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C9EE9D1DE20BD1E8872583D200006727 Hearing Summary


Date Apr 3, 2019      
Location SCR 352

SB19-187 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

06:04:28 PM  

Senator Gardner explained SB19-187, concerning commissions on judicial performance.  He explained that the bill refines current provisions and primarily addresses senior judges and surveys.  He presented and distributed amendment L. 001 (Attachment R) to make the bill effective immediately. 

Kent Wagner, Executive Director of the Office of Judicial Performance, testified in support of the bill.  He discussed the changes the bill makes to current statute.  He further discussed the senior judge program, surveys, and the need to fill judge vacancies expeditiously.   

06:26:58 PM  

Andrew O'Connor, representing himself, spoke in opposition to the bill. He expressed concerns that pro-se litigants are not part of the survey process. 

06:29:02 PM  

Chris Forsyth, representing the Judicial Integrity Project, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He noted concerns about the surveys not reaching unrepresented litigants and the lack of performance standards for judges.  He recommended that judicial vacancies should be filled by local commissions and suggested substantial changes, or elimination of, the senior judge program.  


06:33:24 PM  

Jim Tatton, representing himself, spoke in opposition to the bill. He expressed concerns about removing pro se litigants from the survey.  He answered questions from the committee about who or what groups should be surveyed.

06:37:07 PM  

Jane Smith, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the bill.  She expressed concerns about the lack of accountability for judges and provided exhibits of court orders (Attachments S and T). 

06:41:46 PM  

Mr. Wagner stressed that the intent of the bill is to improve the survey process and increase electronic accessibility  for a better response rate.  He discussed survey marketing and answered questions about the distribution of the survey. 

Senator Gardner recommended an amendment on Second Reading to better reflect the bill's intent to survey a wide range of individuals, instead of making it seem exclusionary.  It was also recommended that language in the bill about non-citizens be changed to any individual who interacts with the court. 



06:53:43 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Gardner
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
06:54:16 PM  

Senators Gardner and Lee made closing remarks and stressed that a judicial performance system is foundational to competent judges. 

06:56:44 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 19-187, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gardner
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
07:00:00 PM  

Senator Lee, as a member of the prevailing party, asked the committee to reconsider HB19-1030 regarding unlawful electronic sexual communication.  

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