FWD.us Statement: Colorado State Senate Passes Professional Licensing Access Legislation on a Bipartisan Vote

DENVER, CO — FWD.us Colorado Immigration State Director Marissa Molina issued the following statement today praising the Colorado State Senate for passing SB 21-077 on a bipartisan vote. This legislation would implement common sense reforms allowing all Coloradans – regardless of immigration status – to earn access to professional licenses for critical and understaffed professions, such as teaching, nursing and childcare. SB 21-077 now heads to the House where it will await a vote:

“Today’s passage of SB 21-077, with bipartisan support, is an important step towards ensuring equitable access to professional licensing for all Coloradans, regardless of immigration status. We applaud the Senate for voting in a bipartisan manner to approve this important piece of legislation and look forward to the House of Representatives swiftly following the Senate’s example.

“SB 21-077, introduced in February by Senator Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and Representatives Adrienne Benavidez (D-Adams) and Cathy Kipp (D-Larimer), would give undocumented Coloradoans the opportunity to earn professional licenses for which they have the needed skills, allowing them access to jobs in key industries like nursing, education and childcare, all of which are experiencing labor shortages.

“The current licensing roadblock prevents many immigrants from pursuing careers for which they are otherwise qualified, limiting our state’s ability to appropriately respond to the COVID-19 crisis and hampering our long-term success. Expanding access to licensure would strengthen our economic recovery by driving greater state revenue and tax income, equipping essential industries – like nursing – with the workforce needed, and allowing more Coloradans to increase their economic productivity, which benefits everyone in the state.

“We commend the Senate for approving this critically important bill and look forward to working with the House of Representatives, alongside sponsors Senator Gonzales, and Representatives Benavidez and Kipp as well as the Governor’s office to make the promise of this legislation a reality: that immigration status should not prevent otherwise qualified Coloradans from pursuing their chosen careers.”

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