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H_JUD_2017A 04/18/2017 Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

Date: 04/18/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 11:14 AM to 05:49 PM
Benavidez
X
Carver
X
Place: HCR 0112
Foote
*
Herod
X
This Meeting was called to order by
Lundeen
*
Representative Lee
Melton
X
Weissman
X
This Report was prepared by
Willett
X
Bo Pogue
Wist
X
Salazar
X
Lee
X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
HB17-1330

HB17-1268

HB17-1325

HB17-1303

HB17-1252
Amended, Referred to the Committee of the Whole

Referred to the Committee of the Whole

Postponed Indefinitely

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Referred to the Committee of the Whole





11:14 AM -- HB17-1330



The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Lee, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 17-1330, concerning disallowing the use of certain convictions for the purpose of adjudicating a person an habitual criminal. Representative Lee explained the effect of the bill. Representative Lee responded to questions regarding the types of correctional facilities covered by the bill. The following persons testified regarding the bill:



11:17 AM --
Ms. Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thompson addressed questions regarding what constitutes a prior offense under the bill. Committee members received information on the bill prepared by the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (Attachment A). Ms. Thompson discussed the merits of the legislation. Discussion returned to the types of correctional facilities covered by the bill.



17HouseJud0418AttachA.pdf17HouseJud0418AttachA.pdf





























11:24 AM



Representative Lee explained the effect of amendment L.001 (Attachment B).



17HouseJud0418AttachB.pdf17HouseJud0418AttachB.pdf

BILL: HB17-1330
TIME: 11:25:06 AM
MOVED: Lee
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment B). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Salazar
VOTE
Benavidez
Carver
Foote
Herod
Lundeen
Melton
Weissman
Willett
Wist
Salazar
Lee
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection



















































11:25 AM

BILL: HB17-1330
TIME: 11:25:45 AM
MOVED: Lee
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1330, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 11-0.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Benavidez
Yes
Carver
Yes
Foote
Yes
Herod
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Weissman
Yes
Willett
Yes
Wist
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Lee
Yes
Final YES: 11 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





11:27 AM



The committee recessed.





01:34 PM -- HB17-1268



The committee returned to order. Representative Herod, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 17-1268, concerning changing the maximum jail sentence for certain crimes from one year to three hundred sixty-four days. Representative Herod explained the effect of the bill. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the bill (Attachment C). The following persons testified regarding the bill:



17HouseJud0418AttachC.pdf17HouseJud0418AttachC.pdf

























01:37 PM --
Mr. Hans Meyer, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Meyer discussed the benefits of the bill. Mr. Meyer responded to questions regarding the effect of the bill on certain pleas, and the types of crimes that result in a sentence of one year in jail. Discussion ensued regarding other potential solutions to the problem being addressed by the bill.



01:47 PM --
Ms. Denise Maes, representing the ACLU, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Maes explained how the bill addresses an issue created by federal immigration law. Ms. Maes responded to questions regarding the appropriateness of addressing federal immigration issues through state law, and other states that have laws similar to HB 17-1268.



01:54 PM --
Mr. Eric Johnson, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Johnson addressed earlier questions about the types of crimes that result in a one-year jail sentence.





02:04 PM



Discussion continued regarding the types of crimes falling under the scope of the bill. Mr. Johnson discussed the benefits of the bill in the area of court administration. Discussion ensued regarding the public safety ramifications of reducing the maximum penalties for certain crimes by one day.





02:15 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the circumstances of those of foreign origin who might benefit from the change in law effectuated by HB 17-1268, and certain flaws in the federal immigration system.



02:25 PM --
Ms. Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thompson addressed earlier testimony about the circumstances of those who may benefit from the bill, and discussed the issue of collateral consequences, which the bill seeks to address. Ms. Thompson responded to questions regarding the number persons who might be affected by the passage of HB 17-1268. Discussion ensued on this point. Discussion followed regarding why level 2 drug misdemeanors are included in the scope of the bill.





02:40 PM



No amendments were offered to HB 17-1268. The committee recessed.





02:44 PM



The committee came back to order. Representative Herod provided closing remarks in support of HB 17-1268. Various committee members provided input on the bill.






















BILL: HB17-1268
TIME: 02:48:36 PM
MOVED: Herod
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1268 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 7-4.
SECONDED: Salazar
VOTE
Benavidez
Yes
Carver
No
Foote
Yes
Herod
Yes
Lundeen
No
Melton
Yes
Weissman
Yes
Willett
No
Wist
No
Salazar
Yes
Lee
Yes
Final YES: 7 NO: 4 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





02:49 PM



The committee further discussed the merits of HB 17-1268.

























































02:52 PM -- HB17-1325



Representative Landgraf, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 17-1325, concerning clarifying that money in the P.O.S.T. Board Cash Fund may be used to train military law enforcement. She asked that the bill be postponed indefinitely.

BILL: HB17-1325
TIME: 02:53:23 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Postpone House Bill 17-1325 indefinitely. The motion passed on a vote of 8-0.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Benavidez
Yes
Carver
Yes
Foote
Excused
Herod
Excused
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Weissman
Yes
Willett
Excused
Wist
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Lee
Yes
Final YES: 8 NO: 0 EXC: 3 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





02:54 PM -- HB17-1303



Representative Lee and Representative Wist, co-prime sponsors, presented House Bill 17-1303, concerning the judicial performance evaluation system. Representative Wist explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Lee provided additional input on the bill and the stakeholder process that led to its development. He also discussed the make-up of the State Commission on Judicial Performance under the bill, and its charge.



