Colorado voters have proved how they have the power to affect the lives of children and families in their community and influence the statewide prevention of child maltreatment. Coloradans voted in record numbers this year, with the turnout among active registered voters currently standing at 86.8%. According to the Secretary of State, over 3.3 million ballots had been received into the statewide voter registration system as of 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, with more ballots to be processed in the days ahead. Illuminate Colorado is proud of the passage of Proposition 118, Proposition EE, and Amendment B, and continued commitment and advocacy will be needed to ensure financial security of all Colorado families through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. 

Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave

Colorado voters are the first in the nation to approve a comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance policy for hardworking families at the ballot box! Offering paid time to parents and caregivers to care for not only their infants, but also themselves, increases Parental Resilience, Concrete Support, Social Connections, Knowledge Of Parenting and Child Development, and Social and Emotional Competence Of Children, each of which are shown to strengthen families and decrease the likelihood of child maltreatment. Colorado’s voters spoke loud and clear about the need for policies that support families and help economies thrive. Illuminate Colorado looks forward to seeing the positive direct and associated impacts of this program on our state for years to come. 

Proposition EE: Taxes on Nicotine Products

Proposition EE passed with wide margins, making Colorado one of only five states to offer universal preschool. The funding will support Colorado’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, fund tobacco and nicotine cessation initiatives, and will ultimately create universal access to ten hours per week of voluntary preschool for all children the year prior to kindergarten entry, with the greatest resources invested in those who face the greatest barriers to school success. The policy will increase Protective Factors for Colorado families, particularly including Social and Emotional Competence of children and Concrete Support, ensuring a healthier, brighter future for Colorado.

Amendment B: Repeal the Gallagher Amendment

Colorado voters said ‘yes’ on Amendment B, getting rid of a restrictive ratio squeezing our essential services. By repealing the Gallagher Amendment and freezing residential and nonresidential property assessment rates at their current levels, Colorado is protecting funding for schools, hospitals, fire protection districts, libraries, and other critical community services, all of which contribute to the five Protective Factors for families.

The work continues…

Proposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction

Illuminate Colorado opposed Proposition 116, and it passed. Permanently decreasing the state income tax from 4.63% to 4.55% will compound the impact of significant budget cuts already being made to education, transportation, health care programs, and other state services as a result of the current economic crisis. The outcome of this ballot measure will surely be a setback for a fair and equitable tax code. Stay tuned to Fair Tax Colorado to engage in what advocacy efforts may lie ahead. 

Thank you all for your engagement this election season. The State’s Joint Budget Committee will begin meeting next week to hear all executive and judicial department budget requests and the quarterly revenue forecast including analysis on the ultimate budget impacts of all passed ballot initiatives. We encourage lawmakers to maintain prevention as a priority and keep the needs of families and children top of mind through the upcoming budgeting season. 

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