Highlights and News Archive

April 2014

Apr 23, 2014

Bell backs effort to increase access to retirement plans

Rich Jones, the Bell's director of policy and research, testified on Tuesday in favor of a proposal that would establish a task force to study how to ensure that more Coloradans have access to retirement plans in the workplace.

In our recent report Retirement at Risk, we described the extent to which Colorado workers have access to and participate in retirement savings plans at work.

Apr 22, 2014

Jones supports plan to ease 'cliff effect' in child-care aid

Rich Jones, the Bell's director of policy and research, testified on Thursday in favor of Senate Bill 14-3, which is designed to help Colorado counties develop pilot programs to combat the "cliff effect" that can harm low-income families receiving child-care benefits.

The bill, which makes improvements to legislation passed in 2012, was recommended by the Economic Opportunity and Poverty Reduction Task Force, which met over the summer.

Apr 21, 2014

'Retirement at risk' explores access to workplace plans

In Colorado, nearly 1 million private-sector workers in their prime working years do not participate in either traditional pension plans or 401(k)-type defined-contribution plans at work. More than 80 percent of them work for employers who do not offer any form of retirement plan, making lack of access the No. 1 reason Coloradans do not save for retirement.

Apr 14, 2014

Straight talk on health care reform: Misleading TV ads

Now that the Affordable Care Act has exceeded its enrollment goals and reduced the number of uninsured Americans, we can have some peace and quiet. Right?

Not hardly.

Midterm elections are seven months away, but we're already seeing political ads targeting the Affordable Care Act and legislators who supported it. Americans for Prosperity, an organization that opposes the ACA, is running one such ad in a number of states, including Colorado.

Apr 11, 2014

Success from the session: Protecting Colorado seniors

Colorado's senior citizens can breathe a little easier these days.

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week signed a bill that will protect more at-risk elders in our state from abuse. The legislation, Senate Bill 14-098, which was suggested by several district attorneys, clarified language to make last year's landmark legislation more effective.

Apr 10, 2014

Tell lawmakers to back adult education, literacy programs

Colorado is the only state in the nation that invests no state money – none! – in adult education and literacy programs, and we're asking your help to keep us from falling even further behind.

This is important for Colorado workers, employers and our economy.

Apr 8, 2014

Bell's Awuor testifies for accountability for tax preparers

Policy analyst George Awuor testified today in favor of a bill that aims to protect Coloradans from incompetent and unethical tax preparers.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 14-1285, would require professional tax preparers to disclose to taxpayers their qualifications, fees and year-round contact information; it also would require them sign all prepared tax documents and to state their willingness to represent a taxpayer in a government audit.

Apr 8, 2014

It's Equal Pay Day – 98 days of catching up for women

Today is Equal Pay Day.

This is the day – the 98th day of 2014 – that marks the extra time women have to work, on average, to equal the pay men earned in 2013. That's more than three extra months of doing the same work but earning 77 cents for each dollar earned by men.

This gender discrimination in the workplace has been a long-term problem, easing only slightly over more than 50 years. When the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, women working full-time, year-round jobs earned 59 cents for each dollar earned by men.

Apr 2, 2014

Panel includes part-time students after Bell testimony

It's not every day in policy work that you see immediate results from your advocacy efforts. Such was the case, however, for the Bell's Frank Waterous at the March meeting of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Some of the commissioners cited Frank's testimony on behalf of part-time students in changing their minds on which of four allocation models to approve for merit-based financial aid. Only one of the four models included part-time students in the allocation formula. In the end, the commission unanimously approved that model.