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h_jud_2016a_2016-04-07t13:38:31z2 Hearing Summary

Date: 04/07/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1307



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.004 (Attachment A). The motion f

Postpone House Bill 16-1307 indefinitely. The moti

Refer House Bill 16-1307 to the Committee on Appro
FAIL

PASS

FAIL







03:12 PM -- HB16-1307



The committee returned to hearing testimony on HB 16-1307. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the bill, prepared by the Department of Higher Education (Attachment B). The following persons testified regarding the bill:



16HouseJud0407AttachB.pdf16HouseJud0407AttachB.pdf



03:15 PM --
Dr. John Nicoletti, representing the Colorado Community College System, testified in support of HB 16-1307. Dr. Nicoletti discussed the profiles of those who lodge threats against and commit violence at higher education institutions, and countermeasures that may be employed against these perpetrators. Dr. Nicoletti responded to questions regarding the countermeasures that may be taken against a felonious act versus an act triggering a misdemeanor. Dr. Nicoletti responded to further questions regarding actions that may be taken against those who may present a threat to a postsecondary education institution, and the impact of increasing criminal penalties on these types of perpetrators.





03:27 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the typical profile of a person who makes threats at postsecondary education institutions. Discussion returned to the potential effect of increasing the level of punishment for the activity covered by the bill. Dr. Nicoletti responded to questions regarding successes associated with legislation similar to HB 16-1307.



03:33 PM --
Ms. Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Thompson explained that the scope of the bill is too broad. Ms. Thompson responded to questions regarding the constitutionality of the bill, and her opinion of amendment L.004. Discussion ensued on this point. Discussion returned to differences in arrest warrants for felonies as compared to misdemeanors.





03:47 PM



Discussion ensued regarding jurisprudence surrounding threats, and the mens rea element for the crimes covered by the bill. Discussion followed regarding how a judge might rule on issuing warrants associated with the behavior addressed by HB 16-1307.





04:03 PM



Ms. Thompson responded to questions regarding the increased punishments associated with raising threats on higher education institution from a misdemeanor to a felony.



04:05 PM --
Ms. Denise Maes, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Maes explained that the bill violates the "true threat" doctrine, and questioned whether the bill will affect behavior. Ms. Maes responded to questions regarding constitutional challenges to existing law concerning threats to educational institutions, and the mens rea component of the crimes covered by the bill.



04:15 PM --
Ms. Susan Payne, representing the Safe2Tell Program, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Payne discussed the seriousness of making threats against higher education institutions, and the need for tools to address these threats. Ms. Payne discussed the benefits of increasing the charge for these threats to a felony. Discussion returned to the benefits of increasing the charge to a felony, and the scope of the problem addressed by the bill.





04:29 PM



Ms. Payne responded to questions regarding the potential for applying the felony charge for threats to K-12 institutions. Discussion ensued regarding the prioritizing of misdemeanors and felonies by law enforcement.



04:35 PM --
Ms. Lys Runnerstrom, representing the Twentieth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Runnerstrom distributed a written copy of her testimony to the committee (Attachment C).



16HouseJud0407AttachC.pdf16HouseJud0407AttachC.pdf



04:40 PM --
Mr. Andy Dorsey, representing Front Range Community College (FRCC), testified in support of the bill. Mr. Dorsey discussed the effects of closing a campus because of threats, concerns of students following threats, and a specific incident involving a threat against an FRCC campus.



04:44 PM --
Mr. Gosha Croitor, representing the FRCC Student Government, testified in support of the bill. He discussed threats against the school, and their effects on students.



04:47 PM --
Sheriff Chris Johnson, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of HB 16-1307. Sheriff Johnson responded to questions regarding comparative levels of seriousness of crimes against property and persons.



04:52 PM --
Ms. Geri Anderson, representing Aims Community College, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Anderson explained why the bill does not apply to K-12 institutions, and how the bill creates an additional barrier that allows law enforcement to intervene.



04:56 PM --
Ms. Nancy Wahl, representing the Colorado Community College System, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Wahl explained that different jurisdictions treat threats differently. Discussion ensued regarding how elevating the proscribed behavior from a misdemeanor to a felony will change behavior.





05:01 PM



Representative Melton explained the effect of amendment L.004. Discussion ensued regarding the targeting of individuals by threats under the amendment, as opposed to targeting higher education institutions. Mr. Jerry Barry, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided input on the issue. Representative Melton clarified the intent of the bill.

BILL: HB16-1307
TIME: 05:02:05 PM
MOVED: Melton
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.004 (Attachment A). The motion failed on a vote of 5-6.
SECONDED: Lee
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
No
Foote
No
Lawrence
No
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Salazar
No
Van Winkle
Yes
Willett
No
Lee
No
Kagan
Yes
YES: 5 NO: 6 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL



05:14 PM



Representative Melton provided closing remarks in support of HB 16-1307. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.

BILL: HB16-1307
TIME: 05:15:06 PM
MOVED: Melton
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1307 to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion failed on a vote of 3-8.
SECONDED: Court
VOTE
Carver
No
Court
Yes
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
No
Lundeen
No
Melton
Yes
Salazar
No
Van Winkle
No
Willett
No
Lee
No
Kagan
No
YES: 3 NO: 8 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL



05:20 PM

BILL: HB16-1307
TIME: 05:20:20 PM
MOVED: Kagan
MOTION: Postpone House Bill 16-1307 indefinitely. The motion passed on a vote of 8-3.
SECONDED: Lee
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
No
Foote
No
Lawrence
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
No
Salazar
Yes
Van Winkle
Yes
Willett
Yes
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 8 NO: 3 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS














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