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Alternative Bail Bond Bill

CCJJ Behind Failed Alternative Bond Bill!

- Michael J. Whitlock, MCBA
Vice President, American Surety Company

(originally posted May 11, 2011)

The Alternative Bond bill SB11-186 died last night, after being assigned to House Appropriations, when the 2011 legislative session ended.  The Alternative Bond, at its core, is a scheme for Colorado courts to engage in the bail bond business by collecting premiums normally paid to bail agents for posting a bail bond.  Unlike the bail agent, the courts would have no risk of paying the full bond if a defendant was not timely rearrested after a failure to appear.   This concept is taken from the old government playbook; take your money with no responsibility to perform and cloak it in a disguise of being in the interest of public safety.

SB11-186 had passed through the Senate last week by the narrowest of margins (18-17) and simply did not have sufficient time to get through the House, or did it.  It is more likely that the arguments and evidence offered by the commercial bail industry was sufficient enough to erode support for SB11-186 in the House.  Some House members simply could not support adding several hundred bail agents to the unemployment scrolls, while at the same time costing the state millions of dollars in annual revenues generated by the bail industry.   As House Sponsor Rep. Waller testified yesterday when the bill was heard before the House Judiciary Committee, "I don't want to see even one bail agent put out of business." Read Entire Blog...

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