Capitol Updates: Several priorities are nearing final approval!

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: April 14, 2023

Children’s Campaign priority bills are moving forward! Now that the state budget or “Long Bill” for the next fiscal year is finalized, some bill gridlock at the Capitol is starting to break. To start, our priority to increase funding for the state’s Family Planning Program was officially included in the Long Bill. Next fiscal year, this proven program will receive an additional $500,000 – which is a tremendous win for the Coloradans it serves.  

We also saw two key bills prioritized for funding by the legislature and pass with bipartisan support out of the Appropriations Committees. HB23-1091, which renews the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit, was approved for funding in the House Appropriations Committee. HB23-1186, which would allow virtual participation in eviction court proceedings, was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The latter bill just needs to clear a couple more votes before heading to Gov. Polis’ desk 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 are tracking so far in this legislative session, click here. 

Here are this week’s Capitol Highlights: 

HB23-1290 (McCluskie & Sirota/Moreno) Proposition EE Funding Retention Rate Reduction 

This bill refers a question to the ballot in November 2023 asking voter permission to keep the funding collected for universal preschool through Proposition EE. Since Prop. EE went into effect, it has collected $21-23 million above what was communicated to voters in the Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) analysis in 2020, putting the state out of compliance with TABOR. Colorado must go back to the voters asking permission to keep the additional revenue for universal preschool or the state will have to refund the $21-23 million, primarily to tobacco wholesalers and sellers, and reduce the tobacco and nicotine taxes by approximately 11%.  

The Children’s Campaign supports this bill.  Retaining these funds will allow Colorado to provide universal preschool services and extend additional hours to more children, especially those with qualifying factors who need it most. This bill is essential to ensure that the new Colorado Universal Preschool Program can be successful. 

HB23-1235 (Sirota/Buckner) Technical Modification to Department of Early Childhood 

This bill will ensure that Colorado can realize the transformative vision of HB22-1295: a streamlined, statewide early childhood system of programs and services that supports the success of families, children, and early childhood program providers across all settings. 

The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because it makes essential technical changes to statute to ensure the success of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) and Universal Preschool Program. These technical changes include updating acronyms, aligning dates and deadlines, correction of errors found in statute, and more. 

To learn more about these bills and their journeys through the legislature, visit our Capitol Updates page. 

 

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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.