Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill on May 21, 2019, that will provide access to free, all-day kindergarten for every child in Colorado. Funds set aside in March will fund full-day kindergarten in addition to freeing up more than 5,000 preschool slots. Governor Polis also signed a bill to provide $25 million to help school districts with kindergarten and preschool implementation costs such as furniture and equipment this year. Districts across the state are now empowered to start offering free full-day kindergarten this fall. See the governor’s press release.
The free kindergarten bill fulfills one of the governor’s campaign promises and was part of a busy legislative session that ended on May 3. The session not only provided new funds for kindergarten, but also funded efforts to save people money on health care, while also funding water and transportation projects. Governor Polis signed a total of 454 bills into law this session.
This year’s bills cover a wide range of topics, with many addressing inequities in education, improving voter access, addressing criminal justice, preventing youth suicides, ensuring internet neutrality, promoting clean energy, and mitigating climate change (see related story).
Key legislation will prioritize the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry; prohibit wage discrimination based on sex; allow local taxation and regulation of tobacco products; work toward a national popular vote; and establish a so-called “red flag” law that allows a law protection officer or a family or household member to petition the court to prohibit a person from possessing, controlling, purchasing, or receiving a firearm for 364 days. For the red flag law, the petitioner must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.
See a complete list of signed bills on the governor’s website.