There has probably been no greater counteroffensive mounted by the bail bond industry than the one brought about in Colorado in opposition to SB11-186 – The Alternative Bond bill. Public funded pretrial release proposed the bill early this year and the bail bond industry has responded with an all out assault on this government intrusion into the private sector. It’s a fair fight.
The legislative battle over SB11-186 has yet to be won and in comes Americans for the Preservation of Bail (APOB) with the introduction of HB11-1306 which would push the sunset of bail regulations from 2012 to 2017.
At first look why wouldn’t this be good for the bail bond industry? After all they gave an extension to all other forms of insurance. Well, the bail bond industry is used to getting the short end of the stick. Be that as it may, we fight the battles that need fighting and we move forward.
In the case of Sunset, the bail industry has not been sitting in an easy chair watching reruns of Cheers; we’ve been working with DORA’s designee for Sunset review for the past several months. Surety company members of the Colorado Bail Bond Round Table (CRT), who collectively write 90% of the bail in Colorado, have been in regular discussions with DORA and had been making good progress when out of nowhere, HB11-1306 was filed. This bill is no more than a sucker punch by APOB which has only served to embarrass the bail bond industry and undermined CRT’s efforts to work with DORA in a meaningful and constructive way.
CRT and its members (Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., Allegheny Casualty Company, American Surety Company, Bankers Insurance, Fairmont, International Fidelity Insurance Company, Pioneer General, Lexington National Insurance Corporation, Sun Surety and Safety National) have renounced this move to derail efforts to protect and preserve bail in Colorado. I personally urge all bail agents in Colorado not to support HB11-1306. I encourage each of you to contact your surety company to confirm their position on this bill.
In spite of what you may be hearing from other sources, your surety company is working to protect your livelihood. Without you, the bail agent, we have no business. Meaning, your surety will not act against your best interest. So, the question is, “Are you going to listen to a group of surety companies representing the large majority of bail written in Colorado or other groups that represent less than 10% of that market”? It’s a no brainer.