Good news: Colorado is poised to prioritize prevention in our state budget. Released Monday, the budget package outlines how the Joint Budget Committee is proposing state resources be allocated for fiscal year 2021-2022, which begins July 1. The budget package was crafted over the last five months and includes the annual general appropriations bill (otherwise known as the “long bill”) and other JBC-sponsored bills related to the budget that are introduced with the long bill.
What we’re excited about in the budget proposal:
When families have information and access to resources to meet basic needs, we strengthen the foundation for families and communities to thrive. By prioritizing prevention–through key focus areas include home visiting, child care, family planning, family resource centers, and adult education–the state budget brings more resources within reach for Colorado families. These strategies build protective factors in all families to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs–including addressing systemic barriers to building protective factors across the population.
Continued funding for Family Resource Centers through the Family Support Services line item, including a 2.5% increase for community provider rates.
Family Resource Centers play a critical role in Colorado communities, and through continued funding we can ensure they’re able to continue offering critical family services that build protective factors and prevent child maltreatment.
The restoration of the Child Care Services and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Pilot Program line item, which was cut last year.
Restoring this line item means we can ensure more families have real options when it comes to taking care of their behavioral health by making sure that lack of child care isn’t the reason that a pregnant or parenting person can’t access treatment.
The restoration of the High Risk Pregnant Women Program line item (which funds the Special Connections program) in the CDHS budget.
Restoring this line item ensures that specialized treatment providers can continue to serve pregnant and parenting people and offer them options for tailored, family-focused support outside of the child welfare system.
What’s we’re still working on:
Ensuring Colorado makes practical existing investments in child maltreatment prevention using the billions of dollars the state will be receiving from the 2021 American Rescue Plan.
Make Your Voice Heard
To guide how Colorado invests the stimulus money, our state leaders need to hear from us. Submit written feedback HERE if you care about preventing child maltreatment.
Investing in prevention at the state level is among the many policy priorities on the Illuminating 2021 Policy Agenda which highlights policies that build one or more protective factors. As state legislators continue to work on the state budget, Illuminate is encouraging policymakers to continue prioritizing primary prevention strategies to ensure families have the foundations they need to thrive.
Review the 2021 Policy Agenda
Download the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda.
Use the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on the progression of bills this session related to strengthening families.
Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate’s blog.