DENVER, CO – Lieutenant Governor Primavera today signed three bills to bolster basic access and support Coloradans living with a disability.
“Today, we’re improving basic access for those living with a disability and making progress toward meaningful change for all Coloradans,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton, sponsor of HB23-1296, HB23-1032 and HB23-1136. “With the three bills signed into law today, we’re reminded that basic access is a right, not a privilege. These laws support the community living with a disability and our efforts to secure housing, governmental services, employment and access to public spaces. We’re also saving families money by expanding insurance coverage for prosthetic limbs, so children can participate in the activities they love.”
“We know Coloradans living with a disability face significant barriers that make it harder to secure basic needs,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, sponsor of HB23-1296. “ Our law creates a task force to examine accessibility barriers in employment, housing, and the great outdoors, and uncover solutions to enable all Coloradans to thrive. While this law is a great first step, our work isn’t done; we need to continue to secure basic access for Coloradans living with a disability to strengthen our communities and create more welcoming spaces for everyone.”
HB23-1296 creates the Rights of Coloradans with Disabilities task force to study issues concerning Coloradans’ with disabilities, who account for twenty percent of our state. This important task force includes four different subcommittees focused on protecting civil liberties and improving accessibility in state and local government, housing, and the outdoors, as well as modernizing the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
HB23-1032 ensures that individuals with a disability have an opportunity to have legal recourse if they are discriminated against by any place of public accommodation. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act National Network, places of public accommodation include restaurants, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, hotels, retail stores, museums, libraries, amusement parks, private schools and day care centers.
HB23-1136, also sponsored by Representative Anthony Hartsook, saves Coloradans money and supports youth by modifying Colorado’s current prosthetic coverage law so health insurance plans will be required to cover an additional prosthetic device necessary for physical or recreational activity. Without health plan coverage, Colorado families can incur expensive out-of-pocket costs to cover additional prosthetics because the alternative prosthetic is considered not medically necessary.
This law makes it easier for Colorado youth living with limb loss or limb difference to participate in recreational activities such as sports, biking, rock climbing, running, skiing, snowboarding and more.