Capitol Week in Review brings you news of bills we are tracking around our priorities of advancing educational equity and racial justice in Colorado and making our schools and communities safer and more supportive.
HB23-1024, Relative And Kin Placement Of A Child, which establishes measures to support reunification of a child or youth with their family when the child or youth has been temporarily placed with a relative or kin outside of the family home, is scheduled to be heard in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee on March 1.
HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which makes it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, thereby allowing them to teach in Colorado classrooms faster, will be heard by the Senate Education Committee February 27.
HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, was removed from the calendar to be rescheduled.
HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement In Immigration Detention, passed on the House floor and a final vote is expected early next week. For years, Colorado taxpayers have been picking up the bill of the federal government by allowing the state to contract a private company to house or detain individuals for federal civil immigration purposes. This bill would prevent any such further contracts and begins a review process of these contracts over the next two years.
HB23-1109, School Policies and Student Conduct is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 2. This bill aims to strengthen due process rights for students, particularly as pertains to behavior off school grounds and outside of school hours. It also increases the training for expulsion hearing officers, including training around disabilities and trauma-informed care and interventions.
HB23-1133, Cost Of Phone Calls For Persons In Custody, which mandates that the Department of Corrections (DOC) shall provide communications services to persons in DOC custody in a correctional facility or private prison, was passed out of House Judiciary and referred to the Committee on Appropriations on a vote of 8-4.
HB23-1168, Legal Representation And Students With Disabilities, which requires CDE to create and maintain a list of attorneys qualified to represent a parent in a due process complaint and creates a fund to pay attorneys defending parents against due process complaints filed by an education provider, passed unanimously out of the House of Education and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
HB23-1187, Alternatives In Criminal Justice System And Pregnant Persons, which requires the court to consider alternatives, such as probation, to pregnant or postpartum defendants if the risk of incarceration outweighs risk to the public, was referred to the Committee of the Whole on a vote of 9-4 out of House Judiciary.
HB23-1188, Individualized Learning Schools And Programs, which authorizes a public or charter school to offer an individualized learning program or become an individualized learning school, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 2.
HB23-1207, Stipends For National Board-certified Educators, which allows cash stipends (up to $3200) for teachers, social workers, librarians and administrators serving in low-performing, rural or high needs school districts, was introduced in the House.
HB23-1212, Promotion Of Apprenticeships, directs the Office of Future of Work in the Department of Labor and Employment to create an apprenticeship navigator pilot program to promote apprenticeships to high school students, was introduced in the House.
SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professions, such as psychologists, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession, was referred to the Committee of the Whole and will be placed on the consent calendar in the Senate.
SB23-115, Department of Education Supplemental, which moves state dollars towards the Deptartment of Education for programs administered by the state, passed out of the House and will now be sent to the Governor.
SB23-136, Adjustments To School Funding Fiscal Year 2022-23, which concerns the adjustment of state dollars to local school districts, passed out of the House and will now be sent to the Governor.
SB23-158, Sunset Colorado Commission On Criminal And Juvenile Justice, which continues the Commission until September 1, 2028, was introduced in the Senate.
We are thrilled HB23-1133, Cost Of Phone Calls For Persons In Custody, which mandates that the Department of Corrections (DOC) provide communications services to persons in DOC custody in a correctional facility or private prison, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.
Natalie Perez, Stand Community Organizer, testified in support of the bill saying, “Phone calls should be accessible. It seems absurd that inmates have to pay the current rates for a phone call when sometimes that is the only way they can stay in touch with their loved ones.”
1 in 3 families with an incarcerated loved one goes into debt trying to pay predatory prison telecom vendors to maintain contact and 87% of the financial burden is borne by women. Every child deserves to hear “I love you” from their parent. Communication mitigates the trauma suffered by the 1 in 28 children whose parents are incarcerated. When people incarcerated are connected to their outside lives there are less incidents in facilities and recidivism is reduced. The positive social and fiscal benefits associated with communication significantly outweigh its costs.
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