By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
2021 Session Wrap Up
For the time being, the laws that govern home education in Colorado remain unchanged. Hallelujah! But, as the fallout from the pandemic continues to spread and the full effect of the new vaccination law’s implementation is felt, policy makers and education bureaucrats will be looking to reign in homeschooling. Why? It boils down to control and money. Threaten either of those and the government will seek to right what they see as a ship headed in the wrong direction.
We have seen over the past decade or more a progression of laws that chip away at the very foundation of home education. Two rights that are fundamental, God-given, and unalienable are being continually undermined — parental rights and religious liberty. One of the amazing advantages of homeschooling is that parents can disciple their children in the admonition of the Lord without government intrusion. If the foundation crumbles, homeschooling will become just government school at home.
This session, bills were passed that expand the right of minors to consent to medical treatments without parental consent or even knowledge. One bill (SB21-016) claims as its goal the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Parents are seen as an obstacle to minors getting treatment. Under this new law, doctors will be able to give treatments without parental knowledge. One of particular concern is the HPV vaccine because of its potential for serious and long-term side effects. (Note: CHEC takes no position on vaccines.) Another bill (SB21-094) expands the authority of pharmacists to prescribe medications without a doctor’s oversight while also lowering the age of those they can treat to twelve years old.
Two new protected classes were added to the anti-discrimination law (HB21-1108) in Colorado this year — gender identity and gender expression. Those holding to a biblical perspective of sex and gender will find it difficult to maneuver in the public arena given the subjective and fluid nature of how these new classes are defined. Another bill (HB21-1135) was thankfully pulled by the sponsor. It would have placed Health Care Sharing Ministries under the supervision of the Division of Insurance which could open the door for further government scrutiny and control of this, and other types of ministries. This bill will probably be back in some form next session.
Other areas of importance to all families in the Centennial State include the expansion of the government through administrative power and the creation of new taxes and fees. For more information on these and other bills, see the full bill list here.
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Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations