By Natalie Seils
With the 2022 legislative session at a close, we can look back at the last few months with pride at all we have accomplished alongside our members! We engaged with bills that addressed reproductive and behavioral healthcare, the criminal legal system, and the rights of survivors across the state. In total, CCASA actively engaged with nine bills, provided testimony for 11, and successfully amended three. Only two of our supported bills and three of our monitored bills failed to pass this session.
Our top priorities: SB22-183 Crime Victims Services, HB22-1309 Hospitals Dispense Drugs to Sexual Assault Victims, and HB22-150 The Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. CCASA was heavily engaged in each of these bills. We provided testimony, contributed to bill language and revisions, engaged in stakeholder meetings, and raised grassroots support.
CCASA provided support and advocacy efforts to several other bills affecting the rights of survivors, including SB22-049 VRA Fixes and Amendments, HB22-1169 Prohibit Sexual Act Without Consent, and HB22-1288 Safe Reporting Assaults Suffered By Sex Workers. These bills address the legal rights of sexual violence survivors by increasing protections for sex workers, updating and improving the legal definition of consent, and strengthening the Victims Rights Act. We are thrilled to see each of these bills become law.
Additionally, CCASA provided input and testimony for SB22-207 Prevention of Title IX Misconduct in Public Schools and will continue to be heavily involved in the upcoming Title IX study.
Behavioral Health Bills
Behavioral health was an oft-discussed topic at the Capitol this session, and CCASA worked hard to ensure any bills addressing behavioral healthcare included trauma-informed training and practices.
HB22-1278 creates the new Behavioral Health Administration.After months of advocacy, testimony, and help from CCASA members, we successfully secured a seat for “persons with expertise in crime victimization, trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as they impact the lifespan” on the new BHA Advisory Council.
HB22-1281 awards community investment grants for behavioral healthcare services and children, youth, and family services to identify areas of need in the communities served. CCASA provided testimony supporting an amendment to include “trauma recovery, trauma-informed training, training on providing services in a culturally responsive manner” as community investment services covered by the grant
HB22-1302 creates the primary care and behavioral health statewide integration grant program. CCASA’s dedication to the needs of survivors in all manner of healthcare led to an amendment to include trauma-informed care, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma recovery training for primary care physicians in the grant.
CCASA’s monitored bills are HB22-1052 Promoting Crisis Services to Students (passed), HB22-1056 Emergency Temporary Care for Children(passed) HB22-1067 Clarifying Changes to Ensure Prompt Bond Hearings (passed), HB22-1082 Establish Fair Housing Unit Department of Law (passed), HB22-1090 Reasonable Independence for Children (passed), HB22-1214 Behavioral Health Crisis Response System (passed), HB22-1300 Local Enforcement to Prevent Human Trafficking (passed), SB22-043 Restitution Services for Victims (passed), SB22-099 Sealing Criminal Records (passed), HB22-1160 Establishing Family Justice Centers (failed), SB22-089 Sex Offender Management Board Reform (failed), and SB22-128 Implicit Bias in Jury Selection (failed).
We are proud of the many successes in this session and grateful for the invaluable advocacy efforts from our members. Thank you to everyone who participated in the legislative advocacy process, gave testimony, contacted legislators, and provided valuable feedback throughout this session. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits of all the hard work we did together in the 2022 session!