2017 Legislative Wrap-Up

Now that the 71st General Assembly has come to a close, legislators and advocates alike finally have the opportunity to step back, catch their breath, and regard the fruits of their labor these last five months. We at Hunger Free Colorado want to update you on some of the bills that will most impact hunger in Colorado in the years ahead.

A trio of bills, led by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, focused on improving Medicaid client correspondence all passed and were signed into law. These three laws improve the legal sufficiency and readability of notices, as well as provide clients more rights during their appeals process. Hunger Free Colorado supported and testified in favor of these bills, as Medicaid improvements to the state benefit management system will ultimately improve correspondence for programs such as food stamps.

Unfortunately, HB 1192 for the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council died in committee. The bill would have made structural changes to the current council as well as provided additional funding in order to improve the council’s effectiveness and reach. Hunger Free Colorado was disheartened that the bill did not make it to the Governor’s desk, but we will continue to participate in the council alongside other important state and governmental organizations in order to strengthen the link between Colorado’s agricultural and advocacy networks.

Finally, Colorado’s Long Appropriations Bill passed with a $16.6 million line increase for county administration of human services programs. This funding increase will help some of Colorado’s understaffed counties hire needed personnel, and it is our hope at Hunger Free Colorado that we will see even greater returns in increased access and administrative efficiency of vital support programs. Hunger Free Colorado would like to thank the Joint Budget Committee for its hard work in setting the Colorado budget on an annual basis, which is no easy task.

Although work has wrapped up at the state, there is still plenty to be done at the federal level. We will continue to monitor legislation in D.C. that would impact Coloradans facing hunger, and are perpetually working alongside other Colorado organizations and our federal delegation to solve hunger in our lifetime. Sign up for state and federal legislative alerts through our online action center.


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