Voices for Justice Legislative Halftime Report

Voices for Justice

Legislative Halftime Report:

The Voices for Justice Team of the Colorado Council of Churches follows legislation throughout the legislative session that fall under our Public Policy Statements. The session is half-way through, and there are many important bills being debated by our lawmakers. We feel it is important that people of faith be engaged in lawmaking, so that we can lend our voices to the creation of just laws in our state, and let our legislators know that social justice is a priority to us as their constituents and as people of faith. We ask that you take a moment to look over this report, share it with your community, and contact your legislators on bills that matter to you. Please join us in becoming Voices for Justice! 

Haley Anderson, CCC Social Justice Coordinator

Affordable Housing and Housing Justice 

All human beings, regardless of race, income, or zip code deserve a place where they can safely rest their heads and care for their loved ones. In our state, this human right is not being justly recognized. As our housing market booms, more and more people are becoming displaced by rising housing prices and rent costs. The people that educate our children, keep our hospitals running, and perform essential services often do not make enough money to live where they work. Those that are priced out of their homes may find no affordable options, and are forced to remain unhoused as they and their families live in their cars, in shelters, or on the streets. This is a grave injustice. The Voices for Justice team therefore supports legislation that protects and creates affordable housing in Colorado, especially for those most vulnerable to being priced out of their homes or those that are already unhoused.  

Report by Kris Bertness

There are currently eight bills related to this topic under consideration. 

Support: 

HB22-1287: Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents 

Limits rent increases, clarifies landlord responsibilities to maintain property and compensate residents for failures to do so, increases tenant rights in case of resale or reuse of park, clarifies enforcement process options.  Introduced in the House.

HB22-1282: The Innovative Housing Incentive Program 

The bill creates the innovative housing incentive program within the office of economic development. A business located in Colorado that manufactures certain types of housing may apply for funding through grants for capital operating expenses and for incentives for units manufactured based on criteria established by the office, such as affordability, location where the unit is installed in the state, or meeting energy efficiency standards. Or, funding may be awarded through loans for the purpose of funding a manufacturing factory. The bill creates a new program fund, requires a $40 million transfer to the fund, and continuously appropriates all money in the fund to the office to fund the program.  Bill has been assigned to Business Affairs and Labor.

HB22-1223: Mobile Property Tax Sale Notice and Exemption 

Creates a property tax exemption for mobile homes that have an assessed value of $2,000 or less. Eliminates the requirement that a county treasurer publish a notice in a newspaper of a sale of a mobile home due to property taxes owed if certain other notice is given. House Committee on Transportation & Local Government Refer Amended to Appropriations.

Monitor: 

HB22-1242: Regulate Tiny Homes Manufacture, Sale and Install  

The bill adds tiny homes, which are typically manufactured, to consumer protection regulations for mobile homes on substantially similar terms. This includes adding 2 representatives of the tiny home industry to the advisory committee. The board is given the duty to regulate foundations for manufactured homes and factory-built structures where no construction standards otherwise exist. Helps ensure those homes meet utility requirements (sewer, electricity, gas) and are legal to occupy statewide. This bill passed out of Transportation & Local Govt. to Finance.

SB22-086: Homestead Exemption and Consumer Debt Protection 

This bill Increases the dollar value of assets exempted from seizure and expands the amount and application of the homestead exemption to include personal property that is actually used as a residence, and increases protection on child support and unemployment benefits from debt collection.  This bill has passed in the Senate, has been introduced in the House, and referred to the Judiciary committee. 

HB22-1051: Affordable Housing Tax Credit  

This bill extends the Affordable Housing Tax Credit program end date from 12/2024 to 12/2034 and sets a cap on the aggregate amount for the credits at $15 million for the time period from 1/2022 to 12/2034.  This program allows developers to apply for tax credits when financing affordable housing projects, lowering the cost of the development and ultimately costs to occupants.  This bill has been referred to Appropriations.

HB22-1205: Senior Housing Income Tax Credit  

Creates a tax credit of up to $1000 for low-income seniors on a sliding scale phasing out at annual income of $75,000.  This bill has been introduced but no further action taken or scheduled.

