Capitol Update: Early childhood funding and a press conference for working families

Written by: Riley Kitts
Date Posted: February 17, 2023

We are officially a third of the way through the 2023 legislative session. So far, more than 400 bills and resolutions have been introduced at the Capitol, and policy changes are making their way through the legislative process. The budget writers at the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) have started to vote on agency requests for funding. The Department of Early Childhood had its first budget requests in front of the JBC this week, and things went very well for our newest state agency. The JBC approved funding for child care centers to expand their capacity, as well as bonuses for providers who enroll in the new Universal Pre-K Program. The committee will take up requests from the Department of Public Health & Environment and the Department of Human Services in the upcoming weeks. 

We were also proud to support several partners, workers, and families on HB23-1118: Fair Workweek Employment Standards. The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because ensuring that parents have predictable work schedules that allow them to take care of their families is critical to child well-being and family economic prosperity. Even with heavy opposition from the restaurant industry, numerous parents and workers showed up to voice their support for the bill. Thank you to Reps. Gonzales-Gutierrez and Sirota for championing such equitable, common-sense policy. 

Our dedicated policy and advocacy team tracks hundreds of bills that impact Colorado kids and families every legislative session. To view the bills we are tracking so far in this legislative session, click here. 

Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights: 

HB23-1187 (Bacon & Amabile/Gonzales): Alternatives in Criminal Justice System and Pregnant Persons 

The Colorado Children’s Campaign supports this bill because pregnancy and the postpartum period are critical times for the health and development of both the pregnant person and their baby. Carceral settings often do not adequately meet the needs of pregnant and postpartum people and their babies, which can have detrimental impacts on their health and well-being. Allowing alternative sentencing options for pregnant and postpartum defendants promotes the healthy development of the pregnant or postpartum person and their baby, while also promoting equity in care since birthing people of color are disproportionately represented in carceral settings. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page. 

HB23-1186 (Lindsay, Jodeh, & Exum): Remote Participation in Residential Evictions 

The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill because evictions have a significant negative impact on the health, well-being, and economic security of children and their families. Families often face significant barriers to being able to attend an eviction hearing in person, including childcare, work schedules, and transportation. Allowing for the option to attend a hearing virtually would remove barriers to families and decrease the instances of families being evicted due to a default judgment because they are unable to appear in person in court. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page.  

The Children’s Campaign in the news 

Riley Kitts

About Riley Kitts

Riley Kitts serves as the Sr. Director of Policy & Government Affairs for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Riley has spent several years in Colorado politics, working both inside and out of the State Capitol. Riley spent three legislative sessions with the Colorado Department of Human Services spearheading the agency’s legislative and budgetary agendas. Prior to that, he spent several years with the Colorado House Democrats serving in various roles from Executive Assistant to the Speaker to Field and Outreach Directors. He earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.