Colorado has reached another milestone in building towards COVID-19 recovery for families. Building on the roughly $800 million of state stimulus funds already already invested in Colorado’s COVID recovery, last week Governor Jared Polis, legislative leadership, members of the Joint Budget Committee, members of Colorado’s federal delegation, and State Treasurer Dave Young announced how the state will use Colorado’s $3.8 billion allocation of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Our future workforce, innovators, leaders and community members can only reach their full potential through thoughtful development and investment in services and policies that strengthen families and protect children. Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on Colorado families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by federal, state, and local investments. Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing families the support they need before harm occurs. It is essential for elected officials and policy makers–at every level–to understand how to prevent child maltreatment and listen to parents in every community.

During the last remaining days of this legislative session, the state will work to spend $2 billion of the state’s total $3.8 billion in federal funds. Looking further ahead, the remaining $1.8 billion in federal funds will be held for spending next legislative session, after an interim stakeholder process designed to study changing economic needs over the coming months.

Policymakers and advocates like Illuminate have been hard at work to inform how those funds can be best leveraged for Colorado families. 

The state’s spending plan introduced last week prioritizes services and concrete supports to strengthen family economic security and promote family health and well-being. In addition to COVID pandemic response, the plan includes:

  • Between $400-$550 million for affordable housing and homeownership efforts
  • Between $400-$550 million for mental and behavioral health programs 
  • Approximately $200 million for workforce development and education 
  • Approximately $817 million for economic recovery and relief
  • Between $404- $414 million for transportation and infrastructure, and parks and agriculture 

By investing in services and supports to provide families the support they need before harm occurs, Colorado is strengthening the foundation for families and communities to thrive.

Review the 2021 Policy Agenda

Download the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda.

Especially as the legislative session draws to a close, use the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on the progression of bills this session related to strengthening families.

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