2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Health care, safety issues considered by Women’s Lobby

The Colorado Statesman

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado released its fourth annual legislative scorecard for the 2012 session, reflecting women’s health care and safety issues in the state.

The organization based its ratings on issues that seek to provide better opportunities for women in Colorado through “gender equity and justice.”

In addition to providing transparency to its members, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado wants the scorecard to inspire voters to call their elected officials to let them know which issues are important to them.

In developing the scorecard, 13 bills were selected, representing health care issues related to pregnancy, safety issues concerning human trafficking and prostitution, and maintaining child care assistance for working families, to name a few.

The bills that the Women’s Lobby of Colorado tracked include House Bill 1028, continuing funding for the low-income energy assistance program; House Bill 1100, protecting evidence of substance abuse during pregnancy screenings; House Bill 1111, requiring photo identification to vote; House Bill 1130, creating a first-degree murder charge for unborn children; House Bill 1151, protecting victims of human trafficking and prostitution; House Bill 1326, providing assistance to the elderly; Senate Bill 2, recognizing same-sex civil unions; Senate Bill 15, creating a reduced tuition rate for undocumented students; Senate Bill 22, maintaining child care assistance for working families; Senate Bill 56, developing rules for court appointments in domestic relations cases; Senate Bill 93, notifications by hospitals when services are denied based on religious or moral grounds; Senate Bill 134, offering a hospital payment assistance program; and Senate Bill 139, creating pilot programs for parents needing work support assistance.

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado supported all but HB 1111 and HB 1130.

The organization also took a look at two bills that died prior to receiving a floor vote — House Bill 1256 to develop a formula for awarding spousal support following divorce, which the organization supported, and House Bill 1046, requiring drug testing for the Colorado Works Program, which the organization opposed.

The top priorities for the organization this year were SB 93, SB 139, HB 1256 and HB 1046, all of which died this year at the legislature.

-Peter@coloradostatesman.com