Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

H_JUD_2019A 02/05/2019 01:38:36 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 02/05/2019
Attendance
Benavidez X
Bockenfeld X
Carver X
Galindo X
Gonzales-Gutierrez X
McKean X
Roberts X
Soper X
Tipper X
Herod X
Weissman X
Time 01:38:36 PM to 04:54:25 PM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Weissman
This Report was prepared by Bo Pogue
Hearing Items Action Taken
SB19-027 Lay Over
HB19-1130 Referred to the Committee of the Whole

SB19-027 - Lay Over


01:39:35 PM  

The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative D. Valdez, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 19-027, concerning authorization for a county to use any lawful method to give final disposition to an unclaimed dead body.  Representative Valdez explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. The following persons testified regarding the bill:

Mr. Jason Kelly, representing Alamosa County, testified in support of the bill. He discussed some issues associated with paying for the final disposition of the indigent.

Mr. Eric Bergman, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., testified in support of the bill. He discussed the position of county coroners on the bill, and the optional nature of the legislation. Mr. Bergman discussed the rate of cremation as compared to burial, and the effect of some forthcoming amendments. Discussion ensued regarding the typical process with respect to handling an unidentified or unclaimed dead body, and the typical amount of time that local governments take to try to identify a body. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding the number of bodies that go unclaimed each year.

01:52:04 PM  

Discussion returned to the amount of time that local governments usually spend in identifying a dead human body. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding attempts to identify bodies using DNA and other technology for identification. Discussion ensued regarding types of bodily disposal. Mr. Jerry Payne, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided input on this issue. Discussion followed regarding how assets of an unidentified body are handled. Mr. Payne discussed the drafting of SB 19-027. Discussion turned to existing statute that allows for an unclaimed body to be turned over to a friend or civic organization, and liability for not turning a body over to the Anatomical Board. Discussion returned to the use of DNA testing for identification.

02:02:33 PM  

Mr. Kelly responded to questions regarding safeguards with respect to disposition of a dead human body, including safeguards based on religious affiliation. Mr. Kelly responded to further questions regarding how costs are handled by local governments when burying or cremating the indigent. Discussion ensued regarding the potential for requiring local governments to enter data on unclaimed bodies in a national database. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding a forthcoming amendment.

Ms. Kathy Oatis, representing the Colorado Coroners Association, testified regarding SB 19-027. Ms. Oatis expressed concerns with some of the proposed amendments. Discussion ensued regarding these amendments. Discussion returned to the National Unclaimed Body Database, and the time frames established by the bill. Ms. Oatis responded to questions regarding involvement of coroners in the mortuary business.

02:18:43 PM  

Representative Valdez explained the effect of amendments L.005 (Attachment A) and L.007 (Attachment B).



02:20:29 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.005
Moved Herod
Seconded Roberts
Benavidez
Bockenfeld
Carver
Galindo
Gonzales-Gutierrez
McKean
Roberts
Soper
Tipper
Herod
Weissman
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:21:14 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding amendment L.006 (Attachment C).

02:21:40 PM  

The committee recessed.

02:25:50 PM  

The committee returned to order. The chair laid over SB 19-027.



HB19-1130 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


02:27:19 PM  

The committee recessed.

02:28:16 PM  

The committee returned to order. Representatives Liston and Hooton, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1130, concerning a requirement that a person have a certification from the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board in order to be eligible to serve as the elected sheriff of a county of the state.  Representative Liston explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Hooton provided input on the merits of the bill. Representative Hooton responded to questions regarding physical fitness and other requirements for POST certification. Discussion ensued on this point. Representative Hooton clarified the effect of the legislation, and the reasons behind running the bill. Discussion followed regarding county sheriff as an elected position, and the authority held by sheriffs.

02:46:26 PM  

Representative Liston responded to questions regarding the ability of private individuals to seek POST certification. Representatives Hooton and Liston responded to questions regarding the timing of the POST certification requirement under the bill. The sponsors deferred certain questions to forthcoming witnesses. Discussion ensued regarding the training required to attain POST certification, and educational requirements for certain elected officials. Discussion followed regarding the training currently required of sheriffs once they are elected, and checks and balances with respect to elected sheriffs.

03:01:46 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding the need for the legislation. Representative Liston responded to questions regarding the costs associated with training once a sheriff is elected. The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1130:

Sheriffs Tony Spurlock and Joe Pelle, representing County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Sheriff Spurlock addressed questions raised during earlier conversation, and requirements for gaining a law enforcement position. Sheriff Spurlock discussed the duties of a sheriff, and explained how the bill helps to ensure public safety. Sheriff Pelle explained that he supports the bill because peace officers should be qualified for their jobs, and responded to questions raised during earlier discussion concerning training currently required of newly elected sheriffs. Sheriff Pelle responded to questions regarding academies that provide POST training.

03:20:53 PM  

Discussion returned to the physical fitness requirements for attaining POST certification, and the ability of newly elected sheriffs to perform certain duties prior to attaining POST certification under current law. Sheriff Pelle responded to questions regarding education required for POST certification, and instances where sheriffs have been elected without POST certification. Sheriff Spurlock discussed the need for HB 19-1130. Discussion ensued regarding the potential impact of the bill on the ability of rural counties to field candidates for sheriff. Discussion returned to the requirements and duties associated with other government positions. Discussion followed regarding certain positions that require POST certification.

03:39:37 PM  

Sheriff Pelle responded to questions regarding the duration of POST certification, and provisional certification. Discussion returned to the duties of sheriffs, and the need for them to be properly trained. Discussion ensued regarding previous legislation adopted by the General Assembly to address certain POST certification requirements for sheriffs.

03:58:17 PM  

Sheriff Spurlock responded to questions regarding the importance of training to a sheriff being able to perform the job.

Sheriff Bill Elder and Sheriff Jeff Shrader, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of HB 19-1130. Sheriff Elder discussed the scope of his duties, and addressed questions raised during earlier conversation. He provided some history on the office of sheriff and POST certification, and background on the POST Board. Sheriff Shrader discussed the importance of sheriffs being qualified for the job once they assume the office. Discussion ensued regarding a sheriff's POST certification status when the shooting at Columbine High School occurred.

04:16:30 PM  

Sheriff Elder responded to questions regarding recourse in the case of a sheriff not properly performing duties, and the ramifications of a sheriff losing POST certification. Discussion returned to certification requirements for other government positions.

04:22:32 PM  

No amendments were offered to HB 19-1130. Representatives Hooton and Liston provided closing remarks in support of the bill. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.



04:54:11 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1130 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved McKean
Seconded Carver
Benavidez No
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo No
Gonzales-Gutierrez No
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Soper Yes
Tipper Yes
Herod No
Weissman No
Final YES: 6   NO: 5   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:54:25 PM   The committee adjourned.