February 16, 2012
(Denver) –Rep. Millie Hamner’s bill to strengthen Colorado’s stalking laws passed the Judiciary Committee today unanimously. The passage came following a rally held earlier in the day on the Capitol West Steps by supporters of the bill and organized by family members of Yvonne “Vonnie” Flores, who was murdered by a stalker.
HB12-1114, sponsored by Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon), would strengthen current stalking laws by requiring an arrested alleged stalker to go to a bond hearing before a judge and be issued a restraining order before release from jail.
Rep. Hamner said she is happy the committee took this seriously and passed the bill.
“I am honored to carry this bill geared toward protecting victims of stalking,” Rep. Hamner said. “I’m grateful this bill passed committee today so our neighbors, family members, friends and loved ones will have more security when living under the shadow of a stalker.”
Many people came to testify in support of the bill, including representatives from the District Attorney’s Council, Denver Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police, and Vonnie’s Voice Committee. Vonnie’s Voice is the nonprofit that was formed by Flores’ family after her murder.
Diane Stepisnik, founder of Vonnie’s Voice and sister-in-law of Vonnie, testified in defense of the bill and urged committee members to pass the bill.
“This horrible act could happen to your wives, your sisters, your daughters or sons and husbands,” Stepisnik testified.
Rep. Hamner added that this bill could help prevent another case such as
“This measure is a step in securing the utmost protection for those who are victims of stalking in order to prevent an even further tragedy like that of Yvonne Flores,” Rep. Hamner said.