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2021 Legislative Review


Several significant bills passed this legislative session, strengthening opportunities to improve the lives of Colorado residents across the lifespan, from prenatal care to early childhood development to adult services. The Colorado Lab worked together with state and local government agencies, legislators, the Governor’s Office, research colleagues, and subject matter experts to inform this suite of legislative decision making. 

Partnership efforts include providing research studies and expert testimony, evaluating the effectiveness of models, and supporting the successful implementation of newly approved efforts:

  • SB21-194 – Maternal Health Equity: Aligns data and systems to promote equity in maternal health with a focus on racial and ethnic disparities.
  • SB21-137 – Perinatal Substance Use: Requires the use of data from multiple state-administered sources (see graphic) when examining issues related to pregnant and postpartum persons with substance use disorders and their infants to advance well-being.
  • HB21-1248 – Child Maltreatment: Updates the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund Act (now called Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund Act) to promote prevention programs designed to decrease incidences of child abuse.
  • HB21-1304 – Early Childhood System: Creates a new state department of early childhood to unify and strengthen Colorado’s early childhood system.
  • SB21-236 – Early Childhood Care & Education: Improve recruitment and retention for early childhood educators; partner agency: CDHS Office of Early Childhood.
  • SB21-185 – Pre-K-12 & Higher Education: Expand career pathway to enter the teaching profession and strengthen educator recruitment and retention; partner agency: Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood.
  • SB21-138 – Criminal Justice System: Approves a pilot program to study whether a comprehensive brain injury program improves outcomes for offenders with a brain injury.
  • SB21-118 – At-Risk Adults: Makes Colorado the first state to pilot an alternative-response model for adult protective services with the goal of providing client-centered and family-driven responses to allegations of adult mistreatment; partner agency: CDHS Office of Adult, Aging, and Disability Services.

To learn more about support provided by the Colorado Lab to the Colorado General Assembly this legislative session, contact Dr. Courtney Everson.