Colorado Lawmaker Promises To Keep Trying To Improve Access to Government for People With Disabilities After Requesting Defeat of His Own Bill

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Promising to keep working to improve access to state-and-local government for people with disabilities, a lawmaker Tuesday requested the defeat of his own bill to mandate the livestreaming of public body meetings and make other changes to help all Coloradans participate in democracy more fully and equally.

Rep. David Ortiz, a Centennial Democrat who uses a wheelchair, had floated a version of House Bill 23-1308 that set a timeline for requiring physical accessibility improvements at the state Capitol and at other buildings where public bodies conduct business.

The introduced bill was much narrower — with a much less-costly fiscal note. The House Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee heard testimony — including support from the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition — before Ortiz asked that his bill be killed.

“This bill has done exactly what it was supposed to do by bringing people to the table and starting to work to make government more accessible for all Coloradans,” Ortiz said. “That is what it’s done. That is what I will continue to do, and I look forward to seeing you all again in January with a whole-host-of-disability-rights bill.”