Major Legislation I Passed

HB 1027: (1987) Transportation needs of the state: This bill created Denver’s Light Rail system, setting forth routes and requiring RTD to present an implementation plan the following year. To pass the bill, Bowen took legislators to Europe to experience viable transit systems in order to educate them about the benefits of Light Rail.

HB 1019 (1987) Custody of children: This bill changed the laws regarding child custody, making it possible for a court to award mutual (joint) custody of children in a divorce even if one parent objected. It provided both parents with visitation and other decision-making rights.

HB 1336 (1984) Right to rescind purchase of a motor vehicle: This bill gave consumers a fixed-time in which to rescind purchase of a motor vehicle if they believed defects were concealed.

HB 1363: (1988) Sale of motor vehicles: This consumer protection bill provided rights to buyers of used vehicles. It required used-car dealers to provide customers with written disclosures, prohibited unethical practices.

HB 1216: (1985) The Older Coloradoans Act. This bill codified all state programs that dealt with the elderly and made elder abuse an offense. It provided nursing home patients with rights and improved the quality of life for seniors.

HB 1085: (1987) Reapportionment of the Highway Commission: This bill changed the districts of the Highway Commission (which preceded the current DOT) to provide proportional representation to the counties in the metropolitan Denver area. At that time, the metropolitan area had 60 percent of the population, but had only 25 percent of the seats on the commission and received only 40 percent of the highway budget. As a result of the re-districting, the metropolitan area began seeing a larger share of the construction budgets. HB 1484 (1983) Second-hand goods: This bill closed a loophole in the law, thus allowing police to check whether items for sale at flea markets were stolen. It extended the law that applied to pawn shops to flea markets, which helped police return stolen goods to the rightful owners.

HB 1381 (1983) Taxing authority of RTD: This bill eliminated the RTD sales tax from food, medicine and utilities. Those items were exempt from state sales tax, but not RTD tax. This was a regressive tax, hitting seniors and low-income citizens hardest. It also put a burden on small businesses in collecting and reporting that tax.

Bowen was the prime House sponsor of a Senate bill that provided compensation to crime victims by assessing a fine on criminals. This bill increased the fines, the compensation, and extended it to small businesses.

Bowen introduced other measures that were not successful, including legislation that promoted renewable energy, anti-pollution bills, bills to repeal blue laws, and bills make voter registration easier. He attempted to expand the victim’s compensation fund to cover small businesses that were victimized by a crime.

Representative Bowen served on the Colorado Commission on Aging. He was appointed by Governor Romer to the Colorado Highway Legislation Review Commission. He was appointed by the Speaker to represent Colorado on the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), and on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He received awards from several associations and was frequently asked to speak at conferences of the Bar Association, AIA and other groups. He served on the NCSL committee that wrote the model legislation, adopted around the nation, regarding cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks.