Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

S_JUD_2021A 05/06/2021 02:22:08 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 05/06/2021
Attendance
Cooke X
Gardner X
Rodriguez X
Gonzales X
Lee X
Time 02:22:08 PM to 09:43:45 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Lee
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
SB21-146 Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations
SB21-176 Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations
HB21-1211 Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

SB21-146 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations

02:25:23 PM  

Senator Lee, sponsor, explained Senate Bill 21-146, concerning measures to improve prison release outcomes.  He recapped the bill's hearing from April 15, 2021, and discussed the stakeholder process since that time.  He introduced and distributed Amendment L. 002 (Attachment A). 

Christie Donner, representing the Coloroado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, explained the amendment and discussed stakeholder outreach and competency proceedings.



02:26:41 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment A)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:26:57 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and introduced Amendment L 003 (Attachment B).  Ms. Donner explained the amendment and discussed the public defender liaison position, among other changes.



02:28:28 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.003 (Attachment B)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
02:32:09 PM  

Senator Rodriguez distributed and explained Amendment L.004 (Attachment C) regarding program outcome measures and recidivism.

 

Committee discussion followed about recidivism rates and program participation. 

 

 



02:37:11 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.004 (Attachment C)
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
02:37:40 PM  

Senator Lee made closing remarks.



02:40:25 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 21-146, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 4   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB21-176 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations


02:41:20 PM  

Senator Lee made opening announcements about SB21-176, concerning protections for Colorado workers against discriminatory employment practices. 

 

Senators Winter and Pettersen, bill sponsors, recapped the April 1, 2021, hearing on the bill and distributed strike-below Amendment L. 010 (Attachment D).  They discussed the stakeholder process, prevention, bystander training, notification, independent contractors, nondisclosure agreements, and definitions, as outlined in the amendment. 

 

 

 

02:53:33 PM  

Committee members asked questions about independent contractors and liability. 

03:11:18 PM  

Committee members asked questions about nondisclosure agreements.  Addiitonal discussion ensued about nondisclosure agreements and power dyamics. 

 

The Chair called a panel of three opponents to the table to discuss the amendment. 

03:19:19 PM  

Sarah Mercer, representing the Colorado Competitive Counsel and the Metro Chambers of Commerce Advisory Committee, testified in opposition to the bill, as amended.  She raised concerns about litigation, definitions in the bill, affirmative defense, and nondisclosure agreements. 

 

 

03:26:52 PM  

Ann Terry, representing the Special District Association, testified in opposition to the bill, as amended.   She discussed independent contractors, caregivers as a protected class, reasonable person standards, county court jurisdiction, and affirmative defense provisions. 

03:35:36 PM  

Lauren Furman, representing the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, testified in opposition to the measure, as amended.  She raised concerns about the definition of harassment, fines, and other punitive language in the bill.  

 

Committee members asked questions about affirmative defense provisions, the severe or pervasive standard as outlined in the bill, and liability. 

03:56:52 PM  

Committee discussion followed about the sexual harassment policy developed by the Colorado General Assembly.  Committee members asked questions about caregiver status, as outlined in the bill. 

 

 

04:08:32 PM  

Committee discussion continued about independent contractors, caregivers, harassment, and retaliation.

 

The Chair allowed for three proponents to speak to the bill, as amended. 

04:11:47 PM  

Michelle F., representing herself, testified in support of the bill.

 

Iris Halpern, representing the Colorado Women's Bar association, testified in support of the bill.  She addressed some of the concerns raised by the opponents of the bill.  She further extrapolated on independent contractors, liability, nondisclosure agreements, harassment claims, accommodations, and caregiver status, as outlined in the bill. 

04:37:56 PM  

Rachel Ellis, representing the Plaintiff's Lawyers Association, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed transparency, training, and caregivers.

The committee members asked questions about independent contractors and liability. 

 

Written testimony can be found in Attachment E. 

 



05:07:19 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.010 (Attachment D)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
05:08:31 PM  

Senator Gardner introduced and explained L. 011 (Attachment F) regarding liabiity restrictions.

