It’s the end of another 120-day session of the Colorado state legislature, and as always, it was a sprint at the end, with the legislature logging 8 straight days of work, finishing at about 10 pm on the final day. At the end of session, many discussions were focused on the Governor’s signature land-use legislation (SB 23-213) and property tax referendum (SB 23-303). The land-use bill failed, and the property tax bill passed and will go to the voters in November. Both topics are likely to be dominant discussions in the next session.
This was a very successful legislative session for EPIC, with our top bill, Continuation of the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (HB 23-1091), passing with overwhelming bipartisan legislative support and support from over 65 organizations across the state. Thank you so much to our partner organizations and the EPIC members who testified, wrote guest columns, and called your representatives. We couldn’t have done it without you! A big thanks also goes out to the EPIC team and our policy consultants, William Mutch and Beth Melton, for their hard work and efforts on EPIC’s behalf.
The other bills on our support list also moved through the entire process this session and EPIC played a meaningful role in each of them — through direct advocacy, testimony, and coalition support. This session has been described by some as the “session of implementation” and this held true across several early childhood bills this session, with clean-up bills for the Department of Early Childhood (HB 23-1235) and Proposition EE (Universal Pre-K funding) revenue retention (HB 23-1290).
We also had a few bills that will help people enter the early childhood workforce (SB23-205 and HB 23-1246), and finally, a bill creating bonus payments for new Universal Pre-K providers with additional amounts for serving infants and toddlers and low-capacity areas (SB23-269). We are also very excited that EPIC members and employers across the state were successful in advocating for $3 million in funding for employer-based childcare through the Joint Budget Committee!
Thank you all for your continued work on early childhood issues in Colorado. The voices of business leaders are powerful, and your support for early childhood helps to support the workforce of today and tomorrow! In the interim and during the next session, there will continue to be opportunities to get involved, and we’re always interested in hearing from you.
CCTC Bill Signing on May 23, 2023