Capitol Update: Priorities on reproductive health care and remote eviction are in the mix

Written by: Riley Kitts
Date Posted: March 17, 2023

Things are really picking up at the State Capitol! Bills are moving through the legislature, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) is wrapping up its work on the state budget, and the General Assembly is having some long days and nights debating policy.  This week, Children’s Campaign priority bill HB23-1186: Remote Participation in Eviction Hearings cleared multiple votes in the House. That bill remains bipartisan and is anticipated to make its way to the Senate early next week. We are so thankful for our strong sponsors and our partners at the Colorado Poverty Law Project for supporting greater access to the judicial system. 

We were also proud to speak in support of multiple health-related priorities this week. The Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package, a group of bills focused on reproductive health, was recently introduced in the Senate and several of its bills are moving quickly through that chamber. Our V.P. of Health Initiatives, Erin Miller, testified in support of SB23-189: Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care, another of our priority bills. The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this legislation because it will secure access to critical preventive services and expand access to high-value reproductive health care. Thank you to Sens. Moreno and Cutter for carrying this important policy. 

Erin also testified in support of SB23-182: Temporary Suspension of Medicaid Requirements just this morning. This bill, carried by JBC members Sens. Zenzinger and Kirkmeyer, will help ensure an efficient unwind from the continuous health insurance coverage provisions enacted during the Public Health Emergency. It will also allow our Medicaid Department to devote ample time to reviewing coverage eligibility of all members without automatically ending coverage at critical moments, such as in the postpartum period, or when a child turns one. Erin did an amazing job making a case for the bill, and it passed its first committee unanimously! 

Our dedicated policy and advocacy team tracks hundreds of bills that impact Colorado kids and families every legislative session. To view the bills we are tracking so far in this legislative session, click here. 

Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights: 

SB23-188 (Gonzales & Lewis/Froelich): Protections for Accessing Reproductive Health Care  

The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because it will protect access to critical reproductive health care, including abortion care and gender-affirming care. Other states should not be able to impose regressive, racist, and transphobic policies on Coloradans. This bill supports the right to bodily autonomy and people’s ability to decide on what health care they need. 

SB23-189 (Moreno & Cutter/Michaelson-Jenet): Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care 

This bill will secure access to critical preventive services and expand access to high-value reproductive health care, including abortion care. We believe access to this care is essential to support people’s rights to maintain personal bodily autonomy, decide whether to have children, and care for a family in safe, sustainable, supportive communities. We also strongly support the expansion of services for undocumented Coloradans already offered by Medicaid to include family-planning-related services such as tobacco cessation services, cervical cancer screening and prevention, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and diseases.    

SB23-190 (Winter & Marchman/McCormick): Deceptive Trade Practice Pregnancy-related Service 

The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because it helps protect access to reproductive health care, including abortion care. Anti-Abortion Centers use deceptive advertising to steer people away from abortion and other time-sensitive reproductive health care procedures. These centers specifically target people who face multiple overlapping systemic barriers to reproductive health care, including people of color, people with low incomes, young people, LGBTQIA+ communities, and immigrants. This bill will ensure that these centers are not employing deceptive advertising. 

These Capitol Highlights are each a part of the Safe Access to Protected Health Care Package described above. To learn more about these bills and their journeys through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page. 

The Children’s Campaign in the news 

Riley Kitts

About Riley Kitts

Riley Kitts serves as the Sr. Director of Policy & Government Affairs for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Riley has spent several years in Colorado politics, working both inside and out of the State Capitol. Riley spent three legislative sessions with the Colorado Department of Human Services spearheading the agency’s legislative and budgetary agendas. Prior to that, he spent several years with the Colorado House Democrats serving in various roles from Executive Assistant to the Speaker to Field and Outreach Directors. He earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.