Committee discussion followed about retaliation and the complaint process. 



05:11:32 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.011 (Attachment F)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
05:12:09 PM  

Senator Gardner distributed and explained Amendment L. 012 (Attachment G) regarding the complaint process and affirmative defense.



05:14:41 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.012 (Attachment G)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
05:15:18 PM  

Senator Gardner distributed and explained Amendment L. 013 (Attachment H) regarding employer exclusions.

 

 

 



05:18:01 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.013 (Attachment H)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
05:18:25 PM  

Senator Gardner distributed and explained Amendment L. 014 (Attachment I) which modifies the definition of harassment. 

Committee discussion followed about the harassment definition used by the General Assembly. 



05:24:10 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.014 (Attachment I)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
05:24:31 PM  

Senator Gardner explained Amendment L. 015 (Attachment J) regarding nondisclosure agreements.

 

 



05:28:27 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.015 (Attachment J)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez No
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
05:31:00 PM  
Senator Gardner explained and distributed
Amendment L. 016 (Attachment K) regarding confidentiality.


05:31:34 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.016 (Attachment K)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Withdrawn
05:32:17 PM  

Senator Gardner distributed and explained Amendment L. 017 (Attachment L) regarding civil course of action and nondisclosure agreements.  



05:34:28 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.017 (Attachment L)
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Withdrawn
05:36:00 PM  
 

Senator Gardner distributed and discussed
Amendments L. 018 and L.019 (Attachments M and N) but did not make a motion.


 

The bill sponsors made closing remarks.


05:38:14 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 21-176, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



HB21-1211 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole


05:56:40 PM  

Senator Lee, bill sponsor, explained House Bill 21-1211, concerning regulations for restrictive housing in local jails.  He discussed the merits of the bill, its application, and start date. 

He answered questions about violent inmates. 

 

 

06:09:16 PM  

Captain Matt Turner, representing Weld County Sheriffs Office, testified in opposition to the bill.  He raised safety concerns and discussed mental health services.

Lieutenant Matt Elbe, representing Weld County Sheriffs Office, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed psychiatric evaluations and the treatment of mentally ill inmates.

Director Stephanie Tornquist, representing Weld County Sheriffs Office, testified in opposition to the bill. She raised concerns about the increasing number of inmates with mental health issues.

06:22:14 PM  

Committee members asked questions about restrictive housing policies in jails.  Discussion ensued about graduated housing options, suicide, and qualifications of mental health professionals. 

 

 

06:35:17 PM  

Committee members asked further questions about staffing and recruitment in correctional facilities. 

06:41:29 PM  

Mr. Richard Partridge, representing self, testified in support of the bill.  He distributed an article (Attachment O) and discussed the experience of his son in solitary confinement. 

Mr. Ryan Partridge, representing self, testified in support of the bill. 

Ms. Shelley Partridge, representing self, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed mistreatment in jail, severe mental illness, and alternatives to restrictive housing.

06:52:12 PM  

Ms. Nancy Covelli, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

Committee members asked questions about identifying mental illness and competency to proceed.  

 

 

07:00:25 PM  

Sheriff Joe Pelle, representing County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. He raised concerns about implementation and costs associated with reconfiguring jails. 

Lieutenant Jenny McMillan, representing Douglas County Sheriffs Office, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed the competency backlog and raised safety concerns.

Chief Robert Reardon, representing Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, testified in opposition to the bill.  He discussed jail standards, processing centers, and least restrictive alternatives. 

Committee discussion followed about competency to proceed, special needs units, and inmates in crisis. 

 

 

07:18:06 PM  

The committee proceeded to discuss safety, medication, nuances between restrictive housing, and solitary confinement.

 

 

07:24:44 PM  

Ms Sandra Dummit, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, representing Colorado Psychiatric Society, testified in support of the bill.

 

Mr. Micah Pearson, representing National Alliance on Mental Illness, testified in support of the bill.

