Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – Feb. 2020

By Doris Beaver ~

Welcome to 2020 and Colorado’s Citizen Legislature!

House Bill 1060:
HB 1060 is probably one of the most gruesome bills to ever hit the halls down under the Gold Dome. Titled “Concerning the Conversion of Human Remains to Basic Elements Within a Container Using an Accelerated Process,” the bill “authorizes human remains to be converted to soil using a container that accelerates the process of biological decomposition, also known as ‘natural reduction’.”

The legislative declaration states, “the business of selling pre-need contract whereby the seller agrees to provide FINAL DISPOSITION OR funeral merchandise or services in the future or for future use is affected with a public interest, and the preservation of the safety and welfare of the public from unconscionable dealing requires regulation of the sale of the contracts and of the disposition of funds obtained as a result of the sales.”

HB 1060 adds to the Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 2-4-401 sub-paragraphs (3.6) and (6.9) which are definitions that apply to every statute, unless the context otherwise requires. (3.6): “Final disposition means the disposition of human remains by entombment, burial, cremation, natural reduction, or removal from the state.” (6.9): “’Natural reduction’ or ‘naturally reduce’ mean the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.”

The legislative council has already prepared its fiscal impact analysis on HB 1060 which is quite unusual this early in the session, but a committee hearing is yet to be scheduled. The fiscal impact analysis notes that natural reduction is excluded from the definitions of both cremation and mortuary science practitioner. Further, refusing to release naturally reduced remains, performing natural reduction without permission and prohibiting, hindering or restricting the offering or advertising of natural reduction are unlawful under the bill. A person committing these acts is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, according to the analysis.

Sponsors of House Bill 20-1060: Representative Brianna Titone (D-Jefferson) 866-2962 and Representative Mac Soper, (D-Delta, Mesa) 866-2583; Senator Robert Rodriguez,(D-Denver) 866-4852.

Senate Bill 20-033:
SB 033 is one of several bills this session meant to help Medicaid recipients with expenses who become ineligible for the program due to age or other reasons. SB 033 concerns access to the Medicaid buy-in program for certain working adults with disabilities who have become ineligible for the program due to age. The legislative declaration states that until such time as working adults with disabilities who meet certain criteria are eligible to continue receiving Medicaid benefits under federal law with federal matching dollars, it is necessary to the lives and independence of working adults with disabilities to allow these adults to continue participating in the state Medicaid buy-in program without federal financial participation through the payment of premiums and use of state-only dollars.

Eligibility requirements for a working adult with disabilities in the Medicaid buy-in program established in Part 14 of SB 033:

  • is sixty-five years of age or older;
  • is enrolled in or has applied for Medicare;
  • is eligible for and receiving long-term care home- and community -based services pursuant to this article 6 or durable medical equipment as part of complex rehabilitative services or has extraordinary medical expenses, as determined by rule of the state board, that are not covered by Medicare; andmeets criteria established in SB 033’s subsection (3) at all times while participating in the Medicaid buy-in program pursuant to this section.

There are several other requirements for a Medicaid recipient to meet and most likely, some or all of above requirements will be revised during committee debate on the bill. The state board may promulgate rules for the implementation of this section, including rules adjusting premium and cost-sharing charges, as necessary. No committee hearing is yet scheduled on SB 033.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 20-033: Senator Jack Tate. (R-Arapahoe), 866-4883; and Representative Susan Lontine, (D-Denver, Jefferson), 866-2966.

Doris Beaver is a freelance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues. Visit her website, or e-mail her at Doris is a ten-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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