Colorado Senate members gave a modicum of bipartisan approval Tuesday to a construction-defects reform bill that requires condominium disputes to go through arbitration rather than the courts.
The measure now goes to the House as the first and best option for reform advocates despite House Speaker Crisanta Duran having expressed significant skepticism about the proposal.
Senate Bill 156, sponsored by Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, passed the upper chamber of the Legislature by a margin of 23-12, as five Democrats joined all 18 Republicans in backing the effort. That is one fewer Democrat than supported a largely similar bill in 2015, when the reform effort died in a committee of the Democratic-majority House.
Hill introduced SB 156 following months of negotiations seeking to bridge differences between the effort’s supporters (business groups, metro mayors, affordable-housing advocates) and its detractors (plaintiffs’ attorneys and homeowners associations) after efforts to find compromise had failed for the past four legislative sessions.