The Joint Budget Committee began meeting last week to weigh potential budget cut options to reconcile the $3 billion revenue shortfall that Colorado is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illuminate Colorado empathizes with members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) who must make incredibly difficult decisions that will certainly impact Colorado children and families for years to come. 

The hearing for the budget balancing recommendations and options for the Colorado Department of Human Services occurred this past Saturday, May 9th. We greatly appreciated the discussions of JBC members, staff and other legislators around the gravity and impact of the budget decisions at hand. While tough cuts were made to evidence-based programs and services, there was simultaneous acknowledgement that prevention work ultimately yields great cost savings. 

We urge our lawmakers to maintain prevention as a priority and keep the needs of families and children top of mind. When families, organizations and communities focus on building protective factors, we can effectively prevent child maltreatment and keep families strong during this Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

You can tune into the Joint Budget Committee here. An updated economic revenue forecast will be presented tomorrow, May 12th. The full legislature is tentatively set to reconvene on May 26th in order to introduce state budget legislation, with the constitutional ‘deadline’ of June 30th to pass a balanced state budget.

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