Sneak peek: Our 2022 legislative priorities

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: January 7, 2022

The Colorado state legislature convenes for the 2022 legislative session on Wednesday. For almost four decades, the Children’s Campaign has worked with policymakers across various political perspectives to ensure every chance for every child. Children’s issues aren’t partisan, and our work proves we are all capable of systemic solutions when we work together. Below, you will find a glimpse of what we will be focusing on this year at the capitol as we continue to help make Colorado the best state for kids.  

Child Health 

  • Family and child health coverage improvements: Health insurance coverage during pregnancy and childhood can help reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve long-term educational outcomes. 
  • Behavioral and social-emotional well-being: Every year, the Colorado Department of Education receives more requests than it can fulfill for increased funding to support the behavioral health of all students. Increased funding would allow schools and districts to hire more staff to provide behavioral health support for students. 

K-12 Education 

  • Equitable and student-centered funding for schools: Modernizing and improving how our schools and students are resourced is the first and most fundamental step to removing barriers to opportunity and improving student outcomes. 
  • Supportive school climates: Schools are centers for academic development and well-being. Research indicates that students are better able to learn when they feel safe and supported by peers and adults. The term “school climate” encompasses essential indicators of student and staff health, safety, and achievement that can be better defined and measured. 

Early Childhood 

  • Unified early childhood system and universal pre-K implementation: Building on the successes of Proposition EE and House Bill 21-1304, Colorado is ready to consolidate its various early childhood programs currently scattered across state agencies into the new Colorado Department of Early Childhood. 
  • Educator tax credit for recruitment, retention and compensation: Colorado’s recovery from the pandemic and economic downturn hinges on ensuring parents can return to work. Access to child care is a necessary work support and child development investment, but disruptions in care arrangements harm workforce participation, especially among women and people of color. 

Family Economic Security and Housing 

  • Improvements to Colorado’s TANF program: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) basic cash assistance (BCA) helps families pay for necessities like diapers, food, clothing, and rent. The cost of these necessities increases every year, but BCA payments in Colorado do not. Improvements to TANF are needed to make sure the program is serving families as best as it can. 
  • Eviction legal defense funding: Unstable housing has severe negative impacts on the health and well-being of kids and families, and families with children face eviction at significantly higher rates. Renters who have access to legal counsel during an eviction proceeding are significantly more likely to remain in their homes. 

In addition to our legislative priorities document, we have proposed a new document that aims to outline the best practices to consider when drafting equity-informed policies. We believe that in order to effectively fight for every chance for every child, our work must be guided by values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are committed to integrating these values into our daily work with policymakers and advocates and acknowledge the importance of all types of diversity. We are beginning with a focus on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status because research shows these factors are some of the strongest determinants of child outcomes. Click here to read our equity guidelines. 

Click here for our full agenda and list of priority areas. Click here for the PDF version. 

While these are our intended areas of focus, the scope of our work is not limited to these priorities. Subscribe to KidsFlash to receive our weekly Capitol Updates and stay informed with all of our exciting work at the capitol this legislative session.

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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.