State Budget Taking Shape
The state’s 2013-2014 budget, also known as the Long Bill, has been the primary focus of the full Senate and House over the last two weeks. The proposal, Senate Bill 13-230, totals $20.5 billion. Due to economic improvements and increased state revenues, this is the first budget in several years to include meaningful investments in key programs important to child well-being. The Senate passed a version of the budget last week, and it is expected to pass the House today. Differences between the two versions will be reconciled next week and then sent to Governor Hickenlooper for signature.
While changes are still possible, we are optimistic the following wins for kids will be part of the final budget:
- Supporting services for Colorado’s parents and young children through boosting funding for programs including The Nurse Family Partnership, which provides services to low-income, first-time mothers to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.
- An additional $2.8 million included for Early Intervention Services, providing infants and toddlers with developmental and learning delays and their families the supports and services to help them reach their full developmental potential.
- Increased funding for programs including the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) and increased community provider rate reimbursements for child care and health services. This would assist counties and providers in granting access to health and child care services to low income families.
- The Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program would receive increased support for their work to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect, youth crime and violence.
- A $4.2 million investment would sustain and expand school-based health centers to ensure children receive the primary medical and behavioral care they need.
- K-12 education would also see a boost, including $4.2 million directed towards the continued development and administration of statewide standardized assessments with additional funding to assist the Colorado Department of Education in their planning efforts for Colorado’s school accountability system (Senate Bill 09-163). We’ll have a clearer picture of education financing when the annual School Finance Act is introduced in the House next week.