"I think the commission right now is fair and balanced," said Rep. Leslie Herod, Democrat from Denver. She sponsored House Bill along with House Speaker Crisanta Duran and State Senator Robert Gardner. But Republican State Senator Robert Gardner said that many of his colleagues felt the commission had a blind spot towards conservative viewpoints. The senators wanted the legislature to exert more control over who got picked to serve on the panel. "That certainly is what my con
The seven-member commission hears civil rights cases in the state. Lawmakers agreed to limit how many from each party can serve – and they added a business representative. Democratic Rep. Leslie Herod says it’s an important compromise. “We put together I think, a balanced proposal. 1:55- It was a big issue to add a business member. It was a big issue to change the makeup of the commission and to give away the majority power of the majority party.” Some GOP changes to the nomi
The governor currently appoints all seven members of the commission, but that could change under the to-be-debated Senate amendments, which would increase the commission to a nine-member body and divvy up appointments. The governor would appoint five members, and the ranking House and Senate members of the political party opposite the governor's would appoint two members each. The Senate amendments would also require the commission to include representatives of labor unions,
Republicans again tried to significantly change the commission’s makeup after raising concerns about the fairness of its current processes and also tried to open an avenue for employers and landlords to defend themselves against discrimination claims by citing their religious beliefs. Democrats accused their GOP counterparts of trying to weaken protections for those facing discrimination. “We are harkening back to a time that we have said that we have moved past,” state Rep.
An amendment offered by Rep. Yeulin Willett of Grand Junction sought to ensure that members of the commission are subject to the standards of conduct set by the Colorado code of judicial conduct. Wist said administrative law judges are held to that code, but the commission is not, although it makes quasi-judicial rulings. Rep. Paul Lundeen of Monument asked that the commission be extended five years instead of nine, as recommended in the sunset review. While the amendments ma
The future of Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission is uncertain after some question the makeup of the commission. The commission is supposed to help protect people from injustice. Protesters rallied at the state Capitol on Tuesday. They’re hoping the makeup of the commission doesn’t change. The commission helps solve issues from everything to do with religious freedom to fair housing. Republicans want to change the makeup of the commission to include a lawyer but Democrats want
Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, the first black lesbian elected to the state legislature, rallied a crowd on the west steps, citing Colorado’s history of protecting civil rights. She gave a shout out to former Denver mayor and state legislator Wellington Webb, who stood behind her, for introducing the first bill outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation in the state legislature in 1975. “That’s the Colorado way,” Herod told the crowd numbering over one hundred. “We wi