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9B0129225AABC112872584FE0071E0BC Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For SB20-093

SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Jan 29, 2020      
Location SCR 352



SB20-093 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

01:43:52 PM  

Senators Fenberg and Foote, co-prime sponsors, explained Senate Bill 20-093, concerning protections related to mandatory agreement provisions, and in connection therewith, enacting the "Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness Act."  Senator Fenberg discussed forced arbitration clauses.  Senator Foote explained that the bill is attempting to make forced arbitration more fair and transparent.  He recognized that arbitration cannot be outlawed on the state level but that states can try to level the playing field.  Senator Foote explained the part of the bill regarding standard form contracts. 

Committee members asked questions about an arbitration appeal process. 

 

 

01:57:57 PM  

Bob Connolly, representing the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how companies avoid trials and class action lawsuits by using forced arbitration. 

02:03:30 PM  

Dennis Valentine, representing the American Association of Retired People (AARP), spoke in favor of the bill.  He discussed forced arbitration and the impact on seniors. 

Renee Larrarte, representing the Womens Lobby of Colorado, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed how forced arbitration disproportionately affects low income people and women.  She answered questions about forced arbitration and sexual harassment.

 

02:12:02 PM  

Nancy Burgess, representing herself, spoke in favor of the bill.  She discussed out-of-state forced arbitrations and attorney fees. 

02:16:36 PM  

Rachel Ellis, representing herself, testified in support of the measure.  She discussed the benefits of equal bargaining power and damages.

Kevin Rhodes, representing himself, spoke in favor of the bill.  He discussed his investigations into binding arbitration clauses in contracts.

02:25:08 PM  

David Lichtenstein, representing himself, testified in support of the measure.  He discussed forced arbitrations in employment agreements. 

Anonymous worker, representing him/herself, testified in support of the bill.  The person described forced arbitration and illegal termination. 

 

 

02:31:51 PM  

Laura Dewey, representing herself, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed forced arbitration at for-profit schools.

Igor Rankin, representing himself, testified in favor of the measure.  He discussed the proliferation of forced arbitration clauses at for-profit schools. 

Tariq Habash, representing the Student Borrowers Center, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed the impact of forced arbitration on student loans. 

Morgan Roay, representing New Era Colorado, spoke in favor of the measure.  She discussed how forced arbitration compounds student debt. 

 

 

02:46:36 PM  

Sara Gagliardi, representing the Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed retired seniors and bolstering consumer protections.

Dennis Dougherty, representing AFL-CIO, testified in favor of the measure.  He discussed the benefits of neutral third parties as opposed to predetermined forced arbitrations.  

Lew Ellington, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill.  He discussed collective bargaining. 

 

03:02:03 PM  

Kathy White, representing the Colorado Fiscal Institute, testified in support of the bill.

Adam Harrison, representing himself, testified in support of measure.

Jamie Simpson, representing herself, testified in favor of the measure.

03:13:08 PM  

Rich Jones, representing the Bell Policy Center, testified in support of the bill. He discussed how forced arbitrations disproportionately affect low-wage jobs.

03:17:27 PM  

Ben Lebsack, representing Coloardo Trial Lawyers Association, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed how forced arbitrations affect legal representation.

Sean Dormer, representing himself, testified in favor of the meaure. 

Ed Shackleford, representing the Colorado Senior Lobby, testified in support of the bill. 

 

03:27:16 PM  

Ryan Case, representing the American Federation of Teachers, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed student debt.

Ian Cohn, representing Volunteers of America, spoke in favor of the measure. He discussed the impact of forced arbitrations on veterans.  He answered questions about civil protections for the military. 

 

 

03:35:08 PM  

The committee recessed. 

03:52:55 PM  

The committee was called back to order. 

Kathie Barstnar, representing Homeownership Opportunity Alliance, testified in opposition to the bill. She distributed a handout outlining concerns about the standard form contract section of the bill (Attachment A).

Scott Wilkenson, representing the Colorado Association of Home Builders, spoke in opposition of the bill. He discussed how the bill will adversely impact affordable housing with the standard form contract language.  

04:06:34 PM  

Jenifer Waller, representing Colorado Bankers Association, testified in opposition to the bill. She addressed concerns about the secondary mortgage market.

Kurt Klanderud, representing the Associated General Contractors of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. He expressed concerns about the bill's impact on affordable housing and condominiums.  Committee membes asked questions about dispute resolution and construction defects. 

04:15:58 PM  

Meghan Dollar, representing the Colorado Municipal League, testified against the bill. She discussed concerns that the bill will affect the attainment of affordable housing and create uncertainty for developers.

Brandon Hull, representing the Colorado Defense Lawyers and Colorado Civil Justice League, spoke from a neutral position of the bill. He discussed possible implications on the arbitration process itself. 

Elena Wilken, representing Housing Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. She noted that the bill may bring unpredictability to the affordable housing market. 

04:23:01 PM  

Nikolaus Remus, representing the American Institute of Architects Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill.

04:26:20 PM  

Senator Foote distributed and explained Amendments L. 001, L. 002,  and L. 004 (Attachments B through D). 

 



04:31:03 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment B)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:31:29 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment C)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:32:00 PM
Motion Amendment L. 004 (Attachment D)
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
04:32:00 PM  

Senator Foote made closing comments. He revisited the merits of the bill and provided examples.  He addressed concerns outlined by the opponents. 

Senator Fenberg made closing remarks and stressed that forced arbitrations impact everyone in the state. 



04:43:10 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 20-093, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS






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