Capitol Update: A big week for early childhood in Colorado
We are halfway through the 2022 legislative session! More than 450 bills have been introduced with several big-ticket items still waiting to be brought forward. However, one very big-ticket item, a 485-page bill to fully establish the new Department of Early Childhood and establish the state’s Universal Preschool Program, has already moved through its first hearing. This is a priority bill for the Children’s Campaign, and we were so proud to see it approved by the House Education Committee with a bipartisan vote! The committee hearing for this bill could not have gone better. Parents, early childhood providers, advocates, and members of the business community all did amazing testifying in front of the committee. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to the sponsors, Rep. Emily Sirota and Speaker Alec Garnett. They have been the best champions for our state’s youngest kids and families. The bill will be heard next in the House Appropriations committee.
Next week, another Children’s Campaign priority, HB1289: Cover All Coloradans, will be heard for its first vote in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee. Things are certainly ramping up and moving in the right direction under the Gold Dome! Our dedicated policy and advocacy team tracks hundreds of bills that impact Colorado kids and families every legislative session. To view the bills we have been tracking this legislative session, click here.
Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights:
HB22-1289 Gonzales-Gutierrez & McCluskie/Moreno) Health Benefits For Colorado Children and Pregnant Persons (aka Cover all Coloradans)
This bill will provide comprehensive public health insurance coverage to children, pregnant and postpartum undocumented Coloradans, and make a number of other investments in perinatal care and services in Colorado. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.
HB22-1295 (Sirota & Garnet/ Buckner & Fenberg) Department Early Childhood and Universal Preschool Program
This bill establishes the functions of the Department of Early Childhood, as well as the director of the department, in administering early childhood and family support programs. It authorizes the executive director to promote the rules for the department and its programs. In addition, the bill directs the department to obtain applications from organizations and public entities to serve as local coordinating organizations across the state. Effective July 1, 2022, the bill transfers responsibilities concerning early childhood workforce development to the department. The bill creates the Colorado universal preschool program, which will provide 10 hours per week of preschool services for children in the year before kindergarten, effective July 1, 2023. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.
HB22- 1287 (Boesenecker & Hooton) Protections for Mobile Park Residents
The bill amends the “Mobile Home Park Act” and the “Mobile Home Park Act Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Program.” These amendments would update the requirements, responsibilities, and obligations of a landlord to act in a manner that more adequately protects the rights of mobile park residents. Additionally, the bill will allow the attorney general to enforce statutory provisions providing protection for mobile home owners; and allow a resident, local government, or a nonprofit to file a complaint with the division under the dispute resolution program. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.