Bill would cover the cost of driver’s ed courses for foster children
DENVER, CO — Reps. Tony Exum Sr. and Monica Duran’s Bill, Driving Instruction for Foster Children, today passed the Transportation & Local Government Committee. The bill would provide grants to pay for driving education costs of children in custody of the state from ages 15-20. The bill passed committee unanimously.
“We should strive to guarantee that every child in Colorado has equal opportunity to succeed,” said Rep Exum Sr. (D-Colorado Springs). “Ensuring that foster children are able to learn how to drive goes a long way towards leveling the playing field. From getting to and from work, or to and from college, driving can truly make a lasting and important impact on a teenager’s life.”
“Foster children have more to deal with than the average teenager in Colorado,” said Rep. Duran (D-Wheat Ridge). “As these teens navigate through the rites of passage of driving for the first time and receiving their permit, we’re hoping to provide them with some relief from the associated financial stress.”
HB20-1071 requires the state Department of Human Services directly reimburse county departments for the costs to provide public or private driver’s education courses to foster youth. It would also grant counties immunity from related liability. The bill advanced through the Transportation Legislation Review Committee (TLRC) during the interim. Last year, House Democrats passed HB19-1023 and removed barriers for those in foster care applying for a driver’s license and insurance. Now, HB20-1071 would remove the financial burden associated with taking driver’s ed lessons.