The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for families, organizations, and communities across the world. Children and families must be supported as our state and federal government weigh potential solutions.

The Colorado Supreme Court will decide what Coronavirus means for the remainder of the state legislative session.

The Colorado General Assembly voted to take a two week recess in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re expected to return early next week, perhaps just long enough to vote to extend the recess. It still remains unclear if the legislative session must end 120 days after it commenced, or if the end-date can be extended in consideration of the legislature having to pause in response to a public health emergency. The next step is for a date to be set for oral arguments on briefs submitted to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Another challenge is that state economists predict Colorado will have hundreds of millions of dollars less for state priorities in the 2020 budget. There is uncertainty around what this means for bills with large fiscal notes already introduced this session, as well as how quickly the state will recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. Lawmakers will have to work swiftly and creatively to address the fast-moving crisis to ensure our families and communities have what they need. 

Congress has passed two measures in response to COVID-19 and is working on a third.

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law on March 6th, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18th (see fact sheet), and a Coronavirus Stimulus Package is currently in the works.

As congressional members have been crafting policy solutions to the pandemic, Illuminate Colorado has communicated its strong support of the recommendations put forth by Prevent Child Abuse America and the National Child Abuse Coalition. 

Parenting itself is a challenge even without the added stress of uncertainty, social isolation, job loss or reduction in wages, or inadequate food and shelter. With more Americans losing their jobs and income, and having uncertain child care if they are working, families are already feeling the devastating impact of this pandemic. In addition, COVID-19 is forcing families into isolation and away from the extensive network of community supports they rely on in times of need. We must support essential services to families that will aid in reducing the stress and anxiety associated with this pandemic and ensure the safety and well-being of our nation’s children.

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