Buckner’s Bill to Require Surgical Smoke Protection Policies Also Clears Committee

(Jan. 22) – The House Education committee approved Representative Janet Buckner’s bipartisan bill to provide an income tax credit for early childhood educators. This tax credit will help build economic self-sufficiency among the early childhood workforce and the child care industry. This tax credit was endorsed by the Colorado’s Teacher Shortage Report and would encourage child care professionals to improve their skills as educators to better support the development of young students.

“This bill will address two major challenges facing hardworking families and early childhood educators: quality and stability.” said Rep. Buckner, D-Aurora. “Our educators need to be paid more and that includes those who care for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.”

Childcare workers earn half as much as kindergarten teachers, and about a third as much as nurses. Fifty-three percent of childcare workers nationwide are on some type of public assistance.

The bill passed on a bipartisan vote of 9-3 and now heads to the Finance Committee.

The House Education Committee also approved a bill led by Committee Chair Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango and Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins to add nationally certified school psychologists from across the state as school professionals eligible for annual stipends awarded by the department of education. HB19-1036 passed by a vote of 10-2 and now goes to the House floor.

Rep. Buckner’s bill, HB19-1041, was also approved by the House Health and Insurance Committee earlier today by a vote of 11-0. The bill will help protect medical teams and patients from toxic surgical smoke. Surgical smoke is a gaseous by-product produced by energy-generating surgical medical devices. It now goes to the House floor.

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