Despite the pandemic, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association was able to check some big items off its policy wish list in 2020. In April, the governor signed a bill that requires health insurance plans issued in the state to cover infertility treatments. And in November, voters passed a ballot measure for paid family leave, a program the CWBA had championed for years .
Looking ahead to 2021, CWBA public policy committee co-chairs Meagan Moodie and Alison Connaughty said the organization will be watching a number of bills while helping with implementation of laws passed in previous legislative sessions.
One potential piece of legislation on the CWBA’s radar, according to Connaughty, is a bill that would codify best practices for surrogacy and ensure legal recognition for parents of children born from surrogates. “It also prevents judges from denying a gay couple parental rights and declaring them human traffickers,” she added, noting that a same-sex couple faced a similar scenario in Wisconsin a few years ago.
Lawmakers introduced a bill on surrogacy agreements last session. That bill had the support of the CWBA and unanimously passed a House committee but later died due to COVID. Connaughty said she has yet to see a draft of this year’s bill, but the CWBA has heard the bill will be reintroduced “in the same format.” “If that ends up being the case,” she added, “then the CWBA will be interested in backing the bill again this year.
Moodie said the CWBA will be looking to weigh in on a few other issues, depending on the language of the bills. One such topic is the destruction of rape kit evidence, which was the focus of a bill introduced last session and, according to Moodie, is likely to be reintroduced this year. She added that the CWBA is particularly interested in requirements for notifying victims if their rape kits are going to be destroyed and time requirements for agencies to hold on to rape kit evidence.