House Bill 1357, "the mother of all false claims bills" which would have subjected all state vendors to fines and penalties for erroneous billings — even when no "specific intent to defraud" could be demonstrated — died in the Colorado Senate on Tuesday, May 11. The bill was sponsored by Reps. Buffie McFadyen (D-Pueblo) and Joel Judd (D-Denver) and by Sens. Chris Romer (D-Denver) and Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood).
On a standing vote, a bipartisan block of Senators rose in opposition to HB 1357, sending it to defeat on a count of 13-20 with one senator absent/excused and Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) presiding over Senate proceedings for the vote.
Voting against jackpot justice and for a sensible system of false claims regulation were:
- Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray)
- Sen. Bill Cadman (R-Colorado springs)
- Sen. Joyce Foster (D-Denver)
- Sen. Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne)
- Sen. Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch)
- Sen. Mary Hodge (D-Brighton)
- Sen. Ken Kester (R-Las Animas)
- Sen. Keith King (R-Colorado Springs)
- Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud)
- Sen. Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield)
- Sen. Linda Newell (D-Littleton)
- Sen. Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction)
- Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley)
- Sen. Mark Scheffel (R-Parker)
- Sen. David Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs)
- Sen. Nancy Spence (R-Centennial)
- Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton)
- Sen. Al White (R-Hayden)
- Sen. Bruce Whitehead (D-Hesperus)
- Sen. Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora)
Meanwhile, another false claims bill limited to Medicaid fraud, Senate Bill 167 (Sen. Betty Boyd D-Lakewood, Rep. Jim Riesberg D-Greeley), passed its final hurdle when the Senate voted to accept House amendments. The bill now goes to Gov. Ritter for consideration.
Although CCJL initially opposed SB 167, sponsors accepted a number of amendments proposed by CCJL in Senate Health & Human Services Committee, after which CCJL adopted a "neutral" position on the bill.