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H_JUD_2019A 02/12/2019 01:33:35 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 02/12/2019
Attendance
Benavidez X
Bockenfeld X
Carver X
Galindo *
Gonzales-Gutierrez X
McKean X
Roberts X
Soper *
Tipper X
Herod *
Weissman X
Time 01:33:35 PM to 06:43:24 PM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Weissman
This Report was prepared by Bo Pogue
Hearing Items Action Taken
HB19-1064 Committee Discussion Only
HB19-1144 Postponed Indefinitely
HB19-1155 Referred to the Committee of the Whole
HB19-1148 Referred to the Committee of the Whole
HB19-1146 Postponed Indefinitely

HB19-1064 - Committee Discussion Only


01:33:47 PM  

The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Sullivan, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 19-1064, concerning eliminating requirements that victims must opt in to effect their rights in criminal proceedings.  Representative Sullivan explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need.

01:40:50 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1064:

Dr. Sharon Anable, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Dr. Anable discussed a crime that affected her family and the impact it has had on her and her family. She explained why ample notification of court events related to the crime is necessary.

Mr. Ray Harlan, representing Colorado Victims for Justice, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Harlan recounted a crime perpetrated against his family in Wyoming, and explained how the victim notification program in effect there compares to Colorado's. He recounted a second crime, and explained how the timing of the court proceedings made it difficult to track case.

Mr. Bill Buckley, representing himself, testified in support of HB 19-1064. Mr. Buckley recounted a crime perpetrated against his family, and explained the benefits of making the crime victim notification system an "opt-out" system.

Mr. Joe Cannatta, representing Voices of Victims, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Cannatta explained how the crime victim notification system is confusing to victim families, and discussed the need for the system to be opt-out in nature.

Ms. Valarie Finks, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Finks read a statement from Mr. George Brauchler, District Attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial District.

Ms. Nancy Lewis, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Lewis discussed the benefits of creating an opt-out victim notification system, and the fiscal impact of the bill.

Ms. Leanna Stoufer, representing herself, testified in support of HB 19-1064. Ms. Stoufer recounted a crime perpetrated against her, and explained how she elected to participate in the victim notification program. She discussed the benefits of participating in the program, and explained that some victims miss the opportunity to participate in the program. Discussion ensued regarding how the current victim notification process is inadequate, and the ability on the part of victims and their families to join the program.  Discussion followed regarding other jurisdictions that have switched to an opt-out victim notification system.

02:13:18 PM  

Ms. Ashley Arens, representing the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, testified in support of HB 19-1064. Ms. Arens discussed the rights of victims under law, and the importance of the victim notification system. She discussed the benefits of switching to an opt-out system.

Mr. Tim Lopez, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Lopez discussed crimes that impacted his family, and explained how trauma often prevents victims and families from signing up for the victim notification system. He also discussed the difficulties of tracking court activity associated with crimes, and the benefits of an opt-out victim notification system. Discussion ensued regarding how information is transmitted in the victim notification system, and the potential for creating a centralized database for victim notification. Discussion followed regarding the state's victim notification platform.

Mr. Robert Chase, representing himself, testified regarding the bill. Mr. Chase rebutted assertions made during previous testimony.

Mr Steve Seigel, representing the Denver District Attorney's Office and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Seigel discussed the current victim notification platform. Discussion ensued regarding the efficacy of the platform and ways to improve it.

02:41:22 PM  

Mr. Aaron Carpenter, Legislative Council Staff, responded to questions regarding the fiscal impact of HB 19-1064. Discussion ensued regarding how to improve the victim notification program, and costs associated with a proposed upgraded program.

02:49:12 PM  

No amendments were offered to HB 19-1064. Representative Sullivan discussed how to proceed with the bill, and the merits of HB 19-1064. Chairman Wiessman laid the bill over for action on a future date.



