Colorado General Assembly 2024 End of Session Report

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned the 2024 session on Wednesday, May 8th. After considering over 700 individual bills and resolutions from January to May, legislators wrapped up a session focused on housing, taxes, the environment, and public services. TheMAC was extremely active again this year and scored several important wins. 

The most significant accomplishment was working in collaboration with the Colorado Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section to add a “right to mediation” before a lawsuit is filed by a homeowners association to foreclose on a homeowner. HB24-1337 (passed and awaiting the Governor’s signature) requires a 30-day advance notice by the HOA to the homeowner stating that there is a statutory right to mediation with a knowledgeable mediator before a foreclosure suit can be filed. This is the second legislative session in a row that the General Assembly has agreed to add mandatory mediation in State law. We believe there may be many opportunities in future sessions to add similar language in a variety of conflicts. Thank you to our colleagues at the CBA and all MAC members who contacted legislators asking for their support.

It is always worth noting that our first priority is to comprehensively monitor and prevent any legislation adversely affecting the mediation profession. This goal was also accomplished.  

Another major goal is to ensure that any legislation that might affect mediation is drafted to support and accommodate the profession. TheMAC proposed and was successful in amending SB24-064 (passed and awaiting the Governor’s signature) regarding the collection of data in eviction cases. The original bill failed to recognize stipulated settlements as an important data point. These stipulated settlements almost always are a result of successful mediation.  

TheMAC strongly supported HB24-1291 (passed and signed by the Governor) creating a new category of licensed legal paraprofessionals (LLPs) allowed to represent litigants in domestic relation cases. This legislation implements a Colorado Supreme Court rule that recognizes the importance of mediation in resolving family law cases by specifically allowing these new paraprofessionals to represent clients in mediation. TheMAC is also working with the Supreme Court to provide training and assistance to newly licensed LLPs. 

TheMAC also supported HB24-1286 (passed and awaiting the Governor’s signature), an initiative of the Colorado Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission. This legislation will create a fund to support otherwise unrepresented civil litigants. The ATJ Commission has been a strong advocate for mediation and TheMAC works in coalition with the Commission on many issues. 

If you have any questions about these or other legislative issues, feel free to reach out to Mike Maday, Chair of the Legislative Committee (Resresco@att.net), or Kip Kolkmeier (KipKolkmeier@gmail.com).