Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

C22394D5D38BA994872589DD0053DB2A Hearing Summary


Date Jun 29, 2023      
Location SCR 357

Review of Social Media Guidelines in light of HB23-1306 - Committee Discussion Only

09:15:41 AM  
Ed DeCecco, Office
of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS), gave an update on the social media
guidelines and summarized the committee's previous discussion on the topic.

09:17:50 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
explained the reasoning behind why the guidelines may need to be changed
because of the passage of HB23-1306.

09:18:00 AM  
Ed DeCecco summarized
what the previous recommended social media guidelines were.
09:18:57 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
explained that HB23-1306 changed the law in a way that possibly creates
the need for new guidelines.
09:22:25 AM  
Ed DeCecco clarified
that the new state law may not necessarily be the direction the supreme
court goes.
09:23:50 AM  
Representative Weissman
commented on HB23-1306 and stated his belief that state law will not have
weight against federal law in the courts on the issue and expressed his
view that the committee be extremely careful with new guidelines to err
on the side of caution.
09:26:39 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
responded by saying he is not aware of any state law the court has used
in the determinations on the issue and agreed that a state law would not
be controlling over federal law.
09:27:41 AM  
Representative Soper
commented on how no one will know what the guidelines should actually be
until the court makes its decision.
09:28:47 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
explained the different outcomes that could happen and the timeline they
could happen in.
09:31:34 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
asked what the committee would like to do with the guidelines, summarized
the letter the committee previously sent out, and asked if the committee
would like to rescind the previous guidance in light of HB23-1306, replace
the guidance with similar guidance in light of HB23-1306, or provide completely
new guidance and recommend caution.
09:35:35 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
mentioned what the new law could mean for the section of the guidelines
on retaining counsel.
09:38:13 AM  
Representative Weissman
commented on how he believes the committee should address the guidelines
on retaining counsel and emphasized that the guidelines should make clear
that, regardless of state law, there is still legal risk.

09:41:20 AM  
Senator Gardner discussed
the legal risk of private social media and that until the supreme court
makes their decision, legislators need to be extra careful and recommended
that the committee suggest for legislators to receive guidance from an
attorney before blocking someone on social media.
09:44:50 AM  
Representative Soper
brought up the supreme court's decision in an online stalking case and
how that might affect the guidelines to make sure legislators have the
most tools possible for a defense against threats on social media.
09:47:12 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
explained that the social media guidelines purposely don't touch on the
first amendment because it's not a legislator's job to determine whether
something is protected speech in their limited duties in running their
social media accounts.
09:52:07 AM  
Senator Gonzales,
chair, asked the committee to decide how they want to move forward with
the guidelines.
09:52:57 AM  
Represenative Soper,
vice chair, suggested the committee send an updated notice or letter that
explains that the general assembly has adopted a change in law but that
the legislators should exercise an abundance of caution while the supreme
court decides related cases.
09:53:53 AM  
Representative Weissman
added that the committee should withdraw the memo as official guidance
since it has been somewhat superseded and asked the chair and vice chair
to take the lead on drafting the new letter and then allowing the committee
to review it after.
09:55:46 AM  
Senator Gardner added
that the committee should make express notices in the guidelines to state
that there is still legal risk if followed.
09:58:24 AM  
Senator Gonzales,
chair, added that the cover letter should note that the guidance is time-limited
in nature and will be subject to change in the future as the committee
will provide new guidance after the supreme court's decisions.
09:59:58 AM  
Represenative Weissman
agreed with Senators Gardner and Gonzales.
10:00:57 AM  
Ed DeCecco, OLLS,
addressed all of the final points that the committee brought up.

10:02:52 AM
Motion I move that the chair and vice chair work with the OLLS to draft a letter that will be circulated to the members of the general assembly and update the memorandum to include within the summary of guidelines that there is legal risk in following the guidelines.
Moved Soper
Dickson Excused
Gardner Yes
Mabrey Yes
Moreno Yes
Roberts Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman Yes
Wilson Yes
Soper Yes
Gonzales Yes
YES: 9   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS

Colorado legislature email addresses ending in are no longer active. Please replace with for Colorado legislature email addresses. Details

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