The next governor and legislature should commit to eliminating the cliff effect from all state programs. They should review all the programs and laws involved and the interactions among them, and implement a comprehensive solution as soon as possible. A key component should be a sliding eligibility scale that gradually phases out benefits so that a family never loses more than it gains when its income increases.
We should fight poverty; 10 percent of Colorado???s families still live below the federal poverty line. But at least twice as many of our families and children live in the economic noman???s- land between the federal poverty line and actual selfsufficiency. We must ensure hard work pays and that necessities like housing, child care and health care are affordable. And we should make sure that low-income families can also begin to save and build assets.
The state government must examine the complexities of work support programs and create a comprehensive system that increases eligibility limits and phases benefits out gradually to avoid steep financial cliffs for working families.