Legislative Update: Winter 2019

OCR is gearing up for the upcoming 2020 legislative session which begins on January 8, 2020, and ends on May 6, 2020.  Interim and year-round committees have been hard at work; numerous bills coming out of these committees have been approved by the Legislative Counsel for introduction in the 2020 session.  The following bills are among this group.   

The Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Interim Committee proposed five bills that have been approved to move forward.  Bill E proposes to change the definition of child abuse in order to remove some of the stigma that prevents pregnant women from seeking treatment and lessens the disparate impact testing has on certain communities.  The bill removes the automatic provisions of newborns testing positive at birth and replaces it with language requiring a showing of harm or threat to the child.  Other bills from this Interim Committee include bills aimed at prevention and treatment both in and out of the criminal justice system.  All bills from this committee can be found at the bottom of this webpage https://leg.colorado.gov/node/1652076/

The Transportation Legislation Review Interim Committee proposed five bills.  They again proposed a bill to help foster youth get a driver’s license.  Bill C would provide driver’s education to youth in foster care across the state, clarify that the county departments of human services are not liable for youth in foster care who obtain a driver’s license, and permit youth in foster care to provide a court order to satisfy some DMV identification requirements. All bills from this committee can be found at the bottom of this webpage https://leg.colorado.gov/node/1480901/.

The Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System Committee proposed five bills.  Bill B addresses juveniles who committed sex offenses, and proposes expanding discretion regarding juvenile registration, limiting CBI release of information, and excluding juveniles from public posting on the registry, among other things.  All bills from this committee can be found at the bottom of this webpage https://leg.colorado.gov/node/1480031/.  

Once the legislative session begins, these bills will be introduced and assigned to a hearing committee.  A bill may change significantly during this process, depending on stakeholder feedback, and support of/opposition to all/parts of each bill.  If you have any thoughts about this pending legislation or any other legislation, please email ashleychase@coloradochildrep.org

Additionally, please email Ashley ASAP if you are interested in participating in OCR’s Legislative Review Group for the 2020 session.  The commitment is a 1-hour phone call every other week from January 2020 through mid-May 2020.  This group was incredibly valuable during the last session!  OCR wants to continue to obtain feedback from contractors on these important policies!