(Denver, CO) -- "Let kids be kids!"
That was the feeling from both Democrats and Republicans today in the Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee in Denver.
Up for discussion, a bill that would allow kids to play outside without neglect charges. House Bill 22-1090 states that children playing outside in this manner would not be considered neglected.
Sponsor Representative Kim Ransom explained the bill's text as allowing a reasonable and prudent parent or guardian to let their children take part in outdoor play or walk to and from parks or school unsupervised according to the child's maturity and age.
The committee heard testimony from a 12 year old girl who told them that she used to run around the block but her parents were turned in and police arrived at their home to investigate. She says she feels she knows how to be safe and wants the independence to walk in her neighborhood without neighbors calling police on her parents. Mom testified that she taught her daughter safety and ran with her and walked with her many times before she allowed daughter to go alone.
Dianne Campbell is a Windsor resident who works with children and said she's seen children do well when given appropriate independence for their age and maturity level. Campbell further mentioned children thrive when allowed to learn and grow with this responsibility.
Representative Ransom said there's a lot of support for her bill and she appreciates it.
Ransom stated she wants kids to have the ability to run around the block
The bill passed out of committee on a vote of 13-to-0. The legislation now moves to the
committee of the whole.
The bill can be viewed by clicking here: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb22-1090