The 2017 legislative session adjourned on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The 2017 legislative session marked the third consecutive year where one party controlled one legislative chamber and the other party controlled the other legislative chamber. Additionally, for the third year, Republicans controlled the Senate by one, razor-thin vote. Meanwhile, Democrats controlled the House by five votes, an increase of three votes from the previous two years.
Notwithstanding this split legislature, House and Senate leadership convened the 2017 legislative session by committing to work in a bipartisan manner to resolve several significant issues confronting the State of Colorado, including construction defect litigation reform, transportation funding, funding for rural hospitals, and equitable funding for all public schools. Unfortunately, towards the end of the legislative session, the Legislature had yet to pass any bills addressing these issues and the commitment to work in a bipartisan manner seemed like an empty promise. All that changed, however, in the last few days of the legislative session. With just days remaining, the Legislature reached bipartisan compromises on funding for rural hospitals; equitable funding for all public schools, including charter schools; the state budget; and the school finance act. In addition, the Legislature reached a bipartisan compromise on a bill that represents an incremental step towards construction defect litigation reform.
The legislative session saw the introduction of several bills impacting the property and casualty (“P&C”) insurance industry. Most of these bills addressed issues relating to construction defect litigation and tort reform. A few bills, however, addressed issues relating to workers’ compensation insurance, auto insurance, and appraisers in property insurance claims. The following is a sample of the P&C insurance bills the Legislature introduced during the 2017 legislative session, along with their final dispositions.