Dear Homeschool Families,
I want to thank each of you who engaged with CHEC in the battle for family freedom and privacy over the last two weeks leading up to yesterday’s hearing of HB-1164 by the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee.
CHEC sounded the alarm and it was clear to the committee that you answered the call. Yesterday, many of the committee members spoke of the large amount of phone calls and emails they received regarding this bill. In fact, there was so much testimony in opposition to the bill that the hearing did not end until 9 pm!
In spite of the overwhelming opposition by the public, the bill passed through committee on a party line vote of 7 to 6.
The legislative process is long and arduous, and so the battle over HB-1164 is far from over. The bill now proceeds to the floor of the House for debate. Please stay tuned for further updates from CHEC regarding the progress of this bill. (Make sure you sign up for our eblasts and like our Facebook page.)
- My testimony opposing the bill – read here
- Senator Kevin Lundberg’s overview of the bill – read here
- CHEC alerts about HB 1164 – read here
HB-1164 is a vivid reminder of the importance of getting your family exposed to and involved with the process and people who are responsible for making the laws by which we are governed. This is a real process, involving real people who are making real decisions that will have real impact on your family. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
If you were not able to attend the hearing or add your voice in opposition to HB-1164, please consider attending Homeschool Day at the Capitol and using that day as an opportunity for your family to stop by your legislators’ offices to tell them that you oppose HB-1164.
One of the sponsors of HB-1164, Representative Dan Pabon, referred to the impact of HB-1164 as a mere “tweak” to the system. And that is exactly how complacent people lose their liberties … one tweak at a time. Let’s not let that happen this time.
As I drove home from the hearing late last night, I was encouraged as I remembered the fact that the power and reign of the King of kings was not compromised or undermined by last night’s vote. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and, as Psalm 2 reminds us, while the kings and rulers of the earth may take counsel and set themselves against the Lord and against His anointed, God sits in the heavens and laughs.
So let us not be fearful. We are on the right AND winning side. Let us pray. And most importantly, let us worship the King. Make sure you do that with your family, today.
Last night will turn into victory for the people of God if it causes us to put less confidence in the flesh and more confidence in God.
Comments on HB 1164
Shared during the committee hearing by Steve Craig
One of my primary interests in stopping HB 1164 is that it directly impacts thousands of homeschoolers who homeschool under the umbrella of private schools. Christian Home Educators of Colorado seeks to represent the interests of these families.
I want to say from the outset that Christian Home Educators of Colorado does not have a position on whether or not parents should immunize their children. However, Christian Home Educators of Colorado is a staunch supporter of freedom and privacy.
HB 1164 encroaches on both:
- Freedom: First, HB 1164 would allow the Dept. of Health to encroach on the freedom of families who home-educate under the umbrella of a private school and who submit immunization exemption forms in lieu of immunization records by inserting itself into this relationship and requiring these families to register with the Dept. of Health. Rather than the families interacting only with their private institution, they are now forced to interact directly with the Dept. of Health as well. HB 1164 demands this loss of freedom.
- Privacy: Second, HB 1164 would allow the Dept. of Health to encroach on the privacy of these families by centralizing this immunization exemption information with the Dept. rather than the information being held by each private institution. HB 1164 demands this loss of privacy.
Proponents of this bill cite efficiency as one of the benefits of this bill. They say that this system will help schools by eliminating some record keeping for the schools.
But who benefits?
- Not the families: HB 1164 does not create efficiency for them. They will now be required to interact with two institutions instead of one.
- Not the private school: It is hard to imagine how HB 1164 would streamline any workload of the schools since the schools still have to verify the immunization records and/or exemptions for all students when they enroll in the school.
- The Dept. of Heath is the one who benefits: It seems quite obvious that the Dept. of Health is the party who benefits because it provides them with an efficient way to collect the exemption information for the families who would be impacted.
This is an instance of the kind of data collection that the state tends to be fond of and that many if not most private individuals seek to avoid.
In conclusion, I would urge this committee to send the Dept. of Health as well as the sponsors of this bill a very clear message that the people of Colorado are not interested in encroachments on their freedom and privacy.