Colorado House Republicans offer amendments to remake civil rights commission

The House Judiciary Committee Tuesday voted 10-1 to draft a bill to extend the Colorado Division of Civil Rights and the civil rights commission for nine more years.

Noting he represents the most diverse city in the state, Democratic Rep. Mike Weissman of Aurora said he looked at the question of renewing the commission and division somewhat differently. “We in this body believe in continuing this entity, or we don’t. I understand [Republicans] want to see things changed. So do I.”

But the sunset bill, and possibly ending the commission and division might not be the best way to do that, Weissman said. He pointed to incidents in the past year and a half, like the “N” word being spray painted on people’s doors, or Hispanic families being targeted because of their ethnicity. “To me it underscores the importance of standing up, plainly, without reservation, without quibble, for civil rights enforcement, especially now…it is very important for all of us to send an unambiguous signal out of this body that we stand for continued enforcement. Period.”