Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wiretap Extension Bill Gets Final House OK

The House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow state judges to grant indefinite extensions to wiretap authorizations.

HB 1130, sponsored by Rep. Stella Garza-Hicks, R-Colorado Springs, passed on a 43-20 vote.

The bill provides that state courts could grant law enforcement agencies unlimited extensions of orders allowing police to wiretap people or entities suspected of committing crimes.

Current law says that police can get an order allowing wiretapping for 30 days and have it extended once for an additional 30 days.

All of the "no" votes on the bill were cast by Democrats. However, nearly as many Democrats (18) voted for the bill as voted against it. Among those voting "yes" were:

Rep. Debbie Benefield, D-Arvada
Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction
Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Terrance Carroll, D-Denver
Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver
Rep. Cheri Jahn, D-Golden
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder
Majority Leader Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder
Rep. Rosemary Marshall, D-Denver
Rep. Liane "Buffie" McFadyen, D-Pueblo West
Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs
Rep. Cherilyn Peniston, D-Westminster
Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield
Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton
Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon
Rep. John Soper, D-Thornton
Rep. Debbie Stafford, D-Aurora
Rep. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora
Speaker Rep. Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver.

The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Democrats Abel Tapia of Pueblo and John P. Morse of Colorado Springs.