2019 Legislative Session

Date Posted: January 2, 2019

Intro

The Colorado Children’s Campaign serves as the leading voice for kids at the state Capitol and in communities across the state. In our 34-year history we’ve worked with policymakers from every corner of the state and every political perspective to improve the well-being of Colorado kids. Children’s issues aren’t partisan, and we’ve learned that we can develop innovative solutions to our children’s issues when we work together.

As the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly begins, we’ve prepared the best available data and research on child well-being to help advocates and policymakers advance—and protect—policies and investments we know will provide the greatest benefits to kids.

 Priorities

Child Health Priorities

  • Improving maternal and infant health by strengthening the Maternal Mortality Review Committee.
  • Adding a dental benefit to Colorado’s CHIP program to improve access to oral health care for pregnant people.
  • Protecting and expanding quality, affordable health insurance coverage options for kids and families.
  • Protecting the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, and other ways we understand the well-being of Colorado’s youth.
  • Expanding access to behavioral health services and supports for students in schools.

K-12 Education Priorities

  • Removing barriers to school lunches for high school students in working families.
  • Advocating for a modernized, equitable school finance formula that targets investments to meet the needs of all students.
  • Advocating for a public revenue system that reverses the unsustainable reliance on state (over local) revenue for education, reduces property taxpayer inequality, and accounts for and equalizes differences in property wealth.
  • Protecting and advancing implementation of evaluations that improve and empower teachers and school leaders.

Early Childhood Priorities

  • Expanding access to full-day kindergarten and quality preschool options.
  • Increasing the capacity of early intervention programs to connect families to supportive services.
  • Reducing infant deaths and eliminating racial inequities in infant mortality.
  • Improving access to affordable quality child care by creating an innovative tax credit to support early childhood educators.
  • Creating a strategic action plan to address the decline in licensed family child care and infant child care.
  • Promoting alternatives to the use of expulsion and suspension of children in preschool and the early elementary grades.

Budget Priorities

  • Addressing child poverty and promoting family economic security by adopting a state-level Child Tax Credit.
  • Promoting access to, and affordability of, quality early care and education by increasing direct investment in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and making Colorado’s Low-Income Child Care Expenses Tax Credit permanent.
  • Increasing funding for the Title X Family Planning program in order to ensure that people are able to access the most effective forms of birth control across the state.
  • Providing additional spending authority to CHP+ to ensure that the program can meet the needs of additional enrollees.
  • Increasing reimbursement rates for maternity care through the state Medicaid program to ensure that pregnant people who use Medicaid for their health insurance can get critical care.
  • Increasing funds for outreach and enrollment assistance for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Establishing funding for an equity expert to advance equity in state programs.
  • Equalizing funding for public Charter School Institute (CSI) schools that do not receive mill override revenues from their local school districts.
  • Advocating for innovative, bipartisan budget solutions to address the unintended consequences of the Gallagher Amendment, which has steadily forced automatic and permanent cuts to revenue for critical services, increased pressure on the state budget and made preK-12 revenue unsustainable in the long-term.
  • Support the 2020 U.S. Census communications and outreach to ensure every resident is counted, especially historically undercounted groups such as children under 5 and people of color.