Today, Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bethany Pray provided testimony for Senate Bill 24-093, Continuity of Health-Care Coverage Change. CCLP is in support of SB24-093.
CCLP Policy Fellow, Milena Castañeda testified at the Medical Services Board meeting regarding emergency rules for the NEMT.
Chaer Robert provided testimony against House Bill 24-1065, Reduction of State Income Taxes. CCLP is in opposition of HB24-1065.
Legislative Update: Feb. 1, 2019
Bill to Watch: HB 1085
The Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit Rebate (commonly known as the PTC Rebate) is targeted to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. Most rebate recipients are living on a small, fixed income and face significant financial challenges.
While helpful in offsetting property taxes, rent and heating expenses, the PTC Rebate offers only nominal relief. In 2016, 18,139 individuals received an average rebate of only $372 (or $31 a month). The current rebate has not been increased since 2014, even as housing costs have skyrocketed. As a result, low-income older adults and people with disabilities are suffering from widespread housing insecurity, and in the worst cases, homelessness. This situation also makes it more difficult to provide the supportive services that help keep these people living independently in the community. Often, the only option available is to go into a long-term care facility where the costs to Medicaid are much higher.
Sponsored by Rep. Tony Exum and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, House Bill 1085 would modestly increase eligibility, and the amounts and income thresholds for the PTC rebate, while indexing the rebates to inflation in the future. CCLP strongly supports the bill, which was approved by the House Finance Committee on Monday and moves to the House Appropriations Committee next.
On the Radar: HB 1025 and HB 1107
Hopefully the third time will be the charm for legislation that would give people with criminal records a better chance to compete in the job market. House Bill 1025, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Herod and Rep. Jovan Melton, prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on an application. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved HB 1025 on a bipartisan vote of 8-3.
A similar bill was developed by CCLP’s Jack Regenbogen in 2016. CCLP backed a similar proposal during the 2017 legislative session as well. CCLP strongly supports this legislation, which will help many Coloradans that face barriers to employment re-enter the workforce. Learn more from CBS4, Westword and The Colorado Sun.
Access to supportive services – such as emergency child care or work equipment – can make a difference between a successful start on an employment and training opportunity or a setback.
Developed by CCLP and the Skills2Compete Colorado Coalition, House Bill 1107 would create a three-year pilot program for an emergency support-services fund that community-based organizations and public agencies can draw from to serve participants that face low-cost hurdles to completing job training or maintaining employment. Benefits are capped at $400 per year per eligible job-seeker.
Sponsored in the House by Rep. James Coleman and in the Senate by Sen. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Kevin Priola, HB 1107 passed out of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on Jan. 30 on a 7-3 vote. Thanks to all of our supporters and testifiers, including Bayaud Enterprises, Good Business Colorado, Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE), the Curtis Hotel Sage Hospitality and Countless others. HB 1107 now moves to the House Appropriations Committee.
– By Bob Mook