HB19-1144 - Postponed Indefinitely


02:56:59 PM  

Representative Sullivan, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 19-1144, concerning allowing a court facility dog to accompany a child witness during testimony in trial proceedings.  Representative Sullivan explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need.

03:02:00 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1144:

Mr. Gregory Staritsky, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Staritsky explained how dogs accompanying child witnesses might taint a jury.

Ms. Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Cain explained why the matter addressed by the bill should be the purview of the court and not state law, and discussed problems that could arise with animals in the courtroom. Discussion ensued regarding Ms. Cain's testimony, and the ownership of dogs used under the bill. Ms. Cain responded to questions regarding potential challenges to the use of dogs with child witnesses based upon prejudice.

03:18:06 PM  

Mr. Gary Dawson, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of HB 19-1144. Mr. Dawson discussed the benefits of using dogs for comfort in a court setting, and the dog used in his district.

Ms. Amber Urban, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Urban discussed the use of a dog in the district. Discussion ensued regarding the necessity of HB 19-1144 considering judicial discretion. Ms. Urban responded to questions regarding funding for the dog in the Eighteenth Judicial District, and the potential for other animals to be brought into courtrooms for comfort purposes. Discussion returned to dogs in courtrooms as a matter of judicial discretion. Mr. Dawson responded to questions regarding other states that have dog-in-courtroom statutes. Ms. Urban responded to questions regarding the frequency of use of a dog in Eighteenth Judicial District court proceedings. Mr. Dawson responded to questions regarding standards for allowing dogs in a courtroom, and the age limit in the bill. Discussion followed regarding why the sponsor chose the standard contained in the bill.

03:44:21 PM  

Ms. Valarie Finks, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in support of HB 19-1144.  Ms. Finks discussed support provided to victims in court, and the benefits of using dogs for such support.

Ms. Beth Wilson, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Wilson discussed some cases that point to the benefits of using dogs in court.

Ms. Amanda Keil, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. She discussed her experience in using a dog in court. Discussion ensued regarding the standard for allowing comfort dogs in a courtroom.

Ms. Lori Greenstone, representing Colorado Voters for Animals, testified in support of HB 19-1144. Ms. Greenstone discussed the calming benefits of therapy dogs.

Mr. Robert Chase, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Chase suggested that dogs in courtrooms is prejudicial. Mr. Dawson returned to respond to questions regarding caselaw surrounding the use of dogs in courtrooms.

04:09:11 PM  

Representative Sullivan requested that HB 19-1144 be postponed indefinitely in lieu of additional forthcoming legislation on the matter.



04:12:02 PM
Motion Postpone House Bill 19-1144 indefinitely.
Moved Benavidez
Seconded Herod
Benavidez Yes
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean Excused
Roberts Yes
Soper Yes
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB19-1155 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


04:12:24 PM  

The committee recessed.

04:25:12 PM  

The committee returned to order. Representatives Michaelson Jenet and Carver, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1155, concerning adding certain conduct to the definition of sexual contact.  Representative Michaelson Jenet discussed a criminal case that led to the introduction of the legislation, and explained the need for the bill. Representative Carver provided further information on the criminal case, and explained the effect of the bill.

04:33:28 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1155:

Mr. Dave Young, representing the Seventeenth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the bill (Attachment A).  Mr. Young provided additional detail on the criminal case discussed by the sponsors, and explained how the bill will help close a loophole in criminal law.

Ms. Amanda Gall, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Gall provided further information on the closing of a loophole by the bill. Ms. Gall responded to questions regarding other crimes that would be impacted by HB 19-1155, and the scope of age covered by the bill. Ms. Gall responded to further questions regarding the potential impact of the bill on certain populations.

Ms. Alexis King, representing the Colorado Women's Bar Association, testified in support of the bill. Ms. King explained why the definition of sexual contact should be expanded by the bill.

Ms. Diana Goldberg, representing Children's Advocacy Centers, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Goldberg discussed criminal cases similar to the one that prompted the introduction of HB 19-1155.

