These are all of the Civil Rights bills proposed in the 2021 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Some bills will have text highlighted in pink or highlighted in orange or highlighted in yellow. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments; yellow highlights mean conference committee amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Mega, Major, Medium, Minor+, Minor, and Technical. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

House

Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:

MEGA

MAJOR

MEDIUM

MINOR+

HB21-1057 Extortion Of Immigrants Engaging In Lawful Acts
HB21-1075 Replace The Term Illegal Alien

MINOR

TECHNICAL

Senate

Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:

MEGA

MAJOR

MEDIUM

MINOR+

SB21-026 Restoration Of Honor Act PASSED SENATE AMENDED

MINOR

TECHNICAL

HB21-1057 Extortion Of Immigrants Engaging In Lawful Acts (Cooke (R), Rodriguez (D)) [Roberts (D), Tipper (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Make it criminal extortion to require a person to perform an act or refrain from performing an otherwise lawful act against their will by threatening to reveal their immigration status to law enforcement

Description:

Right now it is criminal extortion to threaten to reveal someone’s status in exchange for money or things of value. Criminal extortion is a class 4 felony, which carries a fine of $2,000 to $500,000 and 2 to 6 years in prison.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • This is about public safety and common decency. No matter how you feel about undocumented immigrants, no one should be forced to do something against their will because they were threatened. This can include suppressing or taking someone's wages (legal if a "gift" or "negotiated"), demanding sexual favors, or demanding side work be done for free as a "favor". And revealing someone’s immigration status to law enforcement is very much a threat.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1057

HB21-1075 Replace The Term Illegal Alien (Gonzales (D)) [Lontine (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Replace “illegal alien” with “worker without authorization” as it relates to public contracts for services

Description: Nothing to add

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • Illegal alien is a deliberately dehumanizing term and an attempt to have us see these people as less than human, always the first step toward systematic mistreatment

In Further Detail: The term illegal alien is deliberately dehumanizing in an attempt to see these people as something less than other people with dreams, desires, hopes, ambitions, loves, fears, triumphs and tragedies. In short, people just like the rest of us. When we dehumanize and paint people as “others” or “aliens” we pave the road toward treating as less than human. It is always the textbook beginning to exploiting a population or doing things far worse. And a person cannot be illegal. They can commit crimes. But they themselves are not illegal. So let’s instead call these people what they are: workers without authorization.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • The proposed term fails to capture what is actually happening here: a crime is being committed

In Further Detail: The phrase worker without authorization falls short of describing what is happening here. These aren’t people who forget to fill out a form. They are in fact in this country illegally and removing the word “illegal” from the phrase is another way to play with language. To make it seem like there is no crime being committed here. Changing the term to worker also removes the easy recognition that this is someone who was not born in this country.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1075

SB21-026 Restoration Of Honor Act (Moreno (D)) [Ortiz (D)]

PASSED SENATE

AMENDED: Minor

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Create a new veteran status in the state of “discharged LBGT veteran”, which is someone who was discharged from the military without honorable status because of their LGBT status. Those with this discharged LBGT veteran status are eligible for the same benefits and programs as honorably discharged veterans.

Description:

The bill requires the board of veteran affairs to be the arbiter of these cases. To qualify, individuals must have been discharged without honorable status due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or statements, consensual sexual conduct or consensual acts related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The board must require applicants to supply their discharge papers, a personal affidavit, and any relevant records. If the individual does not have the records, they must submit an affidavit and it is still up to the board to determine final status.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: None

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • It is no longer possible to discharge someone from the military for their LGBT status, so it is only fair to give full benefits to those who were discharged before the rules were changed

In Further Detail: Being LGBT is of course now not grounds for discharge from the military. So what we have is a situation where since the law changed several years ago, LGBT members of the military will gain the full benefits of being a veteran if they are honorably discharged, but those who were discharged before the law was changed for no other reason cannot. This is obviously unfair and we owe it to those who served honorably to treat them just like all of our other honorable veterans.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB21-026