Criminal/ Restorative Justice: 

The Voice of Justice team believes that ALL people deserve the right to equitable access to housing, healthcare, and employment, including those who have broken the law. We believe that the best kind of criminal justice is restorative justice, that supports the rehabilitation of the whole person back into their communities, and uses community support to divert people from the criminal justice system before they have cause to enter it. We know that our criminal justice system has long been used as a punitive system that builds wealth off the backs of those who have been forced into the system, which are disproportionately black, brown, and impoverished people. We are therefore supporting legislation that treats those within this system as fully human, including legislation that protects those with mental health issues in the criminal justice system, supports positive outcomes for the treatment and rehabilitation of prisoners, and the diversion of those whose rehabilitation is better served in community care

Report by David Taussig:

SB22-010: Pretrial Diversion For Person With Behavioral Health

The bill expands the existing pretrial diversion program to identify eligible individuals with behavioral health disorders and divert such individuals out of the criminal justice system and into community treatment programs. Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations.

SB22-021: Treatment Behavioral Health Disorders Justice System

Creates an oversight committee and task force to study behavioral health issues and best practices to promote positive social and emotional outcomes for individuals in the criminal and juvenile justice system. Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB22-050: Work Opportunities For Offenders In Department Of Corrections

Bill clarifies rehabilitation and work opportunities available to offenders are to promote the person’s successful rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration into the community. Requires offenders be paid state minimum wage when working for private entities. Introduced In House – Assigned to Judiciary

SB22-099: Sealing Criminal Records

The bill allows for automatic sealing of criminal records for all those currently eligible. The bill makes it an unfair employment practice to discharge or refuse to promote a person based solely on the contents of a sealed criminal record and makes it an unfair housing practice to refuse to show, sell, transfer, rent, or lease housing based on the contents of a sealed criminal record. Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB22-1098: Department Of Regulatory Agencies Barriers To Practice Regulated Professions

The bill limits the authority of a regulator to deny a license, certification, or registration based on an applicant’s criminal history record to circumstances when the regulator determines that the applicant’s criminal history record jeopardizes the applicant’s ability to competently, safely, and honestly practice the regulated profession or occupation. ​​House Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations

Education of Children

Children are the future of our state and our country. Their education, from pre-school to their senior year, determines so much about their personalities, interests, and beliefs, and forms the type of adults and citizens they become. It is therefore of paramount importance that we set the groundwork to “train our children in the way they should go”. This is only possible if our schools are adequately funded so that we have enough teachers, support staff, therapists, and counselors to care for them. Furthermore, that funding should be equitable so that children from all four corners of the state, rural and urban, representing zipcodes of all backgrounds and colors, are afforded equal educational opportunities. Additionally, this education should reflect the fact that children learn best when they see themselves represented in their curriculum and their classrooms, and that they should be cared for as whole children- not just minds to be fed information. Therefore, the Voices for Justice team supports legislation that works to adequately fund our schools and our teachers, something that we as a state have not done for decades. We also support measures to protect our children’s mental health, as they are currently in a mental health crisis, as well as bills that provide wrap-around services to honor them in their full humanity. 

Report provided by Mary Ann Panarelli and Diane Ritzdorf

HB22-1186: Adjustments to School Funding for Fiscal Year 21-22. 

Provides schools with originally allocated funds, despite lower enrollment and local tax contributions, due to Covid. Signed by the governor. 

Bills passed in House Education Committee:

HB22-1202: At Risk Student Measure for School Finances  

Changes student risk factors used to calculate additional funds for school divisions. The new at-risk measures will be extended beyond just those students who apply for free and reduced lunch, to also include students in the medical assistance program and children’s basic health plan, as well as their neighborhood’s socioeconomic status.  Sent to Appropriations.

HB22-1052: Promoting Crisis Services to Students   

Promotes behavioral health crisis services to school-aged children.  Sent to Appropriations. 

HB22-1220: Removing Barriers to Educator Preparation 

Provides stipend for student teachers to remove financial burden for eligible students. Sent to Appropriations.

Bills passed in Senate Education Committee

SB22-054: Recommend Community School for Turn Around Plan   

State review panel may authorize a public school not making progress on a turnaround plan to be converted to a community school. Passed full Senate 34-0-1 and sent to the House

SB22-085: Colorado Safe Student Protection Program  

This bill would enhance student safety on school buses, amended to encourage $500,000 in donations. Sent to Appropriations

Bills postponed indefinitely

HB22-1066: Public Education Curriculum and Professional Development

This bill would have required school divisions to publicly post all educational materials used by teachers and professional development requirements.

