By Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
Today is the opening day for the Colorado 2020 Legislative Session.
What can we expect?
Truly, only God knows. Rumors abound on so many fronts that it’s difficult to know what is really true. What I can say is, there is an extreme sense of foreboding from all involved who care about liberty. Fortunately, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR — Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution) remains intact, which restricts the government from growing too large, too fast. Whatever laws get passed must stay within the bounds of a prescribed growth formula. Well, unless of course, they call it “fee.” Be watching for this maneuver.
Last session, CHEC stood with those who opposed a change in the school immunization requirements. The homeschool law and the private school law are directly impacted by any changes to these requirements. The bill that was introduced violated the following principles we support: 1) parents should direct the medical care of their children, 2) parents should be fully informed about the risks and benefits of any medical care, including vaccinations, before giving their consent, and 3) government control of medical data puts children’s privacy at risk. Due to the bill’s defeat, there will be several new bills that address immunizations this year. Some CHEC will support; others we won’t. You should expect there to be a battle again this year.
What about homeschooling?
There have been rumors of a bill concerning homeschooling, but I have no credible information to support them at this time. What I can tell you is that over the past several years, states across the nation have seen bills attempting to increase homeschool oversight. On January 2nd, the NPR show 1A aired a segment on “How Should We Regulate Homeschooling?” Be aware, there are very influential groups out there trying to push increased regulation, and they have the attention of the media and legislators. We need to be ready to fight back. I’d recommend taking a look at these three websites for helpful statistics on homeschooling: Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), and Homeschooling Backgrounder.
Every week I put out a prayer update email that lays out prayer points, bills of concern, and action items. If you want to stay engaged and know what is coming up at the Capitol, please sign up for these emails.
I will be posting on this blog every other week during the session. If you want to receive these posts in your inbox, sign up here.
Weekly Prayer Meetings at the Capitol: Every Tuesdays at 11am, room 351. Just show up!
Meet Your Legislator Day: Thursday, January 30th at the Capitol. For more information and to register, go here.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison