Colorado Legislative Council Staff



No State General Fund Impact

Local Expenditure Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-447

Sen. Congrove

Rep. Arrington


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

February 2, 1998

Senate Judiciary

Susan Colling (866-4784)



Summary of Legislation


FY 1998/99

FY 1999/2000

State Revenues

General Fund

Other Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund

Other Fund



FTE Position Change



Local Government Impact — See Local Government Impact Section below.

            This bill would apply to laws concerning the gathering of information in the following ways:

Section 1

and 2:              Includes within the definition of “electronic communications” communications for tracking devices, for the purposes of legal and illegal wiretapping and eavesdropping.


Section 3:        Clarifies that governmental employees are not authorized to clone or use a cloned cellular phone or to intercept signals without a warrant.


Section 4:        Establishes additional limitations on the issuance of warrants, including:

                                  requiring a government attorney to review and sign applications for warrants;

                                  prohibiting the use of facts known or verified more than 30 days prior to the application unless the warrant related to a crime that is to occur at a specific time in the future;

                                  requires an application, whereby the warrant is to be executed by entry without prior identification, to state that and to show convincing evidence that no other method is suitable.


                                  Invalidates any search warrant that does not comply with the stated requirements and prohibits the use of information obtained through the search warrant issued in violation of the stated requirements.

            The bill would take effect September 1, 1998; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within the ninety-day period after adjournment sine die of the General Assembly, or on the date of the official declaration of the vote of the people as proclaimed by the Governor, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to Article V, Section 1 (3) of the State Constitution, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect February 1, 1999.

            The bill is assessed as having a fiscal impact on local government expenditures. This fiscal note also indicates that there would be no fiscal impact on state revenue or expenditures.

Local Government Impact

            The bill would have a fiscal impact on local government expenditures. Section 4 requires a government attorney to review and sign all warrant applications. Based on discussions with the Boulder County Sheriff, it is assumed that this requirement would create the need to staff or contract with an attorney to fulfill that provision of the bill. It is estimated that an attorney, in a relatively small county such as Boulder County, would need an attorney dedicated to the review of warrants for approximately 15 hours per month. In the larger counties, it is anticipated that this provision would require more than 15 hours per month. Additionally, by having an attorney review all warrants, there may be more delay in the process, which could impact local law enforcement officer time. Although the impact cannot be estimated at this time, the magnitude of the requests would increase the workload at the local level.

Spending Authority

            This fiscal note indicates that no spending authority is required in FY 1998-99.

Departments Contacted

            Department of Law

            Department of Public Safety