Nov 1, 2018

Recent articles

25th anniversary recap

On August 10, 2023, CCLP celebrated our 25th anniversary, bringing friends new and old to the Carriage House at the Governor's Residence.


by | Nov 1, 2018

It is with enormous gratitude and appreciation for you and for our work together, that I am sharing my decision to step down as Executive Director of Colorado Center on Law and Policy.  I have asked CCLP’s Board of Directors to have a successor in place by June 1, 2019.

After five years of leading CCLP, it is a good time for new leadership. I’m proud to say that the organization is strong, CCLP staff is respected as agents of change locally, statewide and nationally, and we have accomplished so much in partnership with you, our community of supporters.

During the past five years, CCLP has grown and taken on new issues. We are working on housing – both affordability and security, the challenges of becoming economically secure with a criminal record, mental health parity, immigrant access to health and many other challenges people face in an economy that does not always pay a fair wage for hard work. CCLP is poised to expand its advocacy on food security and consumer protections. We are doing in-depth research using sophisticated data analysis. We have been working together to understand the challenges of implicit bias and systemic racism, and to incorporate what we are learning into every aspect of our work and the organization. We are about to release new editions of three comprehensive reports that explain why so many Coloradans struggle to meet their basic needs even as unemployment falls to an all-time low. Basically, things are humming along and we are truly making a difference.

I know that as I pass the baton to a new leader, CCLP will continue to grow, evolve and serve communities in need. We are fortunate to have some of the most passionate, creative and energetic people I have ever had the privilege to work with. That won’t change after I bid farewell.

CCLP’s Board of Directors will soon begin searching for a new Executive Director. As CCLP has placed racial equity at the forefront of our work, I know the Board is committed to recruiting candidates with diverse experiences from diverse backgrounds. I will work to ensure that the transition smooth and successful.

In the meantime, we are all working hard! We will advance a challenging agenda during the next legislative session and continue our robust advocacy with state administrative agencies.  We will work with the in-coming gubernatorial administration to see that economic and social justice is imbedded in all state services. As the 2019 legislative session draws to a close next May, I am confident that you will be as impressed as ever in what this small organization has accomplished.

To be absolutely clear, I am not retiring and I hope to continue advocating for the issues I am passionate about for many years to come.

The opportunity to lead this organization has offered me challenges and growth. I will always to grateful to the Board of Directors for entrusting me with the future of CCLP and to you, our friends and supporters, for aiding in my success.

With gratitude,

Claire Levy
Executive Director
Colorado Center on Law and Policy

Recent articles

25th anniversary recap

On August 10, 2023, CCLP celebrated our 25th anniversary, bringing friends new and old to the Carriage House at the Governor's Residence.


To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.


Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.


Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.


Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.