2018 Legislative Watch List: Colorado Two-Generation Policies

In our recently released Guide to Economic Mobility we share how two-generation policies move the entire family out of poverty and into economic stability. Governor Hickenlooper highlighted the key role Colorado two-generation policies play in making opportunity possible for Colorado families in his 2018 State of the State address.

As we seek to make economic mobility for every Coloradan a reality, two-generation policies will be crucial to that mission. Here, we identify the bills being considered during the 2018 legislative session that focus on both children and parents.

Click here for the latest updates and resources on Colorado’s two-generation legislative policies

HB 18-1335. County Child Care Assistance Block Grants, Joint Budget Committee bill. Representative Young, Senator Lundberg. Makes a number of changes to CCCAP including allowing the Department of Human Services to adjust a county’s block grant amount based upon rules promulgated by the department, setting the eligibility level for all counties at 185 percent of federal poverty, adjusting certain periods of eligibility and removing references to preconditions that have been previously met, and repealing the Cliff Effect Pilot Program.

HB 18-1334. Extend Transitional Jobs Program. Joint Budget Committee bill. Representative Hamner, Senator Lambert. The ReHire Colorado transitional jobs program focuses on finding jobs for low-income veterans, older workers, and non-custodial parents owing child support. It is currently set to end on June 30, 2019, and no new transitional jobs are to be offered after December 31, 2018. The bill extends the program for five additional years and provides funding for it.

HB18-1379. School Finance Bill. Representative Hamner, Senator Lambert. The ReHire Colorado transitional jobs program focuses on finding jobs for low-income veterans, older workers, and non-custodial parents owing child support. It is currently set to end on June 30, 2019, and no new transitional jobs are to be offered after December 31, 2018. The bill extends the program for five additional years and provides funding for it.

HB18-1298. Colorado Secure Savings Plan. Representatives Pettersen and Bridges, Senators Donovan and Todd. Establishes the Colorado Secure Savings Plan, which is a retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. Employers with a specified number of employees in the state are required to participate in the plan, but any employer may choose to participate in the plan.

HB18-1310. Emergency Employment Support Services Pilot Program DOLA. Representative Coleman, Senator Fields. Creates a three-year pilot program in the Department of Local Affairs, administered by an outside nonprofit entity, through which eligible low-income individuals pursuing employment or job training may receive emergency services from participating public agencies or nonprofit organizations to help them overcome short-term obstacles to program completion or employment retention. Eligible services include, but are not limited to, transportation, emergency child care, emergency housing, food and nutrition, medical expenses, and the like. The pilot will include ten rural counties and a limited number of zip codes in Pueblo, Arapahoe, Denver, and Adams counties selected by the department based on criteria specified in the bill

HB18-1001. FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Representatives Winter and Gray, Senators Fields and Donovan. Creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program in the division of family and medical leave insurance in the department of labor and employment to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual’s own serious health condition.

HB18-1104. Family Preservation for Parents with Disability. Representative Danielson. Establishes family protection safeguards for a parent or prospective parent with a disability are critical to family preservation and the best interests of the children of Colorado. The bill identifies several important safeguards that benefit both parents and children.

HB18-1004. Continue Child Care Contribution Tax Credit. Representatives Coleman and Wilson, Senators Kefalas and Tate. A taxpayer who makes a monetary contribution to promote child care in the state is allowed an income tax credit that is equal to 50 percent of the total value of the contribution. The exemption is currently available for tax years that commence prior to January 1, 2020. The bill extends the credit for five years.

HB18-1088. Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten. Representative Wilson. Increases the supplemental kindergarten enrollment for the 2018-19 budget year and each budget year thereafter to .16 of a full-day pupil. The bill specifies the intent of the general assembly to continue increasing the supplemental kindergarten enrollment each budget year until students enrolled in kindergarten are funded as full-day pupils in the 2023-24 budget year.

HB18-1134. Use of Colorado Preschool Program Positions. Representatives Pettersen and Wilson, Senators Martinez Humenik and Merrifield. If a district chooses to use Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) positions to enroll children in the district’s full-day kindergarten program, children using the ECARE positions must satisfy at least one of the eligibility requirements of the Colorado Preschool Program.

HB18-1208. Expand Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit. Representatives Duran and Winter, Senator Martinez Humenik. Currently, a resident individual with a federal adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less is allowed a state income tax credit for child care expenses that is a percentage of a similar federal income tax credit claimed. The bill expands the state credit by allowing a resident individual with an AGI that is less than or equal to $150,000 to claim a credit that is equal to 80 percent of the individual’s federal credit.

HB18-1217. Income Tax Credit Employer 529 Contributions. Representatives Van Winkle and Garnett, Senator Gardner. Creates a temporary income tax credit for employers that make contributions to 529 qualified state tuition program accounts (college savings accounts) owned by their employees.

HB18-1232. New School Funding Distribution Formula. Representative Young, Senators Kerr and Coram. Creates a new school finance formula for preschool through high school public education, contingent on the passage of a ballot measure to fully fund it. Includes provisions to better fund and expand preschool and full day kindergarten, with the intent of moving toward universally available preschool for Colorado 4-year-olds.

SB18-007. Affordable Housing Tax Credit. Senators Guzman and Tate, Representatives J. Becker and Duran. Changes the name of the existing low-income housing tax credit to the affordable housing tax credit. Extends the period during which the Colorado housing and finance authority may allocate affordable housing tax credits from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2024.

SB18-013. Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act. Senators Gardner and Fields, Representative Michaelson Jenet. Current law creates an annual appropriation to provide free lunches to children in state-subsidized early childhood education programs administered by public schools or in kindergarten through fifth grade who would otherwise have to pay for a reduced-price lunch. The bill extends eligibility to eighth grade in schools that elect to participate in the expanded program.

SB18-057. Use of Criminal Records with Respect to Housing. Senator Kagan. Modifies the definition of unfair housing practices and extends protections to tenants who have certain arrest records or convictions.

SB18-087. In-State Tuition Foreign Nationals Settled in Colorado. Senator Fenberg. Grants eligibility for in-state tuition status to refugees and special immigrants admitted to the United States pursuant to federal law who have settled in Colorado – specifically, Iraqis and Afghans who served with/assisted the U.S. military in their home countries.

SB18-099. Align Early Childhood Quality Improvement Programs. Senators Priola and Merrifield, Representatives Wilson and Pettersen. Amends the application and eligibility requirements for the school-readiness quality improvement program and the infant and toddler quality and availability grant program to align with the Colorado Shines quality rating and improvement system to streamline the administration of the programs.