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

h_jud_2016a_2016-04-12t13:35:21z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 04/12/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1388



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment D). The motion f

Refer House Bill 16-1388 to the Committee on Appro
FAIL

PASS







01:37 PM -- HB16-1388



The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Chairman Kagan discussed the procedures that would be observed in hearing House Bill 16-1388, concerning the timing of inquiring into a job applicant's criminal history. Representative McCann, prime sponsor, presented the bill, explaining its effect and discussing its need. The following persons testified regarding HB 16-1388:



01:46 PM --
Mr. Jack Regenbogen, representing the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a packet of information supporting the bill (Attachment A). Mr. Regenbogen cited statistics supporting limiting inquiries by employers into the criminal history of potential employees until after the employer selects the potential employee for an interview or extends an offer of employment. Mr. Regenbogen responded to questions regarding the number of persons affected by criminal history inquiries before an interview or employment offer, and the potential for the bill to create a private right of action. Mr. Regenbogen responded to further questions regarding avenues through which an employer may research the criminal history of a potential employee, and the benefits of removing criminal history inquiries from employment applications.



16HouseJud0412AttachA.pdf16HouseJud0412AttachA.pdf



01:57 PM --
Mr. Peter Dybing, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Dybing discussed his employment background and his criminal history, and explained how employer screening based on criminal background presented barriers to his gaining employment. He explained how "ban the box" legislation makes communities safer.



02:01 PM --
Ms. Christie Sprinkle, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Sprinkle discussed her criminal history, and explained how an employer gave her a chance.



02:05 PM --
Ms. Linda Hutton, representing herself, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Ms. Hutton discussed her grandson's criminal history, and explained how this history has created barriers to employment. Ms. Hutton addressed earlier questions.



02:08 PM --
Ms. Jennifer Bundy, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bundy explained how her criminal history prevented her attempts to gain employment post-incarceration, and discussed the skills that offenders have to offer.



02:10 PM --
Mr. Robert Martinez, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Martinez discussed his attempts to reintegrate into society post-incarceration, and difficulties he encountered in attempting to secure employment. Discussion ensued regarding what might happen if employers are precluded from putting a box on employment applications indicating a criminal record, but instead run background checks on potential hires. Mr. Dybing responded to questions regarding how his life might have been different had he exited incarceration and not been offered a job. Ms. Bundy responded to questions regarding disclosures that felons must make when seeking employment.



02:21 PM --
Ms. Mickie Lewis, representing the Empowerment Program, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Lewis discussed research on incarceration and attempts to gain employment upon reentry into society, and explained how criminal history check boxes on employment applications create a barrier to employment and reintegration.



02:24 PM --
Ms. Ashley Bartlett, representing the Center for Work Education and Employment, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Ms. Bartlett discussed the barrier that the employment application criminal history check box creates for those trying to gain employment and reintegrate into society.



02:27 PM --
Mr. James Schultz, representing the Colorado Society of Human Resources Council, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received copies of Mr. Schultz's testimony (Attachment B). Mr. Schultz responded to questions regarding the disinterest of companies to hire criminal offenders, and his organization's support for the bill. Ms. Bartlett, Mr. Schultz, and Ms. Lewis responded to questions regarding the potential for negligent hiring court cases to arise under legislation like HB 16-1388.



16HouseJud0412AttachB.pdf16HouseJud0412AttachB.pdf



02:37 PM --
Ms. Carolyne Schultz, representing Denver Urban Matters, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Schultz discussed the efforts undertaken by her organization to find employment for offenders, and explained how criminal history check boxes on employment applications create a barrier to employment.



02:41 PM --
Ms. Roweena Naidoo, representing the United Way, testified in support of HB 16-1388.



02:42 PM --
Mr. Sean Taylor, representing the Second Chance Center, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Taylor discussed frustrations experienced by offenders who are stifled in their attempts to secure employment.



