2018 Legislative Victories
HB18-1064: This law, which was signed in May 2018, directs the Colorado children's trust fund board to develop and administer a training program to prevent sexual abuse (program) for early childhood providers and others who interact with young children. It concerns a training program to prevent child sexual abuse for persons who work with young children in some capacity as part of their employment, and, in connection therewith, makes an appropriation.
HB18-1335 : This bill created significant changes to how funds are allocated for each county and increased consistency of program implementation statewide. It sets a new statewide floor, up from 165% of the Federal Poverty Level to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level; extends post-eligibility period to 12 months, and restricts county opt outs from state rates and income/eligibility setting. It also allows for longer periods of non-temporary disruptions in eligible activities.
HB18-1004 This bill reauthorized the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCCTC), which allows a taxpayer who makes a monetary contribution to promote child care in the state to receive an income tax credit that is equal to 50% of the contribution. The credit was set to expire at the end of next year, and the bill extends the credit for five years. The CCCTC is available to taxpayers who contribute to child care, foster care, youth shelters, residential treatment centers, before and after-school programming, and grant programs to help families afford child care outside of school hours.
HB18-1006: All babies born in the United States receive voluntary newborn screening through state-managed programs. Newborn screening helps in the early identification of potentially life-threatening genetic and metabolic conditions as well as hearing loss.The bill updated the Colorado screening law to strengthen the genetic and metabolic screening, requires the state laboratory to be open six days a week to ensure the timeliness and results of the screenings, and enhanced follow-up services among families and medical providers after screenings are completed. This bill also creates a newborn hearing screening fund to ensure that there are sufficient follow-up services available for families who need to be re-screened for hearing loss. It was signed into law May of 2018.
HB18-1208 This bill expanded the current Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit to additional middle-income families.Previously, only an individual or family with federal adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less was allowed a state income tax credit for child care expenses that is a percentage of their federal tax credit. The amount of the state credit depends on their income. This bill expanded the state credit by allowing residents earning below $150,000 a year to claim a tax credit for child care expenses at 80% of the federal tax credit.
SB18-013 Colorado law previously provided lunches at no cost to public school children in pre-K through fifth grade who would otherwise have to pay for a reduced-price lunch. This bill extended the grade of eligibility to eighth grade. A wide body of research supports the health and educational benefits of providing children a healthy and nutritious lunch at school, which reduces food insecurity, obesity rates, and poor health outcomes for kids. Pre-adolescence is a period of nutritional vulnerability; children in middle school require sufficient calories and a well-balanced diet for developmental growth.