Gardner Responds to Veto of Child Autopsy Bill
Denver — Colorado Springs Republican Bob Gardner had the following to say today in response to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s veto of SB-223:
“I was disappointed to learn of the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 223
this afternoon. I introduced SB-223 at the request of all of Colorado’s
elected coroners to prevent grieving families who have lost a minor
child from being exposed to further trauma. Throughout the bill’s
consideration, I remained mindful that there were those who believed
that unlimited public disclosure of teen suicides and other tragic
deaths of minors served the interest of preventing future tragedies.
For that reason, the bill ensured that multiple agencies, including
suicide review boards, law enforcement, the Department of Human
Services, and others dedicated to the prevention of teen suicide and the
protection of children continued to have full access to these records.
While the competing policies of family privacy and public disclosure are
both valid, SB-223 passed with the vote of 96 of 100 members of the
General Assembly, evidencing that in these situations, Coloradans
clearly came down on the side of privacy for grieving families.
In his veto statement, the Governor stated that he believed that the
benefits of public disclosure for prevention of future deaths outweighed
This is not an easy policy choice and clearly one about which
responsible citizens may disagree.”