Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

s_hhs_2016a_2017-01-09t09:09:19z1 Hearing Summary

Date: 01/09/2017


CDHS SMART Act Presentation


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
<none> <none>

09:31 AM -- CDHS SMART Act Presentation

Reggie Bicha, Director, CDHS, presented to the committee. Handouts were distributed to the committee (Attachments C and D). Mr. Bicha explained CDHS's three strategic priorities. He described the properties and buildings that the DHS owns or operates and the community programs that CDHS operates. Mr. Bicha summarized the CDHS annual budget and gave a breakdown of the FY 2016-17 state and federal appropriations. He explained CDHS' budget requests for FY 2017-18.

170109 AttachC.pdf170109 AttachC.pdf (Attachment D)

09:40 AM

Mr. Bicha detailed the six legislative priorities for CDHS, which include:

        • instituting background checks for those working with at-risk adults;
        • expanding the Colorado Works program;
        • excluding certain non-violent youths from detention;
        • cleaning up mandatory reporter statutes;
        • easing regulatory burdens on home-based child care; and
        • streamlining background checks for child care workers.

09:48 AM

Mr. Bicha responded to questions regarding properties that are owned but not utilized by the CDHS and the status of the Grand Junction regional center, and noted that he is planning to meet with the state architect regarding these properties. In response to a question, Mr. Bicha explained the process for creating licensing requirements for child care facilities.

10:02 AM

Mr. Bicha responded to questions from the committee regarding the at-risk adult population, home-base child care, state funding for child welfare, and statistics on nonviolent youth in detention. He discussed possible repurposing of CDHS properties to expand capacity for mental health services. The committee continued to discuss vacant properties and the future of the Grand Junction regional center.

10:25 AM

Mr. Bicha discussed the regulatory agenda for the past year and outstanding audit recommendations. He described the CDHS performance measurement system to the committee and training initiatives at CDHS, including online training, a new leadership development program, and ongoing division specific training.

10:34 AM

Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Office of Early Childhood in the CDHS. Mr. Bicha responded to questions regarding Colorado Child Care Assistance Program allocations and how they vary by county. Mary Anne Snyder, CDHS, explained the two generation (2GRO) program in the Office. Mr. Bicha named the state departments that are participating in 2GRO.

10:49 AM

Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Office of Economic Security in the CDHS. He described the settlement agreement that requires the CDHS to meet strict timeliness parameters for benefit enrollments, and explained that the CDHS has met those requirements as of December 2016. The committee discussed audit recommendations regarding CDHS employee training. Mr. Bicha explained the error and participation rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Ms. Albritton returned to the table to discuss SNAP enrollment in recent years. Mr. Bicha gave an update on Senate Bill 16-190, and discussed a CDHS budget request for county funding for administration of services. Mr. Bicha summarized a new initiative, the Child Support Pass Through, to the committee. He discussed the work participation rate, a federal performance measure requirement, and explained that the CDHS has not met this rate.

11:06 AM

Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Office of Behavioral Health in the CDHS. He updated the committee on the statewide crisis response system and the Mental Health Hold Task Force. Mr. Bicha described the state inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities, and noted that forensic patients are court ordered to be treated in these facilities. Dr. Nancy VanDeMark, CDHS, responded to questions regarding state mental health facilities capacity.

11:20 AM

Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Office of Community Access and Independence in the CDHS. He explained the adult protection services system and updated the committee on recent laws regarding the adult at-risk population. Mr. Bicha discussed the CDHS' responsibility in regard to the regional centers. He summarized the recommendations of the Regional Center Task Force and the Background Check Task Force to the committee. He gave an update on changes to mandatory reporting for at-risk adults, the work of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Ombudsman stakeholder group, and implementation of the respite care task force recommendations. Mr. Bicha gave an overview of progress with the Fitzsimons development site. Mr. Bicha responded to questions regarding veterans services.

11:34 AM

Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Office of Children, Youth, and Families in the CDHS. Mr. Bicha updated the committee on the child abuse reporting hotline and child welfare workload trends. He explained that CDHS is requesting funding for additional county child welfare caseworkers. Dr. Robert Werthwien, CDHS, gave an update on the statewide youth development plan. Mr. Bicha gave an overview of the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) and the legislative priorities and budget request for the DYC. He discussed the results of the DYC audit. Mr. Bicha responded to a question regarding seclusion and relaxation rooms. Mr. Bicha discussed CDHS's domestic violence program with the committee.

11:50 AM

Mr. Bicha responded to questions from the committee regarding adult substance use and co-occuring mental health disorder.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details