HB22-1069: Parent Authority to Request Public School Reforms 

This bill would have enabled parents to request specified reforms in an underperforming school with a petition signed by 50% of school’s parents. 

HB22-1207: Choice in Low Performing Schools

This bill would have required districts to deposit funds equal to state per pupil share into accounts accessible by parents.

SB22-039: Funding for Educational Opportunities 

This bill would have provided money from general fund, sheltered from budget stabilization, for parents to pay for non-public school education services.

Monitor/Oppose

HB22-1206: Prohibit Discriminatory Practices 

This bill seeks to “prohibit discriminatory practices” in schools, which sounds inviting on the surface, but it is important to understand what the bill means by “discriminatory”. Here a “discriminatory practice” would be educating children on the reality of white privilege, the historical legacy of that privilege, and the systemic and instutionalized racism of our state and federal government. It also mandates the “impartial” discussion of historical oppression and “controversial” historical subjects, ignoring that there are some aspects of history it is absolutely immoral to be impartial to. Additionally, it would punish our students by fining their already underfunded schools $25,000 if they were to be found in violation of this law. 

Environment

God has given us one earth that cares for us as we care for it. We were made to live in a caring relationship with the land, water, air, and all creatures. Unfortunately, rather than care for the earth, we have used and abused it until it can no longer support us. We must make changes now that respect our planet and the gifts it gives us responsibly and equitably, before more land becomes uninhabitable, more water becomes undrinkable, and more air unbreathable. Our actions have consequences to human, plant, and animal health and it’s time we take responsibility for those actions. For this reason, the Voices for Justice team supports legislation that offers green energy solutions and protects our air and water. 

Report by Mark Meeks and Mark Kelly

HB22-1012: Wildfire Mitigation And Recovery 

Creates a wildfire mitigation and recovery grant program in the state forest service to help fund counties with forested areas to prevent and recover from wildfire incidents. Introduced in the House and the House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer sent it to Appropriations.

HB22-1218: Resource Efficiency Buildings Electric Vehicles 

Addresses resource efficiency for buildings with inclusion of electric vehicle charging and was referred to the Energy & Environment Committee.  This legislation enhances energy efficiency and supports electric vehicles for more renewable energy. Committee hearing on March 16th. 

HB22-1244: Public Protections from Toxic Air Contaminants

Creates a new program to regulate a subset of air pollutants, defined as hazardous air pollutants with rules that are more stringent than the corresponding requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.  It has been assigned to Energy Environment Committee.

HB22-1249: Electric Grid Resilience and Reliability Roadmap

Calls for improving the electric grids for the state and seeks to make the electric grid more resilient, more efficient, and local.  It has been assigned to the Energy & Environment Committee.

SB22-028: Groundwater Compact Compliance Fund 

Creates a groundwater compact compliance and sustainability fund to help finance groundwater use reduction efforts in the Rio Grande River basin and the Republican River basin. It has passed the Senate and sent to the House – Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Water.

SB22-138: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Colorado 

Seeks to increase goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and has been referred to the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Transportation & Energy

Health Care 

In the past two years our health care crisis has come to a head. We can no longer deny that there are incredible injustices in our healthcare system, these have effects on all of us, but especially on black and brown communities, and those who lack access to benefits through employment. As healing was central to Jesus’ ministry, we know that health is important to our mission and lives as people of faith. We can no longer afford to ignore this crisis, that leaves people suffering and dying unnecessarily, or weighed down under medical bills they will never be free from. Drastic reforms must be made. Therefore, the Voices for Justice team supports legislation that provides more equitable and affordable healthcare for all people, especially the most vulnerable in our society, not just the wealthy with access to jobs and benefits. 

Report by Kelly MacKean

The following bills are currently under consideration for support by the Voices for Justice Team:

HB22-1094: Medicaid assistance for survivors of torture 

This bill would allow survivors of torture access to medical coverage because they often do not qualify for Medicaid due to pending immigration status. The argument is that by receiving treatment early, the state would save money in the long-term. This bill has been referred to Appropriations.

