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801FE47D007108F5872582350073DECA Hearing Summary


Date Feb 15, 2018      
Location HCR 0112

HB18-1081 - Committee Discussion Only

02:05:39 PM  

Representatives Benavidez and Lee, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 18-1081, concerning requiring the state court administrator to administer a division to remind criminal defendants to appear in court as scheduled.  Representative Benavidez explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Lee provided additional remarks on the merits of the legislation. Representative Lee responded to questions regarding the fiscal impact of the bill. Mr. Chris Creighton, Legislative Council Staff, provided input on the bill's costs. Discussion ensued regarding cost-related issues surrounding the bill.

02:22:26 PM  

Discussion continued regarding the fiscal impact of HB 18-1081, and the potential for amending the bill to reduce the notifications made under the bill to those made by electronic means only. Discussion ensued regarding the position of county sheriffs on amendment L.001 (Attachment B).

02:29:30 PM  

Mr. Chris Ryan, State Court Administrator, and Ms. Alli Daley, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., testified in support of HB 18-1081. Mr. Ryan discussed potential cost savings as a result of the bill, and addressed questions raised during earlier discussion. He suggested amending the bill to exclude Denver's county court from the scope of the bill. Mr. Ryan expressed some additional concerns about the bill. Ms. Daley discussed research data surrounding notification systems for court dates. Discussion ensued regarding potential challenges with establishing a notification system. Mr. Ryan responded to questions regarding the Judicial Branch's position on what types of systems should be utilized for providing notifications under HB 18-1081.

02:40:15 PM  

Mr. Ryan responded to questions regarding what happens when notifications about court appearances are not received by the intended person. Discussion ensued regarding the use of text messaging for notification.

02:43:54 PM  

Ms. Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thompson discussed the problem of defendants failing to appear in court, and the benefits realized by local court date notification programs. Ms. Thompson responded to questions regarding a notification program in El Paso County. Ms. Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, discussed the benefits of court date notification programs.  Committee members received a table showing the jail budgets for Colorado's counties (Attachment C).

02:48:33 PM  

Ms. Denise Maes and Ms. Rebecca Wallace, representing the ACLU, testified in support of HB 18-1081. Committee members received a fact sheet in support of the bill (Attachment D).  Ms. Maes discussed jail overcrowding and associated costs, and reductions in failures to appear when notifications are made to defendants. She discussed the effectiveness of using text messaging as the medium for sending reminders. Discussion ensued regarding a potential equal protection issue associated with sending text messages for court appearance reminders. Discussion followed regarding the potential for increasing penalties for failing to appear in court should HB 18-1081 pass, and trends in failure-to-appear cases.

02:59:49 PM  

Representative Benavidez explained the effect of amendment L.001.

03:01:28 PM  
The committee recessed.

03:03:01 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Benavidez
Seconded Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Withdrawn
03:03:01 PM  
The committee returned to order. The bill was laid over for action.

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