Policymakers have the opportunity to ensure our state continues to invest in our communities to strengthen families through our state budget and through federal stimulus funding next month.
Responding to immediate needs of families is crucial during this pandemic, and funding prevention work is important now more than ever. A CDC study estimated that the number of confirmed child maltreatment cases occurring in a one year period results in $124 billion in lifetime costs (such as child welfare, health care, criminal justice, and special education costs, as well as lost economic productivity). The prevention of child maltreatment has the potential to save the state billions of dollars in lifetime associated costs.
The state legislature’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) recently finalized the state’s FY21-22 budget for introduction and approval by the state Senate and House. The budget is scheduled to start the legislative process on April 5th in the Senate. It is expected to move to the House on April 12th. Following the conclusion of the traditional budget process, the JBC is expected to begin work on allocating the state’s portion of federal stimulus dollars from the American Rescue Plan.
The State of Colorado and our local governments including cities and counties are expected to receive billions of dollars from the 2021 American Rescue Plan. This provides our state with a unique opportunity to invest in the areas that have been hit the hardest by the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and to build back stronger by making economic investments that will benefit Colorado for generations to come. In an effort to better understand the needs and current economic challenges facing our state, Governor Polis, state legislators from both sides of the aisle and the Treasurer’s Office are asking for broader feedback.
Because of the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities and families, Colorado needs to prioritize practical existing investments in child maltreatment prevention in order to remain one of the healthiest economies in the country.
Prevention investments include:
- Critical family services that builds protective factors and prevents child maltreatment such as:
- Family resource centers
- Home visiting programs
- Child care
- Housing stability and rental support
- Food access resources
- Positive youth programming
- Integrated physical and behavioral health care services for all family members including family planning, prenatal and postpartum care, and pediatric care
- Tailored substance use disorder treatment and children’s services for families impacted by substance use
- Community and professional education around healthy child development
Make Your Voice Heard
To guide how Colorado invests the stimulus money, our state leaders need to hear from us.
RSVP to a listening session below, or submit written feedback here.