This week, we've talked about some numbers in the Long Bill, the state's budget.
Today, we want to focus on a program that's not in the state budget.
We think legislators must find room for a meaningful investment to boost adult education in Colorado. One glaring reason is that Colorado is the only state in the nation that does not provide state funding for adult education, and we are falling behind.
But a better reason is how that investment will help Coloradans, businesses and our economy.
We told you previously that it's all about the Benjamins at the state capitol this week and next.
While the legislators are working through the big numbers in the proposed budget, we wanted to let you know about one of the smaller numbers and talk about its impact on the lives of Coloradans.
One is $4 million, small in comparison to a General Fund budget of $9.3 billion. As it stands now, the Joint Budget Committee has added $4 million for senior services provided by the 16 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) across the state.
The Colorado House Education Committee today passed and sent to the House Appropriations Committee two important education funding bills – the 2014 School Finance Act (HB14-1298) and the "Student Success Act" (HB14-1292). Because these bills will help set the future course of public education in the state, we believe important changes still need to be made for the bills to best serve the needs of the state and local communities.
The 2014 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly passed the mid-point over the weekend with slow progress being made on a number of the Bell's key legislative goals. Like a lot of NBA games, most of the action this session will take place in the second half. This is due, in part, to the large number of bills that involve state spending.
The northern Front Range is home to some of the most "equal" large communities in the country in terms of household incomes – places including Thornton and Centennial.
But two of the region's most prominent cities – Denver and Boulder – have wide gaps between the rich and poor.
Growing income inequality in the U.S. is setting off alarms, including a warning last week from former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who called the trend the "most dangerous" the country faces.
Rich Jones, the Bell's director of policy and research, testified Wednesday in favor of a plan to help more low- to moderate-income Coloradans receive an income tax credit for child-care expenses.
The Bell has long advocated for policies to help working families better afford the cost of child care. We believe affordable care provides greater stability for families and helps them achieve self-sufficiency.