Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

S_JUD_2020A 01/29/2020 01:35:17 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 01/29/2020
Attendance
Cooke X
Gardner X
Rodriguez X
Gonzales X
Lee X
Time 01:35:17 PM to 06:35:08 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Lee
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
Conf 20-Judicial Discipline — Commission On Favorably Refer to Full Senate
SB20-093 Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole
SB20-083 Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole
SB20-060 Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations

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

Conf 20-Judicial Discipline — Commission On - Favorably Refer to Full Senate


01:35:31 PM  

Bill Campbell, executive director of the Commission on Judicial Discipline, introduced the following commission members up for reappointment:  Drucilla Pugh, Elizabeth Krupa, Yolanda Lyons, and Bruce Casias.  Each member provided a brief summary of their background and experience and reasons for wanting to continue their service on the Judicial Discipline Commission.   Committee members thanked them for their service. 



01:43:35 PM
Motion Refer the appointment of Yolanda Lyons-Pfund, Elizabeth Krupa, Bruce Casias, Drucilla Pugh to the Conf 20-Judicial Discipline — Commission On to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB20-093 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

01:43:52 PM  

Senators Fenberg and Foote, co-prime sponsors, explained Senate Bill 20-093, concerning protections related to mandatory agreement provisions, and in connection therewith, enacting the "Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness Act."  Senator Fenberg discussed forced arbitration clauses.  Senator Foote explained that the bill is attempting to make forced arbitration more fair and transparent.  He recognized that arbitration cannot be outlawed on the state level but that states can try to level the playing field.  Senator Foote explained the part of the bill regarding standard form contracts. 

Committee members asked questions about an arbitration appeal process. 

 

 

01:57:57 PM  

Bob Connolly, representing the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how companies avoid trials and class action lawsuits by using forced arbitration. 

02:03:30 PM  

Dennis Valentine, representing the American Association of Retired People (AARP), spoke in favor of the bill.  He discussed forced arbitration and the impact on seniors. 

Renee Larrarte, representing the Womens Lobby of Colorado, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed how forced arbitration disproportionately affects low income people and women.  She answered questions about forced arbitration and sexual harassment.

 

02:12:02 PM  

Nancy Burgess, representing herself, spoke in favor of the bill.  She discussed out-of-state forced arbitrations and attorney fees. 

02:16:36 PM  

Rachel Ellis, representing herself, testified in support of the measure.  She discussed the benefits of equal bargaining power and damages.

Kevin Rhodes, representing himself, spoke in favor of the bill.  He discussed his investigations into binding arbitration clauses in contracts.

02:25:08 PM  

David Lichtenstein, representing himself, testified in support of the measure.  He discussed forced arbitrations in employment agreements. 

Anonymous worker, representing him/herself, testified in support of the bill.  The person described forced arbitration and illegal termination. 

 

 

02:31:51 PM  

Laura Dewey, representing herself, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed forced arbitration at for-profit schools.

Igor Rankin, representing himself, testified in favor of the measure.  He discussed the proliferation of forced arbitration clauses at for-profit schools. 

Tariq Habash, representing the Student Borrowers Center, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed the impact of forced arbitration on student loans. 

Morgan Roay, representing New Era Colorado, spoke in favor of the measure.  She discussed how forced arbitration compounds student debt. 

 

 

02:46:36 PM  

Sara Gagliardi, representing the Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed retired seniors and bolstering consumer protections.

Dennis Dougherty, representing AFL-CIO, testified in favor of the measure.  He discussed the benefits of neutral third parties as opposed to predetermined forced arbitrations.  

Lew Ellington, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill.  He discussed collective bargaining. 

 

03:02:03 PM  

Kathy White, representing the Colorado Fiscal Institute, testified in support of the bill.

Adam Harrison, representing himself, testified in support of measure.

Jamie Simpson, representing herself, testified in favor of the measure.

03:13:08 PM  

Rich Jones, representing the Bell Policy Center, testified in support of the bill. He discussed how forced arbitrations disproportionately affect low-wage jobs.

03:17:27 PM  

Ben Lebsack, representing Coloardo Trial Lawyers Association, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how forced arbitrations affect legal representation.

Sean Dormer, representing himself, testified in favor of the meaure. 

Ed Shackleford, representing the Colorado Senior Lobby, testified in support of the bill. 

 

03:27:16 PM  

Ryan Case, representing the American Federation of Teachers, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed student debt.

Ian Cohn, representing Volunteers of America, spoke in favor of the measure. He discussed the impact of forced arbitrations on veterans.  He answered questions about civil protections for the military. 

 

 

03:35:08 PM  

The committee recessed. 

03:52:55 PM  

The committee was called back to order. 

Kathie Barstnar, representing Homeownership Opportunity Alliance, testified in opposition to the bill. She distributed a handout outlining concerns about the standard form contract section of the bill (Attachment A).

Scott Wilkenson, representing the Colorado Association of Home Builders, spoke in opposition of the bill. He discussed how the bill will adversely impact affordable housing with the standard form contract language.  

04:06:34 PM  

Jenifer Waller, representing Colorado Bankers Association, testified in opposition to the bill. She addressed concerns about the secondary mortgage market.

