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I_JailFunding_2017A 09/11/2017 01:02:28 PM Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND COUNTY JAIL FUNDING AND OVERCROWDING SOLUTIONS

Date: 09/11/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 01:02 PM to 05:52 PM
Beckman
X
Crowder
X
Place: SCR 357
Fields
*
Michaelson Jenet
X
This Meeting was called to order by
Benavidez
X
Senator Coram
Coram
X
This Report was prepared by
Julia Jackson
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call, R = Remote Participation
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
National Perspective on County Courthouse Funding

Court Fees and State Court System Funding

County Assessment Valuations and the Gallagher Amendment

County Perspectives: Courthouse Funding

Technical Parole Violations

State Reimbursements to County Jails

Public Testimony

Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Request 11 draft bills and 1 draft resolution





01:02 PM -- National Perspective on County Courthouse Funding



Senator Coram called the meeting to order and offered opening remarks. The presenters in this portion of the meeting called in remotely to present to the committee.





01:04 PM



Gordy Griller, a consultant with the National Center for State Courts, introduced himself to the committee. He spoke from Scottsdale, Arizona, and provided an overview of state and county courthouse funding in different states. Committee members received three handouts from Mr. Griller (Attachments A, B, and C).



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachA.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachA.pdf 17CountyCourthouse0911AttachB.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachB.pdf



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachC.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachC.pdf















Marcus Reinkensmeyer, Director of Court Services at the Arizona Supreme Court, introduced himself to the committee.



Clifford Ham, Principal Architect for the Judicial Council of California, introduced himself to the committee. He explained that in California, the Judicial Branch owns and maintains its own buildings after a change in state law in the early 2000s.



Mr. Griller explained that it is common nationally for counties to own and operate their own courthouse facilities. California, Hawaii, and Alaska fund their court facilities at the state level, as well as possibly Massachusetts and Connecticut. He discussed the use of bonds to fund courthouse construction projects, most of which require voter approval. He provided examples of other states' approaches to sharing costs with counties, describing in particular the cost-sharing program in Oregon. He also discussed adaptive reuse projects such as one in Polk County, Iowa, that repurposed a former department store.



Mr. Reinkensmeyer discussed efforts in Arizona to build new local court facilities, particularly in Maricopa County. He noted that there is an excise tax in place for construction and maintenance of detention facilities, but no bonds have been issued since the 1980s. He also noted that video technology can change the way counties think about court buildings.



Mr. Ham explained that California has built about 25 new Superior Court facilities in recent years to replace the most deficient buildings in the department's portfolio. He explained that these were funded with revenue bonds and a surcharge on court filings and fees. Mr. Ham discussed the construction of a large multiuse court facility in Long Beach, California through a public-private partnership. He noted that this is a long-term contract situation because it includes facility management, which can encourage the partners to better maintain the building. He explained that the private sector has an interest in this type of project because of the ability to generate long-term, steady income for their investors. He added that the Long Beach project is performance based, and penalties are imposed for various system failures.





01:40 PM



The panelists responded to a committee questions, including several about state court administrative structures. Mr. Griller and Mr. Reinkensmeyer discussed consolidation of smaller courts and jurisdictions in some states, and the need for flexible facilities that can handle different kinds of cases.



Mr. Griller discussed how Minnesota distributes court workloads to various counties through technology.



Mr. Ham explained that California counties were required to provide facilities for the county courts until 2002, and legislation transferred the facilities to the state without cost in 2003. However, counties continue to make maintenance of effort payments, capped at 2002 levels. He continued to discuss leasing costs and the difficulty of determining the value of the buildings.



Mr. Reinkensmeyer discussed the use of pre-trial services and risk assessments in Arizona.

























01:55 PM -- Court Fees and State Court System Funding



Hugh Wilson, Budget Manager for Colorado Courts and Probation, and Marty Galvin, Senior Finance Administrator for the Judicial Branch, presented to the committee on the Judicial Department budget and court fees. Committee members received a copy of their presentation slides (Attachment D) and a handout on court fees (Attachment E).



