Welcome to Capitol Week In Review, our newsletter keeping you informed about policy concerning educational equity and making our schools and communities more supportive. You will also hear from us about opportunities to engage in advocacy on topics important to you.
Legislation of Interest
HB24-1282, Ninth-Grade Success Grant & Performance Reporting, is scheduled to be heard by the House Education Committee, on March 6th. This bill expands funding for the 9th Grade Success Grant Program, which provides funding to schools to implement a ninth-grade success program.
HB24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes, addresses issues raised through the implementation of Colorado’s “Clean Slate” policy, which automatically seals the criminal records of individuals who are convicted of a non-violent offense once certain conditions have been met. The bill was passed unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
HB24-1311, Family Affordability Tax Credit, was introduced in the House. The bill creates a family affordability tax credit and will distribute a portion of the state’s $1.8 billion TABOR surplus to families, including those making up to $95,000 a year, to help cover the rising costs of housing, food, and child care.
HB24-1136, Healthier Social Media Use by Youth, was passed unanimously by the House Educations Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill requires the Department of Education to compile a bank of evidence-based program materials regarding the mental health impacts of social media use by children and teens.
Our Take: Implementing Clean Slate Gives People the Opportunity to Thrive
Nearly a third of Colorado’s population is currently listed in state databases as having a criminal record -many for a single, low-level, and non-violent offense.
We are thrilled that The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed HB24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes. This bipartisan legislation makes important updates and clarifications to Colorado’s landmark “clean slate” policy (SB22-099) which was signed into law in 2022. These updates are needed to ensure our clean slate policy can be implemented successfully.
Removing barriers to housing and employment by automatically sealing criminal records of non-violent offenders equips everyone with the opportunity to provide for their families and become more productive citizens.
Take Action: Watch “standing with Center”
In 2019, school leaders in Center, Colorado were alarmed as their high school graduation rates dropped to the lowest in the state. Now, they’re among the highest. Our team at the Colorado Center for High School Success partnered with educators at Center High School to implement a ninth grade on-track approach that is changing the trajectory for their students and community.
We must work to ensure that more students in Colorado can access this support, and that’s why we are championing HB24-1282, which expands funding for the 9th Grade Success Grant Program.
What We’re Reading
Chalkbeat Colorado, 2024 Colorado General Assembly: The people’s guide to following education issues