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H_LG_2017A 04/19/2017 Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Date: 04/19/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 01:34 PM to 11:45 PM
Coleman
X
Exum
X
Place: RM 271
Gray
X
Liston
X
This Meeting was called to order by
McKean
X
Representative Lebsock
Navarro
X
Ransom
X
This Report was prepared by
Singer
*
Juliann Jenson
Thurlow
X
Valdez
X
Wilson
X
Rosenthal
X
Lebsock
X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
HB17-1314 Postponed Indefinitely





01:35 PM -- HB17- 1314



Representative Melton, co-prime sponsor, explained the bill concerning Colorado Right to Rest Act. The bill creates the 'Colorado Right to Rest Act', which establishes basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one's property. The bill does not create an obligation for a provider of services for persons experiencing homelessness to provide shelter or services when none are available.



Representative Melton explained that he sponsored this bill last year and has worked with stakeholders since then to work on concerns expressed by small business and local government. He referenced the sweep on the homeless people in the city of Denver and said this is happening all over the state. He emphasized that a statewide response is needed so municipalities treat homeless people in a consistent and fair manner. He answered questions from the committee regarding health codes, police officer training, local control, rural communities, federal rulings, and civil rights. He distributed Amendment L.001 (Attachment A) and L.005 (Attachment B).



17HouseLocal0419AttachA.pdf17HouseLocal0419AttachA.pdf 17HouseLocal0419AttachB.pdf17HouseLocal0419AttachB.pdf

























02:23 PM



Representative Salazar, co-prime sponsor, joined the meeting and expressed his reasons for sponsoring the measure. He said the bill gets to the heart of the issue, which is the criminalization of the homeless.



02:38 PM -- Randall Russell, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He reported that he moved here for the marijuana, is now homeless, and is not leaving.



02:40 PM -- Scott Kerr, representing Bayaud Enterprises, testified in support of the measure. He explained that his organization helps homeless people overcome employment barriers.



02:44 PM --
Alyssa Gorkin, representing Helping the Homeless Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. She explained that Helping the Homeless Colorado is a nonprofit founded by students that seeks to provide care and homeless support. She answered questions from the committee.



02:47 PM --
Allie Ginsburg, representing Helping the Homeless Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. She explained that homeless people deserve respect and should not be treated like criminals.



02:49 PM --
Matine Khalghi, representing Helping the Homeless Colorado, testified in support of the bill. He relayed stories from homeless people he has helped.



02:59 PM -- Randle Loeb, representing himself, provided neutral testimony on the bill. While he did not necessarily oppose the bill, he acknowledged that a systemic change is needed.



03:01 PM -- Kayvann Khalatbari, representing himself, spoke in favor of the bill. He is a small business owner and alternative solutions advocate and is disappointed with how Denver has been treating its homeless population.



03:04 PM --
Tay Anderson, representing the Colorado High School Democrats, spoke in support of the bill. He discussed his experiences while homeless.



03:08 PM --
Shawn Coleman, representing Terrapin Care Station, spoke in support of the bill.



03:10 PM --
Nathan Woodliff- Stanley, representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, spoke in favor of the bill. He answered questions about civil liberties, homelessness, shelters, and systemic solutions.



03:27 PM --
Nantiya Ruan, representing the University of Denver, testified in support of the bill. As a professor, she has co-authored and coordinated a study regarding the price of criminalizing homelessness in Colorado. She reported that enforcing homeless ordinances is difficult and costly and a statewide solution would be more beneficial.



























03:32 PM --
Paul Boden, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud, spoke in support of the bill. He provided a history of federal homeless services or lack thereof, including the defunding of affordable housing.



03:40 PM --
Jesse Parris, representing Denver Homeless Outloud, spoke in support of the bill. He testified that homeless individuals should not be criminalized just for surviving and encouraged the committee to take an empathetic viewpoint.



03:45 PM --
Sophia Lawson, representing herself and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, testified in favor of the measure. She works as an intake officer at Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and stressed that criminalization does not help people get needed services.



03:51 PM --
Aubrey Hasvold, representing the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed the housing crisis in Colorado and the lack of affordable housing units.



03:54 PM --
Haven Rohnert, representing the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, spoke in support of the bill. He explained that many homeless individuals have a disability.



