Governor Polis signs bills to ensure Colorado children can thrive

The Kempe Foundation builds a safe, healthy and happy future for children with collaboration between parents, practitioners and policymakers. The Foundation’s policy team collaborates with Kempe professionals, child welfare advocates and legislators to push forward child-focused policies that will improve the lives of children and families in Colorado and beyond. We work with state and national lawmakers as well as human services agencies to advance laws, policies and programs that provide opportunities for children to live safe, healthy and happy lives. On June 7th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed bills into law to help Coloradans keep more of their hard-earned money, ensure all Coloradans can live and thrive in safe and healthy communities, and support cutting-edge technology to drive innovation in Colorado’s thriving agriculture industry. 

Highlights from this June 7th session include:


Health Benefits For Colorado Children And Pregnant Persons

Representatives S. Gonzalez- Gutierrez | J. McCluskie, Senators D. Moreno | R. Fields


Dependency Proceedings Unaccompanied Child

Representatives S. Gonzales-Gutierrez | I. Jodeh, Senator J. Gonzales


Child Residential Treatment And Runaway Youth

Representative D. Michaelson Jenet, Senator J. Buckner


Make it easier for families to access child care

Senator Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Representatives Alex Valdez, D-Denver, and Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood

Read the quotes below regarding SB22-213

Background information and highlights from the 2022 Legislative Session:

The 2022 legislative session has adjourned with the second session of the 73rd General Assembly was called to order on January 12 with the last day for the Governor to act: June 6, 2022. The FY2022-23 State Budget Governor Polis has signed the $35.4B budget. This budget cycle was one to celebrate for the Kempe Foundation, all programming for the Kempe Center under the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Health and Environment have been funded in full.


* Kempe Center program funding included: Child Welfare Training System, SafeCare® Colorado, CARE Network, and Fostering Healthy Futures receives funding by way of a grant from the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Fund


On April 12th, HB22-1038 was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. This bill states that youth 12 and older in Colorado’s care will receive legal representation from skilled, specialized attorneys that advocate for the youth’s wishes on essential matters. Learn more at


* Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force: The Task Force released its final report, January 28, 2022


* Behavioral Health Administration Other critical behavioral health bills include HB22-1278, Behavioral Health Administration, led by the Department of Human Services. The Kempe Foundation has been supporting Children’s Hospital Colorado in urging the General Assembly to include language to specifically call out the needs of children, youth, and families, these requested amendments were adopted on Second reading in the house. The bill passed the General Assembly in the final days of the legislative session and has been sent to Govenor Polis for signature.


* Department Early Childhood And Universal Preschool Program to build out the Department of Early Childhood (DEC) and Universal Preschool implementation was signed by Governor Polis, becoming law, on April 25, 2022. Read about it here: HB22-1295. The Kempe Foundation actively engaged in the coalition efforts, sitting on both the policy committee and the government affairs committee to support the success of the implementing legislation, lifting up the inclusion of trauma informed practices in the new Department and the coordination of universal preschool and school programs with support programs and services to provide a better opportunity to identify at-risk families and connect them with needed resources. HB22-1295 will create a more comprehensive and cohesive approach to helping children and families, and it also will be based on the needs of the local community.