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County leadership celebrates successful legislative initiative to reduce human trafficking in Colorado

Posted on June 14, 2024 2024News and Events


Pictured: Barbara Bird, From Silenced to Saved; Lillian Higgs, Douglas County Youth Commissioner; Katherine Whitmore, Douglas County Youth Commissioner; Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas; 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner; Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon; Casey Brown, Douglas County Attorney’s Office; Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly; Jeff Garcia, Douglas County Attorney

Did you know your Douglas County Commissioners advocate for you and your community at the state level? This year – in partnership with Rep. Anthony Hartsook, Rep. Brandi Bradley, Rep. Lisa Frizell, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Douglas County Sheriff – they worked to amend state law to prevent human trafficking.

During the 2024 Colorado General Assembly’s legislative session, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners initiated HB 24-1371 requiring massage facility owners, operators, or employees to pass a nationwide criminal background check as part of the business license process.

With public safety in mind, the Board initially took local action in April 2023 with an ordinance requiring similar background checks in unincorporated Douglas County. Now, that approach is required statewide.

“As lead Commissioner for the last several years on this very real public safety initiative involving an activity that is actually and statistically harming young people, I was pleased to see my proposal supported by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, county commissioners statewide, the state legislature and the governor,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon. “We have more work to do with our nonprofits next session, but this is an important victory in our collective war against human trafficking.”

Throughout the session, the Douglas County Youth Commission learned about the County’s legislative process and learned how local governments influence state law.

The bill, More Uniform Local Massage Facilities Regulation, was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis on June 6.

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