2017 Early Childhood State Bill Tracker

Every year from mid-January to early May, 100 state senators and representatives gather at the State Capitol to learn about critical issues facing our state, debate and vote on legislation, and create and balance the Colorado state budget. While the legislature is in session, check this page to see updates on what's happening at the Capitol for early childhood. 

Bill Number Title Bill Sponsors Bill Summary Status
HB17-1002 Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit Extension Pettersen & Exum/ Kefalas The bill renews current Colorado policy, expiring at the end of the year, which allows families earning less than $25,000 a year, similar to those making more than $25,000, to claim a tax credit for child care expenses. Families making less than $25,000 who can claim a maximum credit of $500 for a family with one child and $1,000 for a family with two or more children. Families must be working, earning less than $25,000 a year, and paying for child care to be eligible for the credit. House Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations
HB17-1038 Prohibit Corporal Punishment Of Children Lontine The bill prohibits a person employed by or volunteering in a public school, a state-licensed child care center, a family child care home, or a specialized group facility from imposing corporal punishment on a child. Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
HB17-1042 Increasing Funding For Full-day Kindergarten Wilson Under existing law, the 'Public School Finance Act of 1994' funds kindergarten students as half-day pupils plus the supplemental kindergarten enrollment, which is an additional .08 of a full-day pupil. The bill increases the supplemental kindergarten enrollment for the 2017-18 budget year and each budget year thereafter to .16 of a full-day pupil. House Committee on Education Refer Unamended to Appropriations
HB17-1106 Extend Early Childhood Leadership Commission Pettersen & Wilson/ Martinez Humenick The bill extends the repeal date and sunset review of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission prior to its repeal from 2018 to 2023. Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Health & Human Services
HB17-1135 Portability Background Checks Child Care Workers Bridges This bill creates a new provision that requires only one set of background checks for early childhood educators if they work for multiple sites governed by a single entity (e.g., a school district or multi-site child care provider). Governor Signed
HB17-1160 Kindergarten Through Third Grade English Learner Reading Assessment Language Hamner & Wilson/ Fields & Priola The bill specifies that, if a student enrolled in kindergarten or one of grades one through 3 is an English language learner, the school district or charter school in which the student is enrolled will decide whether the student takes the reading assessments in English or in the student's native language if there is an approved assessment available in the student's native language. Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Education
HB17-1210 School Discipline For Preschool Through 2nd Grade Lontine & Buckner/ Priola & Fields This bill will update statute to offer better guidance to administrators regarding out-of-school suspensions & expulsions for very young children. Specifically, the bill would permit expulsions for disciplinary reasons as allowed in federal law for children in publicly-funded preschool classrooms and children in grades K, 1st, and 2nd. Out-of-school suspensions must address ongoing safety concerns and be an option of final resort. The bill also reinforces the partnership between parents and schools in determining if a child has an unidentified disability when safety or behavioral issues arise and clarifies that eligibility regarding prevention, early intervention, and support services for expelled and at-risk students includes the early elementary grades. Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
HB17-1211 Educators Professional Development Discipline Strategies Coleman/ Priola The bill creates the discipline strategies pilot program to provide money to school districts, boards of cooperative services, and charter schools for professional development for educators in the use of culturally responsive methods of student discipline and developmentally appropriate responses to the behavioral issues of students enrolled in preschool through third grade. Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
SB17-029 Funding For Full-day Kindergarten Kerr/ Pettersen Concerning increasing the funding for preschool through twelfth grade public education, and, in connection therewith, increasing the funding for full-day kindergarten and requiring the secretary of state to submit a ballot question to authorize the state to retain and spend for preschool through twelfth grade public education any state revenues above the excess state revenues cap approved by the voters in 2005. Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely
SB17-068 School Counselors Early Support For Students Todd/Singer Concerning early support for student success through access to school counselors, and, in connection therewith, serving all grades through the behavioral health care professional matching grant program and the school counselor corps grant program. Introduced In House - Assigned to Education
SB17-103 Early Learning Strategies In Education Accountability Merrifield This bill would allow schools to invest in research based early learning strategies as part of the state’s approach to turning around low-performing elementary schools. The bill requires school districts and elementary schools who are in the state’s lowest performing categories to complete an early learning needs assessment as part of their current requirements related to school improvement planning. Schools are permitted to incorporate investing in research-based strategies that promote a comprehensive preschool through 3rd grade support strategy to turnaround an elementary school. Senate Committee on Education Refer Amended to Appropriations
SB17-110 Accessibility Of Exempt Family Child Care Kefalas/ Crowder The bill increases the accessibility of legal child care by expanding the circumstances under which an individual can care for children from multiple families for less than 24 hours without obtaining a child care license. Specifically, if someone is caring for no more than four children, including no more than two children under two years of age, they are exempt from child care licensing. Sent to the Governor