Colorado Legislative Council Staff



Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0671

Rep. Zimmerman


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

February 5, 1999

House Local Government

Steve Tammeus (866-2756)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

General Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.5 FTE

0.5 FTE

Other State Impact: None

Effective Date: July 1, 1999

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000:

Department of Personnel - 0.5 FTE and $35,456 - General Fund

Department of Law - $2,313 - Cash Fund Exempt

Local Government Impact: Requires local government officials to participate in hearings and possible court actions of all alleged violations.

Summary of Legislation

            This bill creates the "Conscientious Local Government Employee Protection Act" and defines "local government employer" as any statutory or home rule county or municipality. The bill prohibits any local government employer from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee because the employee discloses or provides information concerning a violation of law, mismanagement, wrongdoing, or waste by the employer.

            The bill requires the State Personnel Board in the Department of Personnel/GSS to promulgate rules to establish the procedures for filing complaints. The bill allows any employee, or former employee, who alleges a violation to file a complaint with the board. The bill requires the board to set the complaint before an administrative law judge within 90 days of receipt of the complaint. If the board finds in favor of the employee, the board is to order appropriate relief, including but not limited to reinstatement; back pay; restoration of benefits, seniority rights, and lost service credit; expungement of records; and actual damages and costs.

            The bill allows an employee or local government employer to appeal the decision of the board to the appropriate district court in accordance with the State Administrative Procedures Act. The district court may award any remedy, including but not limited to attorney fees, court costs, actual damages, job reinstatement, and others. If the State Personnel Board finds that a local government employer has violated the law, the employer is to take appropriate disciplinary action against the person responsible for the violation. The bill requires each local government employer to post a copy of the act in a prominent location at the workplace.

State Expenditures

            The annual expenditures for the State Personnel Board in the Department of Personnel to implement and administer the provisions of this bill are based upon the following assumptions:


               the board currently has no budgeted resources for this activity;

               the board's costs will not be recovered from the employee or the local government employer;

               that 30 complaints will be filed each year, and that each complaint must be docketed within 10 days and heard within 90 days;

               that each hearing will require two days;

               that an additional amount of time will be required to write the decision for each hearing;

               that the administrative law judge who presided over the hearing may be required to provide testimony in any subsequent appellate actions; and

               that the Department of Law will provide legal services for the adoption of rules and general counsel.

            Table 1 provides a summary of the department's General Fund expenditures for FY 1999-2000 and FY 2000-01 to support the provisions of this bill.

Table 1 - State Personnel Board

"Conscientious Local Government Employee Protection Act"


FY 1999-2000

FY 2000/2001

Personal Services

Administrative Law Judge



0.5 FTE - $27,720



0.5 FTE - $27,720



Operating Expenses



Legal Expenses

45 hours - 2,313

20 hours - 1,028

Non-recurring Expenses



Total Expenses

0.5 FTE - $36,456

0.5 FTE - $33,196

Expenditures Not Included

            Pursuant to the Joint Budget Committee’s budget policies, the following expenditures have not been included in this fiscal note:


               health and life insurance costs of $1,106;

               short-term disability costs of $58;

               inflationary cost factors;

               leased space; and

               indirect costs.

Local Government Impact

            This bill will require local government officials to participate in, and provide information to the State Personnel Board's investigations, hearings, and litigation of all alleged violations. This fiscal note assumes those hearing would be conducted in the Denver metro-area. Those officials would also be required to participate in any district court appeal that may be initiated. The magnitude of the costs would be dependent upon the number and frequency of allegations, the scope of the investigations, the relief determined by the board, any subsequent appellate legal costs, and the remedy determined by the court. The amount of these costs has not been estimated.

State Appropriations

            This fiscal note would imply the Department of Personnel would require a General Fund appropriation of 0.5 FTE and $36,456 for FY 1000-2000. Of this amount, the Department of Law would require a cash fund exempt spending authority of $2,313.

Departments Contacted


            Personnel                    Law                Judicial                       Local Affairs