Capitol Update: Polis signs budget bill & dental benefits for CHP+ moms; school removal passes both chambers; #FullDayK heads to last hurdle

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: April 19, 2019

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:

Click the picture above to watch Riley Kitts recap the week at the Colorado State Capitol

Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Maternal Mortality Review Committee (Buckner & Landgraf/ Fields & Gardner)

HB19-1122 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. Also, the bill requires CDPHE to make regular recommendations to the Legislature based on the findings of the MMRC to address clinical and societal causes of death. Read more about the bill and its unanimous passage out of the House here.

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 this bill and its passage through the legislature here.

Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act (Michaelson Jenet/Fields & Priola)

HB19-1171 would eliminate the reduced-price lunch copay for high school students 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. Read more about the bill and why Stephanie Perez-Carrillo, Policy Analyst, testified in support of the bill here.

School Removal for Public Preschool through Second Grade (Lontine & Larson/Priola & Fields)

HB19-1194 would ensure that the standards for suspension and expulsion of young children from school are developmentally appropriate, and that young children are removed from school only to address ongoing safety concerns. The bill does not affect statute governing in-school suspensions or classroom removals. The bill would limit the amount of time for out-of-school suspensions in order to resolve safety threats. Read more about the bill as it heads to the governor’s desk.

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 mean parents will no longer face the burden of tuition and districts will free up resources previously spent on full-day kindergarten to address local needs. It would also reallocate more than 5,000 early learning slots currently being used for kindergarten to expand access to high-quality preschool for more children. Read more about the bill and its unanimous vote in the Senate Education Committee here.

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.