HB18-1322 (Hamner/Lambert) 2018-19 “Long Bill” Appropriation Act (The State Budget)
This bill, often referred to as the “Long Bill,” is the Joint Budget Committee’s budget package for state fiscal year 2018-2019. After several long days of debate, which provided legislators an opportunity to discuss policy priorities for our state and how best to allocate resources, the Colorado House passed the state budget with bipartisan support.
Several amendments were added to the Long Bill in the House, including additional funding for the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program, significant funding to support school safety measures, and additional funding for behavioral health services and a program for high-risk pregnant women. The outcome for amendments added to the Long Bill in the House remains to be seen as the bill heads to the Senate for consideration next week.
Amendments to the budget that were proposed in the House, but rejected, would have: defunded the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, cut funding for Medicaid, Early Childhood Councils, and oral health, and provided additional funding to child welfare services for transportation of foster care youth by decreasing Medicaid rates for anesthesia services to match Medicare levels.
The Children’s Campaign continues to monitor the budget debates and advocate for smart investments to support Colorado’s children. Notable investments that are a part of the Long Bill include:
- Career Development Success Pilot Program Increase: Funding for the expansion of the pilot program, in order to provide additional needed certificates and credentials in participating school districts.
- Rural Teacher Recruitment and Grow Your Own Program: Funding to establish the Rural Teacher Recruitment and Grown Your Own Program. The program seeks to support teacher recruitment and retention efforts by rural districts.
- Budget Stabilization Factor and PERA Liability Buy Down: Funding to substantially buy down the budget stabilization factor and PERA unfunded liability for the schools division.
- Early Literacy Grant Program: Additional funding for the Early Literacy Grant Program.
- Colorado SNAP Increases Food Security and County Technical Assistance: Funding for SNAP technical assistance to counties to ensure compliance with federal rules and improve performance in providing access to SNAP for eligible families.
- Children’s Oral Health at CDPHE: Funding for proven oral health prevention programs for kids, such as Cavity Free at Three, School Sealants, and Smart Mouths Smart Kids.
- Long-acting reversible contraception: Maintaining current state funding levels for family planning services in public health clinics as part of the Preventive Services Division.
- Medicaid Yearly Contraceptive Supply: Funding was added to the budget to allow Medicaid clients to receive up to a one-year supply of monthly contraceptive methods, to align with the policy passed for private state-regulated private plans last year (HB 17-1186).
- High-Risk Pregnant Women Program: The conferenced version of the budget includes an increase in funding to support this statewide voluntary program at the Department of Human Services. Also called “Special Connections,” it is an alcohol and drug treatment program for pregnant women who are at risk of poor birth outcomes due to substance abuse-related disorders.
- Healthy Kids Colorado Survey: Maintaining funding levels for the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, a key way to track the well-being of Colorado youth so that local and state policymakers can identify concerning trends and track the success of public services, as part of the Preventive Services Division.
- Mitigation of CCCAP Waitlists: Includes (i) additional funding for the CCCAP program, (ii) federal CCDF funds for a CCCAP reserve fund for counties, and (iii) federal funds for the CCCAP market rate study.
- Expansion of Incredible Years: Additional funding and FTE for the expansion of the evidence-based Incredible Years (IY) program.
- Early Intervention Caseload Increase: Funding for Early Intervention for caseload growth in the program.
- Early Childhood Workforce: Additional funding to support the early childhood workforce through scholarship and training programs.
- Early Childhood Councils: Additional funding to support Early Childhood Councils
Expelled and At-Risk Student Services (EARSS) Program: Additional funding for the EARRS program, which provides interventions for students who are expelled or at-risk of being expelled
The Joint Budget Committee met this week in conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Long Bill.
March 30, 2018
The Long Bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 42-22 and now heads to the Senate. Following passage in the Senate, the Joint Budget Committee will resolve any differences between the two chambers’ versions of the legislation.
April 6, 2018
The Long Bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 26-8 and now heads back to the Joint Budget Committee. The Joint Budget Committee will resolve any differences between the two chambers’ versions of the legislation.