Senate Bill 73 is, likely, about to become law and will eliminate the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault in Colorado. On March 23rd, SB-73 was introduced to the Colorado House of Representatives Judiciary Committee by Representatives Soper and Michaelson Jenet. CCASA could not be more grateful for the brave survivors who testified during the five-hour hearing. SB-73 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on a 10-1 vote, with a conceptual amendment designed to minimally narrow the scope of the bill under the new definition of “sexual misconduct.”
On March 26th, on second reading, SB-73 passed on the House floor after a robust discussion that included both opposition and support of bill passage.
March 29th, SB-73 had its third reading in the House. Representative Bockenfield motioned to move the bill back to second reading because the bill allows survivors to sue the estate of a perpetrator, like all other civil claims in Colorado, and second reading would be an opportunity to add an amendment disallowing it. While Representatives spoke both in favor and in opposition of the motion, it failed on a bipartisan vote. Representatives Soper, Michaelson Jenet, Weissman, Benavidez and others, spoke in support of passing the bill, often citing the moving stories of survivors who testified in House Judiciary Committee.
The bill passed its third reading with a bipartisan, 57-6 vote. Because amendments were added to SB-73 in the House, on March 30th, Senators Danielson and Coram concurred the House amendments in the Senate and after a quick meeting and unanimous, bipartisan vote, SB-73 officially passed both chambers.
Now, the bill is awaiting a signature from Governor Polis and, both CCASA and the press have been told, it is very likely he will sign the bill because of the profound impact the bill will have on preventing sexual violence as supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle.
There are so many people who are directly responsible for the passage of this survivor-centered policy. We must thank all of the survivors, professionals, and policy-makers who have been working on this legislation for more than 30 years. They created the building blocks that allowed today’s survivors to protect tomorrow’s victims.