HB22-1214: Behavioral health crisis response system

The bill requires crisis system facilities and programs, including crisis walk-in centers and mobile crisis programs, to meet minimum standards to provide mental health and substance use disorder services. The bill clarifies that crisis system facilities and programs shall provide behavioral health services to individuals experiencing a substance use disorder crisis. Mobile crisis programs and crisis walk-in centers shall provide crisis services to any individual, including youth of any age. This bill has been referred to House Committee of the Whole

SB22-052: Medical assistance income eligibility requirements

The bill aligns the Medicaid and children’s basic health plan income eligibility requirements for pregnant women and children with federal law. This bill passed the Senate and then the House with amendments. It is returning to the Senate for consideration of the House’s amendments

SB22-057: Violent crime victim brain injury screening program

The bill creates the victims of a violent crime brain injury task force (task force). The purpose of the task force is to develop a plan for the creation and implementation of a pilot program that would identify and screen victims of violent crimes for symptoms of possible brain injury. The bill describes the necessary elements of the plan, the membership for the task force, and reporting requirements. An amended version has been referred to Appropriations

SB22-081: Health exchange education campaign health-care services

Concerning a requirement that the board of directors of the Colorado health benefit exchange create a consumer outreach campaign to provide consumers with comprehensive information regarding covered health-care services, and, in connection therewith, adjusting the limit on the total amount of tax credits that may be granted to health insurance companies and reinstating special fees assessed by the exchange against health insurance companies in order to fund the consumer outreach campaign. An amended version has been referred to Appropriations

Immigration 

Scripture entreats us to treat everyone, especially those that are different from “us” and those in need, with hospitality and care. Care for the stranger in our midst is a core value of our faith. Therefore, we must care for immigrants and refugees, regardless of their “legal” status, because behind all the differences of our nationalities, beliefs, and race, is the face of another human in need. Our shared humanity calls us to welcome in the stranger and provide them with all that they need to live a full life. Therefore the Voices for Justice team supports legislation that provides social supports and just treatment of immigrants and refugees. 

Report provided by Sue Cady

HB22 – 1050 International Medical Graduate Integrate Health-care Workforce

This bill creates a fund to facilitate the integration of international medical graduates into the Colorado health-care workforce. Its intent is to assist these workers, already in Colorado, in the process of becoming licensed in Colorado so as to diversify the staff in health care and to provide more staff eligible to work in rural Colorado. COC is monitoring it at this time. It was referred as amended to the Committee on Appropriations.

Poverty

Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to “​​Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” It is clear throughout Scripture that people of faith have the responsibility to fight for justice for the impoverished. For too long, our policies and economic systems have been predicated on the idea that people are individual actors with equal abilities to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” ignoring the fact that some don’t have boots to begin with. We do not live as independent individuals. We live in systems where our lives are bound up with one another. The greed of the few isn’t felt by them alone, but everyone who has food, water, wages, and time taken from them because of this greed. The inequities of our systems cause rippling disadvantages to those living in poverty, resulting not only in their lack of livable income, but in lower health outcomes, mental health, lack of access to education, and overall quality of life. This then spreads to their children becoming a generational system of poverty that is incredibly difficult to get out of. Our faith calls us to change these unequal and unjust systems and defend the rights of the poor. Therefore the Voices for Justice team supports legislation that brings equitable access to food, employment, healthcare, education, housing, and social services in our state. 

Report by Adrian Miller

The 2022 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly has had some moderate activity when it comes to bills dealing with poverty. This midterm report highlights two bills in particular:

HB22-087: Healthy Meals for All Public School Students 

Creates the “Healthy School Meals for All” program in the Colorado Department of Education to provide reimbursement to school food authorities for offering free meals to all students, and to offer local food purchasing grants and increase employee wages. It also requires that the Colorado Department of Education apply to participate in a federal direct certification demonstration project. SB22-087 increases state expenditures and school district revenue on an ongoing basis. This bill is primarily sponsored by Sen. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Rhonda Fields, Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, and Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet. It is currently being considered in the Colorado State Senate Education Committee. 

HB22-1054: Fund Indian Economic Condition Improvement

This bill is conditional upon the federal government providing funding to pay tuition for qualified Native American students attending Fort Lewis College, the bill requires that the same amount of General Fund be appropriated to the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs (CCIA) for economic development purposes. The bill requires that the CCIA use the funds to contract with a nonprofit organization to support programs and grants that improve economic conditions for Native Americans in Colorado. The CCIA may also use appropriated funds to pay costs incurred due to procuring and administering the contract. The nonprofit organization will report to the CCIA regarding the implementation of the contract and will provide and make public a report detailing how the funds have been spent..

