Signed! Bills to End Statute of Limitations in Civil Sex Abuse Cases & Hire Former-Inmate Widland Firefighters

DENVER, CO — Governor Jared Polis today signed two bills into law. SB21-073, sponsored by Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Matt Soper, would end the statute of limitations on civil sex abuse cases. SB21-012, sponsored by Representative Dylan Roberts, would allow the Department of Public Safety to hire formerly incarcerated individuals with wildland firefighting experience. 

“It’s been such a long road, but today, finally, we are ending the statute of limitations for civil sex abuse cases,” said Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “Victims deserve justice whenever they choose to seek it. Outdated laws won’t be able to stop them anymore. Courageous Coloradans from all walks of life came forward to share their painful stories, and together, we changed how victims can seek justice in our state.” 

SB21-073 would remove the current six year limitation on bringing a civil claim based on sexual misconduct. The bill applies to a cause of action that accrues on or after January 1, 2022, or a cause of action that accrued prior to that date but before the current six year statute of limitations expires. The legislation defines sexual misconduct in statute and removes restrictions that limited victims’ ability to file a civil action or recover damages. 

“Our communities are safer because of the dangerous work done each fire season by Colorado’s State Wildland Inmate Fire Team (SWIFT),” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “This law will allow Colorado to hire experienced wildland firefighters so they can continue protecting our communities from ever more dangerous and destructive fires. It’s a win-win situation for Colorado; it creates jobs and helps us combat wildfires.”

HB21-012, sponsored by Representative Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, would allow the wildland fire management section in the Department of Public Safety to more easily hire former inmates with wildland firefighting experience. The bill also requires the department to develop materials to increase awareness of wildland firefighting career opportunities for Coloradans who have experience fighting fires through the inmate disaster relief program. 

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