2021 Legislative Summary
It has been my honor to serve you as your State Representative to the Colorado General Assembly. As is my practice, here is a summary of the bills I ran in the 2021 legislative session. I work hard to have bipartisan sponsors and support on my bills.
After a two-year effort, we succeeded in passing a comprehensive consumer data privacy bill (SB21-190). The strongest data privacy legislation in the country! This bill gives you the right to prohibit businesses from selling your personal data, tracking your internet activity, and selling your “profile,” for targeted advertising. The bill also gives you the right to
- find out what data a business has on you and to get a copy,
- correct the data, and, most importantly,
- delete the data.
These provisions will be phased in, to give businesses time to make the necessary changes to their website software and business practices. Signed into law.
PROTECTING CRIME VICTIMS
- ASSISTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STRANGULATION VICTIMS (HB21-1165) Currently, many domestic violence victims of strangulation (around 30%) do not get a forensic strangulation exam when they go into the Emergency Room because of the exam cost. This exam is critical for preserving evidence and prosecuting the crime of strangulation, as the outer bruising may not show the severity of the injury. Under my bill, strangulation forensic exams will be eligible for payment from existing victims’ compensation funding. My thanks to the local TESSA staff who assisted in drafting this bill and testifying in support during the committee hearing! Signed into law.
- INCREASED PROSECUTION AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY (HB21-1069). This bill updated Colorado’s criminal statute to reflect how child pornography rings are operating on the Internet. I worked closely with the District Attorneys who had struggled to prosecute this crime under an outdated statute. This bill was crucial because child pornography internet crimes have risen significantly in Colorado. The bill also increased criminal penalties for these horrific crimes.
- INCREASED FLEXIBILITY IN SPEEDY TRIAL RULES (HB21-1309). This bill was needed to prevent criminal cases from being dismissed due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides strict guidelines for increased flexibility in scheduling these criminal trials while ensuring full compliance with constitutional requirements. Signed into law.
STRENGTHENING AMERICAN CIVICS EDUCATION
I ran this bill (SB21-67) to strengthen American civics education in Colorado. Here is what must be taught in Colorado civics education K-12 under this new law:
- The three branches of government and how they interact.
- How laws are enacted at the federal, state, and local government levels.
- The methods by which citizens shape and influence government and governmental actions.
- The formation and development of the governments of the United States and the State of Colorado using federal and state foundational documents.
- The significance and relevance of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Colorado Constitution, Bill of Rights, the State Bill of Rights and landmark United States Supreme Court decisions and Colorado State Supreme Court decisions.
- How to engage with Federal, State, and local governments and public officials.
Signed into law. I will be watching the State Board of Education’s implementation later this year—it is important that this bill be implemented as intended by the Legislature and not be politicized.
HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ACTS OF VIOLENCE OR THREATS OF VIOLENCE
Increasingly we are seeing violence or threats of violence against police officers, judges, district attorneys, Department of Corrections staff, and public health workers. This is unacceptable and very disturbing. We must make a clear distinction between criticizing public officials (which is clearly protected under 1st Amendment freedom of speech) versus death threats or other threats of violence which are criminal acts.
I ran two bills (HB21-1107 and HB21-1015) to prohibit doxing (posting home addresses on the internet) of public employees as it poses “an imminent or serious threat” to them or their families. The two bills also allow government employees who have received death threats and threats of imminent serious bodily injury to mask or block their residential addresses in public databases. Both bills signed into law.
REDUCING BARRIERS TO JOBS
As part of my ongoing effort to streamline occupational licensing, I ran a bill (SB21-021) for Colorado to join the interstate compact occupational licensing for speech pathology and audiology. This will allow those who recently moved to Colorado with out-of-state licenses to be able to practice their profession here, thereby reducing barriers to work. Signed into law.
For several years, I have sponsored bills to increase wildfire mitigation efforts in Colorado. We must do more on this public safety threat to our communities across the state. I ran legislation (SB21-136) to continue our statewide wildfire mitigation strategies in the Colorado forest health advisory council. Signed into law.
There were other bills that I supported (ex., small business COVID recovery), and quite a few bills that I fought against (bills that would result in increased criminal activity, bills that provided early parole for those convicted of serious crimes including murder, etc.).
As your State Representative, I am committed to being accessible and accountable to you! Hope you can join me in upcoming townhalls—would love to hear your views and discuss issues. As always, I welcome your comments and questions!
State Representative Terri Carver