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h_jud_2017a_2017-02-07t13:31:33z1 Hearing Summary

Date: 02/07/2017

Location: HCR 0112

Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB17-1035



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.007 (Attachment C). The motion p

Refer House Bill 17-1035, as amended, to the Commi
Pass Without Objection

PASS







01:50 PM -- HB17-1035



Representative Jackson, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 17-1035, concerning allowing certain crime victims to break their rental agreements under certain circumstances. Representative Jackson explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Jackson made some remarks about the forthcoming testimony. The following persons testified regarding HB 17-1035:



01:56 PM --
Ms. Allison Rocker, representing the Denver District Attorney's Office, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Rocker specifically addressed the crime of stalking. Ms. Rocker addressed certain elements of the crime of stalking. Discussion ensued regarding the need for multiple instances of stalking behavior before charges may be filed, and the proof of stalking required under the bill to break a lease.



02:02 PM --
Ms. Raana Simmons, representing the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, testified in support of HB 17-1035. Ms. Simmons discussed the impact of being unable to exit a lease on victims of sexual assault, and the obstacles facing victims of sexual assault. She discussed the benefits of the bill. Ms. Simmons responded to questions regarding the Address Confidentiality Program, and the ability of victims to remain anonymous when lawfully breaking a lease under the bill.



02:08 PM --
Ms. Lydia Waligorski, representing the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Waligorski discussed successes experienced in working with property managers to allow victims of certain crimes to exit their leases. Ms. Waligorski responded to questions regarding the rate of abuse of local-government programs that allow sexual assault and stalking victims to exit their leases, and clarified the effect of the bill.



02:15 PM --
Ms. Shelby Ramirez, representing herself and 9 to 5, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Ramirez recounted some personal experiences with needing to exit a lease early.



02:20 PM --
Ms. Michelle Aswad, representing herself, testified in support of HB 17-1035. Ms. Aswad recounted her experience in needing to exit a lease early, and addressed some potential objections to the bill.



02:25 PM --
Ms. Becky Bornhoft, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bornhoft recounted her experiences as a victim of an attack in her home.



02:29 PM -- AG, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. AG discussed the impact of crimes perpetrated against her on her ability to maintain a domicile.



02:32 PM -- SH, representing herself, testified in support of HB 17-1035. SH discussed her inability to exit a lease when she was the victim of stalking, and explained the benefits of the bill.



02:35 PM -- Ms. Jackie Cash, representing the Department of Personnel and Administration, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Cash provided a history and overview of the Address Confidentiality Program, and explained how the program functions. She explained how the bill will benefit the program's clients. Ms. Cash responded to questions regarding the availability of bridge funding for those who are displaced by sexual violence, and how information is transmitted from former landlords and participants in the Address Confidentiality Program. Ms. Cash responded to further questions regarding the potential for amending HB 17-1035 to ensure confidentiality of program participants is maintained by former landlords, and information that would be provided under the program as proof of the lawful exit of a lease under the bill. Discussion ensued regarding the dependents of a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program, and certain information that might reveal the identity of a program participant.



02:48 PM -- Ms. Tracy Tatro Swindle, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Swindle discussed her work as a nurse catering to victims of sexual violence, and recounted her personal experiences with such violence. Ms. Swindle explained how the bill would assist victims.



02:51 PM -- Ms. Leanna Stouffer, representing Project Safeguard, testified in support of HB 17-1035. Ms. Stouffer discussed the work of her organization, and the merits of the legislation. Discussion ensued regarding a fact pattern involving a demand for compliance issued to a victim by a landlord.



02:59 PM --
Ms. Kylie Mallory-Halter, representing herself, testified in support of HB 17-1035. Ms. Mallory-Halter discussed her experiences in assisting college students who are victims of sexual assault with recovery, including assisting them in relocating. She explained how the bill would be beneficial in these situations.



03:02 PM --
Ms. Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, representing 9 to 5, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Chiriboga-Flor discussed the lack of protections for certain populations of renters, ad recounted the experiences of a renter who was subjected to domestic violence and could not exit the lease. She discussed the benefits of the legislation.



03:07 PM --
Ms. Ana Cornelius, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Cornelius discussed some common patterns of behavior of victims of domestic violence, and protections that should be afforded to victims. She spoke in favor of strengthening tenants rights, and recounted her personal experience with eviction.



03:10 PM --
Ms. Maggie Lowery, representing the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, testified in support of HB 17-1035. She discussed the financial burdens experienced by victims of sexual assault and stalking who are under lease obligations, and noted the benefits of the bill.



03:13 PM --
Ms. Brittany Katalenas, representing the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Katalenas discussed her work in assisting victims, and the imbalance in landlord-tenant law. Ms. Katalenas recounted her experiences with eviction. Committee members received the written testimony of Cristina Aguilar (Attachment B).



17HouseJud0207AttachB.pdf17HouseJud0207AttachB.pdf



03:18 PM --
Ms. Deborah Wilson, representing herself and the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, testified on the bill. Ms. Wilson explained how property managers attempt to work with victims in terminating leases, and expressed some concerns with the bill. She proposed amending the bill to address these concerns. Ms. Wilson clarified her reservations with the bill, and responded to questions regarding the costs to landlords to find a new tenant when a person exits a lease early.





03:28 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the elements of the crime of stalking. Discussion followed regarding earlier testimony about a demand by a landlord to a victim to comply with a lease agreement, and the difficulties experienced by landlords in finding new tenants when a lease is terminated. Discussion turned to certain liability issues that landlords might face for not allowing a victim to exit a lease.





03:39 PM



Ms. Wilson responded to questions regarding the threshold for victims to legally exit a lease under the bill, as compared to current law. Discussion ensued regarding proof required of a victim to exit a lease under the bill. Ms. Wilson recounted a situation where a tenant may have tried to fraudulently exit a lease, and responded to questions regarding the rate of abuse of current law to exit leases. Ms. Wilson responded to questions regarding her organization's position on similar, previously adopted landlord-tenant legislation.



03:54 PM --
Ms. Margaret Olek Esler, representing the Colorado Apartment Association and Apartment Association of Metro Denver, testified on HB 17-1035 from a neutral position. Ms. Olek Esler expressed some concerns with the bill, and suggested amendments to address the concerns. Ms. Olek Esler responded to questions regarding her request that amendments to the bill create a nexus between the crime precipitating a lawful lease termination and the location of the rented apartment. Discussion returned to the definition of stalking in current law. Ms. Olek Esler responded to questions regarding a fact pattern on a college campus that might be affected by the bill and suggested amendments.





04:06 PM



Representatives Foote and Salazar explained the effect of amendment L.007 (Attachment C).



17HouseJud0207AttachC.pdf17HouseJud0207AttachC.pdf

BILL: HB17-1035
TIME: 04:07:15 PM
MOVED: Foote
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.007 (Attachment C). 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





04:11 PM



Representative Willett discussed the potential for amending the bill to address certain concerns expressed during testimony. Discussion ensued on this point. Representative Jackson provided closing remarks in support of HB 17-1035.

BILL: HB17-1035
TIME: 04:14:57 PM
MOVED: Weissman
MOTION: Refer House Bill 17-1035, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 11-0.
SECONDED: Lundeen
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







04:19 PM



The committee recessed.