Capitol Updates: April 3, 2024

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: April 3, 2024

This week, the Colorado state legislature is continuing to work on setting the state’s budget for the upcoming year – which, as we shared in last week’s Capitol Update, is a complex task. The Long Bill, which sets our state budget, has passed third reading in the House and is being introduced in the Senate. Last week, members of the House brought more than 80 amendments to the Long Bill during second reading, although most were lost or withdrawn. The Senate will now have the chance to debate the Long Bill on the Senate floor this week.

While work is ongoing with this cornerstone bill, the Colorado Children’s Campaign is keeping a close eye on several other pieces of legislation.

What we’re watching:  

Prohibiting Carrying Firearms in Sensitive Spaces: SB24-131, which prohibits a person from carrying a firearm in public locations specified in the bill, including areas where children and families are likely to be present, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 27 and passed second reading in the Senate on Tuesday, March 2. The legislation has been amended to significantly narrow the scope of the bill, but currently preschools and schools are included on the list of prohibited locations. Hunter Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst, testified in support of the bill in committee. Learn more about SB24-131.

Baby Bonds Program Study: HB24-1297, which concerns a study regarding the creation of a baby bonds program in Colorado, is scheduled to be heard for a vote in the House Finance Committee on Thursday, April 4 upon adjournment after the committee heard testimony on the bill on a previous date. Baby bonds are a sum of money invested by the government into a public trust for a child after birth. Learn more about HB24-1297.

Heather Tritten testifying in support of HB24-1312 on Monday.

State Income Tax Credit for Careworkers: HB24-1312, which would create a state income tax credit for individuals in the care workforce, was heard in the House Finance Committee on Monday. Colorado Children’s Campaign President and CEO Heather Tritten testified in support of the bill that would support eligible care workers by providing them a $1,500 refundable annual tax credit. The bill was laid over for a vote at a later committee date. Learn more about HB24-1312.

Out-of-School Time Grant Program: HB24-1331, which would create an out-of-school time grant program, will be heard in the House Education Committee on Thursday, April 4. The program would provide grants to eligible 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations to provide academic enrichment and related services to public school students during times when school is not in session. Learn more about HB24-1331.

Racial Equity Study: SB24-053, which would produce a study to determine historical and ongoing effects of slavery and subsequent systemic racism on Black Coloradans, passed out of the House Committee on State, Civic, Military, & Veterans on Monday. Toni Sarge, Director of Child and Family Health, testified in support of the bill. Learn more about SB24-053.

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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.