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachD.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachD.pdf 17CountyCourthouse0911AttachE.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachE.pdf



Mr. Wilson discussed examples of collected fees and how those collections are disbursed. He explained various special purpose funds that benefit from judicial collections. He responded to a question about how much of these collections go to counties and municipalities, noting that the Judicial Stabilization Fund helps pay for court staffing and administration.



Mr. Galvin responded to a question about the Courthouse Security Cash Fund and the Underfunded Courthouse Facility Fund, noting that the Courthouse Security Cash Fund receives funds from a five dollar surcharge, generating just over $2.2 million in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.



Mr. Wilson responded to a question about independent judicial agencies like the Office of the State Public Defender.



Mr. Galvin responded to a question about victim restitution.





02:12 PM -- County Assessment Valuations and the Gallagher Amendment



Larson Silbaugh, Economist with Legislative Council Staff, presented on county assessment valuations and property taxes in Colorado. Committee members received a copy of his presentation slides (Attachment F). Mr. Silbaugh explained the role of the Gallagher Amendment in setting a target percentage of the property tax base that comes from residential valuations.



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachF.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachF.pdf



Mr. Silbaugh continued to discuss actual values in the property tax base and the 2017 reduction in the residential assessment rate. He responded to questions about the change in residential assessed value and the impact of residential assessments on special districts.





























02:30 PM -- County Perspectives: Courthouse Funding



Commissioner Terry Hart, Pueblo County Board of Commissioners, thanked the committee for their work. He explained that Pueblo County has struggled with courthouse and jail issues for a number of years. He noted that Pueblo County is trying to better understand the causes of jail population increases, including the need to address mental health and drug addiction. Commissioner Hart relayed that Pueblo County is pursuing a ballot question to fund the construction of a new jail and substance abuse and mental health treatment. He expressed a hope that the state would provide support if his county is able to begin addressing the issue locally.



Commissioner Hart suggested areas for the committee to pursue, including:

      • recognizing that courthouse functions are a shared responsibility with the state;
      • collecting and reporting capital construction needs at the state level;
      • creating incentives for counties to put together a criminal justice coordinating committee;
      • pursuing a statewide effort to determine actual jail costs and set corresponding Department of Corrections reimbursement rates;
      • providing financial assistance to local jails, which remain a local responsibility but are heavily impacted by state and national level decisions;
      • expanding the Underfunded Courthouse Facility grant program;
      • addressing medical costs in jails;
      • addressing the negative effects of the Gallagher Amendment on certain counties; and
      • creating a revolving loan or cost-sharing program, similar to that of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.



In response to a committee member question, Commissioner Hart estimated that the county's contract for medical services is about $3.5 million annually. He added that extraordinary medical costs are addressed separately through an insurance program.



Commissioner Hart responded to questions about the Gallagher amendment and mill levy adjustments. He offered comments on earlier presentations to the committee.





02:55 PM



Allison Daley, Colorado Counties, Inc., discussed prior presentations, noting in particular her interest in Oregon's cost-sharing model for courts. She discussed counties' efforts to implement best practices and the limitations they face. She noted that county courts and jails are important in providing equal access to justice in Colorado.



Ms. Daley and Commissioner Hart responded to a question about how to organize criminal justice coordinating committees and the role of the state in that process.



Committee discussion continued with Ms. Daley and Commissioner Hart regarding local jails and the ability of counties to pass tax increases.























Commissioner Hart responded to questions about how counties can properly assess jail overcrowding and address the causes of incarceration.





03:15 PM



The committee recessed.





03:26 PM -- Technical Parole Violations



The committee reconvened.



Joe Morales, Chair of the Colorado State Board of Parole, presented information about the operations of the Parole Board. Committee members received a handout on this matter (Attachment G). Mr. Morales noted that the Parole Board is actively looking for ways to more efficiently conduct parole hearings.



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachG.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachG.pdf



Mr. Morales responded to questions about the number of board members and hearing officers and the location of Parole Board hearings. He explained how hearings are conducted in rural counties. Discussion continued regarding the use of technology in conducting parole revocation hearings.