Mr. Landon Gates, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in support of the bill.

04:51:09 PM  

No amendments were offered to HB 19-1155. The prime sponsors provided closing remarks in support of the bill. Representative Herod provided her position on the bill.



04:55:13 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1155 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Carver
Seconded Galindo
Benavidez Yes
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Soper Yes
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
Final YES: 11   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB19-1148 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


04:55:30 PM  

Representative Herod, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 19-1148, concerning changing the maximum jail sentence for certain crimes from one year to 364 days.  Representative Herod explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the legislation (Attachment B). Representative Herod responded to questions regarding the information in the fact sheet.

05:02:54 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1148:

Mr. Eric Johnson, representing the Colorado Bar Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Johnson responded to a question raised during earlier conversation, and explained the criminal grounds that trigger the deportation of an individual.

Mr. Joshua Mitson, representing the Meyer Law Office, testified in support of the bill.

Ms. Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Gorman explained that the bill will help the judiciary become more efficient, and discussed some unintended consequences of the current maximum sentence for certain misdemeanor offenses. Discussion ensued regarding other states and jurisdictions that have passed laws similar to HB 19-1148. Mr. Mitson responded to questions regarding the definition of moral turpitude. Mr. Johnson responded to questions regarding the definition of felony under federal law, and attorney malpractice associated with pleas that might trigger deportability. Discussion ensued on this point, and regarding a U.S. Supreme Court case that touches on the point. Discussion returned to the number of states with laws similar to HB 19-1148. Representative Herod and Mr. Johnson responded to questions regarding the types of misdemeanors that might trigger deportability. Mr. Johnson responded to questions regarding differing impact of a misdemeanor charge for those in the country with status and those without status. Discussion returned to the types of crimes affected by the bill, and the U.S. Supreme Court case impacting immigration.

05:44:22 PM  

Ms. Denise Maes, representing the ACLU, testified in support of HB 19-1148 Ms. Maes addressed questions and issues raised during earlier conversation.

Mr. Tim Lopez, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Lopez discussed the position of the Denver Democratic Party on a Denver municipal ordinance concerning immigration.



05:59:41 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1148 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Herod
Seconded Tipper
Benavidez Yes
Bockenfeld No
Carver No
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean No
Roberts Yes
Soper No
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
Final YES: 7   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB19-1146 - Postponed Indefinitely


06:00:03 PM  

The committee recessed.

06:09:41 PM  

The committee returned to order. Representatives Roberts and McKean, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1146, concerning the offense of tandem DUI per se.  Representative Roberts noted that the sponsors would be asking for the bill to be postponed indefinitely, and provided background on the legislation. Representative McKean provided additional input on the intent of the bill.

06:15:28 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1146:

Mr. Robert Chase, representing the Colorado Coalition of Patients and Caregivers, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Chase rebutted claims made during earlier conversation, and cited a National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration study on cannabis and crash risk. He discussed past legislation concerning DUI, and certain ramifications should the bill pass.

Mr. Ed Wood, representing DUID Victim Voices, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Wood explained why certain DUI laws are flawed, and rebutted earlier testimony.

Chief Robert Ticer, representing the Loveland Police Department, testified in support of the bill. Chief Ticer explained how law enforcement polices impairment during traffic stops, and discussed testing for different types of substances.

Dr. David Timken, representing the Center for Impaired Driving Research and Evaluation, testified in support of the bill. Dr. Timpken explained how the bill is sound scientifically. Chief Ticer responded to questions regarding training to detect impairment in drivers.

06:39:37 PM  

Representatives McKean and Roberts provided closing remarks on HB 19-1146.



06:42:59 PM
Motion Postpone House Bill 19-1146 indefinitely.
Moved Roberts
Seconded McKean
Benavidez Yes
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Soper Yes
Tipper Yes
Herod Excused
Weissman Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


06:43:24 PM   The committee adjourned.