The 2018 legislative session adjourned on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. The 2018 legislative session marked the fourth consecutive year where one party controlled one legislative chamber and the other party controlled the other legislative chamber. Due to unusual circumstances, the margin by which Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House was, at times, in flux. For example, in the months leading up to the 2018 legislative session, Republicans held an 18-17 majority in the Senate. However, with less than two weeks before the commencement of the legislative session, Senator Cheri Jahn (Wheat Ridge) announced she was leaving the Democratic Party and would serve the remainder of her term as an Independent. As such, the 2018 legislative session commenced and ended with Republicans holding an 18-16-1 majority in the Senate.
In the House, the 2018 legislative session commenced with Democrats holding a 37-28 majority. This margin, however, changed due to the bizarre circumstances that occurred moments before the House expelled former Representative Steve Lebsock (Thornton) for violating sexual harassment and retaliation policies. Moments before his expulsion, former Representative Lebsock switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, which subsequently allowed Republicans to fill the vacancy created by his expulsion. As such, the 2018 legislative session ended with Democrats holding a 36-29 majority in the House.
Notwithstanding the split legislature, the House and Senate managed to reach compromises during the last few days of the legislative session on three significant issues confronting the State of Colorado, including reforming the public pension system (PERA), increasing funding for transportation, and reauthorizing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Finally, the 2018 legislative session proved to be a fairly quiet one for the property and casualty (“P&C”) insurance industry. Nevertheless, the legislative session saw the introduction of a handful of bills impacting the P&C insurance industry. These bills addressed issues relating to personal data security, auto insurance, property insurance appraisals, wildfire mitigation funding, and workers’ compensation insurance. The following is a summary of bills the Legislature introduced during the 2018 legislative session impacting the P&C insurance industry.