Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

2021 Legislative Priorities

Through a nonpartisan and gender-focused approach to public policy, we will use the following criteria to identify the specific bills we will support to advance Colorado women and their families. 

  • Does it address root causes of poverty and promote economic security?
  • Does it improve Colorado's tax and budget policies to allow for sufficient resources to be dedicated to WFCO priorities?
  • Does it promote and protect issues and rights aligned with the core values of WFCO?

 

Early child care worker looking over young child paintingEarly Care and Education (ECE) Promotes Economic Security

Colorado’s early care and education sector is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. Think it’s just a problem for working parents? There’s a ripple effect to the health of our economy. Everyone relies on someone who relies on child care and it’s an essential ingredient for the growth of women's economic mobilty and all businesses. This has never been more true following the COVID-19 global pandemic. To get more people into child care careers and rebuild the sector, it’s going to take multiple strategies.

With input from our cohort of direct-service and public-policy grantees, over 50 ECE and workforce development experts, and public sectors across the state, WFCO will continue to prioritize legislation that will advance the sector. Each year the governor proposes a state budget. This year, Gov. Polis included two very important budget line items that WFCO has identified as key policy priorities:

1. Support for Early Childhood Educator Workforce - $1.2 million to create and fund a Recruitment and Retention Grant and Scholarship Program

2. CCCAP Early Childhood Educator Salary Increase - $3.0 million to create and implement a pilot grant program studying the impact of subsidized wages for ECE educators; $2.8 million for wage increases, $200,000 for program administration and evaluation

 

See below for all of the bills we're taking a position on in support of these priorities:

 

 

Status Key:
Bill is activeActive Bill failedFailed Bill passedPassed signed iconSigned Bill vetoed Vetoed

 

 

Active: Introduced, in process
Failed: Will not move forward this session
Passed: By Colorado State House of Representatives and Senate
Signed: By Colorado Governor
Vetoed: By Colorado Governor

 

Here's What We're Taking Positions on in 2021:

 Bill #
Title 
What It Does
Why We Have Taken A Position
WFCO Position
Status
NA - Budget Item Support For Early Childhood Educator Workforce

$1.2 million to create and fund a recruitment and retention grant and scholarship program for ECE educators

If passed, this budget line item will help individuals earn credits, credentials, and degrees to meet licensing requirements to serve as qualified, high-quality ECE educators

Support Bill is active
NA - Budget Item Early Childhood Educator Salary Increase

$3 million to create and implement a pilot program studying the impact of subsidized wages for ECE educators

If passed, this budget line item would address the low wages of ECE educators and demonstrate impact Support Bill is active
NA - Not Yet Introduced Emergency Supplies for CO Babies and Families

This bill requires the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to select one or more nonprofit organizations to administer diaper distribution centers to provide $4 million in funding for diapering essentials to low-income families.

WFCO learned from the WFCO Relief Fund that many Colorado families are being forced to decide between buying food and diapers. Support Bill is active
NA - Not Yet Introduced Increase the Supply of Family Child Care Homes

This bill requires local regulatory entities to treat family child care homes as residences.

Between 2002 and 2018, Colorado has lost more than 11,600 licensed slots in family child care homes. By reducing burdensome regulatory requirements, this bill could allow for an increase in family child care homes. Support Bill is active
NA - Not Yet Introduced Medicaid Expansion for Family Planning Services

1) expanding income eligibility for family planning services through Medicaid to cover moderate income Coloradans.
2) expanding access to family planning services through Medicaid to include undocumented Coloradans who are income eligible and improving access to contraceptives for all who are eligible for family planning services through Medicaid.

In alignment with WFCO’s reproductive statement and our longstanding support for improving access to family planning care, these efforts would allow for more individuals to access vital family planning resources. Support Bill is active
NA - Not Yet Introduced Expansion of EITC and Funding CTC

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are two tools that provide tax relief to low-income families.

WFCO supports expanding eligibility for the EITC and funding the CTC to ensure that low-income people have access to more resources to support their families. Support Bill is active

 

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram for policy updates throughout the year and participate in Facebook Live discussions with our programs team.
  • 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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