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J_LS_2020A 01/16/2020 08:04:12 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL SERVICES
Date 01/16/2020
Attendance
Foote *
Gonzales X
Hill X
Lundeen X
Snyder X
Soper *
Van Winkle X
Weissman X
Herod X
Lee X
Time 08:04:12 AM to 09:05:33 AM
Place HCR 0107
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Lee
This Report was prepared by Owen Colling
Hearing Items Action Taken
Election of Chair and Vice-chair Chair and Vice-chair Elected
Discussion and approval of letter concerning use of social media Letter was approved
Executive session pursuant to section 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II), C.R.S., for the purpose of conducting attorney-client discussions concerning specific claims or grievances Retention of counsel for appeal approved

X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call

Election of Chair and Vice-chair - Chair and Vice-chair Elected


08:04:56 AM  

Julie Pelegrin, Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, explained the Committee's rules for electing a Chair and Vice-chair.

Representative Soper was present at 8:07 a.m.



08:07:26 AM
Motion I nominate Vice-chair Herod to be Chair of the Committee on Legal Services for the 2020 term
Moved Weissman
Seconded
Foote Excused
Gonzales Yes
Hill Yes
Lundeen Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper Excused
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman Yes
Herod Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 8   NO: 0   EXC: 2   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


08:08:53 AM
Motion I nominate Senator Gardner as Vice-chair
Moved Van Winkle
Seconded
Foote Excused
Gonzales Yes
Hill Yes
Lundeen Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman Yes
Herod Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 9   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



Discussion and approval of letter concerning use of social media - Letter was approved


08:08:58 AM  

Ms. Pelegrin explained the draft letter concerning the use of social media that was requested by the Committee and suggested an addition to the draft letter.

Senator Foote was present at 8:08 a.m.

08:10:10 AM  

Representative Weissman explained his views on the letter based on the current law and concerns he has about threats that come via social media.

08:14:03 AM  

Representative Herod addressed the letter and her belief that the Committee should err on the side of providing members representation.

08:17:58 AM  

Senator Hill and Ms. Pelegrin discussed the motion and what the result of the motion would be.

Senator Lundeen explained his views on the language of the letter.

08:18:44 AM  

Representative Van Winkle suggested following up with the caucuses about the letter and the social media guidelines.

Representative Snyder and Ms. Pelegrin spoke about when the social media guidelines had been given to members.

Senator Gonzales inquired about the letter's language on hiring of counsel and whether it should include guidance on the harassment policy and Representative Herod and Ms. Pelegrin responded to the question on the differences between the two sets of guidelines.



08:21:54 AM
Motion I move that we approve the letter concerning the use of social media to be disseminated to our members with the additional language in the second paragraph as articulated by Ms. Pelegrin.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Foote Yes
Gonzales Yes
Hill Yes
Lundeen Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman Yes
Herod Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



Executive session pursuant to section 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II), C.R.S., for the purpose of conducting attorney-client discussions concerning specific claims or grievances - Retention of counsel for appeal approved


08:23:03 AM  

Representative Herod explained going into executive session and that it requires a 2/3 vote. Senator Hill questioned the motion to go into executive session. Representative Weissman spoke about the practice of the Committee with regard to executive sessions.

08:24:08 AM  

Senator Lundeen and Representative Weissman discussed the motion to go into executive session in this case.

08:26:49 AM  

Senator Hill addressed whether votes have to be taken in or out of executive session.

Representative Van Winkle explained why it would be better to stay out of executive session for transparency.

Representative Snyder disagreed because all decisions would be voted on outside of executive sesion.

Representative Soper explained the chilling effect of executive sessions on transparency.



08:28:31 AM
Motion I move that the Committee on Legal Services meet in executive session in accordance with section 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II) for the purpose of conducting attorney-client discussions concerning specific claims or grievances.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Foote Yes
Gonzales Yes
Hill No
Lundeen No
Snyder Yes
Soper No
Van Winkle No
Weissman Yes
Herod Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 6   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
08:28:31 AM  

Sharon Eubanks, Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, testified before the Committee on the question of whether the Committee would agree to continue to fund the appeal of the Cooke v. Markwell case. Ms. Eubanks explained what had happened so far with the case and the history of the how the Committee makes these decisions.

Representative Van Winkle and Ms. Eubanks discussed whether money had already been spent on outside counsel.

08:32:43 AM  

Senator Lundeen and Ms. Eubanks discussed the amount of the expenses that have already been paid and the process of the Committee voting to fund an appeal.

08:38:39 AM  

Representative Weissman summarized the events leading up to the appeal and spoke about how this matter is procedurally uncommon and the importance of the case going forward to answer constitutional questions.

08:39:14 AM  

Senator Hill responded to Representative Weissman and agreed with the importance of the constitutional question. Ms. Pelegrin explained the constitutional history of the requirement to read a bill at length.

08:49:24 AM  

Representative Soper spoke to funding of the appeal and asked a clarifying question. Senator Lee answered the question. Senator Hill asked what the Committee is approving by the motion, and Ms. Eubanks responded.

08:54:53 AM  

Representative Soper spoke to funding the appeal and asked a clarifying question about whether the motion covers funding just for the Court of Appeals or also for the Supreme Court. Senator Lee responded that the motion includes funding for both.

Senator Hill and Ms. Eubanks discussed adding to the motion a cap on the amount of funding. Representative Herod offered the option of having the Office report to the Committee on the invoiced expenses at later meetings. Senator Lundeen asked a question.

Senator Foote explained the importance of funding the appeal and the issues raised by having a cap on the amount of funding.

08:54:54 AM  

Representative Soper and Ms. Eubanks discussed the hourly billing rate set by the Committee. Representative Herod explained the process the Committee went through when retaining counsel.

Senator Lundeen suggested that, due to the importance of the constitutional questions in the case, both sides of the case should be funded.

Representative Van Winkle agreed with Senator Lundeen and moved a substitute motion. Representative Herod suggested that the request needed to be discussed further and asked for a no vote.



09:03:58 AM
Motion I move to fund both sides of the court case
Moved Van Winkle
Seconded
Foote No
Gonzales No
Hill Yes
Lundeen Yes
Snyder No
Soper Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman No
Herod No
Lee No
YES: 4   NO: 6   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL


09:05:18 AM
Motion I move that the Committee on Legal Services continue to retain Mr. Mark Grueskin of the law firm of Recht Kornfeld, P.C., on behalf of Senate President Garcia and Senate Secretary Markwell for an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court of the order of the Denver District Court for injunctive and declaratory relief
Moved Lee
Seconded
Foote Yes
Gonzales Yes
Hill Yes
Lundeen Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper Yes
Van Winkle No
Weissman Yes
Herod Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 9   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


09:05:33 AM   The committee adjourned.