The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representatives Herod and Carver, prime sponsors, presented Senate Bill 19-043, concerning an increase in the number of district court judges in certain judicial districts. Representatives Carver and Herod discussed the need for the legislation. The following persons testified regarding SB 19-043:
Judge Michael Martinez, representing the Second Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Judge Martinez explained why more judges are needed in certain districts.
Chris Ryan, State Court Administrator with the Judicial Branch, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Ryan explained how his department determines the proper number of judges in each judicial district, and discussed the need for more judges in certain districts. Judge Martinez responded to questions regarding caseload increases in Second Judicial District criminal courts, and the use of magistrates in district court. Discussion ensued on this point. Discussion followed regarding factors driving increased court filings, and plans for managing the increase. Discussion returned to the use of magistrates in district court. Mr. Ryan responded to questions regarding the felony caseload increase in Colorado as compared to other states, and optimum staffing.