Families are healthier, more productive and better equipped to contribute to the economy when they are able to meet their basic needs. Research also shows that parents who improve their financial well-being open more doors of opportunity for their children and position them to succeed later in life.

Through its Family Economic Security program, CCLP researches, advocates and promotes policies that forge pathways from poverty for Coloradans. In doing so, we build coalitions with our partners for systematic change and protect the rights of low-income Coloradans through legal and administrative action when necessary. CCLP’s Family Economic Security Program focuses in these areas:

  • Improving access to public benefit programs such as TANF, SNAP and CCCAP.
  • Making affordable housing available to low-income Coloradans.
  • Providing skills training and basic adult education so low-skilled and under-educated workers can earn self-sufficient wages. We promote career pathways that move Colorado families from entry level toward economic self-sufficiency.
  • Educating state leaders and communities on the importance of helping Coloradans on the road to economic self-sufficiency through the use of critical tools and resources.

Our accomplishments in Family Economic Security include:

  • CCLP developed and advocated for legislation that would enable parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to receive the child-support payments made by non-custodial parents. The bill allows the children of TANF recipients to benefit directly from their parents’ hard work.

 

  • CCLP convenes Skills2Compete Colorado, a coalition that advocates for policies promoting middle-skill jobs. The coalition was instrumental in the 2012 passage of the Skills for Jobs Act, an innovative bill designed to align Colorado’s education and training opportunities with well-paying jobs in demand and reduce the state’s skills gap. In 2014, the coalition was behind the creation of Adult Education Workforce Partnership, with first time state funding for adult education.

 

  • In 2010, CCLP led the charge to eliminate a variety of outdated, unproductive or counter-productive special tax credits and tax exemptions. The advocacy campaign helped stabilize the state’s General Fund revenue during the peak of the Great Recession and protected public benefit programs from more extreme cuts.

 

  • In 2009, CCLP was a leader in efforts to reform unemployment insurance. The efforts make it easier for the lowest-paid intermittent workers to claim unemployment subsidies.

 

  • In 2007, CCLP served as a stakeholder in the Food Stamp Challenge. The challenge encouraged legislators and public officials to experience living on a food stamp budget for a week.

 

  • In 2004, CCLP brought an action against the state following the failed implementation of the new Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS), which manages eligibility determinations and benefits for virtually all public programs. The system’s failure left thousands of people without access to health care, medications and food stamps. CCLP secured a settlement agreement requiring the state to meet benchmarks for timely and accurately processing applications, which to this day continues to hold the state accountable.

 

  • In 2000, CCLP helped secure a major victory in Weston v. Hammons. The decision ensures that TANF applicants and recipients receive due process in the form of adequate notices when their benefits are denied, reduced or terminated.

 

  • In 1999, CCLP led the charge to establish a state Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers. The credit — equal to 10 percent of the federal credit — was paid in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was recently restored for tax year 2015. Widely considered one of the most effective tools for fighting poverty, the EITC will potentially add hundreds of extra dollars in the pockets of low-income Coloradans.

 

Learn more about the program by contacting Chaer Robert, Family Economic Security Director at crobert@cclponline.org.