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S_JUD_2019A 04/08/2019 01:34:21 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 04/08/2019
Attendance
Cooke X
Gardner *
Rodriguez X
Gonzales X
Lee X
Time 01:34:21 PM to 03:48:28 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Lee
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
HB19-1220 Referred to the Committee of the Whole
HB19-1092 Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole
HB19-1149 Referred to the Committee of the Whole

X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call

HB19-1220 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


01:34:30 PM  

Senator Fields, sponsor, explained HB 19-1220, concerning allowing a court facility dog to accompany a witness during testimony.  She answered questions about certification for the dogs and judicial discretion.

01:36:59 PM  

Hollis Whitson, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the bill. She expressed concerns that the bill has no standards in place for this practice and noted that dogs are not necessarily a sign of comfort to everyone.  Ms. Whitson referenced studies about police dogs and racial violence. 

 

 

 

01:49:59 PM  

Committee discussion followed about what constitutes anxiety, as outlined in the bill, and if the bill applies to anyone in the courtroom or just witnesses.  Further discussion ensued about standards in place regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and service dogs. 

01:50:28 PM  

Amber Urban, representing the 18th Judicial District, spoke in support of the bill. She introduced Pella, the courthouse dog, discussed training and certification, and discussed the types of cases in which the dog has been of assistance.  She emphasized that the bill will provide courts guidance on how to best use dogs in proceedings. 

 

02:00:09 PM  

Beth Wilson, representing the 18th Judicial District, testified in favor of the measure.  She discussed the difficulties children face in the courtroom and provided an example of how a dog offered comfort to a child victim.

Valarie Finks, representing the 18th Judicial District and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, spoke in support of the bill.  She stressed how testifiying in a courtroom can be an anxiety-ridden experience and answered questions about who should have access to a dog in a courtroom. 

 

02:10:18 PM  

Jason Kramer, representing the 2nd Judicial District District Attorney's Office, spoke in support of the bill.  He discussed dog training for courtrooms.  

Gary Dawson, representing the 18th Judicial District District Attorney's Office and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how a courtroom dog could be a part of jury instructions and voir dire and stressed that there are standards already in place.

02:17:58 PM  

Linda Hart, representing the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed that the bill is well-written and practical.   

Roland Halpern, representing Colorado Voters for Animals, testified in favor of the measure.

02:23:02 PM  

Connie Rettig, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. 



02:35:12 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1220 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB19-1092 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

02:35:17 PM  

Senator Ginal, sponsor, explained HB 19-1092, concerning a prohibition on future ownership of an animal for persons convicted of animal cruelty.  She discussed studies that link animal abuse to future criminal activity.  She emphasized that the bill removes animals from dangerous situations, as well as provides opportunities for those abusing animals to get mental health treatment.  Senator Ginal distributed three letters in support of the bill (Attachments A, B, and C) and amendment L. 008 (Attachment D). 

The committee discussed enforcement of this bill.  

 

 

02:44:38 PM  

Maxine Mager, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the bill. She expressed concerns about animal welfare.  She distributed a letter outlining her suggestions to clarify that confiscated animals be placed in no-kill shelters (Attachment E).  She also recommended an animal abuser registry, similar to the sex offender one. 

 

02:54:06 PM  

Karen Kalavity, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the bill  She supported an animal abuser registry and expressed concerns about the well-being of confiscated animals. 

03:02:39 PM  

Sunny Weber, representing herself, testified in support of the bill.  She shared a personal traumatic event and the effect it had on her animals. 

03:07:35 PM  

Valerie Hunter Goss, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill.  She discussed the link between animal abuse and other criminal behavior.

Aubyn Royall, representing the Colorado Humane Society, testified in support of the bill.  She noted that the bill will bolster existing animal cruelty laws. 

03:15:41 PM  

Dr. Aubrey Lavizzo, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. As a veterinarian, he discussed reporting and other requirements for animal abuse. 

Duane Adams, representing the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies and the Dumb Friends League, spoke in favor of the bill.  He supported provisions in the bill regarding mental health treatment tools for animal abusers. 

Roland Halpern, representing Colorado Voters for Animals, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. 

Committee members discussed the animal abuser registry, and some members expressed concerns that the bill has "no teeth."  Further discussion followed about a judge's discretion to allow juvenile offenders to live with other family members or roommates who have pets. 

 

 

 

03:29:55 PM  

Senator Ginal explained amendment L. 008 and said that it allows for the bill to be renamed "Punky's Law."



03:30:54 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.008
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


03:35:31 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1092, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB19-1149 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole


03:35:46 PM  

Senator Lee, sponsor, explained HB19-1149, concerning directing the age of delinquency task force of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to study serving emerging adults in the juvenile justice system.  He discussed juveniles and brain development.

 

 

03:40:20 PM  

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the importance of taking a detailed look at this population. 

Senator Lee answered questions from the committee and made closing remarks. 



03:47:43 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1149 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 4   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


03:48:28 PM   The committee adjourned.