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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980472.01 JGG
HOUSE BILL 981032
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVE Pfiffner
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE ROLE OF PARENTS.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Identifies the general assembly's findings with respect
to the role of parents visàvis the government
and the limitations on government intervention in family life.
States that it is the parent's role to decide and direct the
upbringing, values, and behavior of the parent's child. Acknowledges
that such role supersedes and preempts the government's authority.
Makes exceptions to these general principles for certain types
of legal proceedings and activities, such as juvenile delinquency
and dependency and neglect.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Part 1 of article 1 of title 19, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
191103.7. Role of parents legislative declaration. (1) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES AS A MATTER OF PUBLIC POLICY THAT:
(a) THE FAMILY UNIT, CONSISTING OF PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THE PARENTCHILD RELATIONSHIP INTEGRAL TO THE FAMILY UNIT ARE CENTRAL TO THE WELLBEING AND FREEDOM OF PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN. THE FAMILY UNIT AND THE PARENTCHILD RELATIONSHIP ARE LIKEWISE CENTRAL TO THE HEALTH, SUCCESS, AND SURVIVAL OF EVERY FREE SOCIETY.
(b) THE VAST MAJORITY OF PARENTS ARE DEVOTED TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR CHILDREN;
(c) GOVERNMENT IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE THE PLACE OF PARENTS. GOVERNMENT IS NOT FAMILY. THE FAMILY UNIT IS NOT AN EXTENSION OF GOVERNMENT. PARENTS ARE NEITHER SERVANTS NOR AGENTS OF GOVERNMENT. CHILDREN ARE NOT THE PROPERTY OF GOVERNMENT, EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY.
(d) PARENTS GENERALLY KNOW BETTER THAN GOVERNMENT WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN;
(e) IT IS WITHIN THE PARENT'S ROLE, AUTHORITY, RESPONSIBILITY, AND DISCRETION TO DECIDE AND DIRECT THE UPBRINGING, VALUES, AND BEHAVIOR OF THE PARENT'S CHILDREN, AND SUCH PARENTAL AUTHORITY SUPERSEDES AND PREEMPTS ANY GOVERNMENTAL POWER TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR A PARENT'S CHILDREN.
(2) THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY EXCEPT IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:
(a) CRIMINAL OR JUVENILE DELINQUENCY ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY, PROCEEDINGS, OR SENTENCING;
(b) CRIMINAL INCARCERATION, JUVENILE DELINQUENCY COMMITMENT, OR OTHER INVOLUNTARY INSTITUTIONALIZATION PURSUANT TO LAW;
(c) DEPENDENCY AND NEGLECT PROCEEDINGS;
(d) PROCEEDINGS RELATED TO ADOPTION, PATERNITY, AND TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS;
(e) PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO THE DETERMINATION OF CHILD CUSTODY, CHILD SUPPORT, PARENTING TIME, AND OTHER RIGHTS BETWEEN TWO PARENTS; AND
(f) MATTERS PREEMPTED BY FEDERAL LAW.
SECTION 2. Effective date. This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninetyday period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.