Legislative Session Wrap-Up, Part 2: CWBA Priority Bills

This is part 2 of a 4-part series documenting the CWBA's Public Policy Committee's efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session. Part 1 is available here. Stay tuned for the next 2 installments, which will be posted on 8/15 and 8/17.

Please see the Summary Matrix that includes a view of bills, with hyperlinks to more information about bill versions, fiscal notes, engaged lobbyists, history, etc.



HB22-1008 Implementation Of Fertility Coverage Sponsors: Representatives K. Tipper (D) M. Soper (R) and Senators F. Winter (D) S. Fenberg (D) CWBA position: support level I – signed into law. Bill Summary: House Bill 20-1158 required that all Division of Insurance (DOI) regulated health benefit plans provide coverage for the diagnosis of and treatment for infertility and standard fertility preservation services, if the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines that these benefits would not require the state to defray the cost for premium increases attributable to the mandate. This bill clarifies that this coverage is required for large employer health benefit plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023. If the HHS determines that this coverage does not require defrayal by the state for individual and small group health benefit plans, these plans must implement the coverage within 12 months.


HB22-1169 Prohibit Sexual Act without Consent Sponsors: Representatives D. Esgar (D) M. Froelich (D) and Senators J. Gonzales (D) CWBA position: support level I – signed into law Bill Summary: Under current law, one of the grounds for committing the crime of sexual assault is infliction of sexual intrusion or sexual penetration if the actor causes submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim’s will. The bill changes these grounds to causing sexual intrusion or sexual penetration knowing the victim does not consent.


HB22-1279 Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) Sponsors: Representatives D. Michaelson Jenet (D) M. Soper (R) and Senators F. Winter (D) D. Hisey (R)

CWBA position: support level I – signed into law Bill Summary: This bill creates the Reproductive Health Equity Act to codify an individual's fundamental right to reproductive autonomy, including the right to use or refuse contraception and the right to continue or terminate a pregnancy. The bill also codifies that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have rights under state law. The bill prohibits state and local public entities from denying, restricting, interfering with, discriminating against, or depriving through punishment an individual’s right to contraceptives, to refuse to continue a pregnancy, or to receive family planning information.


The Public Policy Committee worked tirelessly with Cobalt Abortion Fund and COLOR in arranging for testimony by a number of CWBA members before the very lengthy committee hearings and in attending the floor debates in support of RHEA.


HB22-1367 Updates to Employment Discrimination Laws Sponsors: Representatives S. Lontine (D) M. Gray (D) and Senators B. Pettersen (D) F. Winter (D) CWBA position: support level I – signed into law Bill Summary: This bill amends the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act to:

  • include individuals in domestic service in the definition of employee, but it is not a discriminatory or an unfair employment practice with respect to gender for a person to consider gender when hiring an employee engaged in child-care-related domestic services;

  • extend the time to file a charge with the Civil Rights Commission from six months to 300 days after the occurrence and the time in which the commission has jurisdiction over complaints if written notice that a formal hearing will be held, from 270 to 450 days; and

  • repeal the prohibition against the relief and recovery of certain damages in age discrimination cases.

SB22-201 Commission on Judicial Discipline Sponsors: Representatives T. Carver (R) M. Weissman (D) and Senators P. Lee (D) R. Gardner (R) CWBA position: support level I – signed into law Bill Summary: The bill establishes the Office of Judicial Discipline (OJD) as an independent office in the Judicial Department and creates the Legislative Interim Committee on Judicial Discipline. The OJD is created to investigate and address allegations of misconduct against justices and judges in the Judicial Department. As part of its duties, the OJD must staff and support the operations of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline (CCJD), including assisting with preparation of its budget and an annual report of its activities. The OJD is also required to receive requests for evaluation of judges and justices, conduct public outreach concerning the judicial discipline process and recommendations from the CCJD, and provide related education information.


The bill also:

  • provides commissioners on the CCJD with legal immunity in carrying out their official duties;

  • directs the Judicial Department to provide the OJD and CCJD with office space indefinitely, and administrative and technological support through June 30, 2023, at which point the OJD and CCJD will be responsible for finding alternatives to these services;

  • establishes requirements for confidential information sharing between the CCJD and judicial oversight agencies, including disciplinary records of a judge or justice;

  • requires complaints from Judicial Department staff, volunteers, and contractors alleging misconduct of a justice or judge be documented for as long as the subject of the complaint is a justice or judge, plus three years, along with the department’s handling of the complaint;

  • requires the Judicial Department to notify external complainants about the CCJD and provide the commission’s contact information, and forward written or electronic materials received from the complainant to the CCJD;

  • requires the CCJD to gather and maintain annual data and statistics about judicial complaints and investigations related to judicial misconduct, and to report these annually during its annual SMART Act hearings; and

  • creates the continuously appropriated Commission on Judicial Discipline Special Cash Fund, appropriates $400,000 to the fund in FY 2022-23, and requires the General Assembly to make annual appropriations so that the fund begins each fiscal year with at least $400,000.

  • creates a legislative interim committee that must meet during the interim between the 2022 and 2023 legislative sessions to study the effectiveness of Colorado’s system of judicial discipline and related best practices.



