As the 2019 Colorado legislative session enters its final weeks, the Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region continues to work on two priority bills.
The first bill, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (Senate Bill 85), would help close the pay gap in Colorado. Pay inequity is a real and persistent problem that continues to affect women and their families. Women are the primary or co-breadwinners in three-quarters of families in Colorado, and the pay gap is a major obstacle to economic security.
Senate Bill 85 has two key components. First, it establishes prevention and transparency measures such as posting salary ranges for jobs and notifying current employees of promotional opportunities. Second, it creates a mechanism for women to challenge pay disparities that exist with male colleagues.
The bill has passed the Colorado Senate and is moving through the Colorado House of Representatives. ADL supporters who are interested can take action by calling their state representative and asking their lawmaker to support Senate Bill 85, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. To find your Colorado state representative, go to: http://leg.colorado.gov/findmylegislator.
The ADL Mountain States Region also supports a bill to make the state’s refugee services program a permanent agency in Colorado. Currently, the Colorado Refugee Services Program operates under a 1994 executive order signed by former Governor Roy Romer. Senate Bill 230 would make the Colorado Refugee Services Program a permanent part of the Colorado Department of Human Services. The bill does not make any other changes to how the state currently works with the federal government to resettle refugees in Colorado.
During the 2019 Colorado legislative session, ADL also advocated on issues to protect religious freedom, women’s access to reproductive health care, voting rights and equality for LGBTQ individuals.
The ADL Mountain States Region also engaged on important policy issues during the New Mexico and Wyoming legislative sessions. ADL offered testimony on a proposed bill in New Mexico that would have added protections for the homeless under the state’s hate crime law. ADL offered an alternative approach to protect homeless individuals and New Mexico lawmakers tabled the bill to explore the most effective approach. ADL also monitored a proposed anti-discrimination bill in Wyoming that would have protected LGBTQ individuals against workplace discrimination. The bill did not advance.