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69CE1090302D25BF8725850C008319E5 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For HB20-1019

SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Feb 12, 2020      
Location SCR 352



HB20-1019 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations

04:52:00 PM  

Senator Gonzales, explained HB20-1019, concerning measures to manage the state prison population, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.  She discussed how the bill is a product of the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee.  She noted exigent circumstances since that time, such as the closing of the Cheyenne Mountain Ranch Reentry Center.   She summarized each section of the bill. 

 

05:03:06 PM  

Christen Robinson, representing himself as a student in Otero County, testified against the bill.  He raised concerns about closing private prisons and jobs in rural areas. 

 

Rena Henager, representing herself as a student in Otero County, testified from a neutral position.  She recognized the downfalls of private prisons but noted the importance of the jobs it provides in the region. 

 

Sophia Klob, representing herself as a student in Otero County, testified in opposition to the bill.  She cited economic concerns. 

 

The panel answered questions from the committee about the bill's potential impact on shool districts, economic development, the erosion of public trust, and the local job market. 

 

05:17:56 PM  

Elsie Goines, representing Las Animas School District, testified against the bill. She discussed the impact of a private prison closure on schools. 

 

Lana Gardner, representing the Las Animas School District, testified against the bill. She discussed Bent County poverty rates and the lack of rural job opportunities.

 

David Armstrong, representing himself as a resident of Las Animas, testified against the bill. He outlined  potential impacts of closing the private prison. 

 

Steven Salazar, representing himself as a student at Las Animas High School, testified against the bill.

 

Committee members asked questions about the study as outlined in the bill.  Discussion ensued about preventing the study from being a foregone conclusion to eliminate private prisons.

05:32:51 PM  

Scott Cuckow, representing Crowley County School District, testified against the bill. He expressed concerns that residents will move prematurely in anticipation of the prison closure. 

 

Bryan Simmons, representing the First National Bank of Las Animas, testified against the measure. He discussed job losses and economic development. 

 

Mary Carenas, representing Carmen's Restaurant in Las Animas, testified against the bill.  She discussed how a prison closure would impact neighboring businesses.

 

Greg Brophy, representing the city of Burlington, testified against the measure. He expressed concerns about provisions in the bill regarding contracts with other states for housing inmates in closed private prison facilities.  

 

Committee discussion followed about the proposed study in the bill. 

 

05:58:18 PM  

Blaine Arbuthnot, Crowley County Commissioner, testified against the bill.  He discussed economic diversification and water, power, and transportation issues in Crowley County. 

 

Tobe Allumbaugh, Crowley County Commissioner, testified against the bill. He distributed a handout that compares dollars lost based on projected property tax decreases (Attachment G).  He discussed Crowley County's economic decline. 

 

Calvin Feck, representing Bent County, testified in opposition to the measures.  He discussed costs to the state if the prison closes. 

 

Kim McDonnell, Bent County Commissioner, testified against the bill.  She discussed contract provisions and distributed a handout (Attachment H). 

 

The committee discussed contract monitoring. 

 

 

06:18:35 PM  

Chuck Netherton, representing Bent County, testified against the bill. He questioned the need for a study if the outcome is predetermined.

 

Caroline Ehrlich, representing herself, testified against the bill. She discussed volunteer work at the private prison. 

 

Sammie George, representing the Bent County Development Foundation, testified against the measure. She discussed economic impacts and regional issues.

06:29:02 PM  

Kristina Salazar, repesenting herself, testified against the bill.  She expressed concerns about employment prospects if the private prison closes. 

 

Laura LaBarge, representing herself, testified against the measure.

 

Sarah Blackhurst, representing Action 22, testified in opposition to the measure.

06:33:34 PM  

Senator Cooke read a letter into record from a Morgan County representative against the measure.

06:35:14 PM  

Aaron Greco, legislative liaison for the Department of Corrections (DOC), testified in favor of the bill. He discussed private prisons, criminal justice policy, safety, and prison reform efforts.  He further discussed prison capacity and core functions of government. 

 

The committee discussed and asked questions about recidivism rates, prison capacity, core functions of government, contract provisions, and relationships with private correctional-related partners. 

 

06:54:30 PM  

Further discussion ensued about the supplemental budget request by DOC to open Centennial South (CSP II).  The committee asked questions about costs, generally, and those between private and public prisons.

06:58:54 PM  

Christie Donner, representing the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, testified in favor of the bill.  She discussed mass incarceration and raised liability issues about housing out-of-state inmates.  She also discussed prison re-purposing. 

 

Denise Maes, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the measure. She discussed the study and the economic development piece of it.  She also explained provisions in the bill regarding escapes and unauthorized absences.

 

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She discussed mass incarceration and stressed that prisons should be a government function, not a private one.

 

Committee members asked questions about contracts with private prison providers and liability. 

 

07:26:46 PM  

Committee members discussed the escape and walk-away provisions in the bill. 

 

The committee recessed. 

09:20:00 PM  

The committee was called back to order.  

 

Senator Gonzales distributed and explained Amendment L. 034 (Attachment I).  The amendment addresses the prison study as outlined in the bill.  

 

 

 

 

 

 



09:23:08 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.034 (Attachment I)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez Excused
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:23:09 PM  

Senator Cooke distributed and explained Amendment L. 041 (Attachment J).  This amendment amends the previous amendment and further defines the study, as outlined in the bill. 

09:24:16 PM  

Senator Rodriguez explained and distributed Amendment L. 036 (Attachment K). 



09:27:03 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.041 (Attachment J)
Moved Cooke
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez Excused
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


09:28:22 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.036 (Attachment K)
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:28:23 PM  

Senator Gonzales presented Amendment L. 042 (Attachment L), which addresses contract provisions with private prisons. 



09:29:18 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.042 (Attachment L)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:30:28 PM  

Senator Gonzales made closing remarks. 



09:32:48 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 20-1019, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
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






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