It might be tempting to sit this upcoming election out, but there are several statewide ballot measures we will be voting on. One of them will directly impact our Haven programs – Amendment 78. If passed, Amendment 78 will negatively impact the Haven, Reflections for Women, and the Baby Haven. We stand in agreement with the Colorado Nonprofit Association (CNA) and The Colorado Providers Association (COPA), and many others, in opposition to Amendment 78.
Amendment 78 would require federal block grants and foundation grants to go into a newly created custodial fund and await legislative direction for it to be appropriated for its intended use. Federal Block Grants and SAMSHA grants are a significant part of the operating budget of Addiction Research and Treatment Services (ARTS, Haven, and Peer 1).
It is also important to note that gifts and donations to Colleges and Universities are also included. The legislature meets January through early April each year which inherently puts a delay on passing the money through to the nonprofit or to a university. Cash flow for many nonprofits is critical and presents a razor thin margin to their operating budget. Additionally, if your donation is designated for a specific project, Amendment 78 not only imposes a delay but also gives an opportunity for the legislature to influence the requirements of the program which are already highly regulated by the Colorado Office of Children and Families.
COPA states, “Amendment 78 would directly impact statewide Substance Use Behavioral Health Providers in a potentially profound way by making funding for services even more challenging to access than they already are, further inhibiting individuals’ access to behavioral health care in a time of crisis.”
CNA further clarifies by stating “Amendment 78 causes more problems than it solves. While the idea of increased transparency is appealing, Colorado should not take decisions away from state agencies that manage programs funded with custodial funds every day. State legislators often lack direct experience with these programs and are heavily influenced by political pressures.”
We hope you will take these points into consideration when voting this year. Your vote matters and you have the power to help determine public policy.
Colorado Nonprofit Association Ballot Guide