El Paso County Releases Marijuana Position Paper

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Providers Receiving Notifications This Week  

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New Child Care Rules Effective September 30th Suprise Some Providers

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Division of Early Care and Learning (DECL) promulgated new and revised rules regulating child care facilities. These rules were effective September 30, 2016:

  • 7.701 General Rules for Child Care Facilities
  • 7.702 Rules Regulating Child Care Centers (less than 24-hour care)
  • 7.707 Rules Regulating Family Child Care Homes
  • 7.712 Rules Regulating School-Aged Child Care Centers

The rules were promulgated to meet requirements of the 2014 Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act Reauthorization, to provide clarification and technical clean up of existing rules, and require training in specific areas to increase knowledge and competency of child care providers.

DECL is providing a 6-month consultation period (ending March 31, 2017) for Family Child Care Homes and School-Age Child Care Centers to be compliant with new regulations not impacting the health or safety of children, or where effective dates are not already defined in rule.

Additionally, the DECL will create an Administrative Guide for each rules set that will be posted along with the regulations on our website.

View the official rules on the Secretary of State's website, here. Click here to print updated rule sets.

Please contact your licensing specialist for assistance, or call the Division of Early Care and Learning at 1-800-799-5876 if you have any questions


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Early Childhood Council Rules: Public Notice and Comment Period Open

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Division of Early Care and Learning is promulgating rules regarding Early Childhood Councils (ECCs). The public comment period will close Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

The State Board of Human Services will hold a first reading of the rules on Friday, December 2, 2016.

The Early Childhood Council statutes create a statewide system of local councils intended to coordinate community-level, public and private stakeholders in the delivery of accessible, quality child care services. See §§ 26-6.5-101 et seq., C.R.S. (2014). Article 6.5 provides the State Department of Human Services shall "govern" the Councils and adopt rules that define a procedure for the organizations to apply to become Councils and the criteria applicants must satisfy before their applications are accepted. The statutes also require rule making by the State Board of Human Services. This rule package addresses the following requirements for Early Childhood Councils:

  • Creation and Reconfiguration
  • Service Area
  • Governance
  • Duties and Deliverables
  • State Department Funding Requirements

Click here to view the proposed rules. Click here to submit comment.


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New IRS law requires ITIN renewal, starting for some this year

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Recent changes to the ITIN program include a requirement that taxpayers renew their ITINs. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a number issued by the IRS to help individuals who cannot obtain a social security number to file their taxes. In the past, a taxpayer applied for and received an ITIN only once. While the IRS is implementing the renewal process on a “rolling schedule,” some taxpayers will need to renew their ITINs before the end of the year to avoid tax refund delays. Given the quick turnaround, our team wanted to make sure that all of our members have content to share this important information as soon as possible.


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Early Childhood Communication Efforts in Colorado

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


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Colorado 2017 State Budget Proposal Released

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

" No One is Going To be Happy..."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday proposed a $28.5 billion state budget that cuts spending on education, hospitals and road construction to help close a $500 million shortfall.

The fiscal year 2017-18 plan is the starting point for a six-month process that will probably prove painful because state revenues are not keeping pace with current demands. The spending plan shortchanges school districts by $45 million, cuts $195 million in payments to hospitals, anticipates an average 6 percent hike in college tuition, slashes road funding by more than $100 million and eliminates the projected 2019 taxpayer refund under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Hickenlooper said the plan’s priority is “to minimize the pain,” but he acknowledged in a recent interview that “we are going to have to cut everything. It’s one of those budgets where I’m certainly going to be the least popular person in the state with an awful lot of people,” he said.

At the same time, the plan spends money to hire more mental health professionals in schools and child welfare caseworkers; starts to allocate $64 million for additional costs from the 2013 floods; raises state employee salaries 2.5 percent; and uses marijuana tax revenues to launch an $18 million program to create affordable housing for the homeless.

The governor also set aside $16 million in marijuana taxes for a forthcoming initiative to control the illegal pot trade operating in the shadows of the state’s legal industry.

How lawmakers receive the Democratic governor’s plan — which is required to go to state lawmakers at the start of November — will depend on the outcome of the contested legislative races a week later.

The current split legislature, with a Republican-led Senate and a Democratic-controlled House, creates an evenly divided budget committee. A shift in either chamber would realign the spending priorities.

“This provides a baseline for discussion,” said Sen. Kent Lambert, a Colorado Springs Republican and top budget writer. “But frankly, this is not going to be what the budget looks like at the end of the day. A lot — a lot — depends on the outcome of the elections next week.”

The $10.9 billion in discretionary or general-fund spending in the proposal represents a roughly 4 percent increase compared with the current budget. But the $426 million in new revenue is still $500 million less than current spending requirements, according to the governor’s office. Those requirements include news students and inflation in K-12 education costs, TABOR rebates, new Medicaid costs and more.

The next plan also must set aside $181 million to refill the reserves tapped to close the deficit in the current budget year.

Joint Budget Committee Chairwoman Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, said the outlook appeared worse than the prior year — a sentiment shared by other budget writers.

“We are in a bit of a bind,” said Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat and veteran budget writer who is departing at the end of the year. To close the gap, he said, “there are several things in this proposal that are uncomfortable or will probably be unpopular.”

To make the plan work, the governor’s budget office tapped a dozen different smaller accounts to make it balance.

The $47 million for the across-the-board state employee salary hike is being pulled from an account reserved for merit pay raises. Another $32 million for general expenses is diverted from severance tax money that traditionally goes to local governments. And $15 million is taken from the grant program that builds schools. Many of the transfers will require a change in law.

Other measures to balance the budget include the elimination of a position in the governor’s marijuana coordination office and a delay in implementation for a law approved this year that requires the court to appoint attorneys in certain municipal court cases.

Republicans expressed concerns about the proposed diversion of severance tax money and the cuts to transportation and schools funding.

“That may not sound like a lot, but incrementally, that hurts,” said Rep. Bob Rankin, a Carbondale Republican and budget writer.

One particular area of focus for the coming year is the $195 million cut to the hospital provider fee, which facilities receive to subsidize the cost of indigent care. It’s the second straight cut to hospitals.

Hickenlooper proposed legislation in the 2016 session to reclassify the fee and make more room for spending in the budget, but Republicans blocked the measure in the Senate.

The tight budget will only renew focus on the issue, and Hamner said she wants to revisit the issue.

“We cannot continue to balance the state budget by bleeding our hospitals,” she said. “I will redouble my efforts to solve this problem through the simple legislative fix of turning the hospital provider fee into a state enterprise.”



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