DENVER, CO - A pair of new laws that will make life safer for Coloradans will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
HB23-1222, sponsored by Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, Representative Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, and Senators Faith Winter, D-Broomfield, and Dylan Roberts, D-Frisco, creates new requirements for domestic violence cases in municipal courts to provide protections for victims. The law ensures provisions of the Victims’ Rights Act are applied in municipal courts, instructs judges to check a defendant for prior charges before issuing a verdict, and ensures all cases in municipal courts have the same resources and safety precautions available that they would in a county court, among other requirements.
“As a survivor of domestic violence, I know how hard it is to seek accountability in court which is why support and protections for victims is so important,” said Duran. “Holding municipal courts to the same standard for domestic violence cases as county courts ensures that victims receive identical treatment in the court system. With the implementation of our new law, we can create a safer environment for victims to hold their abuser accountable, no matter where they live.”
“I was proud to be a part of multiple pieces of transformative legislation to strengthen autonomy and control for survivors of intimate violence last session,” said Winter. “No survivor should ever have to pay a bill for their forensic exam, or feel unsafe during their court proceedings. This new law signals our commitment to furthering support for survivors of domestic violence in Colorado.”
"This law will better support survivors of domestic violence by guaranteeing all Coloradans protections under the Victims Rights Amendment, no matter which court handles their case," said Weissman. "It is crucial for survivors to have support to ensure their well-being and safety. This law requires all courts to provide the same sentencing requirements and victim protections for domestic violence cases so all Coloradans can receive equal treatment."
“Keeping Colorado families and communities safe is a top priority of mine,” said Roberts, sponsor of HB23-1222 and HB23-1267. “Previously, county and municipal courts weren’t held to the same procedural standards for domestic violence cases, which is why we passed HB23-1222 to improve the way municipal courts handle domestic violence cases and ensure survivors are given the protections they deserve. HB23-1267 meanwhile will help improve safety on our roads, especially dangerous mountain routes. These are common sense bills that will create a safer state for us all.”
HB23-1267, sponsored by Roberts and House Speaker Julie McCluske, D-Dillon, will make mountain roadways safer by allowing the Department of Transportation to establish enhanced speeding fines on highways where the downhill grade is 5 percent or greater and where there are safety concerns related to commercial motor vehicle drivers exceeding the posted speed limits.
“Our Colorado mountain roads can be dangerous, especially in the I-70 corridor that is frequented by commercial drivers who might not have mountain driving experience,” said McCluskie. “This law doubles speeding fines for trucks driving down steep grades, which will help prevent unnecessary accidents, improve traffic and make our roads safer.”