Authority For Business Incentive Agreements
HB13-1230 - Compensation For Persons Wrongly Incarcerated
HB13-1235 - Valuations Of Property Prior To State Purchase
HB13-1274 - State Board Of Land Commissioners Real Property Investment
HB13-1280 - Target Reserve Require Waiver For Building Regulation Fund
HB13-1283 - Species Conservation Trust Fund
HB13-1284 - Make Article 9 UCC Security Interests Uniform
HB13-1289 - Electronic Motor Vehicle Info Transfer
HB13-1299 - Changes To The SMART Government Act Of 2010
HB13-1320 - Support For Meritorious Colorado Students