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

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

In 2018 and beyond, we’ll continue opening doors to opportunity for women and their families by supporting legislation that creates true impact.

2018 Bills and measures that we support

In support of our mission and current strategic plan, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado has established the following public policy priorities in 2018:

  • Address root causes of poverty and promote economic security
  • Advance opportunities to achieve a livable wage and pay equity
  • Expand access to work supports, training, and education
  • Improve Colorado's tax and budget policies to allow for sufficient resources to be dedicated to WFCO priorities
  • Promote and protect issues and rights aligned with the core values of The Women's Foundation of Colorado

The legislation we are supporting during the General Assembly aligns with these priorities. Please check back often for updates and additions.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

What it does:
This bill prevents pay disparities and ensures wage transparency with common sense measures such as disclosing proposed pay range in all job listings. It also closes loopholes in the Federal Equal Pay Act by ensuring Coloradans have the ability to challenge pay disparities and retaliation by employers while allowing employers to defend against a challenge to a pay disparity by showing it is based on a bona fide factor unrelated to gender.

Why it matters:
The Status of Women in Colorado 2018 from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) funded by WFCO shows the gender pay gap has narrowed for some women, but there is a long way to go to achieve equal pay for all women, and if current trends continue, women in Colorado will not see equal pay until the year 2057.

Expand Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit

What it does:
This bill would expand the existing Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit to more hardworking Colorado families and increase the amount of the credit available to all eligible taxpayers.

Why it matters:
Affordable access to quality child care is essential for women with children to participate in the workforce. This tax credit would help more Colorado women afford child care.

DHS R-07
ReHire Colorado Extension

What it does:
If approved, this budget request will continue the proven-effective ReHire Program, a transitional employment program that helps individuals with barriers to employment connect with employers to learn skills on the job. With training and supports, 78% of ReHire participants gain permanent employment.

Why it matters:
ReHire helps Colorado women improve their economic situation directly by helping participating women gain employment, as well as indirectly by helping non-custodial parents with employment so they can meet their child support payment responsibilities more fully, helping many single mothers and their families.

FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program

What it does:
Establish an employee-paid, statewide family and medical leave insurance program that would replace at least 66% of wages during leave period, depending on employee’s income level.
Why it matters:
Significant economic benefits of access to paid leave include increases in the probability that women continue working after having a child and experience wage growth following a leave period, as well as job growth and increased economic activity on the macro level.

HB 18-1004
Continue Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC)

What it does:
CCTC enables taxpayers and businesses that make monetary contributions to qualified child care providers to claim a Colorado income tax credit for 50% of the total contribution (up to $200,000). This powerful incentive for giving helps child care providers establish and operate licensed child care facilities, fund child care scholarships for families in need, and supplement professional development costs for child care workers.
Why it matters:
Colorado has one of the highest costs of child care in the U.S. CCTC would incentivize philanthropic contributions that offset costs for child care providers, so they in turn can keep their fees as low as possible for families. Letting the credit expire would diminish philanthropic support for programs that help children enter kindergarten ready to learn while enabling their parents to remain gainfully employed. Businesses benefit because they can use the tax credit for their own employees who are more likely to remain in the workforce when they have access to high-quality and affordable child care.

HB 18-1256
Sunset Continue Civil Rights Division and Commission

What it does:
The bill continues the Civil Rights Division (CCRD) and Commission for 9 years, based on the recommendations in the sunset review.
Why it matters:
CCRD plays a vital role in maintaining strength in our state economy by making Colorado an attractive place to do business and ensuring Coloradans are treated fairly. CCRD protects Coloradans from discrimination while protecting businesses from frivolous lawsuits by providing free resources to impartially investigate and mediate civil rights complaints. Discrimination exacerbates poverty and efforts to address poverty are undermined without effective anti-discrimination laws and resources.

Income Tax Credit for Endowment Contributions

What it does:
The bill allows an individual taxpayer to claim an income tax credit for a contribution of money to an eligible endowment fund that is equal to 25% of the contribution, for tax years 2019-2021.
Why it matters:
This bill would incentivize philanthropic contributions to endowments, strengthening the Colorado nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Income Tax Check-Off Nonprofit Donation Fund

What it does:
The bill will allow a taxpayer receiving a refund to designate a contribution to an eligible charitable organization of their choice on their Colorado income tax return.

Why it matters:
Creating a way for tax filers to designate a charitable contribution from their refund to any eligible Colorado nonprofit may encourage more Coloradans to support nonprofits and strengthen communities.

WAGES is made possible with the support of the Women’s Funding Network (Two-Generation Advocacy Cohort); WomenGive – United Way of Larimer County; The Chambers Fund, a donor-advised fund held at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado; and WFCO’s generous donors.

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!

  • Help inform the conversation. Share WFCO’s recent research that is informing our advocacy work. 
  • Join us to learn more. Attend an upcoming community education event and sign up for our eNewsletter to receive information and updates.
  • Reach out to legislators directly about policies 
  • 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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