The Second Regular Session of the 74th General Assembly kicked off on January 10, 2024. We will update this page throughout the session to reflect Colorado Center on Law and Policy’s anti-poverty priorities and, as new bills are introduced, our positions on them.

CCLP’s priority platform for 2024

Our 2024 Legislative Priorities Platform identifies five policy areas where the opportunity exists to make real change, in partnership with other advocacy groups, community members, legislators, and state leaders.

Expanding access to justice

CCLP advocates to ensure Coloradans have the tools to assert their rights, whether that means access to courts or greater accountability by private and public entities.

Removing administrative burden

CCLP aims to reduce unnecessary hurdles that are so often a barrier for people who face poverty so that Coloradans can meet their basic needs and become self-sufficient.

Preserving affordable communities

CCLP supports housing initiatives centering community priorities and furthering a path toward affordability for all renters in Colorado, including mobile home park residents.

Progressive tax and wage policies

CCLP continues to back progressive tax and wage policies that boost the incomes of working families and bring more stability to household budgets.

Reducing health care costs

CCLP aims is to keep health care industry accountable, ensuring they provide Coloradans with the care and coverage they need, and honoring their commitment to the public good.

CCLP’s bills for 2024

HB24-1294, Updates to Mobile Home Park Act

With over 100,000 residents across Colorado, mobile homes provide an opportunity for homeownership at a lower price than traditional single-family homes. While current legislation (the Mobile Home Park Act) establishes guidelines for the responsibilities of homeowners and park owners and increases protections for lot renters, critical gaps remain, leaving park residents vulnerable to displacement and financial harm. The proposed updated protections for mobile homeowners bill seeks to address these gaps by providing greater transparency in Rent to Own Agreements between park owners and residents, restricting enforcement of arbitrary park rules, and expanding accessibility. Additionally, the bill aims to promote equity in rent prices for new park residents and will introduce a “naughty list” for mobile home parks that will be prohibited from raising rents due to existing violations. Through these measures, the bill will provide greater safeguards for park residents and work toward a more secure and equitable living environment.

CCLP proudly SUPPORTS House Bill 24-1294! Read the fact sheet here (updated 02/15/2024.)

HB24-1294 was assigned to the House Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee on 02/14/2024.

HB24-1133, Updates to Clean Slate Act

Colorado passed the Colorado Clean Slate Act nearly unanimously in 2022, a piece of legislation that stands to improve the social and economic well-being of people with past, non-violent records. This year, we are working again with Colorado’s Clean Slate Coalition on a handful of fixes to that act, providing clarification and bringing changes that will reduce administrative burdens for courts and for Coloradans who deserve a second chance.

CCLP is in SUPPORT of House Bill 24-1133!

HB24-1133 was referred amended to the House Appropriations Committee on 02/21/2024.

Necessary Documents ID bill

The Necessary Documents Program was made permanent by Senate Bill 21-018 and is currently funded at $300,000 per year from the Colorado’s General Fund. The current funding falls short of meeting the true need. Social service providers routinely run out of vouchers to distribute to clients in need, and in some cases spend thousands covering the costs out of pocket. The program also poses administrative challenges, including the complicated program structure, delayed voucher transfers, and rigid identity verification standards. Additionally, vouchers are time-limited, remaining valid for only 30 days after distribution to a client, making the utilization rate extremely low, at roughly 30%. The goal of our bill is to increase funding for this program to $900,000 and create a system for a paperless voucher to reduce barriers to accessing this service.

CCLP proudly SUPPORTS the Necessary Documents ID bill. Read the fact sheet here (updated 2/15/2024.) OR y en español (actualizado el 15/02/2024.)

The Necessary Documents ID bill has not yet been introduced in the Colorado General Assembly.

HB24-1286, Colorado Equal Justice Fund

Colorado ranks 31st in the nation in per capita state legal aid funding; that’s only 1 legal aid lawyer for every 13,000 eligible low-income residents. Long wait times for representation are an egregious violation of Coloradan’s right to access justice, especially for our most vulnerable populations. This bill will create the Colorado Equal Justice Fund, paid for by a small increase in civil court filing fees, to fund more legal services for those who are currently going unrepresented when their rights are being violated.

CCLP is in SUPPORT of House Bill 24-1286! Learn more on CCLP’s Colorado Equal Justice Fund page or read Colorado Access to Justice Commission’s special report on Legal Aid funding in the West (opens in a new tab).

HB24-1286 was introduced on 02/13/2024 and was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

 

Check back soon for details on more bills on which CCLP will be taking positions in 2024!

Video Thumbnail for legislative preview 2024

This year CCLP co-hosted our annual Legislative Preview event with our friends at Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, online and in-person at Colorado’s Health Capitol.

Watch the recording here!

¡y en español!

2024 State Legislation List

​Throughout the legislative session, CCLP compiles a list of bills concerning economic opportunity and poverty reduction. This list will include bill sponsors, assigned committees, and the organizations that have expressed their support for or opposition to each bill.

Updated February 8

2024 Skills2Compete Workforce and Skills Legislation at the Capitol

Each year the Skills2Compete Colorado coalition takes positions on bills which focus on issues relating to skills training for adult Colorado workers.

Updated February 20, 2024

HEALTH:
HEALTH FIRST COLORADO (MEDICAID)

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.

FOOD SECURITY:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

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.

FOOD SECURITY:
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

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.

EARLY LEARNING:
COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CCCAP)

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.