(Feb. 20) — The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-1 today to introduce a bill reauthorizing the Colorado Civil Rights Division & Commission, in a strong bipartisan recognition of the important role the agency plays in protecting Coloradans against discrimination.
After a number of Republican amendments to weaken the CCRD were defeated by the Democratic majority on the committee, Reps. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, Paul Lundeen, R-Monument, and Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist, R-Centennial joined the united Democratic members in voting to introduce a “clean” reauthorization of the CCRD.
“The strong bipartisan support that the Civil Rights Division received today shows that protecting Coloradans from discrimination should not be a partisan issue,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, a member of the committee.
Funding for the agency, which investigates claims of discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and other factors, was blocked earlier this month by Republican members of the Joint Budget Committee, prompting widespread protest.
“We have won a victory today, but the funding fight is not over,” said Speaker Crisanta Duran, who will sponsor the reauthorization bill. “Now that we are moving forward to reauthorize the division with strong bipartisan support, I would expect the Republicans to join with the Democrats in supporting funding for the office.”