WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled legislature in Colorado wrapped up its legislative session this week after passing bills to lower costs for people and businesses, build safer and healthier communities, and prepare students for success. Among the top priorities, legislation was passed to:
- Protect abortion rights with passage of the Reproductive Health Equity Act, making Colorado the 16th state to codify abortion rights;
- Establish universal preschool in a major expansion of early childhood education, saving parents an average of $4,300 per year and preparing kids for future success;
- Increase access to behavioral health care through a $450 million package that boosts the behavioral health workforce, increases the number of residential treatment beds, and saves people money on treatment; and
- Put money back into people’s pockets with early refund checks of at least $500 and $1000, lowering property taxes for homeowners and businesses, and helping families and workers take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
“Colorado is a shining example of the power of Democratic state legislatures,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “In just 120 days, state Democrats have passed legislation that will transform the lives of Coloradans by lowering costs for working families, expanding access to behavioral health care, creating free universal preschool, building more affordable housing, protecting reproductive rights, and so much more. For voters frustrated by the lack of action at the federal level, look to the Colorado legislature as to what’s possible with a Democratic majority and vote for Democrats down-ballot this November.”
Accomplishments of the Democratic-controlled Colorado House and Senate:
- Protecting abortion rights with passage of the Reproductive Health Equity Act
- Saving Coloradans money by saving the average homeowner $274 on their property taxes, providing advanced tax refunds this summer, helping families and workers take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and bolstering wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts
- Expanding affordable housing with $178 million for local grants to purchase land and develop affordable house projects, $150 million for a loan program to finance affordable workforce housing, senior housing, housing designed for people living with disabilities, and more
- Passing a historic $450 million to expand access to behavioral health care to establish a statewide Behavioral Health Administration, boost the behavioral health workforce, increase the number of residential treatment beds, and save people money on treatment
- Expanding child care and establishing free preschool with an investment of $100 million in a major expansion of early childhood education, saving parents an average of $4,300 annually and preparing kids for future success
- Making historic investments of $111 million in improving air quality with emission reduction strategies and air quality monitoring, deploying clean transportation initiatives, and incentivizing the reduction of emissions
- Setting students up for success by investing $431 million more in K-12 education, investing $129 million to fund institutions of higher education and keep tuition down, and investing $91 million to create more affordable pathways to degrees, certificates, and successful careers
- Leading the way with free, fair, and secure elections
- Improving public safety and preventing crime with investments in proven public safety strategies, addressing the fentanyl crisis, supporting victims, and preventing identity-based violence.