03:05 PM --
Judge Carlos Samour and Judge David Prince, judges from the Eighteenth and Fourth Judicial Districts respectively and representing the Judicial Branch, testified on the bill from a neutral perspective. Judge Samour related his impressions of the judicial performance commission system. Judge Prince discussed the quality of this system, and the potential for partisanship to take hold in the system as a result of the bill.



























03:15 PM




Discussion ensued regarding the evaluation of senior judges, and the language contained in judge evaluation forms. Discussion followed regarding the appointment process to the commission, and the use of former judges as evaluators.





03:28 PM



Discussion returned to the evaluation of senior judges, including courtroom observation.





03:41 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the impact of HB 17-1303 on the Judicial Department rulemaking process, and the process by which complaints are lodged against members of judicial performance commissions.





03:53 PM



Discussion returned to the impact of HB 17-1303 on judicial rulemaking. Judge Samour made further comments on the evaluation of senior judges. Discussion ensued regarding the appointment of former judges to the judicial performance commissions.





04:08 PM



The committee discussed the recommendations that result from the judicial performance process.



04:09 PM --
Mr. Robin Austin, representing FACEUS, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Austin discussed the lack of transparency in the judge evaluation process, and the process by which unethical conduct in the Judicial Branch is addressed. He responded to committee questions concerning judicial performance and judicial ethics.





04:19 PM



Mr. Austin continued to responded to committee questions concerning his position on the bill, and ways to improve the judicial performance evaluation process.



04:23 PM --
Ms. Heather Hanneman, representing the Judicial Performance Commission (commission), testified in support of the bill. Mr. Kent Wagner, representing the commission, came to the table to make himself available for technical questions. Ms. Hanneman discussed the effectiveness of the commission's work. She also provided suggestions for improving the judicial evaluation process. Ms. Hanneman responded to committee questions concerning her suggestions for improving the commission's work and complaints against commissioners.





















04:31 PM



Mr. Wagner stated that he had not received complaints about the conduct of commissioners, and discussed the nature of complaints that have been received about the evaluation process. He also responded to a question concerning specific provisions of the bill concerning standards used by the commission. In response to a question, Mr. Wagner discussed performance standards and criteria used by other states. Ms. Hanneman, Mr. Wagner, and the committee continued to discuss standards required by the bill.





04:43 PM



Mr. Wagner responded to questions regarding the surveys conducted during the judicial evaluation process.





04:55 PM



Ms. Hanneman responded to questions regarding the inclusion of senior judges in the evaluation process under HB 17-1303. Discussion returned to the use of former judges in the evaluation process.



05:00 PM --
Mr. Chris Forsyth, representing the Judicial Integrity Project, testified in opposition to HB 17-1303. He explained why the bill represents a step backwards for judicial commissions and the judge performance evaluation process, noting some transparency, conflict-of-interest, and partisanship issues.



05:03 PM --
Ms. Stacy Carpenter, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified on the bill from a neutral perspective. Ms. Carpenter noted some potential amendments to the bill that would improve the legislation. Ms. Carpenter responded to questions regarding the choices available to voters in evaluating sitting judges, and the reasons why judges that receive "do not retain" recommendations are nonetheless retained. Mr. Wagner returned to respond to a question regarding the rate at which those who receive a "do not retain" recommendation are retained.



05:21 PM --
Ms. Luanne Fleming, representing FACEUS, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Fleming noted some transparency and information issues with the bill, and discussed issues experienced by her families and others as the result of the actions of a particular judge. Ms. Fleming responded to questions regarding the background checks that a judge must undergo.



05:25 PM --
Ms. Marilyn Chappell, representing the Colorado Judicial Institute, testified on the bill. Ms Chappell discussed the efficacy of the state's judicial performance evaluation process.



05:28 PM --
Mr. Andrew Toft, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified on the bill.



05:30 PM --
Mr. Peter Coulter, representing Transparent Courts, testified in opposition to HB 17-1303. Mr. Coulter discussed some flaws in the judge survey process, and suggested a remedy. He also addressed the issue of evaluating senior judges.



























05:35 PM



HB 17-1303 was laid over. The committee recessed.





05:39 PM -- HB17-1252



Representative Ginal, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 17-1252, concerning the collection of court costs from persons who are convicted of criminal offenses. Representative Ginal explained that the bill arises as a clean up of HB 16-1378, and discussed its effect. The following persons testified on the bill:



05:42 PM --
Sergeant Dave Hall, Colorado State Patrol, and Mr. Arnold Hanuman, Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Sergeant Hall explained why the Colorado State Patrol was excluded from the scope of HB 16-1378. Mr. Hanuman explained the unintended consequences of the previous year's legislation for district attorneys.



05:46 PM --
Ms. Peg Ackerman, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of HB 17-1252. Ms. Ackerman provided further input on the unintended consequences of HB 16-1378.











































































05:48 PM



No amendments were offered to HB 17-1252.

BILL: HB17-1252
TIME: 05:48:15 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1252 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 11-0.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Benavidez
Yes
Carver
Yes
Foote
Yes
Herod
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Weissman
Yes
Willett
Yes
Wist
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Lee
Yes
Final YES: 11 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





05:49 PM



The committee adjourned.


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