Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

Public Policy Is A Powerful Tool for Change

Our Advocacy Is Data-Driven, Nonpartisan, Trusted

When we combine the work of our direct-service grantees with the work of our public policy advocacy grantees, the impact for Colorado women is magnified.

WFCO’s data-driven and nonpartisan approach to public policy advocacy has earned us recognition as a trusted voice and leading advocate for Colorado women and their families at the Capitol.

Through a gender lens, our WAGES public policy and advocacy work includes monitoring legislation, sharing research, participating in coalitions, meeting with legislators and policy partners, and activating our statewide network to elevate issues with local legislators and put the solutions we’ve identified into law. In 2018, WFCO hosted our first-ever lobby day to train more than 60 women to become ardent advocates for Colorado women and their families.

It's about people, not politics

Since 1987, WFCO and our public policy partners have helped pass nearly 40 measures that have achieved the following:

In 2019 and beyond, we’ll continue opening doors to opportunity for women and their families by supporting legislation that creates true impact.

2018 Public Policy Results

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 throughout 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.
  • 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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