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Pair of bills prompted by Denver7 investigations head to governor's desk

Pair of bills prompted by Denver7 investigations head to governor's desk
Posted at 1:01 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 17:46:26-04

DENVER -- A pair of bills prompted by Denver7 investigations passed through the Colorado legislature and are headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk.

Last week lawmakers passed House Bill 18-1269, the “Parent Notice for Student Safety and Protection” act. The legislation requires schools to notify families when teachers and school employees are arrested for certain serious crimes.

The legislation was proposed after a series of reports by Contact7 Investigates revealed parents were not initially notified of numerous arrests of teachers and school employees accused of sexual abuse against students.

Rep. Paul Lundeen, a sponsor of the bill, said the change in law will help protect Colorado students.

"We're gratified the General Assembly has passed, and expect the governor will sign, this legislation that will shine the light on a previously dark space. Parents are the front line of defending their student children. This legislation make sure they have the information they need in order to protect their students," Lundeen said.  

On the final day of the legislative session, lawmakers also voted in favor of banning financial conflicts of interest among members of the state board which sets standards for supervision and treatment of sex offenders.

A Denver7 investigation showed a polygraph examiner who sits on the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) named Jeff Jenks owns a business that receives the largest share of public dollars for sex offender polygraph exams among private polygraphy businesses.

His business also holds a contract with the Colorado Department of Corrections – but such contracts would be disallowed for SOMB members under the newly-passed legislation.

Jenks told Contact7 Investigates he does not believe he has a conflict of interest but will resign from the board if the bill becomes law.