Since 1998, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy worked to enhance justice and economic security for low-income Coloradans. Highlights of our progress are listed below. See also: CCLP by the Numbers 2014.

Economic Self-Sufficiency

  • CCLP served as the lead stakeholder providing research and advocacy to Colorado’s legislative Economic Opportunity and Poverty Reduction Taskforce (EOPRTF).
  • CCLP has supported the Earned Income Tax Credit since 2000, and in 2013, played a role in the coalition that resulted in the passage of SB13-01, which established the EITC in state law.
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    More Economic Self-Sufficiency Accomplishments

    •  CCLP authors The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado, which identifies the true cost of living for low-income Colorado families and individuals. The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado has revolutionized the way policies and programs for low-income workers are structured. 
    •  Ongoing CCLP coalition efforts address support for low-income elders aging in place, including in the Latino community. CCLP partnered with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and the University of Massachusetts to publish the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index for Colorado in 2011.
    •  CCLP helped organize the Paycheck Away tours in 2006 and 2007 during which legislators and advocates traveled the state to address community forums about how close thousands of families are to losing jobs and housing and needing public assistance.
    •  In 2009, CCLP was a leader in efforts to reform unemployment insurance through the adoption of the alternative base period.
    •  CCLP serves as the administrator for the Colorado 2019 webpage, maintaining the Promising Practices database, calendar, resources list, and blog — a project first established by the EOPRTF.

Health Reform & the Affordable Care Act

  • CCLP serves as a leader in health reform implementation in Colorado. We worked to support passage of SB11-200, which established the health insurance exchange, and have worked to support and advance the establishment of that exchange, known as Connect for Health Colorado (C4HCO).
  • As the exchange was developed in 2013 CCLP helped establish a meaningful appeals process for those applying for tax credits through C4HCO and supported the appointment of two exchange board members who represent consumers served by C4HCO.
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    More Health Reform Accomplishments

    •  Between 2006-2008, CCLP’s health program director served on the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Reform.
    •  As the exchange was developed in 2013 CCLP helped to secure an additional $2.5 million to support a statewide Health Coverage Guide Network.

Medicaid & CHP+

  • CCLP has a long history of defending, protecting and expanding access to Medicaid including working to secure passage of SB13-200 expanding Medicaid eligibility to Coloradans under 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.  CCLP protects the interests of children in Medicaid, including through working to enhance access to benefits for children with significant disabilities.
  • 2,626 lawfully present pregnant immigrant women and children were ensured Medicaid eligibility due HB09-1353’s passage, which CCLP helped to secure.
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    More Medicaid & CHP+ Accomplishments

    •  In 2011, CCLP successfully opposed an increase in CHP+ premiums. CCLP estimates 2,400 children were able to continue to access health insurance through CHP+ as a result.
    •  In 2003, CCLP helped organize litigation (Soskin v. Reinertson) that delayed implementation of a law that would have terminated Medicaid eligibility for lawfully present immigrants. CCLP’s action delayed implementation until funds were secured through the passage of the tobacco tax (Amendment 35) to restore benefits, successfully ensuring no immigrants lost services.

Other Public Benefits

  • CCLP has led efforts to implement the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program which is now known as the state Colorado Works program.  CCLP worked to ensure that the voice and rights of program participants was a priority in the process.
  • In 2004, CCLP successfully challenged the failed implementation of the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS), helping ensure the timely processing of applications for public benefits. CCLP continues to monitor timely processing of benefits applications through ongoing settlement agreements with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Colorado Department of Human Services.
  • Each year, in partnership with the Economic Policy Institute, CCLP produces the State of Working Colorado as a means of taking inventory of Colorado’s economy. The data in these reports help identify and shape the development of public policies that improve the lives of low-income Coloradans.
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    More Public Benefit Accomplishments

    •  In August 2013, CCLP released the Colorado Works Handbook in partnership with the All Families Deserve a Chance (AFDC) Coalition. The handbook helps low-income Coloradans navigate the TANF program, also known as Colorado Works, in order to access temporary cash assistance, support services and workforce readiness training.
    •  CCLP led the effort to pass SB08-177, which increased the Basic Cash Assistance grant for Colorado Works recipients by 20 percent.  Cash assistance had not been increased in more than  20 years.  The bill also capped the amount of Colorado Works reserves that could be held by counties, which resulted in more money being spent on the clients the program is intended to serve.
    •  In 2000, CCLP helped secure a major victory in Weston v. Hammons, ensuring TANF applicants and recipients receive due process in the form of adequate notices when their benefits are denied, reduced or terminated.
    •  In 2007, CCLP served as a stakeholder in the Food Stamp Challenge, encouraging legislators and public officials to experience living on a food stamp budget for a week.

Job Training & Adult Basic Education

  • CCLP serves as the lead facilitator for the Skills2Compete (S2C) Colorado Campaign, which advocates for policies that promote of middle-skill jobs.
  • In 2012, the S2C coalition worked to help pass the “Skills for Jobs Act,” an innovative bill that aligns Colorado’s job openings with education and training outcomes and reduce the state’s skills gap.
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    More Job Training & Adult Basic Education Accomplishments

    •  CCLP was one of the main advocates for the passage of HB 13-1005, establishing IBEST – Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training.

Health Care Costs & Affordability

  • CCLP works to ensure access to quality, affordable care, and in 2013 published a series of issues briefs, Our Dollars, Our Health, revealing dramatic variances in Colorado hospital costs and the arbitrary nature used to determine charges for care.
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    More Health Care Costs & Affordability Accomplishments

    •  CCLP played a significant role in the passage of HB12-134, which requires hospitals to distribute information about their charity care policies and offer discount programs to any uninsured Coloradans under 250 percent FPL.
    •  In 2008, CCLP published the Cost of Care, Can Coloradans Afford Health Care. The report examined how much Colorado families have to spend on health care once they meet basic expenses.
    •  CCLP represented a coalition of stakeholders known as the Conversions Project in the administrative proceeding before the Division of Insurance regulating the conversion of Blue Cross Blue Shield from a not for profit to a for profit corporation. The Caring for Colorado Foundation was established in 1999 as a result of the conversion.

Fiscal Policy

  • In 2010, CCLP led the advocates’ charge for the elimination of special tax credits and exemptions to help stabile state General Fund revenue during the heart of the Great Recession and protect public benefit programs from more extreme cuts.
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    More Fiscal Policy Accomplishments

    •  CCLP is a leader in on-going efforts to mitigate the “cliff effect” which penalizes low-income workers who receive minimal wage increases by reducing or eliminating benefits.
    •  CCLP committed to research on the economic impact of immigration in Colorado, and in 2013 published a series of documents highlighting the net benefits of immigration.
    •  In 2009, CCLP worked with allies to repeal a little known provision in state law known as the Arveschoug-Bird rule that had kept spending increases for the state’s General Fund to a maximum of six percent annually. Repealing this provision relieved pressure on the state budget and, as a result, helped protect public benefit programs.
    •  In 2002, CCLP hosted a series of training sessions for speakers to educate community groups about the impact of TABOR.
    •  In 2002, CCLP organized the first annual Budget Works workshop, which intended to give an overview of the state budget worked and current major issues each year.  This was to educate advocates about the state budget process and major issues so they would be better equipped to work on behalf of low income people.

 

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