Capitol Update: Budget bill nears finish line, “De-Brucing” explained, dental benefits for CHP+ moms is signed
Each week during the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly, we bring you the latest news and analysis of legislation impacting the early development, health, and education of Colorado kids. See our website for complete analysis, testimony, fact sheets, vote totals, and other information to help you stay informed. Here are a few highlights from the Gold Dome this week:
Dental Services for Pregnant Women on Child Health Plan Plus (Duran & Lontine/Ginal & Story)
HB19-1038 would provide dental insurance for the 900 pregnant Coloradans each year who use Colorado’s Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) for their health insurance. Currently, these pregnant individuals do not have any coverage for oral health care. Read more about the bill and it’s next steps here.
Voter Approval to Retain Revenue for K-12 Education & Transportation (Becker & McCluskie/Court & Priola)
HB19-1257 and HB19-1258 would refer a measure to voters on the 2019 ballot that would permanently “De-Bruce” the state. It would remove strict limits on how much revenue the state can keep and how much it can spend as a result of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, (TABOR) and allow the state to invest in education and transportation. Read more about the bill and why Kelly Causey, President and CEO, testified in support here.
Educator Loan Forgiveness Program (Zenzinger & Coram/McLachlan & Wilson)
SB19-003 would establish an opportunity to repay up to $5,000 of education loans for up to five years for 100 teachers and other educators that qualify through the program and that are employed in hard-to-fill positions. It would direct the Commission on Higher Education to approve participants in the program each year through criteria they create. Read more about why Leslie Colwell, VP of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill.
Long Bill (Moreno/Esgar)
SB19-207, often referred to as the “Long Bill,” is the Joint Budget Committee’s budget package for state fiscal year 2019-2020. After debate this week, which provided Representatives an opportunity to discuss policy priorities for our state and how best to allocate resources, the Colorado Representatives passed the state budget with bipartisan support. Read more about the long bill here.