Anne Andrews, Research and Evaluation Specialist for the Colorado State Board of Parole, responded to committee questions about the structure of parole in Colorado and how mandatory parole is outside the structure of a sentence.



Committee members discussed with Mr. Morales the statutory basis for parole and the impact this has on county jails. Ms. Andrews clarified the role of "parole tails" and discretionary parole. Mr. Morales noted that the Sentencing in the Criminal Justice System Interim Study Committee has also looked at parole tails. A parole tail is the amount of time left on a prison sentence that can be served on parole.



Mr. Morales responded to a question about the cost of parole to parolees. He responded to questions about where parolees can serve their parole, both as set by the Parole Board and as mandated in statute.



Ms. Andrews responded to a question about the role of county jails in the parole revocation process.



Mr. Morales discussed existing statutes and their role in the parole process.































04:13 PM -- State Reimbursements to County Jails



Deb Goheen, Budget Director, Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), described DOC's process for reimbursing county jails. She explained that DOC reimburses for several classes of jail inmates: newly committed offenders, community regressives (people returning to prison from community corrections), parolees who commit new crimes, and technical parole violators.



Committee members discussed with Ms. Goheen the transport of inmates between county jails and DOC facilities, the length of time DOC inmates spend in county jails, and prison bed availability in the state.





04:36 PM



Steve Allen, Joint Budget Committee Staff, presented to the committee on the state's reimbursement rates for county jails. He provided a memo on how the rate is set (Attachment H).



17CountyCourthouse0911AttachH.pdf17CountyCourthouse0911AttachH.pdf



Ms. Goheen and Mr. Allen discussed the services provided in DOC prisons and in county jails, in response to a committee member question. Discussion continued regarding the actual costs of holding inmates in county jails. Ms. Goheen commented on health services paid for by DOC and other DOC costs.





05:00 PM -- Public Testimony



Tim Lopez, representing the Denver Democratic Party, testified on the importance of reminding people of their court dates.





















































05:01 PM -- Consideration of Bill Draft Requests



Senator Coram requested a bill be drafted to create an account, modeled after the Colorado Water Conservation Board process, for county courthouses and jails. This account would be allocated $20,000 a year from the Marijuana Cash Fund for loans to help counties secure matching funds. Committee members discussed the request.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:08:04 PM
MOVED: Coram
MOTION: Request a bill draft to create a loan program using the Colorado Water Conservation Board model. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection































































05:08 PM



Senator Fields requested a bill be drafted to reform cash bail and pre-trial services. Representative Benavidez suggested that the bill prohibit financial bond for certain crime classifications, such as misdemeanors and municipal offenses. Committee members discussed the request.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:11:35 PM
MOVED: Fields
MOTION: Request a bill draft to reform bond and pre-trial services. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection































































05:11 PM



Senator Crowder requested a bill be drafted that requires the state to lease courthouse space from counties based on 2014 costs. Committee members discussed the request.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:13:15 PM
MOVED: Crowder
MOTION: Request a bill draft to lease courthouse space from counties. The motion passed on a vote of 5-1.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Yes
Crowder
Yes
Fields
Yes
Michaelson Jenet
Yes
Benavidez
No
Coram
Yes
YES: 5 NO: 1 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS



































































05:13 PM



Senator Crowder requested a bill be drafted to double the Department of Corrections reimbursement rate to county jails. Committee members discussed adding a mechanism to adjust the rate over time, and developing a process to determine the actual costs of housing inmates at county jails and setting a reimbursement rate accordingly. Committee members discussed the requests.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:16:40 PM
MOVED: Crowder
MOTION: Request a bill draft to increase DOC reimbursement to county jails. The motion passed on a vote of 5-1.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Yes
Crowder
Yes
Fields
Yes
Michaelson Jenet
Yes
Benavidez
No
Coram
Yes
YES: 5 NO: 1 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





05:22 PM



Committee members discussed drafting a bill to create incentives for counties to use pre-trial services and criminal justice coordinating councils. They also discussed making the use of a pre-trial assessment tool mandatory instead of optional, and facilitating the development of an assessment tool for coordinating councils. They agreed to address these ideas in the previously requested bill draft on reforming bond and pre-trial services and a future bill concerning criminal justice coordinating councils.