03:58 PM --
Carrie Baatz, representing the Independence Center in the Pikes Peak Region, spoke in support of the bill. She reported that many homeless people have disabilities or a history of trauma and finding appropriate shelters can be difficult for those reasons.



04:02 PM --
Ray Lyall, representing himself, spoke in support of the measure. He relayed that a homeless individual can lose momentum for housing and jobs after spending a few days in jail for the crime of being homeless.



04:06 PM --
Jerry Burton, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud, testified in support of the bill. He reported that he is no longer homeless but will continue to fight this fight.



04:10 PM --
Karen Seed, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud and Food Not Bombs Denver, spoke in support of the bill. Her organization provides picnic in the park for homeless individuals and believe access to food is a human right. She reported that the city selectively enforces ordinances and answered questions from the committee.



04:15 PM --
Vern Rempel, representing a Mennonite church in Englewood, spoke in support of the bill. He gave biblical examples and distributed a handout of his testimony (Attachment C).



17HouseLocal0419AttachC.pdf17HouseLocal0419AttachC.pdf



04:19 PM --
Erin Connor, representing herself as a homeless woman, spoke in support of the bill. She has a child and explained the struggles of being homeless.



























04:25 PM --
Tristia Bauman, representing the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, spoke in support of the bill. She answered questions from the committee and discussed constitutional law in regards to being homeless and poor. She also discussed camping bans and the effectiveness of varying laws on the local level.



05:11 PM -- Patris Lobulo, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He explained that he is originally from Sudan and ended up on the streets in Denver until he found a job and housing. He said that being homeless in Denver was worse than Sudan.



05:15 PM -- Jessica Campbell Swanson, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She explained that many homeless people cannot vote because they do not have an address, and this impacts the democratic process.



05:18 PM --
Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, representing 9to5 Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. She emphasized that it is a human right to survive, and there is a housing crisis in Colorado.



05:23 PM --
Shannon Wolf, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed how being a transgender homeless woman is hard enough without having to worry about being arrested for it.



05:26 PM --
Roshan Bliss, representing the Denver Justice Project, spoke in support of the bill. He reported this bill would help to support law enforcement officers as their relationship with homeless people is weak as it currently stands. He said that police officers shouldn't be put in a position to take away food and shelter from the homeless.



05:31 PM --
Andi Van Gogh, representing Blackbird Outreach in Colorado Springs, testified in support of the bill. She explained that Blackbird Outreach is a nonprofit dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness and discussed what is happening in Colorado Springs.



05:34 PM --
Trig Bundgaard, representing The Coalition for Compassion and Action in Colorado Springs, testified in favor of the measure. He explained how homelessness has increased in recent years and is a natural consequence of development and growth. He answered questions from the committee regarding unconscious biases, protected classes, and socio-economics.



05:45 PM -- Eric Mulder, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He relayed that he is a Libertarian and read a passage from the Bible.



05:47 PM --
Greg Duran, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill.



05:54 PM --
Rosanna Frechette, representing herself, spoke in favor of the bill. She explained that she started an organization dedicated to raising awareness about rent control for Denver artists.



05:59 PM --
Andrea Babcock, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed being homeless and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She reported feeling safer outside than in a shelter.



























06:03 PM --
Cole Chandler, representing Beloved Community Mennonite Church, testified in support of the bill. He explained his involvement with Denver's first tiny home village and said the camping ban is divisive.



06:09 PM --
Michael Fitzgerald, representing Boulder Rights Watch, spoke in favor of the bill. He explained the housing crisis and homeless problem in Boulder. He also discussed that the city of Boulder is cutting services to assist the homeless.



06:16 PM --
Cleo Colorado, representing herself, spoke in support of the measure. She explained how she lost everything and is living on the streets.



06:19 PM --
Cheryl Distaso, representing the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition, testified in support of the bill. She reported that home rule is not an excuse to deny people their basic human rights. She also discussed that there are creative ways to address homelessness and responded to questions from the committee regarding policies in Fort Collins.



06:23 PM --
Kara Bauman, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She relayed her experiences as an outreach worker in Aurora.



06:27 PM --
Ana Cornelius, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the problems of homeless youth and children and provided statistics. She is involved with the One Home Team at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.