HB22-1133 Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund Sponsors: Representatives M. Gray (D) Y. Caraveo (D) and Senators F. Winter (D) CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: The bill transfers $57.0 million from the Revenue Loss Restoration Cash Fund to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund for advance payments into state employer accounts under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act administered by the Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). The credit for the advance payments will include interest earnings.


HB22-1153 Affirm Parentage Adoption in Assisted Reproduction Sponsors: Representatives D. Esgar (D) K. Tipper (D) and Senators D. Moreno (D) J. Bridges (D) CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: The bill establishes a new adoption process, in instances when a child is conceived as a result of assisted reproduction, for a person who did not give birth but is a parent or presumed parent of the child. In these instances, both parents must join the adoption as petitioners.


HB22-1288 Safe Reporting Assaults Suffered by Sex Workers Sponsors: Representatives B. Titone (D) M. Soper (R) and Senators R. Fields (D) J. Smallwood (R) CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: If a person witnesses or is the victim of certain crimes, the bill grants the person immunity from certain prostitution-related charges if the evidence for the charges derives from seeking assistance from a law enforcement officer, the 911 system, or a medical provider.


HB22-1091 Online Availability of Judicial Opinions Sponsors: Representatives M. Weissman (D) M. Soper (R) and Senators J. Bridges (D)R. Gardner (R)

CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: This bill requires the Judicial Department to publish every opinion of the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals online by March 1, 2024, but not before July 1, 2023. All online publications must be searchable and available free of charge. The Judicial Department and the General Assembly must include a link to the opinions web page on their websites.


HB22-1131 Reduce Justice-involvement for Young Children Sponsors: Representatives S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D) J. Bacon (D) and Senators D. Coram (R) J. Gonzales (D) CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: The bill creates the 32-member Pre-adolescent Services Task Force in the Department of Human Services (CDHS) to examine gaps in services for juveniles aged ten to thirteen that would be created if the minimum age of prosecution of juveniles is increased from ten to thirteen and make recommendations on addressing those gaps. The task force must convene by August 1, 2022, meet at least twice monthly through December 2022. Members serve without compensation, except that 8 members may receive per diem, including 4 legislators. The task force must create a report containing its examinations and recommendations by December 30, 2022, and send it to the General Assembly. The task force repeals July 1, 2023.


HB22-1300 Local Enforcement to Prevent Human Trafficking Sponsors: Representatives T. Carver (R) L. Daugherty (D) and Senators R. Fields (D) R. Gardner (R) CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: The bill authorizes counties and home rule municipalities to regulate massage facilities to prevent human trafficking, including through licensure. The bill establishes parameters for local licensure programs, including eligibility, fees, prohibited activities, and exemptions. Local licensing authorities are encouraged to report criminal activity regarding massage therapists to the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which regulates massage therapists.


HB22-1038 Right To Counsel For Youth Sponsors: Representatives L. Daugherty (D) T. Van Beber (R) and Senators D. Moreno (D) R. Gardner (R)

CWBA position: support level II – signed into law Bill Summary: Currently, courts appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to children and youth in dependency and neglect proceedings. This bill requires that youth, age twelve or older, instead be appointed a client- directed counsel in proceedings for dependency and neglect, expedited permanency placement, and adoption. The counsel must be an attorney-at-law licensed to practice in Colorado and approved by the Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR). A court may appoint both a GAL and a counsel if a youth has diminished capacity.



Anti-Choice Legislation CWBA position: oppose level II – all bills killed in committee

Bill Summary:

  • HB22-1047 Protecting Human Life At Conception

This bill would have prohibited a licensed physician from performing abortions except in limited circumstances and made the offense a class 1 felony

  • HB22-1075 Induced Termination Of Pregnancy State Registrar

The bill requires healthcare providers who perform induced terminations of pregnancies to report specified information related to a woman's demographics, health history, the procedure, and the reason for the termination to the state registrar of vital statistics in the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in an electronic format as prescribed by the state registrar

The bill defines "person" to include an unborn child at all stages of gestation as it relates to a private right of action and current homicide and assault provisions. The bill requires the state to enforce homicide and assault provisions.

  • HB22-1136 Ultrasound Video Demonstration in Sex Education

The bill requires schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education to include a five-minute high-definition ultrasound video demonstration showing each stage of human development.



Part 3 of the CWBA's Legislative Session Wrap-Up will be posted on 8/15.
 

To support the CWBA's public policy lobbying efforts, please attend the CWBA Public Policy Committee's benefit event on August 31st at the Comedy Works in Greenwood Village. This event is open to both CWBA members, and members of the public. Tickets can be purchased here.


There is also a silent auction, with items available for bidding prior to the event and all donated by local women-owned businesses in the greater Denver metro area. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.


All funds raised through this event will support the CWBA's vitally important public policy work and its lobbying at the State Capitol. The CWBA’s public policy work allows it to serve as a strong advocate for issues and legislation important to advancing the interests and well-being of women and children.

 

The CWBA 2022 Legislative Session Wrap-Up was adapted from a report prepared by Aponte & Busam, Public Affairs Consultants and with additional updates provided by CWBA Public Policy Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Publications Committee, Chelsea Augelli.

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