BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1253
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer House Bill 09-1253 to the Committee of the W||PASS|
01:32 PM -- House Bill 09-1253
Senator Tapia, bill sponsor, discussed House Bill 09-1253 concerning processes for involuntary mental health treatment for defendants. He explained that the bill clarifies jurisdiction concerning petitions for involuntary treatment of defendants requiring evaluation or restoration to competency. Senator Tapia noted that this bill is designed to streamline processes. At times, defendants may wait for several months before being heard in court and are not receiving adequate treatment or medication. Senator King asked about when a person can plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
01:38 PM -- Doug Wilson, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Wilson provided the committee with a brief overview of the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He indicated that this bill concerns medications that mentally ill individuals receive as a means of returning them to competency. Mr. Wilson explained that not guilty by reason of insanity is a plea that resolves a case whereas incompetency is temporary until a person can be restored to competency and the case continues. Senator King asked Mr. Wilson about House amendments to the bill.
Mr. Wilson discussed specific provisions of the bill which had concerned his office and have been resolved by the House amendments. He explained that often times defendants who have been declared incompetent are restored at the hospital and then transported to the jail. The jails often use different formularies for medication which may cause the defendant to be incompetent again and need to be returned to the hospital to be restored to competency. He also discussed the issue of defendants testifying at involuntary medication hearings and ensuring that they do not incriminate themselves.
01:57 PM -- Paula Rhoads, representing herself, spoke about the bill. She related her personal experiences with having a brain injury and receiving medications that did not work for her.
02:02 PM -- Julie Meeker, representing the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, spoke in support of the bill. Ms. Meeker discussed the procedures for mentally ill patients who do not want to take their medications. She stated that this bill requires all involuntary medication hearings to be heard in Pueblo where the patient is located. This will enable the hearings to be conducted in a more timely manner and should result in patients being returned to competency more quickly. It also removes a security problem because the inmate does not need to be transported. The bill also provides a mechanism for the jails to continue the treatment that was put in place at the mental health institute.
02:09 PM -- Beverly Fulton, representing the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, spoke in support of the bill.
02:10 PM -- Peg Ackerman, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed the importance of keeping inmates competent when they return to the jails from the mental health institute.
Senator Tapia concluded his presentation of the bill. He noted that the hearings are conducted on the hospital grounds which is a cost savings for the state.
|TIME: || 02:13:09 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 09-1253 to the Committee of the Whole with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar. The motion passed on a 6-0 roll call vote. |
Final YES: 6 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS