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H_JUD_2019A 01/31/2019 01:33:16 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 01/31/2019
Attendance
Benavidez X
Bockenfeld X
Carver X
Galindo X
Gonzales-Gutierrez X
McKean E
Roberts X
Soper E
Tipper X
Herod X
Weissman X
Time 01:33:16 PM to 05:11:35 PM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Weissman
This Report was prepared by Bo Pogue
Hearing Items Action Taken
HB19-1092 Committee Discussion Only
HB19-1030 Committee Discussion Only

HB19-1092 - Committee Discussion Only


01:33:26 PM  

The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative A. Valdez, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 19-1092, concerning a prohibition on future ownership of an animal for persons convicted of animal cruelty. Representative Valdez provided background on the impacts of animal cruelty. He also explained the effect of the bill and some forthcoming amendments.

01:47:36 PM  

Representative Valdez responded to questions regarding the connection between animal cruelty and other crimes, the need for HB 19-1092 in light of judicial discretion, and enforcement of the bill. Discussion ensued regarding certain verbiage in the bill that does not grant discretion to a court.

02:00:58 PM  

Representative Valdez responded to questions regarding the types of animals that would fall under the prohibitions of HB 19-1092 and persons other than the offender who might be affected by a prohibition against owning animals under the bill. Discussion ensued regarding potential impacts of the bill on agriculture, and placement of animals when someone is prohibited from owning animals.

02:17:39 PM  

Discussion returned to the potential impact of the bill on agriculture operations. Discussion ensued regarding mental health issues associated with animal cruelty, and the potential for narrowing the scope of the bill. Representative Valdez responded to questions regarding the penalties levied under the bill.

02:27:10 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1092:

Ms. Linda Hart, representing the American Kennel Club, testified in opposition to the bill. She discussed the range of persons that would be affected by the bill apart from the person convicted of animal cruelty, and mental health issues. Ms. Hart addressed issues raised by the sponsor, and noted some laws already in place pertaining to animal cruelty.

Ms. Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Cain explained that the bill does not mandate mental health treatment, and suggested that there are better ways to address animal cruelty. She raised equal protection issues.

Mr. Rick Karcich, representing himself, testified in opposition to HB 19-1092. He discussed his work with abused animals, and made recommendations about how to improve the legislation. Ms. Cain responded to questions regarding fines levied under the bill, and mental health treatment available to perpetrators of animal cruelty. Ms. Cain responded to further questions regarding the range of behavior that constitutes animal cruelty, and methods for addressing mental health issues associated with animal cruelty. Discussion ensued regarding whether the penalties contained in the bill properly address the crimes involved. Ms. Cain responded to questions regarding the crimes addressed by the bill

02:56:18 PM  

Mr. Justin Marceau, representing himself, testified in opposition to HB 19-1092. Mr. Marceau discussed the link between animal cruelty and mental health issues, and spoke against the categorical approach of the bill. He also discussed the lack of judicial discretion in the bill, and made suggestions on how to improve the bill.

Ms. Laura Meyer, representing herself, testified in opposition to the bill. She discussed the evaluation process for those who abuse animals.

Ms. Maxine Mager, representing the Creative Acres Animal Sanctuary, testified in opposition to HB 19-1092. She expressed concerns about the bill associated with the welfare of animals, and suggested some solutions to prevent animal cruelty.

03:08:44 PM  

Ms. Aubyn Royall, representing the Humane Society, testified in support of HB 19-1092. She discussed the link between animal cruelty and other crimes, and the merits of banning those who perpetrate animal cruelty crimes from owning animals. She addressed issues raised during earlier discussion.

Ms. Sara Odendahl, representing the Dumb Friends League, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Odendahl discussed the benefits of strengthening animal cruelty statutes, and expressed support for some forthcoming amendments.

Mr. Roland Halperin, representing Colorado Voters for Animals, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the link between animal cruelty and other crimes.

Ms. Pam Dickerson, representing Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, testified in support of the bill.

Ms. Faye Kagan, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She read a statement in support of the bill authored by a third party physician.

