By Kathleen Hallgren Guest columnist, The Greeley Tribune
It's been said that the best anti-poverty measure is a job. But for more than a quarter of Colorado's workforce, working hard isn't enough to make ends meet.
In a recent report, we found that more than 48,000 working families in Colorado lived below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four in 2011. Another 154,085 families – 27 percent of all working families in Colorado – lived on up to twice that amount.
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You couldn't turn around at the Capitol on Thursday without bumping into a policy analyst from the Bell. We testified on some of our key bills. Here are short summaries, along with links to the full testimony.
House Bill 1136 – The Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013: Colorado was one of the first states to pass a law to protect workers from harassment and discrimination on the job, but the law has gaps that prevent some classes of workers from seeking redress. This bill would close those gaps.
The number of working families living in poverty in Colorado increased by 16,000 from 2004 to 2012 – a jump of almost 50 percent, the Bell Policy Center reports in Measuring Opportunities for Working Families, released today. In addition, the portion of all Colorado working families living in poverty increased from one in 17 to one in 12 over the same period.
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The number of working families living in poverty in Colorado increased by 16,000 from 2004 to 2012 – a jump of almost 50 percent, the Bell Policy Center reports in "Measuring Opportunities for Working Families." In addition, the portion of all Colorado working families living in poverty increased from one in 17 to one in 12 over the same period.
The General Assembly opened its 69th session on Wednesday, a mostly ceremonial day that featured speeches from the majority and minority leaders outlining their broad goals and policy objectives for the 120-day session.
Colorado plans to expand Medicaid coverage next year to cover more than 160,000 additional low-income adults, aided by cost-control savings of more than $280 million over the next 10 years, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Thursday.
"This is a step toward what we have talked about for a couple of years: How can we make sure we're making Colorado the single healthiest state in America?" Hickenlooper said.
Today, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced plans to proceed with expansion of Medicaid in Colorado as part of the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in 2014, Coloradans will be eligible for enrollment in Medicaid if their annual incomes are less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level – $30,657 per year for a family of four or $14,856 per year for an individual.