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3658ED539F7329458725839800717B5C Hearing Summary


Date Feb 5, 2019      
Location HCR 0112

SB19-027 - Lay Over

01:39:35 PM  

The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative D. Valdez, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 19-027, concerning authorization for a county to use any lawful method to give final disposition to an unclaimed dead body.  Representative Valdez explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. The following persons testified regarding the bill:

Mr. Jason Kelly, representing Alamosa County, testified in support of the bill. He discussed some issues associated with paying for the final disposition of the indigent.

Mr. Eric Bergman, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., testified in support of the bill. He discussed the position of county coroners on the bill, and the optional nature of the legislation. Mr. Bergman discussed the rate of cremation as compared to burial, and the effect of some forthcoming amendments. Discussion ensued regarding the typical process with respect to handling an unidentified or unclaimed dead body, and the typical amount of time that local governments take to try to identify a body. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding the number of bodies that go unclaimed each year.

01:52:04 PM  

Discussion returned to the amount of time that local governments usually spend in identifying a dead human body. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding attempts to identify bodies using DNA and other technology for identification. Discussion ensued regarding types of bodily disposal. Mr. Jerry Payne, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided input on this issue. Discussion followed regarding how assets of an unidentified body are handled. Mr. Payne discussed the drafting of SB 19-027. Discussion turned to existing statute that allows for an unclaimed body to be turned over to a friend or civic organization, and liability for not turning a body over to the Anatomical Board. Discussion returned to the use of DNA testing for identification.

02:02:33 PM  

Mr. Kelly responded to questions regarding safeguards with respect to disposition of a dead human body, including safeguards based on religious affiliation. Mr. Kelly responded to further questions regarding how costs are handled by local governments when burying or cremating the indigent. Discussion ensued regarding the potential for requiring local governments to enter data on unclaimed bodies in a national database. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding a forthcoming amendment.

Ms. Kathy Oatis, representing the Colorado Coroners Association, testified regarding SB 19-027. Ms. Oatis expressed concerns with some of the proposed amendments. Discussion ensued regarding these amendments. Discussion returned to the National Unclaimed Body Database, and the time frames established by the bill. Ms. Oatis responded to questions regarding involvement of coroners in the mortuary business.

02:18:43 PM  

Representative Valdez explained the effect of amendments L.005 (Attachment A) and L.007 (Attachment B).

02:20:29 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.005
Moved Herod
Seconded Roberts
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:21:14 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding amendment L.006 (Attachment C).

02:21:40 PM  

The committee recessed.

02:25:50 PM  

The committee returned to order. The chair laid over SB 19-027.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details