HB22-1054 specifies the following requirements for the nonprofit organization, which must:

  • be headquartered in Colorado; 
  • have a primary mission of improving economic conditions for Native Americans; 
  • have a demonstrated history of improving economic conditions for Native Americans through granting, technical, educational, and programmatic assistance to Native Americans; and 
  • be highly rated by a nationally recognized charity evaluator based on factors including financial health and transparency and accountability.

HB22-1054 is primarily sponsored by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, Rep. Jennifer Bacon, and Sen. James Coleman. It has passed the Colorado House, been introduced to the Colorado Senate, and is now pending before the Colorado State Senate State, Civic, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee.

Monitored:

SB22-052: Medical Assistance Income Eligibility Requirements

The bill aligns the medicaid and children’s basic health plan income eligibility requirements for pregnant women and children with federal law.

HB22-1016: Voluntary Contribution Check-Off Feeding Colorado

The bill creates the Feeding Colorado fund (fund) in the state treasury. A voluntary contribution designation line for the fund will appear on the state individual income tax return

HB22-1018: Electric and Gas Utility Customer Protections

Concerning a state regulated utility’s practices regarding a customer’s ability to pay the customer’s utility bill.

HB22-1020: Customer Right to Use Energy

The bill prohibits a state agency, local government, and common interest community from limiting or prohibiting the use of natural gas, propane, solar photovoltaics, micro wind turbines, or small hydroelectric power for electricity generation, cooking, hot water, or space heating in residences, units, or businesses.

HB22-1223: Mobile Home Property Tax and Sale Notice and Exemption

Section 1 of the bill creates a property tax exemption for mobile homes that have an assessed value of $2,000 or less.Section 2 eliminates the requirement that a county treasurer publish a notice in a newspaper of a sale of a mobile home due to property taxes owed under specific circumstances.

HB22-1230: Employment Support and Job Retention Services

Extends the current employment support program, which is set to end with a loss of Covid 19 funding, to continue indefinitely. Includes non-profits and faith based institutions in the program. 

Racial Justice: 

The Voices for Justice team acknowledges the deep history of systemic racism, not only in our country, but in our state. Our housing, employment, environment, education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems all bear the marks of racial discrimination and a history of undeserving certain communities. Our faith leads us to affirm that all people deserve their human dignity acknowledged and affirmed in our laws through just and equitable treatment. Our scriptures also affirm the necessity that people of faith lend their voices on behalf of those who have been disempowered, especially as we make space for the disempowered to speak up for the needs and rights of their communities. Therefore, we affirm legislation that works to eradicate systems of racial inequality and gives power and voice to those who have been systematically disadvantaged. 

Report by Rev. Ann Rosewell

Of Note

SB22-095: Improving Missing Person Investigation

Requires the division of criminal justice to report data and trends regarding missing persons investigations to include specific information about cases regarding women from “minority populations.” With increased attention to the data, the intent is to seek more diligently for missing persons who have been low on the investigative priority list.

Status: 3/2/22 Passed the Senate unamended

HB22-1234: Preventing Identify-Based violence Grant Program   

Establishes grants for programs that focus on building strong communities and prevent acts of violence targeting a discernible population, including but not limited to: religious, racial, sexual, and ethnic identity. Sent to Appropriations.

SB22-150: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives

This bill establishes the office of liason for missing and murdered indigenous relatives as well as a community advisory board to address the crises of missing and murdered indigenous people, provide assistance for their families, and provide greater training and resources to peace officers and homicide investigators in handling the disappearances and murders of indigenous peoples. This bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary committee on March 24. 

Monitored

SB22-104: Inclusion of tribal governments in state programs.

Establishes a requirement that tribal governments/agencies are included in benefit programs provided by the state. This applies to new and amended state statutes.

Status: 2/2/22 Passed committee, referred to Appropriations

SB22-105: Tribal government to address Joint Session annually

This bill encourages interaction between state and tribal governments for the benefit of indigenous peoples. A yearly address will bring attention to particular concerns of this population. Status: 2/2/22 Sent to committee of the whole with recommendation for approval.

HJR22-1008: Resolution concerning the recognition of the contribution of Latino/a/x veterans. The resolution recognizes and commends millions of Latinx members of the Armed Forces who have contributed to the cause of freedom in the United States. Signed by the governor.

Lost:

SB22-128: Implicit Bias in Jury Selection.

