Capitol Update: School finance and early childhood priority bills clear key hurdles in the Senate
With about a month left in the 2022 legislative session, the pace has certainly picked up at the state Capitol. Recently, both the House of Representatives and the Senate debated and passed the annual state budget bill, also known as the “Long Bill.” The budget for the next fiscal year stands at over $36 billion and includes increased funding for K-12 education and funding to support the new Department of Early Childhood. Now that the Long Bill has made its way through the chambers, many bills that have been awaiting funding in the Appropriations Committees will start to move through the process.
It was also a big week for some Children’s Campaign priorities. Both House Bill 22-1202: At-Risk Measure for School Finance and House Bill 22-1295: Department of Early Childhood & Universal Preschool cleared key hurdles in the Senate Appropriations Committee. These bills have received bipartisan support and only need to go through a few more votes before they are sent to Gov. Polis for his signature.
Our dedicated policy and advocacy team tracks hundreds of bills that impact Colorado kids and families every legislative session. To view the bills we have been tracking this legislative session, click here.
Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights:
HB22-1329 (McCluskie/Hanson) The Long Bill FY 2022-23
The annual budget bill, also referred to as the “Long Bill,” funds programs and services throughout the State of Colorado. The Long Bill will appropriate more than $36 billion for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The annual Long Bill is the culmination of months of hearings held by the Joint Budget Committee (JBC). The JBC is a bipartisan committee comprised of three senators and three representatives charged with setting the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The JBC hears from each branch of government, state agency, and other advocates and special interests to determine what should be funded. After numerous discussions and decisions, the JBC introduces the Long Bill – House Bill 22-1329 this year. Once it is introduced, each chamber offers amendments to fund or cut resources for programs and services. After two weeks of debate, both the House and Senate recently passed the Long Bill with several amendments added in both chambers. Now, the JBC will reconvene to reconcile the differences and send the finalized Long Bill to the governor to be signed into law. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.