Kurt Klanderud, representing the Associated General Contractors of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. He expressed concerns about the bill's impact on affordable housing and condominiums.  Committee membes asked questions about dispute resolution and construction defects. 

04:15:58 PM  

Meghan Dollar, representing the Colorado Municipal League, testified against the bill. She discussed concerns that the bill will affect the attainment of affordable housing and create uncertainty for developers.

Brandon Hull, representing the Colorado Defense Lawyers and Colorado Civil Justice League, spoke from a neutral position of the bill. He discussed possible implications on the arbitration process itself. 

Elena Wilken, representing Housing Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. She noted that the bill may bring unpredictability to the affordable housing market. 

04:23:01 PM  

Nikolaus Remus, representing the American Institute of Architects Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill.

04:26:20 PM  

Senator Foote distributed and explained Amendments L. 001, L. 002,  and L. 004 (Attachments B through D). 

 



04:31:03 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment B)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:31:29 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment C)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:32:00 PM
Motion Amendment L. 004 (Attachment D)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
04:32:00 PM  

Senator Foote made closing comments. He revisited the merits of the bill and provided examples.  He addressed concerns outlined by the opponents. 

Senator Fenberg made closing remarks and stressed that forced arbitrations impact everyone in the state. 



04:43:10 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 20-093, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB20-083 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole


04:43:45 PM  

Senator Gonzales, sponsor,explained Senate Bill 20-083, concerning prohibiting civil arrest while on courthouse grounds.  She explained how courthouses need to be safe places to seek justice.

She answered questions about the bill and its interplay with federal law. 

04:49:36 PM  

Arash Jahanian, representing the Meyer Law Office, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how arrests at courthouses chill court appearances and access to justice.  

Paula Martinez, representing herself, spoke in favor of hte bill.  She shared a personal story about getting arrested at a courthouse. 

Christopher Lasch, representing, testified in favor of the bill. He discussed legalities and the relationship of the bill to federal law.  He answered questions about legal precedent, common law, federalism, and appeals.   

 

 

05:07:09 PM  

Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of the bill. She discussed how courthouse arrests interfere with representation. 

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in favor of the bill. She discussed the rights of the accused and impacts on criminal defendants, victims, and witnesses.

Adam Mueller, representing the Colorado Bar Association, spoke in favor of the measure.

Jake Lily, representing himself, testified in favor of the bill. He discussed immigration status and access to justice. 

The panel answered questions about arrests and officer identification. 

05:20:45 PM  

Violet Stout, representing herself, testified in support of the measure.

Lydia Waligorski, representing Violence Free Colorado, testified in support of the bill. She discussed protection orders and domestic violence.

Karla Gonzales-Garcia, representing the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, testified in support of the bill.

Jennifer Eyl, representing Project Safeguard, testified in favor of the measure.

05:33:46 PM  

Discussion followed about victims and U visas. 

05:36:37 PM  

Rachel Sandoval, representing the Colorado Education Association, testified in favor of the bill. She discussed the impacts of courthouse arrests on students. 

Eliza Harrick, representing the Colorado Education Association, spoke in support of the measure.

Kelly Osuna, representing the Colorado Education Association, testified in favor of the bill.

05:48:13 PM  

Ana Temu Otting, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the bill. She distributed an article regarding immigration arrests at courthouses (Attachment E). 

Raquel Lane-Arellano, representing the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, testified in favor of the bill.

Caitlin Trent, representing the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, testified in support of the bill.

Renee Nahara, representing herself, testified in support of the bill.

06:01:19 PM  

Ana Rodriguez, representing the Colorado People's Alliance, testified in favor of the bill.

Sean Grogan, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. 

Joshua Stallings, representing the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition, testified in support of the measure.

Nayda Benitez, representing the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition, testified in favor of the measure.

06:12:38 PM  

Senator Gonzales presented and explained Amendment L. 001, which clarifies the definition of civil arrest (Attachment F). 

She answered questions from the committee about the definition of a judicially issued process. 

 



06:18:07 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment F)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
06:19:01 PM  

Senator Gonzales presented a packet of written testimony in support of the bill for the record (Attachment G). 

Senator Gonzales made closing remarks.  Committee member discussion followed about the broader implication of the bill. 

06:24:03 PM  

Further committee discussion ensued about access to justice.



06:26:01 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 20-083, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB20-060 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations


06:26:30 PM  

Senators Gonzales and Rodriguez, co-prime sponsors, explained Senate Bill 20-060, concerning a study to examine operational processes within the criminal justice system. They noted that the bill is recommended by the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee. 

 

Handouts were distributed from a witness who could not stay to testify (Attachmetns H and I).  The handouts suggested an amendment to include victim representation in the study. 

 

Senator Gonzales distributed and explained amendment L. 001, which clarifies the type of analysis to be used in the study (Attachment J). 

 

The senators made closing remarks and reiterated the need for a criminal justice system flow study. 



06:32:49 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment J)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


06:35:02 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 20-060, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


06:35:08 PM   The committee adjourned.






COVID-19 Resources
NORTH ENTRANCE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.  TO ENTER THE CAPITOL, USE THE SOUTH ENTRANCE, UNDER THE STAIRS, AT 14th AVENUE AND SHERMAN STREET.