SB 17-254 (Lambert/Hamner) Appropriations Bill (The State Budget)
This bill, often referred to as the “Long Bill,” is the Joint Budget Committee’s budget package for state fiscal year 2017-2018. 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 Senate passed a $28 billion state budget with bipartisan support.
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 that passed out of the Senate include: ongoing funding for the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, continued funding for school-based health centers, increases for K-12 education, funding to expand the School Health Professionals Grant Program, funding for additional maternal depression screenings, funding to continue serving families through the Healthy Steps for Young Children home visiting program, and funding appropriated during the supplemental budget process this year for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), to allow counties to reduce the number of families on waitlists to receive child care assistance. Amendments to the budget that were proposed, but rejected, would have increased funding for full-day kindergarten and added funds to programs housed under the Colorado Department of Human Services and for school-based health centers.
The Long Bill now heads to the House for consideration and, upon passage, to the Joint Budget Committee to resolve any differences between the two chambers’ versions of the legislation.