2013 Legislative Session Opens with Kids Front and Center

Written by: Tara Manthey
Date Posted: January 11, 2013

The Colorado General Assembly opened its annual legislative session this week with encouraging signs that issues facing Colorado kids will be prominent in 2013. Two priority bills for the Colorado Children’s Campaign were introduced on the first day, and lawmakers tell us that child health and safety, education and supporting early childhood development and learning will be priorities.

This includes attention to the School Finance Act, a focus of the Children’s Campaign for the past year. In his State of the State Address this week, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Colorado must ensure that “we have a school finance formula that offers equity to all districts and opportunity to all kids, and it means all of us committing to making Colorado the national leader, not just on reform, but on results.”

Hickenlooper lauded the state’s recent federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge award for innovations in early childhood services and reiterated his support for extending quality preschool and full-day kindergarten to more Colorado kids. And he again voiced support for extending Medicaid to low-income adults, many of them parents, so all Coloradans can get the care they need, when they need it.

Each year we work with partners and supporters to craft an annual agenda for the session. Read our 2013 Legislative Priorities to see where we’ll focus our attention in the areas of child health, K-12 education, early childhood and the Colorado budget this session. We host a series of Lunch and Learn discussions to explore our priorities and other issues facing kids. Click here to learn more.

Two of our priority bills were introduced Wednesday:

  • School Breakfast: House Bill 13-1006 would support healthy development and student achievement by extending the School Breakfast After the Bell Nutrition Program to more schools with high populations of low-income students.
  • CHP+ Waiting Period:  Senate Bill 13-008 would ensure families can more easily access Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) health benefits and streamline program administration by eliminating the three-month waiting period for children moving from employer-supported private coverage.

We look forward to keeping you updated on legislation affecting kids in the coming months.

Tara Manthey

About Tara Manthey

Tara McLain Manthey joined Colorado Children's Campaign as Communications Director in May 2012. She previously worked in communications at The Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect in Aurora and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in Little Rock, Ark. Tara was a newspaper reporter covering education and government for nine years in Oregon, Washington state and Arkansas. A native of the Colorado mountain region and an alumna of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Tara lives in Denver with her husband and two small children.