The bill allows courts and opposing counsel to raise objections to the use of peremptory challenges with the potential to be based on racial or ethnic bias in criminal cases. Some jurors are dismissed based on the answer to inquiries like: Having prior contact with law enforcement; residing in certain neighborhoods, having a child outside of marriage, or speaking English as a second language. These inquiries appear to determine the race and/or ethnic background of the potential juror. This bill was postponed indefinitely.

Sexuality, Families, and Abuse: 

Scripture shows us that our lives on earth are meant to be lived in loving relationships with one another. Referring to God “Our Father” and our fellow believers as siblings in Christ, underscores the intimate and life giving relationships familial relationships we are put on earth to cultivate with one another. Our immediate family relationships are to be an example of this wider call to be in right relationship to one another. We are also taught that our sexuality is a gift from God, to be honored as an integral part of our being. Unfortunately, as humans we often fall short of these relational goals. We have created systems that perpetuate abuse, addiction, and poverty that disrupt these relationships. Lack of access to mental healthcare, housing, economic stability, and equitable treatment of all genders and sexualities perpetuate systems of abuse. The Voices for Justice team therefore supports legislation that protects those whose familial systems have been disrupted, especially children, and those who have been victims of abuse. 

Report by Sue Ricker

Sexuality, Families and Abuse is following two foster care bills of note.  Both are advancing. 

HB22-1245: Foster Youth in Transition 

This bill updates and clarifies language related the existing program by directing the court to advise the juvenile of specific services and adds provisions to the program who were in a dependency or neglect cases. House Third Reading Passed – No Amendments

SB22-008: Higher Education Support for Foster Youth

This bill requires all public education institutions in Colorado to waive undergraduate tuition and fees for Colorado resident students who have been in foster care for any time after reaching the age of 13.  It also requires a liaison be appointed to provide students with information and assistance. Senate Committee on Education Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB22-1038 Right to Counsel for Youth

This bill requires that client-directed counsel for youth be appointed for children or youth 12 years of age or older; prohibits the waiver of a child’s or youth’s right to counsel in dependency and neglect proceedings and allows a child or youth to be a party in proceedings. The reengrossed bill will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on March 16th. 

SB22-023: Deceptive Tactics Juvenile Custodian Interrogation 

This bill prohibits a law enforcement officer from using deceptive or false facts to obtain a statement of admission from the juvenile.  It also requires law enforcement officers to electronically record all juvenile interrogations. The reengrossed bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 15th. 

HB22-1131: Reduce Justice Involvement for Young Children 

This bill has gotten a great deal of attention in committee.  Bill prohibits arrests of children 10 to 12 years old, except in the case of homicide.  This is based on research that shows that children and communities are better served when presented with interventions outside the traditional justice system. House Judiciary Committee Referred as Amended to Appropriations.

HB22-1169: Prohibit Sexual Act Without Consent 

This bill clarifies a similar law in Colorado which was producing confusion in jury deliberations.  Bill changes previous language to make sexual penetration a crime knowing the victim does not consent. Senate Committee on Judiciary Referred Unamended  to the Senate Committee of the Whole

 Veterans Affairs

Although the Colorado Council of Churches does not have a public policy statement concerning veterans affairs, our Voices for Justice Team member, Vicky Daub, is passionate about advocating for Veterans and keeps us up to date about their concerns in the legislative session. “As Director of the Veteran Servant Corps Project (http://veteranservantcorps.org/), it is my privilege to meet with various organizations throughout Colorado to talk about these bills.  I can guarantee you that our work makes a difference! I would love to come and talk to your organization. My email address is director@veteranservantcorps.org.”

Report by Vicky Daub 

The Voices for Justice team supports the following bills:

HB22-1102: Veterans and Military Status in Fair Housing 

This bill protects veterans and those with military status from being refused housing or otherwise discriminated against when looking for housing.

HCR22-1003: Extend Homestead Exemption To Gold Star Spouses

This bill amends the Colorado Constitution extending the property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a United States armed forces service member who died in the line of duty or veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

HB22-1219: Veterans Resource Information Clearinghouse Online Portal

This bill would establish an online portal within the veterans’ resource information clearinghouse.

SB22-116: Increase Occupational Credential Portability

Current law authorizes a regulator of a profession or occupation to approve an application for licensure, certification, registration, or enrollment by endorsement, reciprocity, or transfer through the occupational credential portability program. The bill amends the program by adding a military occupational specialty to the types of occupational credentials that qualify a person for a credential through the program. Passed Senate Third Reading – No Amendments

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