02:43 PM --
Reverend Amanda Henderson, representing the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Reverend Henderson discussed the population with a criminal history in Colorado, and supported opportunities for this population.



02:47 PM --
Reverend Tawana Davis, representing the Interfaith Alliance, testified in support of the bill. Reverend Davis supported "banning the box."



02:48 PM --
Reverend Tammy Williams, representing the Above Waters Project, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Williams discussed limitations caused by a check box on employment applications for criminal history, and recidivism successes experienced in other states that have passed "ban the box" legislation. Ms. Williams discussed her criminal history, and the difficulties she has experienced in trying to attain employment.



02:52 PM --
Ms. Jenny Kraska, representing the Colorado Catholic Conference, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Kraska discussed the dignity of offenders, and the impact of denying these offenders employment avenues.



02:54 PM --
Reverend Patrick Demmer, representing the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, testified in support of the bill. Reverend Demmer discussed a program seeking to gain employment for offenders reentering society, and the barrier to employment for this population created by the criminal history check box on employment applications.



02:57 PM --
Mr. Barry Keene, representing Keene Research and Development, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Committee members received an outline of Mr. Keene's presentation (Attachment C). Mr. Keene discussed criminal recidivism, and successes experienced in other states that have "banned the box." Mr. Keene cited some anecdotes about offenders with skills confronted by limitations on potential employment.



16HouseJud0412AttachC.pdf16HouseJud0412AttachC.pdf



03:01 PM --
Ms. Carol Richter, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Richter discussed a trend among employers in screening out offenders from potential employment, and the benefits to be realized by the passage of HB 16-1388.



03:04 PM --
Ms. Terri Jackson, representing Empowercom, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Jackson discussed her company's hiring practices and those of other companies, and the competency displayed by those offenders she has hired.



03:07 PM --
Ms. Christy Donner, representing the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Donner discussed past legislative efforts to reform criminal history declarations on employment applications. Ms. Donner responded to questions regarding litigation surrounding employer hiring practices affecting offenders.



03:12 PM --
Ms. Vie Thorgren, representing the Center for Spirituality at Work, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thorgren discussed the work ethic of offenders exiting the criminal justice system, and the benefits to be realized through the passage of HB 16-1388.



03:15 PM --
Mr. Alex Meyer, representing the Colorado Fiscal Institute, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Meyer discussed the benefits of removing barriers to employment for those exiting the criminal justice system, and the impact of these barriers on both individuals and the economy. Mr. Meyer also discussed past legislative efforts to "ban the box."



03:18 PM --
Mr. Dick Young, representing the United Veterans Committee, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Mr. Young explained that the bill will help broaden the pool of potential employees.



03:21 PM --
Ms. Denise Maes, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Maes discussed the continued punishment of those who have exited the criminal justice system by employment barriers, and the impact of employment barriers on recidivism. Ms. Maes responded to questions regarding legislation adopted to "ban the box" in other states and in Colorado. Discussion ensued on this point.



03:26 PM --
Reverend Emily Cardin, representing Lutheran Advocacy Ministry for Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Reverend Cardin discussed the rehabilitative nature of corrections, and discussed her experiences in working with those about to be released from the Department of Corrections.



03:29 PM --
Ms. Marilyn Miller, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Miller discussed her experiences in volunteering with the incarcerated population, and the barriers experienced by offenders in trying to reintegrate into society.



03:32 PM --
Mr. Brian Vander Heiden, representing Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Mr. Vander Heiden discussed his experiences in working with offenders and employers in trying to gain employment for the offenders. Mr. Vander Heiden responded to questions regarding how to overcome prejudice on the part of employers.



03:37 PM --
Mr. Brett Stewart, representing the Cross Purpose Organization, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Stewart discussed the attainment of freedom by those released from incarceration, and their subsequent alienation by society.



