SB21-199: Remove Barriers to Certain Public Opportunities (Jaquez-Lewis & Winter/Esgar & Gonzales-Gutierrez

Originally Posted: April 2, 2021
Last Updated: June 11, 2021


This bill would eliminate the administratively costly and inefficient requirement that state and local governments verify legal presence when determining eligibility for public benefits, including professional and commercial licenses, and the awarding of grants, loans, and contracts. This bill would not mandate the provision of any new or existing public benefits, nor does it create an entitlement to any benefit. 


The Children’s Campaign supports the bill. It is an important and meaningful step for our state to expand access to economic opportunity and give local communities the authority to support our immigrant and undocumented neighbors. Tens of thousands of Colorado residents who cannot verify legal presence—or live in a household with someone who cannot—are unable to access critical services or fully participate in our economy due to anti-immigrant legislation passed in 2006. The 2006 laws go beyond existing federal law and ultimately harm all members of our communities by driving down wages and threatening public health by barring individuals from utilizing basic benefits and impeding their right to make an adequate living. Barriers to public services and quality child care leads to poor health outcomes, increased learning gaps and lower wages over a child’s life. Moreover, undocumented individuals are now forced to make the unconscionable choice between working in unsafe, or outright dangerous, conditions during a pandemic with limited or no access to benefits or facing financial instability or eviction. 

Current Status

Senate concurred with House Amendments. The bill repassed the Senate 22-10 and now heads to the Governor for signature. 

Previous Statuses

May 28, 2021

Passed The House State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee on a vote of 7-4 and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.  

May 21, 2021

Passed out of the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 23 to 12 and introduced in the House and assigned to the House Committee on State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs. 

April 23, 2021

Passed out of the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee, Apr. 22, on a vote of 3-2 and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.  


April 16, 2021

Assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Tues., April 20 at 2:00 p.m. You can listen online here. 

April 2, 2021

Introduced and assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.