Week 17: Wrapping Up

Week 17: Wrapping Up

What’s the hap at the cap? Legislative updates that affect youth sexual health, from April 21 - May 5.

By Liz McKay, Education and Policy Intern
May 5, 2016

With just one week left of the legislative session, things are starting to wrap up in the State Capitol. But there are still some important bills working their way through the House and Senate.

Yesterday, the House passed HB-1036, which would require Colorado schools to accurately teach Native American, African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American history and culture. The bill also states that each school district board of education will hold community forums on content standards held at least once every three years, instead of the current once-per-decade schedule. Aside from being an important step forward for cultural representation, how does this bill affect Colorado Youth Matter and youth sexual health? If passed, HB-1036 could set a precedent for the state to set mandates on certain education content standards, which means we could potentially see sex ed mandates passed in the future. It will next be introduced to the Senate.

HB-1227, which would make it easier for teen parents and domestic violence victims to qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), passed its third and final reading in the Senate on Tuesday. Typically, applicants must first try to get child support before being eligible for CCAP, a step which is difficult and often impossible for domestic violence victims or teen parents. HB-1227 is an important step in making sure that these families have the resources and support they need. Passed with only two votes against it, HB-1227 will now go to Governor Hickenlooper for signing.

HB-1438, the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act, passed the House and was introduced into the Senate on April 29th. This bill would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant or nursing workers, like a seat or a private space to pump. Despite Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws, pregnant workers often experience discrimination in the workplace, especially in lower wage jobs, indicating that younger workers may be especially impacted. (Read more about CYM’s position on HB-1438 here.)

HB-1423, the Student Data Privacy Bill, also passed its third and final reading in the Senate this week. The bill, which has bipartisan support, requires that school districts and the Department of Education abide by certain transparency requirements, and details exactly what personally identifiable information must be protected. The bill also states that parents will have full access to a student’s personally identifiable information, which could compromise a young person’s confidentiality on certain things like access to health resources at school.