03:40 PM --
Ms. Christine Watson, representing the League of Women Voters, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Watson discussed the economic justice aspects of HB 16-1388, and the benefits of removing barriers to employment for offenders. Ms. Watson responded to questions regarding how those released from prison pay restitution without employment.



03:44 PM --
Mr. Christian Wayne Hardesty, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hardesty read a list of benefits that will be realized through the passage of the bill.



03:47 PM --
Mr. Robert Hudson, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hudson explained how criminal history check boxes on employment applications prevent upward mobility for offenders.



03:48 PM --
Mr. Kenneth Smith, representing himself, testified in support of HB 16-1388. Mr. Smith recounted his criminal history, and his experiences in trying to gain employment post-incarceration. He discussed recidivism on the part of those who are unable to gain employment.



03:52 PM --
Ms. Loren Furman, representing the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry and several business organizations, Mr. Tony Gagliardi, representing the National Federation of Independent Business, and Mr. Bob Golden, representing the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Furman listed a number of objections to the bill. Mr. Gagliardi discussed hiring practices by small businesses, and legal liability for workplace safety on the part of employers. Mr. Gagliardi discussed complexities added to maintaining a business by legislative mandates.





04:03 PM



Mr. Golden explained how employers use criminal history information gathered on employment applications. Mr. Golden responded to questions regarding the desire of employers to know about the criminal histories of job applicants, and instances where he has hired offenders. Discussion ensued regarding companies that have implemented employment policies that do not rely on criminal history check boxes on employment applications, and how these policies would affect small companies. Discussion followed regarding the proportion of employers that use such check boxes on their employment applications.





04:15 PM



Discussion ensued regarding record retention requirements under HB 16-1388, and trends among companies pertaining to reforming their hiring practices to remove criminal history check boxes from employment applications. Discussion followed regarding the nexus between prison recidivism and the ability of offenders to gain employment when exiting the corrections system. Discussion turned to the penalties that would be levied upon employers under the bill for keeping a criminal history check box on employment applications.





04:28 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the ability of employers to question prospective employees about their criminal histories during a job interview under HB 16-1388, and the prejudicial aspects of the employment application check box. Discussion followed regarding a potential for "ban the box" legislation to lead to attempts to create an environment for disparate impact litigation.





04:39 PM



Representative Lawrence explained the effect of amendment L.001 (Attachment D). Discussion ensued regarding the ramifications of exempting local governments from the scope of the bill. Former Representative Claire Levy provided clarification regarding the effect of the amendment. Mr. Jery Payne, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided input on the issue of exempting local governments from the scope of the bill. Discussion followed regarding the applicability of the definition of "employer" under the bill. Representative McCann provided her position on the amendment. Discussion turned to the merits of the amendment.



16HouseJud0412AttachD.pdf16HouseJud0412AttachD.pdf



05:02 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the ability to compel local governments to abide by "ban the box" legislation.

BILL: HB16-1388
TIME: 04:41:21 PM
MOVED: Lawrence
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment D). The motion failed on a vote of 4-7.
SECONDED: Lundeen
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
No
Dore
Yes
Foote
No
Lawrence
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
No
Salazar
No
Willett
No
Lee
No
Kagan
No
YES: 4 NO: 7 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL





05:06 PM



Representative McCann provided closing remarks in support of HB 16-1388. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.

BILL: HB16-1388
TIME: 05:06:51 PM
MOVED: Melton
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1388 to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion passed on a vote of 6-5.
SECONDED: Salazar
VOTE
Carver
No
Court
Yes
Dore
No
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
No
Lundeen
No
Melton
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Willett
No
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 6 NO: 5 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS







05:21 PM



The committee adjourned.




COVID-19 Resources
School Finance Poverty Study RFP 2021 (submit by 10 a.m. 8/6/2021)
NORTH ENTRANCE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.  TO ENTER THE CAPITOL, USE THE SOUTH ENTRANCE, UNDER THE STAIRS, AT 14th AVENUE AND SHERMAN STREET.