DENVER--Today, the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee passed Senator Don Coram's, R-Montrose, bill expanding the definition of harassment to agree with Colorado's law on bias-motivated crimes.
Under current law on bias-motivated crimes include actions based on real or perceived national origin, race, color, religion, ancestry, or gender.
An average of 1 in 3 teens is bullied or harassed, youth with disabilities are 10 times one likely to suffer harassment than a typical student.
House Bill 17-1188 adds physical or mental disabilities and sexual orientation to the categories in the harassment statue and raises those crimes from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 1 misdemeanor.
"This bill is overdue," said Coram. "These vulnerable populations need to know that the state of Colorado has their back, that harassment based on sexual orientation or disability is a crime that we will not stand for, and that our laws will evolve to reflect our changing state. Often, these crimes go unreported. Today, we took a crucial step in encouraging those who suffer these unacceptable crimes to come forward."
House Bill 1188 now continues on to a vote of the Committee of the Whole.
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