WAGES Public Policy Advocacy

We Advocate for Systemic Solutions

One of the most powerful ways to affect long-term systemic opportunity for women across Colorado is through legislation. WFCO’s data-driven and nonpartisan approach to advocacy has earned us recognition as a trusted voice and advocate for Colorado women and their families at the Capitol.

Through a gender lens, our WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) 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.

With our public policy grantees, we’ve helped pass nearly 40 bills that have increased access to high-quality child care, raised the minimum wage to $12 by 2020, and eliminated barriers to pay equity. In 2018, we’ll continue opening doors to opportunity for women and their families by supporting bills that create true impact.


In support of our mission and current strategic plan, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado applies a gender lens to the following public policy priorities:
  • 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


Bills and Measures That We Support

In alignment with our public policy priorities, WFCO has confirmed support of the following measures during the 2018 General Assembly. Check back often for the status of these bills as well as additional ones we’ll support.

Bill What It Does Why It Matters


Expand Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit

  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

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.

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

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. 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)

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. 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

The bill continues the Civil Rights Division (CCRD) and Commission for 9 years, based on the recommendations in the sunset review. 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

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. This bill would incentivize philanthropic contributions to endowments, strengthening the Colorado nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.


Income Tax Check-Off Nonprofit Donation Fund

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.

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.

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