Capitol Update: Full-Day Kindergarten gets introduced, legislators debate the Long Bill, and more
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:
Census Outreach Grant Program (Tipper & Caravao)
HB19-1239 would create the Census Outreach Grant Program to support the accurate count of Colorado’s population in the 2020 Census. Recipients of funds through the grant program may use the funds to conduct 2020 Census outreach, promotion, and education to focus on hard-to-count communities in the state and to increase the self-response rate and accuracy of the 2020 Census in Colorado. Read more about the bill and why Sarah Hughes, our VP of Research Initiatives, testified in strong support here.
State Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten (Wilson & McLachlan/Bridges)
HB19-1262 would fund full-day kindergarteners as full-day students rather than treating them as half-day students, as the state currently does. This will lift the burden of parents paying tuition and will free up district resources previously spent on full-day kindergarten. Read more about the bill and its next steps here.
Infant and Family Child Care Action Plan (Priola & Story/Buentello & Valdez)
SB19-063 would require the Colorado Department of Human Services, in partnership with the Early Childhood Leadership Commission and other stakeholders, to create a strategic action plan by December 2019 to address the declining availability of infant care and family child care homes in Colorado. Read more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.
FY 2019-20 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 senators an opportunity to discuss policy priorities for our state and how best to allocate resources, the Colorado Senate passed the state budget with bipartisan support. Read more about the Long Bill and its next steps here.