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5D5ED29130708B448725896500768796 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For SB23-103

SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Mar 1, 2023      
Location Old Supreme Court



SB23-103 - Postponed Indefinitely


02:36:59 PM  

Senator Baisley, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 23-103, concerning the liability of owners of private land for damanges that are incurred by persons who access the private land for recreational purposes.  He explained  the purpose of removing the word "willful" from the recreational use statute.  He referenced a recent lawsuit where the court found liability because the private landowner failed to put up a sign or repair a trail. 

 

Senator Priola, who intended to become a co-prime sponsor, also discussed the necessity of the bill. 

 

 

 

02:53:53 PM  

Ms. Kari Jones Dulin, representing Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, testified in opposition to the bill.  She provided a background of the existing recreational use statute and explained why the bill is unnecessary.

Mr. David Hersh, representing themself, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed the 2019 lawsuit in which a federal appeals court awarded damages to a mountain biker who sued the federal government after crashing on an Air Force Academy Trail that was not marked as dangerous. 

Michael Kane, representing Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed insurance coverage.

Committee members asked questions about landowner protection and liability.   Committee discussion ensued about public perception and landowners closing public access to their land. 

 

03:19:15 PM  

Discussion continued about liability and what landowners can do to protect themselves.  Further discussion ensued about avoiding  risk for property owners. 

 

 

03:31:36 PM  

Committee members asked questions about similar laws in other states.

03:37:43 PM  

Mr. Jordan Lipp, representing Colorado Civil Justice League, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed landowner liability and insurance. 

Kathleen Curry, representing Grand Valley Water Users Association, testified to amend the bill.

Committee members asked questions about recovery of damages in recreational use cases.  Further questions were asked about inherent risk and outdoor activities. 

 

03:52:29 PM  

Committee members asked additional questions about landowner insurance and related legal advice. 

04:01:12 PM  

Mr. James Moss, representing themself, testified in a neutral position on the bill.  He discussed the Colorado Ski Safety Act.. 

Committee members asked questions about signage and landowner responsibility.

04:11:29 PM  

Mr. Patrick Schilken, representing themself, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed his position as a landowner and mitigating risks.

John Reibar, representing themself, testified in support of the bill. He raised concerns about safety and property owner liability. 

Brian Sargeant, representing Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed fourteeners on private land in Colorado.

Mrs. Kendall Chastain, representing Colorado Mountain Club, testified in support of the bill. He stressed the bill would remove undue burdens placed on landowners.

04:27:36 PM  

Mr. Austin Vincent, representing Colorado Farm Bureau; Colorado Bar Association, Agricultural Law Section, testified in support of the bill. He discussed protections for farmers and ranchers.

Mr. Brady Robinson, representing Access Fund, testified in support of the bill.

Kate Beezley, representing Boulder Climbing Community, testified in support of the bill.

Gary Goettelman, representing the town of Alma, testified in support of the bill. 

04:42:08 PM  

Ms Amy Mitchell, representing Park County, testified in support of the bill.

Mr Erik Stone, representing Teller County, testified in support of the bill.

Steve Bonowski, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.

Mr. Alexander Derr, representing Colorado Mountain Club, testified in support of the bill. He discussed similar policies in other states. 

Committee members asked questions about known risk and lawsuits outside of the referenced case in which damages were awarded. 

 

05:07:07 PM  

Mr. Larry Clever, representing Ute WaTER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT, testified in support of the bill.

Dianna Orf, representing Colorado water congress, testified in support of the bill.

Written comments on the bill may be found in Attachment E.

The committee recessed. 

05:22:39 PM  

The committee was called back to order. 

05:23:42 PM  

The bill sponsor made closing remarks. 

Committee members made closing remarks. 

 



05:36:30 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 23-103 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Van Winkle
Seconded
Gardner Yes
Roberts No
Van Winkle Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL


05:36:54 PM
Motion Postpone Senate Bill 23-103 indefinitely using a reversal of the previous roll call. There was no objection to the use of the reverse roll call, therefore, the bill was postponed indefinitely.
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Gardner No
Roberts Yes
Van Winkle No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS






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