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9B59E7791F28AC41872583D8006B6749 Hearing Summary


Date Apr 10, 2019      
Location SCR 352

SB19-222 - Lay Over

01:33:09 PM  

Senator Lee called the meeting to order and announced Senate Bills 222 and 223 would be heard in tandem.  Senate Bill 19-222 concerns the improvement of access to behavioral health services for individuals at risk of institutionalization (Lee and Story co-prime sponsors).  Senate Bill 19-223 concerns actions related to competency to proceed (Lee and Gardner co-prime sponsors).  Senator Lee provided a brief overview of mental health-related issues in the criminal justice system and provided a history of the lawsuits surrounding restoring mental health competency.  He noted that the bills put an emphasis on prevention, as well as address individuals in jail and uniform standards for competency. 



01:43:17 PM  

Senator Story proceeded to provide more details about SB19-222.  Senator Gardner referenced SB19-223 and discussed the need to address competency proceedings this legislative session after efforts failed last year.

01:55:36 PM  

Alison Butler, representing Disability Law Colorado, testified in support of both measures.  She discussed the competency litigation that concluded with a consent decree.  She also talked about prevention and providing treatment in the least restrictive environment.  She emphasized the need to identify those most in need and getting them into treatment quickly.  Ms. Butler distributed four letters in support of the bills: two from The Arc Colorado (Attachments A and B), one from Janet Kester (Attachment C), and one from Kimberly Lewis (Attachment D). 


02:02:00 PM  

Dr. Robert Werthwein, representing the Colorado Department of Human Services, testified in support of the bills.  He discussed the importance of prevention and a safety net system.  He also talked about the consent decree and how SB19-223 incorporates provisions in it, as well as defines the roles of those involved.

02:07:23 PM  

Tim Lane, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, spoke from a neutral position on SB19-223.  He relayed that the bill is positive overall but noted a number of concerns regarding reporting requirements, time frames, and earned time credits.    

02:13:08 PM  

Frank Cornelia, representing the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, spoke from a neutral position on the bills.  He provided a short history of Colorado's community-based approach to mental health services.   He suggested amendments regarding access to treatment and time frames.

02:20:34 PM  

Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, spoke in support of the bills.  She recapped past legislative efforts regarding competency.   She provided a hand-out about what other states are doing in terms of competency (Attachment E) and another about reasons to support SB19-223 (Attachment F). 

02:24:55 PM  

Doug Wilson, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, spoke in support of the bills.  He provided examples of people with mental health issues who languish in county jails.  He expressed the need for time frames for competency proceedings. 

02:30:29 PM  

Kristin Nelson, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of the measures.  She discussed research findings regarding length of stay for those who are in custody with mental health issues.  She discussed max-out dates and earned time and its application to those who are deemed incompetent to stand trial. 

02:36:43 PM  

Cynthia Grant, representing AllHealth Network, testified in support of SB19-222.  She discussed the necessity of safety net systems.

Kiara Kuenzler, representing Jefferson Center, testified in favor of  SB19-222 and 223.  She discussed the services Jefferson Center provides and also discussed collaboration with the law enforcement and the criminal justice system for restoration services.

02:46:40 PM  

Debbie Stafford, representing Aurora Mental Health, spoke from a neutral position on SB19-222.  She discussed work with marginalized individuals and the services provided by Aurora Mental Health.  She noted certain amendments would change her position on the bill from neutral to support. 

02:50:11 PM  

Aubrey Boggs, representing Colorado Mental Wellness Network, testified in favor of SB19-222.  She discussed services and supports for individuals with mental health issues. 

Gregory King, representing himself, spoke in support of SB19-222.  He discussed his son's schizophrenia and the importance of a court system that addresses mental health needs. 

02:57:14 PM  

Mary McRae, representing Mental Health Colorado, spoke in support of SB19-222.  She discussed continuation of care and bed space for in-patient treatment.  

03:01:29 PM  

Valerie Schlecht, representing Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, testified in support of the bills.  She discussed the importance of behavioral health services.

03:03:52 PM  

Patricia Westmoreland, representing the Colorado Psychiatric Society, testified in support of SB19-222 and 223.  She discussed competency evaluations.

03:06:40 PM  

Sasha Rai, representing the Colorado Psychiatric Society, testified in favor of SB19-222 and 223.  He discussed his work as a forensic psychiatrist.

03:07:50 PM  

Nancy VanDeMark, representing Mental Health Colorado, spoke in support of both bills.  She discussed how people are best served in the community. 

03:13:03 PM  

Senator Lee laid over SB 19-222 and 223. 

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