Nourish Colorado advances a comprehensive policy agenda that supports the transformation of our food system into one that is sustainable, equitable, and health-promoting where access to nutritious food is the norm. Our policy agenda is informed by partners across Colorado, including community coalitions, program partners, local, state and national organizations, and other policy experts.
The November election didn’t change much in terms of control at the state legislature. Democrats still run the House and they extended their lead in the Senate by one seat, giving them a 20-15 edge. Governor Polis, who wasn’t on this ballot, wasted no time after the election calling the legislators into a Special Session on Nov. 30. During the 3-day session, legislators passed a handful of funding bills designed to help Colorado continue to weather the COVID pandemic. Details available in the Nourish Colorado policy blog.
After the COVID interruption to the 2020 legislative session, Nourish will return to the 2021 session to finish what we started in 2020 – an increase in the Healthy Food Incentive Fund. We will be seeking an increase of $300,000 that will be used to bring additional federal dollars into the state for the Double Up Food Bucks program, as well as continuing and growing the Produce Box program. The Joint Budget Committee has begun their work on the budget and the legislators will convene in early January. The actual shape and timing of the session remains fluid due to COVID. Keep your eyes on this space for updates.
And COVID relief that won’t start. The next COVID relief package, despite some recent excitement about a potential bipartisan breakthrough, remains stalled in Congress. The two sticking issues seem to be the Republicans demanding liability protections for businesses and the Democrats demanding funding for state and local governments. Meanwhile, people are jamming food lines and millions are in danger of losing their homes. All of this playing out against the backdrop of a President who lost the election but refuses to accept that defeat; instead using his position to attempt an end run on democracy by asking state legislatures, the courts, and the Supreme Court to essentially nullify the election and grant him the Presidency. Despite those efforts, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on January 20th. What’s less certain is whether Congress can come together and provide the relief so many Americans desperately need. Details available in the Nourish Colorado policy blog.
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To effect positive change, the network is focused on capacity building, advancing state and federal level policies, securing critical resources, and creating the conditions for deeper collaboration and impact across stakeholder groups. COFPN is led by a leadership council and has four working groups: Food Bill Action Team; Farm to Institution; Land, Capital, Water Access for Food Production; and Food and Health Collaborative.
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