2022 Election: What’s on the ballot that will impact Colorado kids and families

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: September 16, 2022

The 2022 election is on Nov. 8! In addition to numerous State House and Senate races, congressional seats, and the Governor’s Office, there are several ballot measures that voters will weigh in on this election season. Staff at the Children’s Campaign have been carefully reviewing potential ballot measures, thinking through potential intended and unintended policy consequences, researching available evidence, and meeting with impacted community members throughout the spring and summer. Below, you will find a summary of measures on which the Children’s Campaign Board has taken a position to help guide you in filling out your ballot.   

Proposition FF: Healthy School Meals for All Public School Students   

Children’s Campaign Position: Support  

No child should go hungry because they can’t afford a nutritious meal. Universal school meal programs have proven health and academic benefits to kids, save families money, and help reduce stigma. Prop FF creates the Healthy School Meals for All (HSMA) program to reimburse school districts for providing free meals to all students in Colorado. Children were the most affected by food insecurity during the disruptions of COVID-19, and over the past year, Colorado schools have seen upwards of 40% more children utilizing school meals. The HSMA program ensures that public schools can meet all children’s nutritional needs. This ballot measure raises approximately $100 million per year to cover the costs of the program by limiting state income tax deductions on Coloradans making more than $300,000 a year.  

Proposition 123: Dedicated State Revenue for Affordable Housing Programs   

Children’s Campaign Position: Support  

Colorado families are experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Housing instability has significant negative impacts on communities, with families often forced to make tough decisions regarding paying for housing or paying for food, health care, school supplies, or other essentials. Prop 123 addresses the issue of affordable housing through multiple avenues, allowing flexibility for organizations and local governments to meet community needs. Housing shortages are contributing to pressure on our state economy and on families’ economic situations, and Prop 123 directs substantial public investment to address this pressure. The measure is projected to provide approximately $300 million in dedicated funding per year for affordable housing in Colorado. It focuses on households with low incomes, ensuring that families facing the greatest barriers to housing security will be served. The measure does not increase taxes, but rather allocates existing revenue that the state is already collecting.   

Proposition 121: State Income Tax Reduction     

Children’s Campaign Position: Oppose  

Even when Colorado’s economy is doing well, our state cannot afford important investments to improve education, child care, public health, and other crucial public services. In addition, Colorado’s tax system is regressive and worsens racial inequities. In any flat tax system, lower-income households pay a larger share of their income in taxes than high-income households. Prop 121 reduces the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4% for all earners in Colorado starting in tax year 2022. This measure only exacerbates our revenue problem, making it even harder to make critical investments and reduce inequities in programs and systems that serve kids and families.   

Denver Initiative 305: No Eviction Without Representation   

Children’s Campaign Position: Support  

Eviction, and the instability it causes, has serious negative impacts on the health and well-being of kids and families. Families who are evicted are more likely to experience homelessness or be forced to move into poor-quality housing — both of which place children’s safety, well-being, and healthy development in jeopardy. And families with children are more likely to be evicted. Legal representation for families at risk for eviction is critical to ensure fairness in the process. Initiative 305 provides free legal representation to renters navigating the eviction process. The goal of the program is to stop evictions, keep families in their homes, and prevent homelessness, all of which saves the city millions in public spending. The proposal supports people at all economic levels and would be funded with roughly $12 million raised from a $75 annual fee per rental unit paid by landlords in Denver. 

To learn more about our priorities, visit COKidsVote.org. Campaign 4 Kids provides you with the background and resources you need to know how kids and families are faring in your community – including data on child poverty, family economic security, early childhood, education, and health distilled to the state House and Senate district level. 


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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.