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S_JUD_2018A 03/28/2018 01:45:25 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 03/28/2018
Attendance
Coram X
Fields X
Kagan X
Cooke X
Gardner X
Time 01:45:25 PM to 04:03:44 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Gardner
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
SB18-212 Referred to Senate Appropriations
SB18-199 Amended, referred to Senate Finance
SB18-203 Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations

Conf 18-Juvenile Parole Board - Favorably Refer to Full Senate


01:45:36 PM  

Lee Ann Brabec, Administrator to the Colorado Juvenile Parole Board, introduced the following juvenile parole board members up for reappointment:  Heidi Hess and Rachael Lovendahl.

Heidi Hess introduced herself and provided a brief overview of her background and experience.

Rachael Lovendahl introduced herself and provided a brief overview of her background and experience. 

The committee asked questions about trends in juvenile crime and parole board work load. 



01:53:19 PM
Motion Refer the appointment of Rachael Lovendahl to the Conf 18-Juvenile Parole Board to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation and with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar.
Moved Coram
Seconded
Coram Yes
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



Conf 18-Juvenile Parole Board - Favorably Refer to Full Senate - Consent Calendar




01:53:36 PM
Motion Refer the appointment of Heidi Hess to the Conf 18-Juvenile Parole Board to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation and with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar.
Moved Coram
Seconded
Coram Yes
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB18-212 - Referred to Senate Appropriations


01:53:57 PM  

Senator Martinez Humenik explained SB18-212, concerning an increase in the amount of compensation to jurors. She expressed concern about inadequate juror compensation for jury duty.  She mentioned that even a short trial could cause some jurors undue financial hardship if they are left to rely on court-set wages.  She noted that juror compensation has not been increased since 1990.  

Committee members asked about support for the bill.  Senator Martinez Humenik stated that she received no feedback, either in support of or opposition to, the bill.  

There was no public testimony on the bill.  



02:06:51 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-212 to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Kagan
Seconded
Coram Excused
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 4   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB18-199 - Amended, referred to Senate Finance


02:17:46 PM  

The committee was called back to order after a brief recess.  

Senators Martinez Humenik and Priola, co prime sponsors, explained SB18-199, concerning increasing the penalty for assault on a peace officer.   Senator Martinez Humenik provided an overview of current law and penalties and emphasized that there needs to be a higher level of respect for peace officers.  

Senator Priola provided statistics about the increase in police officer assaults.   He made statements in support of the bill and peace officers in general.

Discussion followed regarding deterrence and whether increased penalties prevent crime.  The committee also asked questions about the fiscal note and made comparisons between current law and the bill.  Concerns were raised about third degree assault penalties and underlying circumstances.  

02:40:15 PM  

Ellis Armistead, representing himself as a former legal investigator, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He voiced concerns about the enhanced penalties, participarly about elevating minor assaults to a felony level.  

A brief overview of Mr. Armistead's background and education was distributed (Attachment A).  

02:46:13 PM  

Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified against the bill. She reiterated that statutes are already in place that respond to assaults on police officers.  She discussed mandatory minimum sentences and relayed that the bill goes against the progress Colorado has made toward sentencing reform. 

02:55:30 PM  

Lisa Miller, representing the Office of Attorney General, testified in favor of the bill.  She discussed her work as a chief investigator.  She acknowledged that it is important to keep perpetrators off the street, especially those who assault police officers. 

Cynthia Kowert, representing the Office of Attorney General, spoke in favor of the bill.  She discussed the appropriateness of longer sentences for these types of assaults.  

Chris Creighton, Fiscal Analyst with Legislative Council, clarified the fiscal note and discussed that it needs to be revised.  

03:03:51 PM  

George Brauchler, District Attorney of the 18th Judicial District, spoke in support of the bill.  He discussed accountability, an increase in the number of assaults on police officers, and checks and balances.    

03:06:20 PM  

Tom Raynes, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, spoke in support of the bill.  He explained that certain crimes, such as assaults on police officers, warrant harsh mandatory minimums.  He assured the committee that district attorneys practice due diligence and would not bring forth frivolous cases.  He answered questions from the committee about why his organization was not part of the discussion before the bill was drafted.  

03:18:50 PM  

Michael McIntosh, Sheriff of Adams County, spoke in support of the bill.  He discussed the changed narrative over the years and the increasing risk that police officers face during the course of their jobs.  He answered questions about sentence lengths, building bridges with the community, and third degree assaults.  

03:34:21 PM  

Senator Martinez Humenik made closing remarks.  She emphasized that there is a peace officer shortage in the state, and this bill sends a strong message of support.  

Senator Priola distributed and explained Amendment L.002 (Attachment B).  



03:39:33 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002
Moved Cooke
Seconded
Coram Yes
Fields No
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
YES: 4   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
03:39:56 PM  

Senator Fields proposed a conceptual amendment that would eliminate 3rd degree assaults from the bill.  The bill sponsors did not support it.   Senator Gardner ruled against the conceptual amendment. 

Committee members provided their reasons for supporting or opposing the bill.  



03:47:10 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-199, as amended, to the Committee on Finance.
Moved Cooke
Seconded
Coram Yes
Fields No
Kagan No
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB18-203 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations


03:58:01 PM  

Senator Marble distributed and explained Amendment L.004 (Attachment C).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



03:58:06 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.004
Moved Kagan
Seconded
Coram No
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke No
Gardner No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
03:58:34 PM  

Senator Gardner distributed and explained Amendments L.006 and L.007 (Attachments D and E).   Senator Marble voiced concerns that the amendments change the bill substantially and take out independent counsel assurances.  



04:01:55 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.006
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Coram No
Fields Yes
Kagan No
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:02:27 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.007
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Coram No
Fields Yes
Kagan No
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:03:07 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-203, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Coram No
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 4   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


04:03:44 PM   Committee Adjourned






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