Bradford’s sex-offender bill ‘will probably just die’
State Rep. Laura Bradford’s plan to toughen prison sentences for sex offenders that target children died Thursday, one week after lawmakers failed to either pass or kill the bill during a committee hearing.
Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, said she decided not to place the Collbran Republican’s bill back on the calendar after Bradford did not file a motion to bring House Bill 1144 back for a rehearing.
“I could (have) put it back on the calendar today to do that, but it will probably just die,” said Levy, the chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Thursday was the deadline for House committees to pass most bills originating from House lawmakers.
House Bill 1144 would have required judges to sentence sex offenders targeting children 14 or younger to at least 20 years in prison.
The House Judiciary Committee deadlocked on a motion to kill the bill last week, leaving the measure in legislative limbo.
Bradford, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, said earlier this week she attempted to craft an amendment to her bill this week to bring the state’s prosecutors on board.
District attorneys from around the state, including Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, oppose Bradford’s bill because it would limit their ability to obtain treatment for less serious sex offenders and achieve their goals of keeping tabs on sex offenders via plea bargains.
Provided the bill even survived the House Judiciary Committee, it was unlikely the House Appropriations Committee would approve of its price tag, nearly $139.5 million over the next five years.
House Bill 1144 is Bradford’s third bill to die in committee out of four she introduced this year.