Representative Michaelson Jenet requested a bill be drafted to create a "tele-justice" program, accounting for concerns with rural broadband access. Committee members discussed the request.


































BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:27:02 PM
MOVED: Michaelson Jenet
MOTION: Request a bill draft to create a "tele-justice" program and help improve rural broadband access where necessary. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





05:27 PM



Representative Benavidez requested a bill be drafted to require the state court administrator to create a statewide system for text, phone, or email reminders about upcoming court dates. Representative Beckman suggested that the state create an application or program that counties could use for this purpose. Committee members discussed the requests.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:30:30 PM
MOVED: Benavidez
MOTION: Request a bill draft to create a court date reminder system for county use. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection























05:31 PM



Senator Fields requested a bill be drafted to review parole tails and limit them in a way that protects public safety. Committee members discussed the request, and the possibility that the Sentencing in the Criminal Justice System Interim Study Committee might also be addressing this issue.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:31:52 PM
MOVED: Fields
MOTION: Request a bill draft to reform parole tails. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





05:32 PM



Representatives Beckman and Benavidez returned to the discussion of criminal justice coordinating councils. They requested a bill be drafted to provide facilitators for these councils, using a child welfare system program as a model. They discussed providing funds for judicial districts or counties to hire these facilitators. Committee members discussed the request.



Representative Beckman discussed a request to draft a bill allowing the state to support county debt service on courthouse and jail facilities through a 50 percent match, using Great Outdoors Colorado as a model. She agreed to incorporate this idea into the committee's first requested bill to create a loan program.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:40:46 PM
MOVED: Beckman
MOTION: Request a bill draft to provide facilitators for criminal justice coordinating councils. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:41:02 PM
MOVED: Beckman
MOTION: Request a bill draft to provide a state match for county lease payments. The committee agreed to incorporate this request into a previous request. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection



































05:41 PM



Representative Beckman requested a bill be drafted to have the state provide catastrophic health insurance for jail inmates. Representative Benavidez proposed using state Medicaid funds toward inmate care. She also proposed a resolution encouraging the federal government to change Medicaid rules to allow inmates who are not convicted of a crime to receive Medicaid.

BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:43:43 PM
MOVED: Beckman
MOTION: Request a bill draft to address medical costs for county jail inmates. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





05:44 PM



Representative Benavidez proposed a bill be drafted to require judges to provide written justification when they choose to exceed the recommendations of a pre-trial assessment tool. She agreed to incorporate this request into the prior request concerning bond and pre-trial services reforms.



Representative Benavidez requested a bill be drafted to double the surcharge for the Court Security Cash Fund and distribute these additional funds to all counties annually. Committee members discussed the request.


































BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:46:31 PM
MOVED: Benavidez
MOTION: Request a bill draft to double the Court Security Cash Fund surcharge and adjust how the funds are distributed. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:47:12 PM
MOVED: Benavidez
MOTION: Request a resolution be drafted concerning federal Medicaid rules. The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Crowder
Fields
Michaelson Jenet
Benavidez
Coram
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection



Representative Benavidez discussed additional ways to reform bond, which she agreed to incorporate into the previous bill draft request on bond and pre-trial services reform.



Representative Benavidez requested a bill be drafted to increase the number of parole hearing officers and provide additional funding to the Parole Board to reduce the time spent waiting for a parole hearing. Committee members discussed the request.


















BILL: Consideration of Bill Draft Requests
TIME: 05:50:33 PM
MOVED: Benavidez
MOTION: Request a bill draft to increase the number of Parole Board hearing officers. The motion passed on a vote of 4-1, with 1 member excused.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Beckman
Yes
Crowder
Yes
Fields
Yes
Michaelson Jenet
Excused
Benavidez
Yes
Coram
No
YES: 4 NO: 1 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 REMOTE PARTICIPATION: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





05:51 PM



Richard Sweetman, Office of Legislative Legal Services, clarified the rest of the process for drafting the requested bills.





05:52 PM



The committee adjourned.


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