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h_jud_2018a_2018-04-10t13:41:18z0 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For SB18-109

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Apr 10, 2018      
Location HCR 0112



SB18-109 - Committee Discussion Only


01:41:44 PM  

The committee was called to order. All members were present. Representatives Wist and Garnett, prime sponsors, presented Senate Bill 18-109, concerning an authorization for notaries public to perform notarial acts using audio-video communication.  Representative Wist explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Garnett provided input on the bill. Representative Wist discussed the potential interplay between SB 18-109 and forthcoming model laws from the Uniform Law Commission. Discussion ensued on this point. Representative Wist screened a short video about remote notarization. Discussion ensued regarding the technology involved in remote notarization, and documentation maintained for notarization under current law and under SB 18-109.

02:01:09 PM  

Discussion continued regarding the technology used for remote notarization under the bill.  Committee discussion also covered the retention of records.

02:07:33 PM  

Ms. Anne McGihon, representing the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws, testified in opposition to the bill. She explained that the Uniform Law Commission has model legislation pending on the issue. Ms. McGihon responded to questions regarding the work of the Uniform Law Commission on remote notarization, and the ramifications of passing SB 18-109 before the commission acts. Committee members received an article about privacy concerns with remote notarization (Attachment A).  Discussion ensued regarding bills similar to SB 18-109 in other states. Representative Wist explained how the bill will harmonize with any model legislation adopted by the Uniform Law Commission. Discussion followed regarding notary laws in Colorado.

02:25:30 PM  

Mr. Charles Calvin, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Calvin discussed affidavits used for notary services, and expressed concerns about the process used to facilitate remote notarization. Mr. Calvin responded to questions about remote testimony in depositions, which is acceptable practice in judicial proceedings. Mr. Calvin responded to further questions regarding how notaries determine if coercion is present during signings under current law.

02:37:51 PM  

Ms. Letitia Maxfield, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in opposition to SB 18-109. Ms. Maxfield discussed some provisions on remote notarization that her organization supports, but are not present in the bill. Ms. Maxfield responded to questions regarding the sale of data gathered by remote notarization providers, and mandatory reporting by notaries. Discussion ensued regarding her organization's reservations with the bill based on potential coercion of the elderly, and current law governing notaries.

02:52:43 PM  
Ms. Victoria Bantz, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in opposition to SB 18-109. Ms. Bantz spoke in support of holding off on remote notarization legislation until the Uniform Law Commission acts on the issue, and discussed potential statutory clean-up work that would need to be done.
02:55:13 PM  
Mr. Frank Hill, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in opposition to the bill. He explained that his organization is in favor of remote notarization generally, but the process needs certain safeguards. Mr. Hill responded to questions regarding safeguards under current law that would apply to remote notarization.
02:59:06 PM  
Mr. Andy Toft, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in opposition to SB 18-109. He raised concerns about consent. Mr. Toft responded to questions regarding the waiver of privacy when using a remote notarization company, and the binding of Colorado law to out-of-state notarization companies. Discussion ensued regarding notary-related legislation passed in Colorado in 2017.
03:08:35 PM  
Mr. Terry Jones, representing the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Jones expressed concerns with the "prohibited acts" section of the bill, and explained why the Secretary of State should be granted rulemaking authority with respect to remote notarization.
03:14:34 PM  
Ms. Diane Evans, representing Land Title Guarantee Company, testified in opposition to the bill. She expressed concerns about the risk to consumers' private information under the process allowed by the bill, and the potential for coercion under this process.
03:18:17 PM  
Mr. Robert Howe, representing the Land Title Association of Colorado, testified in opposition to SB 18-109. He discussed the genesis of the legislation, and expressed concerns about data privacy. Mr. Howe responded to questions regarding amendments that may change his organization's position on the bill, and the types of data involved in real estate transactions that is of commercial interest.
03:26:27 PM  

Ms. Denise Maes, representing the ACLU, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Maes spoke in support of waiting for the Uniform Law Commission to act on model remote notarization legislation, and raised concerns about privacy. Ms. Maes responded to questions regarding the extent of the ACLU's opposition to the bill.

03:34:59 PM  

Mr. Tim Griesmer, representing the Secretary of State, testified on the bill from a neutral position. Mr. Griesmer responded to questions regarding the ability of his office to create rules for governing certain aspects of remote notarization, and protocols observed by the Secretary of State when accessing notary journals. Mr. Griesmer responded to questions regarding the oversight of remote notary companies based outside of Colorado under the bill. Mr. Griesmer responded to further questions about laws similar to SB 18-109 in other states.

03:49:07 PM  
Mr.Michael O'Neal, representing First American Title, testified in support of the bill. Mr. O'Neal discussed the consistency of SB 18-109 with national models, and addressed privacy concerns raised during earlier testimony. Mr. O'Neal responded to questions regarding the need to record remote notarization sessions, and potential amendments to the bill.
03:56:49 PM  
Mr. Matt Wendel, representing the Colorado Technology Association, testified in support of SB 18-109. Mr. Wendel discussed technological change. Mr. Ian O'Neill, representing the Colorado Technology Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. O'Neill addressed privacy concerns. Mr. O'Neill responded to questions regarding risk associated with notaries maintaining databases with private information, and other privacy concerns.
04:17:59 PM  
Discussion continued regarding privacy concerns with SB 18-109.
04:23:11 PM  

Ms. Geri Combs, representing Stewart Title, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the convenient aspects of remote notarization, and protections in place for consumers. Mr. Michael Chodos, representing Notarize Inc., testified in support of SB 18-109. He provided an overview of the services provided by his company, and addressed privacy concerns raised during earlier testimony. Mr. Chodos also discussed the merits of amendment L.005 (Attachment A). Mr. Chotos responded to questions regarding data privacy provisions in the bill.

04:30:45 PM  
Representative Salazar laid over SB 18-109 for future action.
04:31:49 PM  
The committee recessed.