Capitol Update: Our first priority bill passes its first committee hearing
UNANIMOUS! House Bill 23-1091, our priority bill to renew the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC) for another three years, was overwhelmingly approved by the House Finance Committee in its first hearing. Families across Colorado are struggling to access high-quality child care for our youngest kids, and every dollar helps keep the child care industry afloat. The CCTC brings an estimated $60 million to early childhood providers annually. It is a critical funding source for those providing infant and toddler care.
Our Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Melissa Mares, joined other early childhood and youth serving partners to deliver outstanding testimony and made the strong case for why the state needs to continue this vital credit. Thank you to Reps. Kipp and Pugliese for sponsoring this bill, and to the House Finance Committee for approving the measure. The bill will now wait in House Appropriations for approval.
HB23-1091 wasn’t the only thing the Children’s Campaign testified on this week. Our state’s budget writers, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), also had a public comment session where Coloradans could make their case for specific funding in state programs. There typically isn’t much opportunity for the public to weigh in on budget priorities, so it is a big deal that this powerful panel offered this rare forum. The Children’s Campaign made the most of this opportunity as our Policy Analyst, Hunter Nelson, made the case for why additional Family Planning Program funding is needed. Especially with the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past summer, the resources of Colorado’s Family Planning Program are stretched thin. This is a proven program that helps folks across the state better choose how and when they want to start or grow their families. Hunter delivered compelling testimony on the need for more state investment to the program, and we are hopeful the JBC will act on that needed funding.
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:
HB23-1112 (Bird/Hansen & Kolker) Earned Income and Child Tax Credits: This bill would expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). It would increase the amount of the state EITC to 40% of the federal credit and increase the amount of the state CTC by 20%, 10%, or 5% depending on a family’s income. It would also align the definition of an “eligible child” for the state CTC with the federal credit.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because the EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to lift children and their families out of poverty by placing money back into the hands of families to help pay for necessities. This bill would increase the amount of the state credits available to families and expand the number of children who are eligible for the state CTC, helping to promote family economic prosperity. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page.
HB23-1118 (Sirota & Gonzales Gutierrez/Gonzales) Fair Workweek Employment Standards: This bill would require employers in food, beverage, and retail with 250 or more employees to provide predictable scheduling for their employees, including through notices and work plans. It would also require these employers to provide predictability and minimum weekly pay to employees.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because unpredictable work hours negatively impact families’ economic security, mental health, and stress. Unpredictable schedules result in unstable incomes that make it difficult for families to plan their finances and challenging for them to arrange child care during work hours. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page.
The Children’s Campaign in the news
- Appeals for boosting lawmakers and state employee pay, funding for family planning top JBC public hearing
- Colorado Politics, Feb. 1
- Family planning services among priorities Colorado budget writers hear from public
- Colorado Newsline, Feb. 2