Capitol Update: Maternal mortality, child tax credit, lunch for high schoolers all move forward.
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:
HB19-1122 (Buckner & Landgraf/ Fields & Gardner) Colorado Department of Public Health And Environment Maternal Mortality Review Committee
This bill would codify Colorado’s Maternal and Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) in statute. The MMRC is required to review cases of maternal mortality that occur in Colorado, identify trends and patterns in deaths and develop recommendations to prevent maternal deaths through legislation, policies, rules and best practices. The bill would require CDPHE to make regular recommendations to the Legislature based on the findings of the MMRC to address clinical and societal causes of death. Learn more about the bill’s upcoming first hearing and why the Children’s Campaign will testify in support here.
HB19-1164 (Singer/Zenzinger & Priola) Child Tax Credit
This bill would fund the state Child Tax Credit created by the legislature in 2013 now that the intent of the trigger included in the 2013 legislation has been met. Learn more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.
HB19-1171 (Michaelson Jenet) Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act
For students in high school, this bill would eliminate the reduced-price lunch copay and expand access to school lunches at no charge for students who would otherwise be eligible for reduced-price lunch. Colorado has already eliminated this copay for students in preschool through eighth grade. Learn more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.
Joint Budget Committee Public Comment
For the first time, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) set aside time for public comment. The committee heard over three hours of testimony from individuals representing various parts of the state. Though testimony covered a range of issues, there was a clear emphasis on fully funding full day kindergarten by a diverse set of voices, including the Children’s Campaign. The JBC also heard about adequate funding for the 2020 Census, investing in the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), and adequately funding family planning services. The JBC is tasked with setting the budget annually. Read testimony provided by Bill Jaeger, VP of Early Childhood and Policy Initiatives, in support of funding full-day kindergarten and testimony by Sarah Hughes, VP of Research Initiatives, on the importance of the 2020 Census here.