Thank you for making kids a priority in the 2018 election!
The Children’s Campaign would like to applaud all Coloradans who voted last Tuesday! We were encouraged by such high voter turnout (nearly 60 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot), especially among unaffiliated voters. The results were mixed for Colorado kids, but there is still a lot to celebrate.
The passage of Proposition 111 will cap the interest rate on predatory payday loans. Addressing predatory lending practices like payday loans is key to helping families protect their earnings. This measure was passed overwhelmingly by Colorado voters throughout the state.
We are also proud to see the passage of Initiative 301, which will provide a sustained source of funding for mental health treatment and services for children, suicide prevention and substance use disorder treatment in Denver. We also supported Initiative 300, which would create a funding stream to increase college access and affordability for Denver high school graduates. Provisional ballots are still being counted, but Initiative 300 appears to be passing. It is exciting to see local communities create solutions to complex problems.
This year’s ballot saw two competing transportation measures. The Children’s Campaign strongly opposed Proposition 109, which would have pulled funding from existing programs like Medicaid and K-12 education to pay for road and bridge repairs. Thankfully, Colorado voters stood with us and soundly defeated the measure. We believed that the competing proposal, Proposition 110, was the better choice for Coloradans, as it would not have depleted resources from greatly needed programs. Unfortunately, that measure was also defeated, leaving the status quo in transportation funding for the time being.
Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments of this election was the failure of Amendment 73. This preK-12 education initiative would have made foundational, statewide investments in meeting the unique learning needs of children and in the critical early years, including preschool and full-day kindergarten. It also directed the Colorado legislature to correct our decades-old funding formula and would have stabilized the property tax system for education. . Voters did support the passage of 15 local mill levy overrides and eight local bonds to support education – a silver lining for some districts, but another disturbing indication of the growing inequity between districts in our state. The Children’s Campaign will continue the fight for a more equitable school finance system that works to benefit all students, no matter where they live.
Who occupies the State Capitol in January will also change due to Tuesday’s results. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis will now go by Governor-Elect Polis after he was elected to serve as the new governor for term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper.
We will also see a shift in the balance of power at the State Legislature. After being in a one-seat minority for several years, Democrats retook control of the State Senate with a two-seat lead. And Democrats in the House of Representatives saw their majority grow by a handful of seats. The Children’s Campaign has been able to advance kid-focused policies no matter who is in control at the Capitol, so we are confident that the General Assembly will continue to support common-sense policies that improve the lives of our children.
The Children’s Campaign is firmly committed to protecting the gains we have made on behalf of all Colorado children. Our commitment to equity and inclusion is more important than ever, and we will continue to work to ensure that all children, especially children of color and families with low-incomes, have the support they need to thrive. We will be calling on all of you to speak up for our kids—frequently and loudly—in the coming months.