Senate advances bill expanding criminal blood tests

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER  –One of the first votes of the new GOP-controlled state senate wasn’t just bipartisan — it was unanimous.

Democrats and Republicans all voted in favor of Senate Bill 5, which will expand the crimes for which defendants must submit blood samples, on second reading Tuesday morning.

A final recorded vote awaits before the bill moves to the House.

The legislation, carried by Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, a first-term lawmaker and former sheriff, would require defendants in first-degree assault cases to undergo testing if their bodily fluids come into contact with an officer, first responder or a victim.

The testing is already required of defendants in second- and third-degree assault cases, and supporters say it’s not clear why first-degree assault isn’t already covered.

Like Cooke, the House sponsor, Rep. Mike Foote, D-Boulder, has a law enforcement background having worked as a prosecutor.

A fiscal report by non-partisan legislative economists found the addition of first-degree assault would have a “minimal” effect on state spending.

AlertMe