Capitol Updates: April 17, 2024

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: April 17, 2024

It’s hard to believe, but there is less than a month left in Colorado’s legislative session! Legislators are working hard to sort out their priorities and advance bills in the weeks before May 8.

This week, we’re watching the progress of several bills across our priority areas, including a much-needed update to how Colorado funds its schools; a tax credit with the potential to cut Colorado’s child poverty rate in half; and another credit that could help support Colorado’s careworkers, whose work is so important for our kids and communities but is often underpaid.

What we’re watching:   

New Public School Finance Formula: HB24-1448, which would support Colorado students through an updated school finance system, was introduced in the House last Thursday and assigned to the Education Committee. The legislation comes out of the work of the School Finance Task Force created in SB23-287, a group of experts and educators, who have developed sound recommendations to update our formula and direct more funds to students living in poverty, students learning English, and students who have special needs. Join our Action Alert on HB24-1448. 

Family Affordability Tax Credit: HB24-1311, which would create a tax credit for Colorado kids and families with fewer financial resources, passed out of the House Finance Committee last Monday. This legislation is projected to reach 45% of Colorado families and has the potential to reduce child poverty in Colorado by half. Colorado Children’s Campaign President and CEO Heather Tritten testified in support. Listen to our podcast episode about HB24-1311. 

State Income Tax Credit for Careworkers: HB24-1312, which would create a state income tax credit for individuals in the care workforce, passed as amended out of the House Finance Committee last Thursday. It now heads to House Appropriations. This bill would support eligible care workers, including Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) child care providers, by providing them a $1,500 refundable annual tax credit. Join our Action Alert on HB24-1312. 

Secure Firearm Storage in a Vehicle: HB24-1348, which concerns requirements to securely store a firearm in a vehicle, passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday and is awaiting debate on the Senate floor. This bill would require firearms in unattended vehicles to be stored in locked containers to reduce firearm thefts. Colorado Children’s Campaign Director of Child and Family Health Toni Sarge testified in support. Learn more about HB24-1348. 

Stable Housing for Survivors of Abuse Program: HB24-1431, which would provide housing assistance for survivors of abuse who are eligible for the TANF program in Colorado, passed out of the House Health & Human Services Committee last Tuesday. The bill would provide short-term housing assistance payments through Colorado’s TANF program to survivors of domestic or sexual violence to keep their families safely housed. Colorado Children’s Campaign Senior Director of Policy Sarah Barnes testified in support. Learn more about HB24-1431. 

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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.