06:32 PM --
Marissa Ackerly, representing herself, spoke in support of the measure. She discussed homelessness and vets.



06:37 PM --
Meghan LaPorte, representing Denver Urban Matters, spoke in favor of the bill. She discussed her work with Denver Urban Matters as an urban education manager.



06:41 PM --
Kyle Johnson, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He is a member of Denver Homeless Out Loud.



06:45 PM --
Sarah Cannon, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud, spoke in support of the measure.



06:46 PM --
Tate Viviano, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He explained that people may choose to become homeless only because the system has failed them.



06:50 PM --
Jeri Sheppard, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill.



06:56 PM -- Kate Rigot, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She explained that she is a graduate student studying urban and regional planning. She answered questions from the committee about esthetics, zoning, and planning.



07:11 PM --
Sean Kelly, representing himself, testified in support of the measure. He discussed civic duty and fairness.























07:14 PM --
Sandra Hermans, representing herself, spoke in favor of the bill. She discussed how shelters have failed her, especially with pets.



07:17 PM -- Yasmine Mohamed, representing the Colorado Youth Advisory Council, spoke in favor of the bill. She discussed youth homelessness and the actions her organization is taking to combat it.



07:24 PM --
Chris Oller, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He discussed being homeless and the difficulties of holding down steady employment without a home base.



07:27 PM --
Jeremy Woodard, represent himself, testified in support of the bill. He relayed that fear is the worst thing about being homeless and answered questions regarding the services in Fort Collins.



07:34 PM --
Charles Thrasher, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He discussed homelessness and the senior citizen and disabled population.



07:37 PM --
Eric Darbashar, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill.



07:38 PM --
Erik Hestevold, representing himself, spoke in support of the measure.



07:41 PM --
Evan Ravitz, representing Boulder Rights Watch, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the homeless situation in Boulder. He emphasized that the legislature is afraid to impede local sovereignty but will do so in other situations such as oil and gas.



07:46 PM --
Lynn Thompson, representing the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition, testified in favor of the bill. She talked about camping bans and lack of affordable housing.



07:50 PM --
Marcus Hyde, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud, spoke in support of the bill. He explained that shelters often don't accept families or couples. He also noted that Denver sets the stage for what is happening across the state and that services need to offer more than a well-intentioned band-aid.



07:55 PM --
Terese Howard, representing Denver Homeless Out Loud, spoke in support of the bill. She emphasized that this bill is not intended to solve homelessness, but getting arrested for being homeless does not help matters.





08:14 PM



Representative Lebsock noted that Dianne Thiel offered her support of the measure but did not wish to testify and referenced an article she provided regarding the lack of evidence linking cannabis to homelessness.



































08:16 PM



Representative Salazar discussed barriers to employment.



08:24 PM --
Meghan Dollar, representing the Colorado Municipal League, spoke in opposition to the bill. She testified that the Colorado Municipal League is a staunch believer in local control and relayed that the bill may be detrimental to it. She answered questions about local control and homeless services provided by municipalities.



08:39 PM --
Brett Waters, representing the city of Colorado Spring, spoke in opposition to the bill. He explained that the city of Colorado Springs has concerns that the bill will limit a city's ability to enforce ordinances as they see fit. He also disagreed with the premise that cities are criminalizing homelessness and discussed the homeless services provided in Colorado Springs.



08:53 PM --
Erik Solivan, representing the city and county of Denver's Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere, spoke in opposition to the bill. He discussed homelessness in Denver and answered questions from the committee about services, housing, interagency communication, the Denver camping ban, outreach coordinators, cost of affordable housing units, police interactions with homeless people, police training, public spaces, health and safety, and coordination of services.



08:54 PM -- Regi Huerter, representing the city and county of Denver's Office of Behavioral Health, testified in opposition to the bill. She explained that the bill deterred municipal efforts to promote public health and other related services. She answered questions from the committee about the Denver homeless sweeps, the storage of homeless people's belongings, camping bans, co-responders, and mental health providers.





09:33 PM



The committee and the bill sponsors discussed the bill and its impact on public spaces and continued to ask questions of the representatives from the city and county of Denver. They also discussed the Denver homeless sweeps and civil liberties.





10:07 PM



Representative Melton distributed Amendment L.007 (Attachment D) and answered questions from the committee.



