Public Policy & Advocacy

We are a strong voice & passionate advocate for women & girls

Public Policy is a direct route for WFCO to drive systemic change.

Working with our partners, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado uses our strategic research, collective voice, and statewide network to affect policy and create systemic change for women & girls. We engage annually in public policy by monitoring legislation, sharing research, meeting with legislators and policy partners, and taking positions on bills that have a direct effect on women and girls being able to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

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 self-sufficiency
  • 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

Legislation Supported by WFCO

House Bill 17-1002 – Child Care Expenses Income Tax Credit Extension
This bill will help low-income women and families offset the high costs of child care, which could be up to half their incomes. A residential individual who has a federal adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less may claim a refundable state income tax credit for child care expenses. The tax credit is equal to 25% of eligible child care expenses that the individual incurred during the taxable year, up to a maximum amount of $500 for a single dependent or $1,000 for two or more dependents. The bill extends the tax credit for three more income tax years.
Status: This bill is waiting to be heard in House Appropriations.

House Bill 17-1001 Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act
Research has consistently shown that increased parental involvement in the education and schooling of their children correlates with greater academic achievement. HB 17-1001 allows employees of Colorado businesses to take up to 18 hours of leave per academic year to attend their children’s parent-teacher conferences; special education services; response to interventions for dropout prevention, attendance, truancy, or other disciplinary issues.
Status: This bill did not pass through the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee.

House Bill 17-1021 – Wage Theft Transparency Act
When information about wage theft is made public, this transparency is more likely to ensure fair and equal wages moving forward. Wage theft refers to a situation where an employer requires an employee to work off the clock, does not pay overtime, or commits other labor law violations. Currently the law treats wage theft as a trade secret, and instances are not made public.
Status: This bill pass through the Senate Business, Labor & Technology committee and is waiting to be considered by the full Senate.

House Bill 17-1135 – Portability Background Checks Child Care Workers
Following WFCO's 2014 Child Care Affordability Research with Qualistar Colorado and the Colorado Children's Campaign, we recommended that Colorado child care centers explore innovative practices to improve efficiency. The bill creates a new provision that allows a child care worker who is employed in a licensed facility that is wholly owned, operated, and controlled by a common ownership group or school district to transfer the background check to another licensed facility that is owned, operated, or controlled by the same common ownership group or school district. This efficiency can save costs for child care employers and workforce and expedite employment.
Status: This bill has been signed into law by Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper.

House Bill 17-1184 – Modern Technology Education in Public School: Computer Science & Technology Training for Students & Teachers
This bill will add technology skills into current content standards. It will also require the Colorado Department of Education to create a publicly available and voluntary resource bank that will include a list of industry experts who can co-teach computer science in the classroom. When girls and other underserved populations have access to STEM education they are more likely to continue their studies in these fields.
Status: This bill will be heard on 3/23/17 in the Senate Education committee.

House Bill 17-1187 – Change Excess State Revenue's Cap Growth Factor
WFCO wants to ensure there are resources to support Colorado's women and girls in achieving economic self-sufficiency. TABOR, an amendment to Colorado's constitution, creates a complex path for state policymakers to navigate when setting tax and budget priorities. This is a barrier for the state being able to provide programs and services that support Colorado's most vulnerable populations. HB 17-1187 proposes to modernize the current TABOR formula by tying revenue growth to personal income, a much more accurate indicator of the economy and a more reflective measure of state revenue.
Status: This bill did not pass through the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee.

House Bill 17-1191 – Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills
This bill would allow for the staff of the legislative council to prepare demographic notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the General Assembly. A demographic note would use available data to outline the potential effects of a piece of legislation on various populations within the state. Populations may be identified by race, gender, disability, age, geography, income, or any other relevant characteristic for which data are available. By seeing disparities in these areas, lawmakers are better equipped to ensure their policies are truly aimed at the Coloradans they are intended to benefit.
Status: This bill is waiting to be heard in House Appropriations.

HB17-1269 – Extend Pay Transparency Protections to All Employees
Wage transparency promotes fair and equal wages among workers. Policies like this one ensure that women in the workplace are legally able to share their salary and/or wages. Current law states that it is a discriminatory and unfair labor practice for an employer to discharge, discipline, discriminate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any employee or other person because the employee inquired about, disclosed, compared, or otherwise discussed the employee's wages, unless otherwise permitted by federal law. Federal law exempts certain limited classes of employers, including federal and state governments, from labor laws. The bill strikes the reference to that exemption and extends the current law to those classes of employers, thereby providing wage transparency protections to all employees.
Status: This bill will be heard on 3/30/17 in the House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor.

Senate Bill 17-118 – Information on Private Occupational Schools
The bill expands the information that private occupational schools (schools) must provide to prospective students before the student enrolls in a program, including program completion rates, post-graduation employment rates, average and median student loan debt, loan repayment rates, and legal barriers to entry into an occupation for which the school provides a training program.
Status: This bill did not pass through the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs.

Check back frequently for updates on legislation WFCO supports or opposes.

Legislative Infographic

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Give today for women and girls

2016 Election Outcomes

2016 Public Policy Outcomes

2015 Public Policy Outcomes

2014 Public Policy Outcomes

2013 Public Policy Outcomes

Thank you members of the General Assembly for your commitment to Colorado and our public policy partners for their tremendous work to improve economic opportunities for Colorado’s women and girls, especially grant partners:

9to5 Colorado

The Bell Policy Center

Colorado Center on Law and Policy

Colorado Children’s Campaign

Colorado Fiscal Institute

Colorado Succeeds

We also thank our lobbying partners Frontline Public Affairs, and the Chambers Fund and WomenGive for generously supporting The Women’s Foundation of Colorado policy and advocacy efforts.

Join Us

WFCO invites you to join us in leading systemic change on behalf of women and girls. Through a unified voice we can influence positive community outcomes. Here's how you can help women:

  • Join us to learn more. Sign up to receive emails from WFCO on upcoming educational events and action alerts.

  • Give for women and girls. Power systemic change, eradicate barriers, and create opportunities for women and girls by donating to WFCO today.
  • Share your ideas with us. If you see a challenge in your community that could be improved by a policy change, email us at


The Women’s Foundation of Colorado — 1901 East Asbury Avenue Denver, CO 80208 – (303) 285-2960 
© 2014  All rights reserved


Building resources and leading change so that every woman and girl in Colorado achieves her full potential.

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The Women’s Foundation of Colorado — 1901 East Asbury Avenue Denver, CO 80208 – (303) 285-2960
© 2016  All rights reserved