Colorado legislature updates: Gov. Polis signs bill allowing trans students to use preferred names in schools

The pace is picking up at the Colorado Capitol, with stacked calendars of committee hearings and floor votes. The legislature has nine days to go — including this coming weekend — before the end of the 2024 session, which must adjourn by the end of the day on May 8.

This story will be updated throughout the day.

Updated at 10:30 a.m.: Colorado school employees must now call students by their preferred, gender-affirming names, under to a new law signed Monday by Gov. Jared Polis.

Under the law, it is discriminatory for staff members to fail to call a student by their preferred name, and students can file a report with the school. The measure was shepherded through the Capitol alongside a similar, Democrat-backed bill that Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera signed into law earlier this month. That law allows people convicted of felonies to use gender identity as a basis to legally change their names.

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The name-change bill was sponsored by Democratic Reps. Stephanie Vigil and Brianna Titone and Sens. Faith Winter and Janice Marchman. The student preferred names bill was backed by Democratic Rep. Lorena Garcia and Sens. Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Kevin Priola.

Both bills had sparked lengthy debate, especially in the House, where Republicans invoked anti-transgender rhetoric in opposing them.

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