Mar 17, 2017

Recent articles

CCLP testifies in support of Clean Slate updates

Bethany Pray, CCLP’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer, provided testimony in support of House Bill 24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes. CCLP is in support of HB24-1133, as it is one of our priority bills.

CCLP testifies in support of TANF grant rule change

CCLP's Emeritus Advisor, Chaer Robert, provided written testimony in support of the CDHS rule on the COLA increase for TANF recipients. If the rule is adopted, the cost of living increase would go into effect on July 1, 2024.

Legislative Update: March 17, 2017

by | Mar 17, 2017

Tenants need more notice
With affordable housing becoming increasing scarce and rents getting higher, landlords hold the advantage in Colorado’s ever-tightening rental market. Unfortunately, because landlords are only required to give seven days’ notice on rent increases or terminations on “month-to-month” tenancies, tenants can literally be left out in the cold. Recent reports indicate that Colorado’s population of homeless families has been growing as affordable housing becomes harder and harder to find.

Having only seven days to find a new home would be problematic for anyone, but the short notice is even more onerous for those with disabilities, senior citizens, low-income individuals with few affordable options and tenants with young children. Though landlords have a right to raise rent or end a month-to-month tenancy, renters need more than seven days to secure a new place, pack their household and move.

Fortunately, a bipartisan legislative proposal would give tenants more time. CCLP is working with Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson and Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, on legislation that will extend the state’s notification period for month-to-month tenants from seven days to 21 days. The bill also requires renters to provide 21 days’ notice to a landlord before deciding to move, which would be helpful for landlords should the market slacken again. Currently, 47 states require more than seven days’ notice on month-to-month tenancies. In fact, most states require 30 days notification – and some states require an even longer period of time.

CCLP is proud to support this bill because it gives Coloradans across the economic spectrum a little more breathing room to find a new home when they learn that their rent is going up or are told their lease is ending. The bill is a practical measure that respects both the landlords’ and the tenants’ needs.

The Notice to Quit bill has been filed and should drop soon. Last year, CCLP supported a similar bill with a 28-day notification period. Learn more about it in this blog posting.

Bill to Watch: SB 216
At a time when debt collectors top the list of all complaints received by the Attorney General, Colorado needs the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Indeed, the most common complaint is regarding debt collectors who continue to harass consumers for debt that wasn’t theirs or that they no longer owed. First passed in 1978, the act gives the AG the ability to license and regulate debt collectors and debt-buyers.

Senate Bill 216, sponsored by Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, would renew the act, which is now under sunset review. Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies recommends extending the act for 11 years and requires debt collectors to provide all relevant documentation regarding an original transaction in the sale of a debt.

CCLP joins its partners in strongly supporting SB 216 because it continues a vital source of consumer protection for Coloradans and strengthens current law to make sure debt buyers have adequate documentation before attempting to collect from consumers. Maintaining Colorado’s consumer protections on debt collection practices is all the more critical given signals that the Trump Administration may dismantle the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Introduced on March 14, the bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on April 3.

On the Radar: HB 1195
New parents already endure a lot of financial stress. Along with providing food, shelter and clothing for a newborn baby, they often need to juggle work and child-care schedules. On top of all of that, parents can spend up to $100 a month on diapers alone.

While food is exempt from sales tax, diapers are not. And while the sales tax burden from diapers probably won’t make or break families financially, it certainly doesn’t help. Indeed, for many low-income families, every penny counts.
HB 1195, sponsored by Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, creates a state sales-tax exemption for the sale, storage and use of diapers, beginning next year. CCLP supports the bill. HB 1195 was approved by the House Finance Committee and is currently awaiting review from the House Appropriations Committee.
– By Bob Mook

Recent articles

CCLP testifies in support of Clean Slate updates

Bethany Pray, CCLP’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer, provided testimony in support of House Bill 24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes. CCLP is in support of HB24-1133, as it is one of our priority bills.

CCLP testifies in support of TANF grant rule change

CCLP's Emeritus Advisor, Chaer Robert, provided written testimony in support of the CDHS rule on the COLA increase for TANF recipients. If the rule is adopted, the cost of living increase would go into effect on July 1, 2024.


To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.


Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.


Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.


Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.