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h_jud_2017a_2017-04-20t13:40:03z5 Hearing Summary

Date: 04/20/2017

Location: RM 271

Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB17-1313



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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10:00 PM -- HB17-1313



The committee returned to order. Representatives Herod and Humphrey, co-prime sponsors, presented House Bill 17-1313, concerning civil forfeiture reform. The bill makes various statutory changes related to the civil forfeiture process. The bill requires the director of the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to establish a form for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and multijurisdictional task forces (seizing agencies) to use in submitting to DOLA biannual reports containing specified information on seizures through which the seizing agencies received proceeds from a forfeiture and the use of the proceeds. Based on the reports, DOLA is to post on its website a searchable database that includes the information contained in the biannual reports and a summary report of the information. Seizing agencies are required to submit the biannual reports containing information known to the agency by specified dates, and the director of DOLA may issue civil penalties for failure to file or late filing of the reports. The bill directs the executive director of DOLA to submit an annual report to the Governor, Attorney General, and House and Senate Judiciary Committees on seizure and forfeiture activity in the state. The bill also prohibits seizing agencies from receiving forfeiture proceeds from the federal government unless the aggregate net equity value of the property and currency seized in the case is more than $50,000 and the federal government commences a forfeiture proceeding that relates to a filed criminal case. Representative Herod distributed a letter of support from Denver District Attorney Beth McCann (Attachment G). Representatives Herod and Humphrey distributed Amendment L.002 (Attachment H), Amendment L.003 (Attachment I), Amendment L.004 (Attachment J), Amendment L.010 (Attachment K), and Amendment L.011 (Attachment L).



17HouseJud0420AttachG.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachG.pdf 17HouseJud0420AttachH.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachH.pdf



17HouseJud0420AttachI.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachI.pdf 17HouseJud0420AttachJ.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachJ.pdf



17HouseJud0420AttachK.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachK.pdf 17HouseJud0420AttachL.pdf17HouseJud0420AttachL.pdf



Representatives Herod and Humphrey responded to questions from the committee regarding the bill.



10:19 PM --
Mr. Tom Raynes, Executive Director, Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill and discussed asset forfeiture practices.



10:30 PM --
Mr. Scott Turner, Attorney General's Office, testified in support of the bill.





10:37 PM



Mr. Raynes and Mr. Turner responded to questions from the committee regarding forfeiture procedures and state and federal government practices. Mr. Raynes further responded to questions regarding the reporting requirements of the bill. Mr. Turner clarified at what point a federal agency acts as the main seizing agent and when state seizing agencies step in. Committee discussion ensued.



10:56 PM --
Mr. Mike Rankin, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed CBI's forfeiture procedures and the work that CBI conducts under the purview of the Department of Justice.



11:00 PM --
Deputy Chief Mark Savage, Colorado State Patrol, testified in opposition to the bill and discussed civil forfeiture practices in the state.



11:03 PM --
Mr. Stan Hilkey, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety, testified in opposition to the bill and expressed concern for the threshold established in the bill.





11:13 PM



Mr. Hilkey, Deputy Chief Savage, and Mr. Rankin responded to questions from the committee regarding the impact on local agencies of civil seizure.



11:17 PM --
Ms. Rose Pugliese, Mesa County Commissioner, testified in opposition to the bill and explained how the bill could impact rural communities.



11:21 PM --
Mr. Richard Orf, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:23 PM --
Ms. Meghan Dollar, Colorado Municipal League, testified in opposition to the bill, specifically in regard to fines that would be levied on law enforcement agencies for not meeting the reporting requirements in the bill.





11:26 PM



Ms. Pugliese responded to questions from the committee regarding the funds that rural communities receive from the seizure of assets. Ms. Dollar responded to questions regarding the levying of fines on local agencies.



11:30 PM --
Sheriff Tony Spurlock, Douglas County Sheriff representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:34 PM --
Sheriff Bruce Hartman, Gilpin County Sheriff representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:40 PM --
Mr. Ron Sloan, Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:41 PM --
Mr. Sean Harper, Fraternal Order of Police, testified in opposition to the introduced version of the bill, but would support an amended version of the bill.





11:45 PM



Mr. Sloan responded to questions from the committee.



11:48 PM --
Chief Pete Carey, Colorado Springs, testified in opposition to the bill, but stated he would support the bill with amendments



11:51 PM --
Ms. Amanda Terrell-Orr, Colorado Springs Police Department, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:57 PM --
Mr. Thor Eells, Colorado Springs Police Department, testified in opposition to the bill.



11:58 PM --
Mr. Paul Avelar, Institute of Justice, testified in support of the bill.



12:01 AM --
Ms. Denise Maes, American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Maes responded to questions from the committee.





12:11 AM



Mr. Avelar and Ms. Maes responded to questions from the committee regarding the allocation of the moneys collected from asset forfeiture.




12:25 AM --
Mr. Tim Quinn, Colorado Bar Association, testified in support of the bill.



12:26 AM --
Mr. Bennett Rutledge, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.



12:29 AM --
Mr. Bruce Eisenhauer, DOLA, testified in opposition to the bill as introduced.



12:30 AM --
Ms. Cindy Sovine-Miller, Drug Policy Alliance, testified in support of the bill.



12:31 AM --
Mr. Matthew Kahl, representing VNR, testified in support of the bill.





12:33 AM



The chair laid over HB 17-1313 to Tuesday, April 27.





12:34 AM



The committee recessed.








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