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Colorado Legislative Roundup 2022

The 74th Colorado General Assembly has adjourned. Most years, there is a scramble to get as many bills over the finish line as possible as the end of session approaches. This year, hundreds of bills died simply because time ran out. 

Here’s a look at bills we supported and how they fared:

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Healthy Eating
Healthy School Meals for All (HSMA) could soon become reality in Colorado! For the last two school years, the Federal Government waived any income caps on providing free breakfast and lunch to public school students, but that Federal waiver ends on June 30. To ensure Colorado kids would still have these benefits, a two-pronged approach was taken at the legislature. Senate Bill 22-087 would have required a HSMA program be implemented in Colorado from the general funds beginning school year 2023-24.  And as a stop-gap, Legislators were asked to use American Rescue Plan dollars to fund HSMA in school year 2022-23. Both these efforts failed, but a new approach was taken with just eight days left in the legislative session. House Bill 22-1414 has the same parameters as the failed SB22-087, but the bill refers this measure to the November ballot, asking voters to fund HSMA. As part of a coalition led by Hunger Free Colorado, we actively supported all three of these actions and will be active in the campaign to pass HSMA by the voters. If you're passionate about this issue and want to be a Champion, please email Grassroots Manager Chris Turner at [email protected].

Tobacco Control
The fight against Colorado’s youth vaping epidemic and the targeting of marginalized communities by the tobacco industry continued this session with House Bill 22-1064, which would have prohibited the sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, flavored non-combustible tobacco. We were part of a massive coalition that supported the bill, but it was vigorously opposed by the tobacco industry, retailers and Gov. Polis. The bill was defeated with just one day left in the session. 

Quality Systems of Care
House Bill 22-1251 creates the Office of Cardiac Arrest Management in the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This office will provide consistent and reliable funding to sustain the Statewide Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), which uses data and correlated cardiac outcomes to improve treatments and enhance survivability. It passed in the last week of session.

 

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