Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

2018 Public Policy Results

A Session of Hits and Misses for Women’s Economic Progress

In the 2018 legislative session, Colorado hit some high notes for women in the workplace but missed several key opportunities to foster their economic security.

Progress made

  • Expand Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit – HB18-1208: This key measure will ease hardworking families’ tight budgets by expanding access to an income tax credit and helping them save on costly child care expenses. An estimated $3.5 million will be available for low-income families.
  • Rehire – HB18-1334: This bill reauthorized the transitional employment program for five more years. Rehire Colorado will directly improve the financial situations of single mothers by helping them develop skills needed to secure good jobs. It will indirectly improve their financial situations by giving noncustodial parents, mostly fathers, opportunities to obtain employment so that they can meet their child support payment responsibilities.
  • Continuing Child Care Contribution Tax Credit – HB18-1004: The five-year extension of the child care contribution tax credit expands investments in child care, which boost the quality of care and increase affordability. The measure will incentivize an estimated $60 million in investments in child care centers and other youth-serving organizations.
  • Continue Civil Rights Division and Commission – HB18-1256: This reauthorization will ensure justice and equity-focused work that safeguards fair workplaces for women occurs at the state level for nine more years.
  • Income Tax Check-Off Nonprofit Donation Fund – SB18-141: This bill will strengthen the nonprofit sector and promote philanthropy. Taxpayers who receive a state tax refund will be able to designate a contribution from that refund directly to eligible charitable organizations of their choice.
  • Long-acting Reversible Birth Control (LARC): The Colorado state budget included support for the Colorado Family Planning Program, which offers long-acting reversible contraception to low-income women. WFCO is proud to be part of the coalition that upheld access to LARC because we know that family planning resources are essential for promoting economic security.

Progress maintained

  • Religious Organization Childcare Licensing Exemption – SB18-201: WFCO opposed this bill as it would have eroded the quality of child care in our state. The bill’s failure to advance helps to maintain the progress Colorado has made to provide high-quality child care to families.
  • Request Self-Sufficiency Medicaid Waiver Program – SB18-214: The death of the self-sufficiency Medicaid waiver program helped to ensure more limits and barriers won’t stand in the way of women’s access to the critical resources that their families need to be healthy and thrive.

Progress missed

  • Equal Pay for Equal Work – HB18-1378: Colorado missed an opportunity to boost gender equity when this bill failed to advance. It included common sense measures to promote pay transparency, prevent wage disparities, and close loopholes in the Federal Equal Pay Act.
  • FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program – HB18-1001: When this bill fizzled out, Colorado lost out on a solid strategy to support and retain women in the workplace through a statewide, employee-paid family and medical leave insurance program that would have provided partial wage replacement for workers while on leave.
  • Emergency Employment Support Services Pilot Program – HB18-1310: Colorado missed an opportunity to pilot emergency employment support services to help women living in poverty overcome barriers to employment.
  • Income Tax Credit for Endowment Contributions – HB18-1013: This bill would have strengthened nonprofit sustainability by offering income tax credits of up to 25 percent of the contribution to donors investing in eligible charitable organizations’ endowments.
  • Prohibit Seeking Salary Information on Job Applicant – HB18-1377: Passage of this bill would have promoted pay equity by making it an unfair employment practice for employers to seek wage or salary history information about a job candidate. Prior low pay should not be a reason for continuing women’s lower pay.

Join Us

WFCO invites you to join us in leading systemic change on behalf of women and their families. Through a unified voice we can influence positive community outcomes. Stay tuned for updates before, during, and after the session, and in the meantime, here's how you can help support our advocacy efforts!

  • The Womanifesto. Download and share our nonpartisan voter handbook.
  • Help inform the conversation. Share WFCO’s recent research that is informing our advocacy work.
  • Vote and advocate. Read our civic engagement guide to learn how you can make a difference, from voting to how to contact your legislators.
  • Join us to learn more. Attend an upcoming community education event and sign up for our eNewsletter to receive information and updates.
  • Follow and share. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for policy updates throughout the year.
  • Share your ideas with us. Let us know when you see a challenge in your community that could be improved by a policy change, email us at wfco@wfco.org.

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