On the first day of this year's legislative session, Senators John Morse and John Kefalas introduced the Working Families Opportunity Act as Senate Bill 1. That first-bill status reflects the importance that lawmakers place in helping low- and moderate-income families still struggling as we emerge from the Great Recession.
Testimony to the House Education Committee Frank Waterous, Senior Policy Analyst March 25, 2013
My name is Frank Waterous, and I am a senior policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a non-partisan, non-profit research and policy organization founded on progressive values and dedicated to expanding opportunity for all Coloradans.
Saturday is the third anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. In that time, the law has survived legal challenges that went all of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court as well as opposition during the 2012 elections. Most of the Affordable Care Act will be implemented by the end of 2014.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill into law that will allow civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado.
For the first time, these couples will have many of the same rights, protections and obligations of heterosexual couples, which will lead to more financially stable, self-sufficient and mutually supportive households. Now, children of same-sex couples will have greater protection and security.
The expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act will help thousands of Colorado families who lack insurance. You've probably heard that.
What you might not have heard is that the expansion will greatly benefit a large number of Colorado's aging baby boomers. These are low-income residents between the ages of 50 and 64 who may be in great need of health care coverage but often are not be able to afford it.
Lawmakers received good news about the state's economy on Monday as economists from the legislature and the governor's office presented positive forecasts to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC).
Colorado's economy continues to outperform the national economy as we experience a growth in jobs, an improving housing market and increasing retail sales, especially automobiles. It is "among the most vibrant in the nation," according to the Legislative Council Staff.
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.