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3352DB4654C13B0B872583D9006C9D04 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For HB19-1275

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Apr 11, 2019      
Location HCR 0112



HB19-1275 - Committee Discussion Only


01:46:26 PM  

The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representatives Weissman and Soper, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1275, concerning increased eligibility for the sealing of criminal justice records by individuals who are not under supervision.  Representative Soper explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Committee members received a chart outlining the statutory changes made by the bill (Attachment A), the abstract of an article on records sealing and employment (Attachment B), and an historic copy of the statutes amended by the bill (Attachment C).  Representative Weissman provided additional input on the effect of the bill.

02:02:05 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1275:

Mr. Dan Kay, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Bar Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Kay discussed the impacts associated with felony convictions for individuals whose criminal records are open to the public, and posed a question about plea agreements.

Ms. Adie Teodorovic, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and Colorado Criminal Defense Institute, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Teodorovic discussed long-term consequences for those with criminal convictions, and the reasons why defendants agree to plea deals.

Ms. Heather McBroom, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. McBroom discussed the impact on her life of having a criminal record.

Ms. Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Gorman read the testimony of someone whose daughter has a criminal record. Ms. McBroom responded to questions regarding her criminal records. Discussion ensued regarding the amount of time that should elapse before criminal records may be sealed, and the crimes affected by the bill.

02:40:05 PM  

Discussion continued regarding the crimes for which record sealing is affected by HB 19-1275.

Mr. Jonathan McMillan, representing My Brother's Keeper, testified in support of the bill. He discussed his background, and the circumstances under which individuals gain criminal records. He discussed the burdens of having a criminal record.

Mr. Jack Regenbogen, representing the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the bill (Attachment D). Mr. Regenbogen discussed the impact of a criminal record on the ability of individuals to gain employment.

Ms. Molly Bowers, representing Focus Reentry, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bowers discussed the circumstances under which people gain criminal records, and the process of seeking to have one's criminal records sealed.

Ms. Jill Wildenberg, representing the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Wildenberg read a statement.

Mr. Art Way, representing the Drug Policy Alliance, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Way discussed the barriers created by criminal records, and suggested some potential amendments to the bill. He spoke in support of records expungement.  Mr. McMillan responded to questions regarding efforts to have his records sealed. Discussion returned to the crimes covered by the bill. Mr. Way responded to questions regarding his position on expungement.

03:07:58 PM  

Ms. Cheryl Wilson, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Wilson discussed her daughter's involvement in the criminal justice system.

Ms. Emily Tofte Nestaval, representing the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, testified in opposition of the bill. She discussed the harm that may come to victims as a result of the bill.

Mr. Fran Lanzer, representing Mothers Against Drunk Driving, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Lanzer explained that the bill goes too far.

Ms. Allison Boyd, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in opposition to the bill. She explained that the bill is unjust for victims and employers.

Ms. Marsha Willis, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Willis discussed the loss of her son due to the crime of another, and suggested an alternative to record sealing. Discussion ensued regarding the stakeholder process in crafting HB 19-1275, and the circumstances under which record sealing is acceptable.

03:33:22 PM  

Ms. Maureen Cain representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of HB 19-1275. Ms. Cain discussed the history of record sealing law, and recidivism risk.  Ms. Cain responded to questions.

03:53:37 PM  

Mr. Tim Lane, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, made himself available to answer questions on HB 19-1275.  Mr. Lane responded to questions regarding certain crimes subject to the bill. Ms. Cain responded to questions regarding record sealing for certain categories of crime. Mr. Lane responded to questions regarding the position of the Colorado District Attorneys' Council on the bill, and potential amendments to the bill. Discussion ensued regarding certain language in the bill.

04:16:10 PM  

Representatives Soper and Weissman made some concluding remarks on HB 19-1275. The chair laid the bill over.