Senators have privacy concerns over notaries bill

Only eight other senators agreed with her, but Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik said a seemingly innocuous bill dealing with notaries was a bad idea.

The Thornton Republican said SB132, which won final approval in the Senate Friday on a bipartisan 26-9 vote, actually could make it easier for criminals to steal people’s identities.

“Congress has sent legislation to the president that removes privacy protections established last year for internet users,” Martinez Humenik said. “If it becomes law, the potential exists for companies who provide internet service on computers as well as cellphones that provide data service to people to collect, to store, to share and to sell certain types of person information like browsing histories, app data uses, location information among others without users’ consent.”

While the bill focuses on updates to the state’s laws on how notaries are done, it also allows for such notaries to be done electronically, something only two states currently allow.

Martinez Humenik fears that information on various things that are notarized are things not normally posted on the internet, but now would be.

“I have concerns about privacy and security that notary e-filing may not be able to guard against,” she said. “We all know the threat is real.”

Supporters of the bill, introduced by Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, and Rep. Cole Wist, R-Centennial, say the bill doesn’t require notaries to e-file, saying most notaries are simple “bureaucratic” tasks.

“When I think back to committee (witnesses) saying remote notarization using technology in Colorado is bad because of this, that and the other, well, we already have laws saying you can’t do that,” said Sen. Jack Tate, R-Centennial. “The reality is for many folks ... that the prospects of remote notarization services provides so much more efficiencies to businesses.”

Tate said that bill, which now heads to the House, won’t necessarily impact all notaries. It calls on the Secretary of State’s Office to promulgate rules on which notaries are appropriate for electronic filings.


Four Republicans joined the 37 Democrats in the Colorado House approving a bill Friday that would send to voters in the fall a ballot measure asking to raise the state’s sales tax 0.62 percent to pay for transportation projects.

The measure, HB1242, was the product of a compromise agreement between House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City. Both are main sponsors of the bill, along with the chairs of the two chambers transportation committees, Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, and Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs.

The four Republicans who joined with them in support of the bill were Reps. Dan Thurlow of Grand Junction, Marc Catlin of Montrose, Polly Lawrence of Parker and Phil Covarrubias of Brighton.

If approved by voters in the fall, the measure would raise about $600 million, half of which would go directly to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Some of that money would be used to pay off up to $350 billion in bonds to be issued to fund projects determined by local transportation planning districts, such as a 29 Road interchange with Interstate 70 in Grand Junction.

The bill also calls for dividing the remaining money, 70 percent of which would go to local governments, and 30 percent to fund multimodal project grants to local governments, such as buses and van rides for the elderly and disabled.


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