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ARCHIVED  March 1, 1997

Bill tightens rules governing credit agencies

Sen. Joan Johnson, D-Adams County, had difficulty obtaining her credit report after she was turned down for a Nordstrom’s card.When she was finally able to retrieve her report, Johnson discovered that it was blemished with a credit history not belonging to her. This prompted Johnson to introduce a bill that would increase the liability of a financial-reporting agency.
Senate Bill 133 was proposed and passed the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee unanimously Feb. 4. It has gone to the full Senate for consideration.
Johnson’s bill would fine consumer-reporting agencies $1,000 for every inaccurately reported entry. The current fine is $500.
Furthermore, the bill requires credit-reporting agencies to provide consumers with understandable reports.
Senate Bill 133 goes beyond increasing fines by clearly stating that a credit agency has an obligation to communicate with the consumer.
If an entry is disputed, the reporting agency must provide a representative for the consumer to speak with about the dispute. Also, disputes are to be immediately noted in the consumer file and to any entity requesting that particular consumer report.
If credit information is released, the credit agency is required to send a duplicate of the report to the consumer, accompanied with reading instructions. The consumer may dispute any entries within 10 days.
Deletion of obsolete credit information from credit reports is supported by this legislation. Bill targets ‘dead zone’
Have you driven down the highway lately, talking on your cell phone, and suddenly lost your connection? If you have, you drove through a ‘dead zone’, the open-air space where cell phones and radios don’t work.
A House bill could transform the ‘dead zone’ into the ‘life zone’ by creating a $75 million trust to update Colorado’s patchwork communications system.
The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, and it has been sent to the Appropriations Committee. Evidently, efforts to modernize the system have been made since 1990. Improvements would increase public safety and help eliminate weather or man-made problems.
The legislation would endorse the use of telecommunications networks throughout the state’s overall policy, focusing on certain departments. The departments of public safety, natural resources, transportation and corrections would be encouraged to incorporate trunked, two-way, wireless systems into their telecommunication networks.
The responsibility of administering trust funds would be given to the executive director of the Department Of Personnel. The factors in consideration for dispersal of funds would include interoperability with local, state, and federal agencies’ existing wireless networks, the level of investment already made by local governments in their networks, and promotion of an orderly transition from existing analog equipment to digital equipment.
According to the bill’s sponsors, a viable telecommunications policy would create a uniform, statewide, trunked radio system. This system would provide instant and disruption-resistant communication capabilities for law-enforcement agencies and other units of government to deal with natural disasters, health emergencies, acts of terrorism, and other threats of public health and safety.
Senate acts to boost ag flexibilityFarmers and ranchers who lease state trust lands for agricultural operations, may be receiving more security in their leases with a bill moving through the Senate.
The bill, approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee, goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The legislation provides flexibility and a lease term of 10 years for agricultural or grazing leases on state trust lands. Within the bill, the lease may be terminated if a lessee fails to comply with terms of the lease and neglects the land.
In such a situation, the lessee is provided with a one-year notice before lease termination.The bill also provides that if the leased land is to be sold, the lessee must have the option to match the highest bid. This holds with federal law on public lands. The bill also prohibits the State Land Board from offering state trust land for sale or lease.
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Sen. Joan Johnson, D-Adams County, had difficulty obtaining her credit report after she was turned down for a Nordstrom’s card.When she was finally able to retrieve her report, Johnson discovered that it was blemished with a credit history not belonging to her. This prompted Johnson to introduce a bill that would increase the liability of a financial-reporting agency.
Senate Bill 133 was proposed and passed the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee unanimously Feb. 4. It has gone to the full Senate for consideration.
Johnson’s bill would fine consumer-reporting agencies $1,000 for every inaccurately reported entry. The…

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