Capitol Updates: with a week left in the legislative session, elected officials continue to hear bills that impact Colorado kids and families
We are heading into the home stretch of the 2021 Legislative Session! With about a week left, lawmakers, lobbyists, and advocates are all working frantically to get their priorities over the finish line. The Children’s Campaign is proud to say that the policy priorities we have been working with you all on for the last several months and years are on their way to becoming laws. Several amazing policies, including Family Planning expansions, the creation of a new Department of Early Childhood, targeted Public Schools Funding, and changes to remove barriers to opportunities for our immigrant communities, are all set for their final votes before being sent to the Governor’s Desk for his signature. What great steps forward for Colorado’s kids and families!
Be sure to check back next week for a full session wrap-up!
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:
Funding Public Schools Formula (McCluskie & Herod/Zenzinger & Rankin)
The bill would create a Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance that would meet in the 2021 and 2022 legislative interims and consist of four senators and four representatives balanced by party. It lists specific topics for the committee to address and bring recommendations around in the 2022 and 2023 legislative sessions, and commissions a study to explore alternative methods for measuring student economic disadvantage. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.
Behavioral Health Recovery Act (Pettersen/Michaelson Jenet & Kennedy)
This bill, as amended, would restore funding to certain behavioral health programs that received a reduction in funding during the 2020 legislative session due to the budgetary impact of the pandemic. It also begins to appropriate millions of federal stimulus dollars for behavioral health purposes in Colorado. Additionally, the bill would require the state to offer an additional perinatal depression screening at well-child visits through the Medicaid program in accordance with best practices. It would provide funding for additional early childhood mental health consultants through the state program.
Maternal Health Providers (Buckner/Herod)
This bill would update several provisions pertaining to maternal health in Colorado. One element of the bill would require the state to take up a federal Medicaid option which would extend postpartum coverage through Medicaid for one year postpartum. The bill would also require health plans to reimburse health care providers that provide labor and delivery services in a way that promotes high-quality, cost-effective care; ensure licensed health-care providers implement best practices for inter-professional collaboration and the transfer of a pregnant person from home or a birthing center to a health facility and more. To learn more about this bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.