Legislative Accomplishments

Click here for a comprehensive listing and summary of all of the bills Rep. Janet Buckner has sponsored throughout her career.

Rep. Buckner passed historic and meaningful bills in the 2019 legislative session. Whether it was fighting for workers, investing in students, or improving our health care system, her dedication to the people of Colorado proved to be second to none. Below you will find a summary of Rep. Buckner’s bills from the 2019 session that have now become law.

Equal Pay For Equal Work Act (SB19-085)

Reps Buckner & Gonzales-Gutierrez / Sens Danielson & Pettersen

This bill addresses the pay gap between women and men by enacting a number of measures that will allow employees to challenge pay discrepancies. The bill allows employees to use civil litigation to recover lost wages from their past 3 years of employment. Previous processes did not allow employees to go straight to civil litigation to challenge pay discrimination. The bill also does the following:

  • Prohibits employers from seeking the wage history of prospective employees and from relying on a prior wage rate to determine a new wage rate.
  • Prohibits discrimination and retaliation against prospective employees for refusal to disclose their previous wage history or for using any of the provisions of the law.
  • Requires employers to announce employee advancement opportunities, job openings, and pay ranges.
  • Allows the director of the Department of Labor and Employment to enforce actions by issuing fines to employers that do not announce new employment opportunities or follow pay transparency regulations.

“John W. Buckner” Automatic Enrollment In Advanced Course Grant Program (SB19-059)

Rep Buckner / Sen Moreno

Finishing the work the late John W. Buckner started, this bill automatically enrolls students in advanced coursework if they have demonstrated proficiency in statewide assessments. This inclusive process ensures that all students, especially disadvantaged minorities and low-income students have the opportunity to advance their education at same rate as their peers.

Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Maternal Mortality Review Committee (HB19-1122)

Reps Buckner & Landgraf / Sens Fields & Gardner

In Colorado, maternal mortality has doubled over the last five years, African American women as well as women in rural areas make up a disproportionate percentage of that amount. Nearly 80 percent of these deaths are considered preventable. This bill will establish a review committee to better understand avoidable maternal deaths. The committee will also make policy recommendations for the health and safety of women and their families.

Identification And Interventions For Students With Dyslexia (HB19-1134)

Reps Buckner & Wilson / Sen Todd

This bill directs the Department of Education to create a pilot program on screenings and interventions for Colorado students with dyslexia. It also directs the Commissioner of Education to create a working group to analyze the data from the pilot program and make recommendations. The working group will determine how to best intervene and identify dyslexic students in grades K-3. It will also determine how to best support and provide resources for dyslexic students across the state.

Health Insurance For Breast Imaging (HB19-1301)

Reps Buckner & Michaelson Jenet / Sen Williams

Though cancer is not entirely preventable, national research indicates that the sooner cancer is diagnosed, both lives and money are saved. This bill updates existing legislation to ensure that preventative health care screenings are covered by insurance if the individual has a family history of breast cancer, is forty years or older, or possess an increased lifetime risk.

Cancer Treatment And License Plate Surcharge (HB19-1302)

Reps Buckner & Michaelson Jenet / Sen Winter

This legislation continues the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention fund and expands the program to include assistance for cancer treatments of underinsured women. The CDC reports that reproductive cancers are among the top 10 deadliest cancers for women, with breast cancer being the 2nd deadliest cancer for women in the United States. This bill aims to increase the survival rate of these types of cancers by way of expanding treatment.

P.E. Pilot Program (Formally HB19-1161)

Reps Buckner & Wilson / Sens Todd & Priola

This year, a bipartisan effort merged Comprehensive Physical Education Instruction Pilot Program legislation into Public School Finance legislation (SB19-246). This bill secures grant money for 15 eligible schools to create and implement a 3-year physical education pilot program for students in grades K-8. This program will serve as a model to introduce much needed physical education in public schools across the state.

 Note: Language of bill was merged with Public School Finance legislation (SB19-246).

Prevent Sexual Misconduct At Higher Ed Campuses (SB19-007)

Reps Buckner & McLachlan / Sens Pettersen & Winter

This bill requires all higher education institutions to adopt, review, and update policies on sexual misconduct. It also specifies some minimum requirements for these policies in regards to reporting, investigative procedures, and protections for the accused. The law will require that institutions adequately inform their student populations of the provisions of their policy. In addition, the bill creates an advisory committee to oversee the process.

Living Organ Donor Insurance (HB19-1253)

Reps Buckner & Landgraf / Sens Hisey & Gonzales

This bill prevents life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and long-term insurance providers from denying insurance to individuals based solely on their status as a living organ donor. This law will protect those who have generously prolonged the life of others via organ donation.

Income Tax Credit For Early Childhood Educator (HB19-1005)

Reps Buckner & Wilson / Sens Todd & Priola

This bill seeks to address the shortage of teachers by providing income tax credit incentives for credentialed Early Childhood Educators. The bill provides incentives for educators to receive higher credential levels by offering increased tax credits for advanced credential status. This legislation will go a long way towards increasing the number of individuals entering into the field of education while also increasing compensation for those who teach our youngest students.

Require Surgical Smoke Protection Policies (HB19-1041)

Reps Buckner / Sen Rodriguez

Surgical smoke is a gaseous carcinogenic and mutagenic byproduct that is produced in operating rooms during surgical procedures when heat producing devices such as lasers and electro surgery knives are used on human tissue. This legislation requires that hospitals with surgical services and ambulatory surgical centers implement policies to prevent human exposure to surgical smoke via smoke evacuation systems. This bill will protect the health of nurses, doctors, and patients in operating rooms where this type of smoke is created.

State Procurement Disparity Study (SB19-135)

Reps Buckner & Buentello / Sens Williams & Rodriguez

This bill creates a study to look into disparities in underutilized businesses in the state procurement system. This legislation will help create a fair playing field for individuals who may have been left behind when attempting to act on business opportunities.

Click here for a comprehensive listing and summary of all of the bills Rep. Janet Buckner has sponsored throughout her career.

Rep. Buckner brought an ambitious agenda to the 2016, 2017, and 2018 legislative sessions. In 2016 she introduced legislation to require companies that contract with the state of Colorado to have an equal-pay-for-equal-work policy. She also sponsored legislation to revive the state’s parental leave law, requiring large companies to provide their workers with up to 18 hours of unpaid time off per year for parent-teacher conferences or meetings related to interventions, dropout prevention, attendance, truancy or special education services. Both bills passed the House but were unfortunately defeated by Senate Republicans.

After being reelected in 2016, Rep. Buckner in the 2017 and 2018 sessions focused on many consequential pieces of legislation. She renewed Colorado’s organ donor sign up program at DMV, license, and ID offices. In addition, Rep Buckner passed legislation to increase funding for school safety, teacher pay, and teacher retention. She has tackled Colorado’s nursing shortage and accessibility to higher education by passing a monumental bipartisan bill that allows Community Colleges to offer Bachelors of Science Completion degrees in nursing. These are but a few of consequential bills that Janet has passed.

For a complete listing of her legislative accomplishments please visit: http://leg.colorado.gov/legislators/janet-p-buckner