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A01714F8C8CCFB4C872583E4007D77A2 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For HB19-1263

SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Apr 22, 2019      
Location SCR 352



HB19-1263 - Amended, referred to Senate Finance


04:50:28 PM  

Senators Lee and Marble, co-prime sponsors, explained HB 19-1263, concerning changing the penalty for certain violations pursuant to the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013," and in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation. 

Senator Lee discussed the necessity of the bill.  He discussed prison and jail over-crowding and the importance of drug treatment and sentencing options. 

Senator Marble explained that the bill is a paradigm shift in the way the criminal justice system looks at drug possession.  She discussed how the bill distinguishes between first time and second time users and creates a local grant program for substance use or mental health treatment diversion programs.  

Committee members discussed incentives, felony case filings, and diversion programs. 

 

 

 

05:16:08 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding the effect of HB 19-1263 on jail populations, and the crimes that fall within the scope of the bill.  Further discussion followed about drug courts and rehab and concerns that the bill takes away incentives without the hammer of incarceration. 

 

05:32:39 PM  

Committee members acknowledged philosophical disagreements about the bill.

05:36:39 PM  

Christie Donner, representing the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed the need to intervene with drug addiction because it's a revolving door into jail and prison otherwise.  She noted that felony case filings have doubled since 2012.  She emphasized research findings that support swift and sure punishment, not severity.

Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in favor of the measure.  She discussed drug addiction, the increase in case filings, and current practices that have not yielded results.  

The committee discussed the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. 

 

05:59:56 PM  

Further questions were raised about alcohol and drug treatment programming in county jails and the Department of Corrections.  Discussion followed about community-based treatment. 

 

06:06:40 PM  

Matt Turner, representing the Weld County Sheriff's Office, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He raised concerns about costs and effectiveness.

Janet Huffor, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified against the bill.  She first read a letter into the record from Justin Smith from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office in opposition to the bill (Attachment D).   She next spoke on her own behalf and raised concerns about costs. 

Heather Carmosino, representing Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill.  She cited cost concerns and conflicts with federal law. 

06:22:05 PM  

Lt. David Manzanilla, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's office, spoke in opposition to the bill. He discussed overdoses.

06:25:35 PM  

Committee discussion followed about costs associated with the bill and the impact on local criminal justice systems.

06:33:05 PM  

Bill Elder, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and County Sheriffs of Colorado, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He discussed drug classification and raised concerns about costs and impact on county jails

06:39:57 PM  

Chris Brown, representing himself as a former law enforcement officer, testified against the bill.  He raised concerns that the bill is too narrowly focused.  The committee asked questions about confidential informants. 

06:44:37 PM  

The committee discussed the impact on county jails and raised questions about repeat offenders and individuals charged with multiple offenses.

06:52:07 PM  

Jim Bullock, District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District, spoke in opposition to the bill. He discussed risk assessments, criminogenic factors. legal coercion, and wobblers.

Michael Allen, District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District, spoke in opposition to the bill. He raised issues with problem-solving courts and plea bargains. 

07:02:49 PM  

Cliff Riedel, District Attorney for the 8th Judicial District, testified in opposition to the bill.  He expressed concerns that the bill ties a district attorney's hands and does not accomplish treatment objectives. 

07:09:55 PM  

Beth McCann, District Attorney for the City and County of Denver, testified in support fo the bill. She discussed collateral consequences of a felony conviction.  She stressed that current practices are not working. 

07:14:22 PM  

Lisa Raville, representing the Harm Reduction Action Center, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed the client base at the Harm Reduction Action Center and collateral consequences. 

07:15:44 PM  

Lee Ann Wheeler, representing herself and veterans, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the benefits of a veteran's court and treatment.

07:18:52 PM  

Hassan Latif, representing the Second Chance Center, testified in support of the bill.  He stressed that a threat of a felony is not a deterrent and noted the disproportionate representation of minorities in felony case filings. 

07:23:20 PM  

Dr. Rollin Oden, representing The Addiction Profession, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the relationship between addiction and trauma. 

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed collateral consequences and noted that threats of incarceration do not work on this population.

07:29:47 PM  

Cheryl Wilson, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She relayed a personal story about her daughter and addiction. 

07:32:48 PM  

Denise Maes, representing the ACLU, spoke in favor of the bill.  She addressed concerns raised by those in opposition to the bill. 

07:37:08 PM  

Art Way, representing the Drug Policy Alliance, testified in support of the bill.  He addressed collateral consequences and stressed that a threat of a felony does not incentivize treatment.

07:40:44 PM  

Valerie Schlecht, representing the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, testified in support of the bill. She discussed collateral consequences. 

Senator Gardner distributed and explained amendment L. 015 (Attachment E). 



07:53:34 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.015
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Moreno No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
07:53:35 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained amendment L. 013 (Attachment F).



07:56:15 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.013
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Moreno Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
07:56:16 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained L. 014 (Attachment G).  



07:59:15 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.014
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Moreno Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
07:59:16 PM  

Senator Lee made closing remarks. 



08:02:09 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1263, as amended, to the Committee on Finance.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Moreno Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS