BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1120
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Adopt prepared amendment L.005 (Attachment J). Th|
Amend L.005, page 2, strike line 4 and substitute
Refer House Bill 09-1120, as amended, to the Commi
|Pass Without Objection|
Pass Without Objection
05:27 PM -- House Bill 09-1120
Representative Stephens, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1120 concerning criminalizing certain acts in order to protect the safety of certain public servants. This bill expands the circumstances for committing second degree assault to include a person who, with the intent to:
- threaten; or
a peace officer, a firefighter, or an emergency medical technician causes that person to come into contact with certain biological or hazardous materials.
This bill states that a person convicted of second degree assault under the provisions of this bill will not be subject to the aggravating circumstances sentencing provisions that currently apply to the commission of second degree assault on a peace officer or a firefighter. Current law already prohibits these acts if they are inflicted by any confined individual on a person employed by a detention facility. Second degree assault under these circumstances is a class 4 felony.
Finally, the bill expands the definition of the crime of disarming a peace officer to include the removal of a self-defense electronic control device, a direct-contact stun device, or other similar device of a peace officer who is acting in the course of his or her official duties.
05:30 PM -- Mark Randall, Colorado District Attorneys Council, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Randall discussed a proposed amendment that would take the second degree assault provision of the bill and bringing it down to a third degree assault, which is a class 1 misdemeanor. This would decrease the fiscal impact of the bill. The amendment would also include a provision about testing the bodily fluids for infectious diseases. He discussed the provision of the bill regarding the disarming of a police officer. Mr. Randall responded to questions from the committee about why firefighters and emergency medical technicians are included in the bill. The committee discussed the potential fiscal savings if the bill is amended and the deterrent effect of the current statute for corrections officers.
05:47 PM -- Norm Rooker, Ouray County Emergency Medical Services, spoke in support of the bill. Chief Rooker worked for the city of San Francisco, where such a law has been in effect for 20 years. This law is a tool to help prevent assaults on paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians are seen as representatives of the administration, but they are not armed and are seen as easy targets. The bill, with the proposed amendment, would allow testing of individuals who use bodily fluids to harass the named public servants.
05:51 PM -- Marcos Mocine-McQueen, Professional Firefighters Association, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Mocine-McQueen discussed situations in which firefighters are called to assess a suspect who is been in an altercation with a peace officer. He stated his belief that this bill would provide protection for firefighters who provide emergency medical services.
05:55 PM -- Rick Brandt, Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Brandt stressed that the job of first responders is stressful and the possibility of being exposed to infectious diseases just raises that level of stress.
05:59 PM -- Ben Dengerink, emergency medical technician, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Dengerink related details of his experience providing emergency medical services.
06:01 PM -- Mike Haley, Fountain Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff's Department, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Haley related details of his experience as a police officer dealing with intoxicated individuals who have spit on him. He stated that the anxiety experienced by first responders with regard to infectious diseases.
06:04 PM -- Jamie Svalberg, Denver Police Department, spoke in support of the bill. Ms. Svalberg related details of her experience as a police officer who has been spit on by a suspect.
06:08 PM -- Robert Hill, Canyon City Police Department, spoke in support of the bill. Sgt. Hill related his experience with being spit on by a suspect. The district attorney was not able to charge the suspect in his base because Sgt. Hill was outside of his patrol car when the incident happened.
06:11 PM -- Doug Wilson, State Public Defender, supports the bill if prepared amendment L.005 (Attachment J) is passed. Mr. Wilson responded to questions from the committee regarding juvenile offenders and how they would be handled under the bill.
|TIME: || 06:20:04 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 09-1120, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations with a favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a vote of 11-0.|
Final YES: 11 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
Representative Levy adjourned the committee.