Ms. Karen Kalavity, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Kalavity spoke in favor of maintaining a wide scope in the bill in terms of the types of animals to which its prohibitions would apply.

03:22:34 PM  

Ms. Christinia Spivack, representing the Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Spivack discussed the benefits of prohibiting the ownership of animals by those convicted of animal cruelty, and spoke in support of some amendments. She spoke in support of mental health assessments.

Ms. Suellen Scott, representing Cat Care Society, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Scott discussed the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence.

Ms. Christine Webber, representing herself, testified in support of HB 19-1092. She discussed an attack she suffered from an assailant, and the connection between animal abuse and other crimes. She discussed the merits of the legislation.

Ms. Cindy Koehler, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Koehler discussed the potential to prevent future crimes as a result of the legislation, and the enforcement aspects of the bill.

Ms. Lena Donaker, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Donaker discussed the link between animal cruelty and other crimes and aberrant behavior.

Ms. Rianda Copeland, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Copeland discussed the importance of mental health treatment in animal abuse scenarios.

03:37:20 PM  

Ms. Pat Young, representing Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, testified in support of HB 19-1092.

Ms. Esther Copeland, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Copeland spoke in support of animal welfare, and discussed the escalation of certain behaviors.

Mr. John Copeland, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Copeland offered additional comments.

03:45:11 PM  

The chair laid over HB 19-1092 for future consideration.



HB19-1030 - Committee Discussion Only


03:47:49 PM  

The committee recessed.

03:59:53 PM  

The committee returned to order. Representatives Soper and Roberts, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1030, concerning creating the crime of unlawful electronic sexual communication.  Representative Soper explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need by outlining a recent criminal case. The members confined their remarks to amendment L.003 (Attachment A), a strike-below amendment. Representative Roberts provided additional information in support of the bill.

04:08:18 PM  

Representative Roberts responded to questions regarding the charging crime for the incident referenced by Representative Soper. The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1030:

Mr. David Ulrich, representing Moffat County Schools, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Ulrich provided background on the criminal case referenced by Representative Soper, and explained the need for the bill based on this case.

Mr. Chip McIntyre, representing the Moffat School District, testified in support of the bill. Mr. McIntyre further discussed the referenced criminal case, and explained why the bill would close a loophole in current law.

Mr. Gregory Staritsky, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Staritsky discussed the classes of persons that are considered "in a position of trust," and issues associated with creating new felonies. He suggested that the bill could be overly broad in scope, and discussed some potential unintended consequences.

Ms. Laurie Rose Kepros, representing the Office of the State Public Defender and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in opposition to HB 19-1030.  Ms. Kepros discussed the classes of persons considered to be in positions of trust, and the extension of this role beyond the time of supervision. She discussed the age range associated with the bill.

Mr. Kevin Paul, representing Planned Parenthood, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed potential unintended consequences of the bill relating to the provision of health care services, and suggested amending the bill. Ms. Kepros responded to questions regarding the charging offenses in the case discussed earlier.

04:34:21 PM  

Mr. Landon Gates, representing the Colorado Association for Victim Assistance, testified in support of HB 19-1030.  Mr. Gates discussed the narrowing of the scope of the bill by amendment L.003.

Ms. Amanda Gall, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Gall clarified how the bill would harmonize with existing law, and explained its effect. She addressed earlier testimony concerning those in a position of trust. Ms. Laura Richards, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Richards discussed the need to protect children from adults who improperly communicate with them. Ms. Gall responded to questions regarding the need for HB 19-1030 in light of existing laws that may criminalize the same behaviors.

04:50:20 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding amendment L.003, and issues raised with the amendment during earlier discussion. The committee also discussed the use of communication technology by young people. Discussion returned to potentially unintended consequences from the bill, as amended.

05:05:37 PM  

Representative Soper continued to discuss the merits of amendment L.003. The committee recessed.

05:10:46 PM  

The committee returned to order. The chair laid over HB 19-1030.


05:11:35 PM   The committee adjourned.