During the 2022 legislative session, the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (CMMHC) Maternal Behavioral Health Policy and Financing Coalition monitored and advocated for bills that advance the four primary goals of Colorado’s Maternal Mental Health Framework: Supportive Community; Maximized Prevention; Universal Screening and Appropriate Referral; and Comprehensive, Inclusive, and Responsive Continuum of Care. We celebrate a number of policy wins for maternal mental health!
Improves the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/Colorado Works program by increasing basic cash assistance, expanding eligibility for specific populations, modifying program rules and operations, and requiring new public outreach, data collection, and reporting.
✅ HB22-1278 Behavioral Health Administration > ENACTED
Creates the Behavioral Health Administration in the Department of Human Services to create a coordinated, cohesive, and effective behavioral health system in the state.
✅ HB22-1281 Behavioral Healthcare Continuum Gap Grant Program > ENACTED
Establishes the Community Behavioral Health-Care Continuum Gap Grant Program in the Behavioral Health Administration; Appropriates $75 million from the Behavioral and Mental Health Cash Fund to that grant program, of which $35 million must be designated to community investment grants and $40 million to children, youth, and family services grants; Establishes the Substance Use Workforce Stability Grant Program to be awarded to support direct care staff who spend 50% or more of their time working with clients.
✅ HB22-1289 Health Benefits For Colorado Children And Pregnant Persons (aka Cover All Coloradans) > ENACTED
Expands Medicaid and Children's Basic Health Plan (CHP+) coverage to children, pregnant, and postpartum undocumented Coloradans; Improves the quality of health insurance coverage available through the Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise; Leverages federal funds to improve perinatal and postpartum support; Codifies and strengthens CDPHE’s survey of birthing parents; Makes comprehensive lactation support services, lactation supplies, and equipment a covered benefit under Medicaid.
✅ HB22-1295 Department of Early Childhood and Universal Preschool Program > ENACTED
Establishes the functions of the Department of Early Childhood and the leadership of the department in administering early childhood, child health, and family support programs; Creates the Colorado universal preschool program to provide at least 10 hours per week of free preschool services for children in the year before kindergarten, beginning with the 2023 school year.
✅ HB22-1329 2022-23 Long Bill > ENACTED
Includes an appropriation aimed at protecting quality prenatal and postpartum care in Colorado’s Medicaid program and provides funding for stakeholder engagement to help drive Medicaid policy changes.
✅ HB22-1369 Children’s Mental Health Programs > ENACTED
Directs the Department of Early Childhood to contract with a Colorado-based nonprofit entity to provide children's mental health programs; Appropriates $2.0 million in FY 2022-23 from the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund to provide such programs that evidence-based, two-generation, and incorporate home-based prevention and early intervention services.
✅ SB22-147 Behavioral Healthcare Services for Children > ENACTED
Creates the Colorado Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation and Access Program (CoPPCAP) in the University of Colorado to support primary care providers in identifying and treating mild to moderate behavioral health conditions and in identifying evidence-based resources and opportunities for care coordination; Appropriates funds from the behavioral and mental health cash fund to further expand access to behavioral health-care services for children and families.
✅ SB22-213 Child Care Support Programs > ENACTED
Provides funding for a variety of early childhood programs and creates an advisory group and training program for family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) providers. Among several appropriations made to child care-related programs, the bill allocates $10.0 million from the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund (ERRCF) for the Employer-Based Child Care Facility Grant Program and extension of the program through September 1, 2024, $1.0 million from the ERRCF to create the home visiting for early learning grant program, and $5.0 million for the home visiting workforce, early childhood mental health consultants, and early intervention providers.
For more information on the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, please visit our website at https://coloradomaternalmentalhealth.org/.
To get involved in additional advocacy opportunities, please reach out to the co-chairs of the Maternal Behavioral Health Policy and Financing Coalition, Erin Miller and Brace Gibson.
The 2023 legislative session begins on January 9.