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967E3F143D3BFC6987258A4E00584DD6 Hearing Summary


Date Oct 20, 2023      
Location HCR 0112

Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act - To be drafted as a commission bill

10:04:33 AM  

Benjamin Orzeske, Uniform Law Commission, gave a brief national perspective. The act has been adopted in two states, adoption has been difficult because it's length, 165 pages without comments, 250 pages with comments, and it takes a long time to review. It also affects multiple constituencies – mainly adults with dementia, adults with developmental disabilities, and children who are orphaned or have had their parents' parental rights removed. There are a lot of stakeholders representing different types of persons to weigh in on and approve the act. It makes sense for Colorado to start this process because Colorado's guardianship laws are based on the prior version of this act, enacted in 2000. Over the last 20 years there have been a lot of advances in guardianship law – there's a greater emphasis on individual rights, individual due process protection, and individual planning to promote independence. There are at least seven states currently considering the act and expect to see some bills introduced in 2024.

10:09:03 AM  

Elizabeth Moran, The ARC of Colorado, currently working with the CBA to look at this legislation side by side with current Colorado law. Has worked on guardianship issues on the national level and appreciates with the value of uniform laws, in particular this act and what it could do to further provide consistency and honor the will and preference of individual's subject to guardianship, ensure meaningful engagement in due process, and to help combat abuse neglect and exploitation of individuals who do not have access to the judicial system. Although Colorado adopted the previous version of the uniform act, it is behind global and national standards and best practices around legislation policy and practice. For instance, Colorado has enacted legislation concerning supported decision-making agreements, that does not show up in our guardianship statutes. The national guardianship summit in May 2021 issued 22 recommendations regarding best practices, including that states should adopt this uniform act. Ms. Moran stated that she has engaged with ULC to create a side-by-side to review which should be available soon. She has been in contact with various Colorado organizations who have indicated their initial support for this act.

10:14:10 AM  

Letty Maxfield, CBA Elder Law Section, stated that the section is excited that this time around that the CBA has Ms. Moran's national expertise. There are a number of reasons for the CBA's prior hesitancy in supporting this act, but a number of things have changed in the last five years making this a better opportunity to see how we can integrate this act into Colorado law. It will not be a light lift and there are a lot of technical pieces to occur to make this act seamless and it will take a lot of resources. The role of the CBA is to work with other stakeholders and will be meeting every Friday to review and identify what needs to be done to not lose Colorado law that is already more progressive.   

10:17:13 AM  

Andrew Rodgers, CBA Elder Law Section, concurred with Ms. Maxfield's testimony that this will be a heavy lift and will take time to make sure that it is seamlessly integrated with the changes that have been made since the uniform guardianship act was enacted in 2000. Commissioner Snyder noted that guardianship is an important subject and appreciate the CBA and others for taking it on. Commissioner Tipper asked the work group to also work with stakeholders at the municipal and county levels, early on. Commissioner Gardner commented on how important this act is and that it will be important to explain what the act does.

10:21:34 AM  

Sophia Alvarez, Colorado Office of Public Guardianship, explained that the office recently became a permanent state agency serving as court-appointed guardians for indigent and incapacitated adults 21 years or older who have no family or friends who can serve as their guardian throughout the state. Ms. Alvarez has been reviewing the act to see how it impacts the office work in serving their vulnerable population. She concurs with the other witnesses that there are a lot of details in current processes to take into consideration and her office wants to be part of the conversation as the act continues to moves forward. She will also be engaging her board and the attorney general before providing any specific recommendations.

Commissioner Gardner moved the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act (2017) be drafted and introduced as a commission bill. Commissioner Snyder seconded, the motion passed without objection. Commissioners Gardner will start the bill in the Senate. The commission thanked the witnesses for their time and testimony.

10:27:08 AM
Motion The Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act (2017) be drafted and introduced as a commission bill.
Moved Gardner
Yelana Love
Donald Mielke
Charley Pike Excused
Kerry Tipper
Joseph Whitfield Excused
Claire Levy Excused
Anne McGihon
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 3   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details