17HouseLocal0419AttachD.pdf17HouseLocal0419AttachD.pdf





























10:12 PM



The committee discussed Amendments L.001 and L.005 distributed earlier in the committee. They explained that the focus is on the criminalization of the homeless and need to "set a floor."

BILL: HB 17-1314
TIME: 10:34:07 PM
MOVED: Singer
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Gray
VOTE
Coleman
Exum
Gray
Liston
McKean
Navarro
Ransom
Singer
Thurlow
Valdez
Wilson
Rosenthal
Lebsock
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL: HB 17-1314
TIME: 10:35:18 PM
MOVED: Singer
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.005 (Attachment B). The motion passed on a vote of 7-6.
SECONDED: Exum
VOTE
Coleman
Yes
Exum
Yes
Gray
Yes
Liston
No
McKean
No
Navarro
No
Ransom
No
Singer
Yes
Thurlow
No
Valdez
Yes
Wilson
No
Rosenthal
Yes
Lebsock
Yes
Final YES: 7 NO: 6 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
























































BILL: HB 17-1314
TIME: 10:36:41 PM
MOVED: Singer
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.007 (Attachment D). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED: Exum
VOTE
Coleman
Exum
Gray
Liston
McKean
Navarro
Ransom
Singer
Thurlow
Valdez
Wilson
Rosenthal
Lebsock
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection

































































10:37 PM



Representative Liston distributed Amendment L.002 (Attachment E) regarding expanding the definition of public spaces to include legislator offices.



17HouseLocal0419AttachE.pdf17HouseLocal0419AttachE.pdf

BILL: HB 17-1314
TIME: 10:38:10 PM
MOVED: Liston
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment E). The chair ruled this amendment to be a settled question, and no vote was taken.
SECONDED: Ransom
VOTE
Coleman
Exum
Gray
Liston
McKean
Navarro
Ransom
Singer
Thurlow
Valdez
Wilson
Rosenthal
Lebsock
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION:





10:42 PM



Representative Salazar gave his closing remarks and encouraged the committee to support the bill. He explained that the bill has been substantially pared down to take into consideration concerns about local control and enforcement of ordinances.



























10:51 PM



Representative Melton made his closing remarks and emphasized that the bill is an important step in helping the homeless community.





10:58 PM



Representative Coleman spoke in support of the bill. He explained that more needs to be done for the homeless population, but this bill is a step in the right direction and addresses the rights of homeless individuals.





11:02 PM



Representative Rosenthal explained why he will be voting in opposition to the measure. He expressed concerns about local control and health codes.





11:09 PM




Representative Exum explained that he would vote affirmatively for the measure.





11:11 PM



Representative McKean stated his reasons for voting against the measure. He relayed that the bill does not appear to be one of state concern and that energy needs to be directed at police officer training.





11:17 PM



Representative Singer explained that he would vote in support of the measure. He acknowledged that the language in the bill could use clarification in certain areas, but it gets to the heart of basic concerns regarding the treatment of homeless people.





11:20 PM



Representative Wilson explained that he will vote in opposition to the bill because it does not address solutions to the homeless problem.































11:22 PM



Representative Gray stated that he cannot support the bill because it is vague and will not accomplish much.

BILL: HB17-1314
TIME: 11:38:49 PM
MOVED: Singer
MOTION: Refer, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion failed on a vote of 5-8.
SECONDED: Exum
VOTE
Coleman
Yes
Exum
Yes
Gray
No
Liston
No
McKean
No
Navarro
No
Ransom
No
Singer
Yes
Thurlow
No
Valdez
Yes
Wilson
No
Rosenthal
No
Lebsock
Yes
Final YES: 5 NO: 8 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL
















































BILL: HB17-1314
TIME: 11:41:31 PM
MOVED: Rosenthal
MOTION: Postpone House Bill 17-1314 indefinitely. The motion passed on a vote of 8-5.
SECONDED: Liston
VOTE
Coleman
Yes
Exum
No
Gray
Yes
Liston
Yes
McKean
No
Navarro
Yes
Ransom
Yes
Singer
No
Thurlow
Yes
Valdez
No
Wilson
Yes
Rosenthal
Yes
Lebsock
No
Final YES: 8 NO: 5 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS





11:45 PM



The committee adjourned.


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