This week, four different Illuminate policy priorities had important next steps–hearings and budget figure setting votes. Illuminate staff proudly testified in strong support of each of the bills below:
The Helping Colorado Families Get Ahead Act: On Tuesday, Illuminate Strategic Initiatives Manager Jordan Smith testified in the House Finance Committee in support of HB20-1203, The Helping Colorado Families Get Ahead Act. Illuminate’s testimony highlighted how expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and funding the Child Tax Credit would offset the cost of child care for working parents, strengthen communities, and is proven to ultimately prevent child maltreatment. The bill passed 7-4 and is on to House Appropriations.
Colorado Children’s Trust Fund Board Updates: On Wednesday, Illuminate Director of Strategic Initiatives Jillian Adams testified in support of HB20-1317 to the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee. Illuminate’s testimony emphasized the importance of state funding for child maltreatment prevention and family strengthening, particularly for efforts around child sexual abuse prevention, prenatal substance exposure, and adverse childhood experiences. The bill passed 13-0 and is on to House Appropriations.
Civil Action Statute of Limitations Sexual Assault: On Thursday, Illuminate Strategic Initiatives Manager Jordan Smith joined the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault and many survivors in testifying in support of HB20-1296 to the House Judiciary Committee. Illuminate’s testimony highlighted the importance of eliminating the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault to allow child and adult survivors time to heal so that they may access the civil legal system and monetary resources necessary to rebuild their lives after surviving sexual abuse. The bill passed 8-1 and is on to the House floor.
Additionally, we are excited to share some state budget news. In a Joint Budget Committee vote on Tuesday, the committee voted to deny a request to reduce the High Risk Pregnant Women program line item, which funds substance use disorder treatment services for pregnant and parenting women. This means that funding for the High Risk Pregnant Women program will be maintained at last year state fiscal year’s levels, which is a critical and effective investment in Colorado’s future and the strengthening of families impacted by perinatal substance use.
As always, stay tuned to our Illuminate Blog for more policy updates as bills continue to move!