 

Terri Hurst, representing Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, testified in support of the bill. She discussed Jail Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) funding and court rulings about solitary confinement in jails.

07:46:56 PM  

Committee members asked questionsa bout JBBS funding. 

07:50:22 PM  

Sheriff Tyler Brown, representing Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office & County Sheriffs of Colorado Association, testified in opposition to the bill.  He raised concerns about safety and construction costs.

Chief Jared Rowlison, representing Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office & County Sheriffs of Colorado Association, testified in opposition to the bill.

Erin Powers, representing Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office & County Sheriffs of Colorado Association, testified in opposition to the bill. She raised legal concerns. 

Committee members asked questions about retrofitting, staffing, and separation of powers.

 

08:05:21 PM  

Professor Laura Rovner, representing self, testified in support of the bill. She discussed research about alternatives to, and the detriments of, restrictive housing  She also addressed separation of powers. 

Rebecca Wallace, representing ACLU of Colorado, testified in support of the bill.

Lauren Snyder, representing Mental Health Colorado, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed jail standards and vulnerable inmate populations. 

Meghan Baker, representing Disability Law Colorado, testified in support of the bill.

Committee members asked questions about separation of powers. 

08:24:50 PM  

Mr. Jeff Goetz, representing Boulder County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed costs, safety, and mental health holds.

Ms. Melanie Dreiling, representing Boulder County Jail, testified in opposition to the bill.

Mr. David Hughes, representing Boulder County, testified in opposition to the bill.

Committee members asked questions about how jails handle inmates in the middle of a psychotic episode. 

08:45:17 PM  

Mr. Patrick Hackney, representing The Arc of Larimer County, testified in support of the bill.

Mrs. Marilyn Hughes, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

Ms. Alison Butler, representing Colorado Bar Association, testified in support of the bill.

08:55:31 PM  

Dr. Christine Mohr, representing El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill. She suggested jails be designated as health facilities for treatment purposes and discussed mental health assessments. 

Commander Lari Hanenberg, representing El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill.

Chief of Staff Janet Huffor, representing El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed involuntary medication and JBBS funding. 

09:09:35 PM  

Ms Adrienne Leonard, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

Lindsay Saunders, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

Megan Gulley, representing self, testified in support of the bill.

 

Written testimony can be found in Attachment P. 

09:23:00 PM  
Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment
L.009 (Attachment Q) regarding the expanded use of JBBS funds.


09:23:37 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.009 (Attachment Q)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:24:08 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.010 (Attachment R) regarding mental health screenings. 



09:24:35 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.010 (Attachment R)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:25:02 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.011 (Attachment S) that addresses suicide in jails. 



09:25:21 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.011 (Attachment S)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:25:28 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.012 (Attachment T) regarding deputies and frequency of inmate checks. 



09:26:10 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.012 (Attachment T)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:26:32 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.013 (Attachment U) regarding mental health assessments.



09:27:00 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.013 (Attachment U)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:27:23 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.014 (Attachment V) regarding inmate exercise.



09:27:50 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.014 (Attachment V)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:28:12 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L.015 (Attachment W) regarding court orders.



09:30:09 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.015 (Attachment X)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:30:32 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L. 016 (Attachment X) regarding notification of medical or mental health professionals. 



09:31:00 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.016 (Attachment Y)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:31:23 PM  

Senator Lee distributed and explained Amendment L. 017 (Attachment Y) regarding hospital transfers.  Lauren Snyder, identified earlier, expanded upon hospital transfers. 

 

 



09:32:43 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.017 (Attachment Z)
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
09:33:41 PM  

Senator Lee made closing remarks. 

09:36:20 PM  

Committee members gave reasons in support of or opposition to the bill. 



09:43:17 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 21-1211, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Lee
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


09:43:45 PM   The committee adjourned.






COVID-19 Resources
NORTH ENTRANCE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.  TO ENTER THE CAPITOL, USE THE SOUTH ENTRANCE, UNDER THE STAIRS, AT 14th AVENUE AND SHERMAN STREET.