As the legislative session progresses, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) continues to focus on promoting the health of Coloradans through multiple different silos.
CDPHE recently told State of Reform about their legislative priorities for the 2022 session. These include modernizing air pollution reduction strategies, ensuring scalability of public health emergency response, fostering innovation in end-market recycling, and expanding oral health funding flexibility.
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CDPHE highlighted “critical investments” in Governor Jared Polis’ budget proposal to help reduce pollution in the state and to enhance efficiency of “our already ambitious work in this area.”
Polis’ budget will allow the Air Pollution Control Division to process permits that protect air quality quicker, improve transparency in decision making, and improve enforcement through additional monitoring and inspections.
The budget also includes requests for equipment grants for hospitals, EMS providers, and other health care facilities. These funds will include equipment such as ambulances and other necessary PHE.
“These grants will help ensure that we are able to build on lessons learned during the pandemic and can quickly scale up public health and emergency management response for disease control and other emergency needs as warranted,” said CDPHE in a statement.
CDPHE highlighted their work on House Bill 1159, which would create the Circular Economy Development Center within CDPHE. “The center’s mission would be to help form new markets within the state to process and manufacture goods from materials recycled here in Colorado,” said CDPHE.
The center would play a role in connecting markets like paper mills, metal smelters, and glass favorites to grant opportunities to provide technical assistance in developing business plans. The center also plans to help divert 45% of trash away from landfills by 2036 by increasing recycling programs in the state.
CDPHE is currently working with the legislature to expand oral health funding to include community grant programming. The proposal would fund the Oral Health Community Grant Program, which supports a broader range of oral health for youth such as school-based sealant programs.
CDPHE said that children with toothaches are four times more likely to have lower grades and more than 25,000 youth between 6 and 14 miss at least one day of school a year due to toothaches in the state.