A photo of Governor Polis speaking at a podium in front of lawmakers

2023 State Legislative Session Roundup

As a community foundation, we are proud to use our voice to weigh in on systems and policies that impact the Greater Denver region. Rose Community Foundation endorsed nine pieces of legislation that were introduced during the 2023 state legislative session; each bill passed through the legislature and is on its way to becoming law, pending the governor’s signature. 

Our legislative agenda reflected both longstanding community needs and emerging issues, from reproductive and transgender rights to gun safety, behavioral health, and eviction prevention. The bills will help to advance an equitable, inclusive and thriving Greater Denver region by closing systemic gaps in access and opportunity and ensuring common-sense safety and privacy practices. 

The endorsements, and our subsequent advocacy in support of the bills, were informed by those in our region who are furthest from opportunity and the nonprofits that support them. Rose Community Foundation is proud to fund many of the advocacy groups leading the most diverse and impactful legislative coalitions in Colorado each year, and we will continue to use both our voice and our dollars to advance equity-focused policy priorities. 

Below is the legislative slate we supported during the 2023 session. We encourage you to learn more about the Foundation’s policy and advocacy position taking and grantmaking efforts. 

Protecting Reproductive Health Care 

SB23-188 (Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Care Protections) ensures criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits against patients, providers and assistors of reproductive and gender-affirming care will not be recognized or enforced by the state of Colorado. 

SB23-189 (Insurance Coverage for Reproductive and Preventive Health Care) strengthens reproductive health care coverage and ensures critical preventive health services are enshrined in state law. 

SB23-190 (Transparency Against Deceptive Practices at Anti-Abortion Centers) prohibits the use of deceptive and dangerous advertising and practices by organizations that falsely pose as comprehensive reproductive health care clinics. 

Reducing Barriers to Equity 

HB23-1057 (Fair and Family Friendly Restrooms) requires gender-neutral restrooms and installation of baby changing stations in all restrooms in newly constructed or significantly renovated public buildings.    

HB23-1186 (Remote Participation in Residential Evictions) allows both parties in an eviction proceeding to choose whether to participate in-person or remotely. 

SB23-174 (Access to Behavioral Health Services) improves accessibility of behavioral health care for youth Medicaid recipients. 

Strengthening Gun Safety 

HB23-1219 (Gun Waiting Period) establishes a three-day waiting period before a firearms seller may deliver a gun to a purchaser. 

SB23-169 (Increasing Minimum Age to Purchase Guns) raises the minimum age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21. 

SB23-170 (Expanding Extreme Risk Order Petitions) expands Colorado’s red flag law to empower additional law enforcement members, educators and licensed medical and mental health care providers to seek an order before a tragedy occurs. 

Not Introduced 

The Foundation also formally supported an eviction-prevention proposal that had the support of several of our grantee partners but was ultimately not introduced. The legislation would have required extensive collection and publishing of eviction court data, which is one of the best tools policymakers and housing advocates have to quantify housing instability for Coloradans and make the case for needed policy changes. We were disappointed that the legislature did not prioritize this important bill and we strongly support this policy’s introduction and passage in the future. 

Photo: Governor Polis at the protected health care package bill signing. Courtesy: Cobalt

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