Apr 29, 2016

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Legislative Update: April 29, 2016

by | Apr 29, 2016

Activity at the State Capitol is accelerating at a rapid pace with the Legislative Session set to adjourn on May 11.

Here’s a quick rundown of CCLP’s legislative priorities and their status:

* House Bill 1050  was killed by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a 3-2 vote on Wednesday. The measure, which was approved by the Colorado House of Representatives the previous week, would have created a task force charged with evaluating how state agencies could coordinate to meet the childcare needs of low-income parents who wish to advance their education. Though some legislators questioned the need for the legislation, CCLP maintains that such a task force is necessary in order to help low-income parents obtain the skills needed to improve their economic security and chart a path to self-sufficiency. We expect to revisit this critical issue in 2017.

* HB 1386 was approved by the House on Monday and will be heard by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on May 2. The bill creates a $300,000 grant program to assist with fees required to retrieve birth certificates, divorce and marriage decrees and other documents needed to obtain a state-issued identification card. Obtaining a photo ID is critical to getting Coloradans in difficult circumstances care and services. It’s also needed to obtain employment, housing or to open a bank account. HB 1386 will make a small – but critical — investment in the health and security of Coloradans who need it the most.

* HB 1388 was approved by the House on Wednesday and will be heard by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on May 4. The bill prohibits private-sector employers from inquiring about criminal history in preliminary application forms. Evidence shows such “ban-the-box” policies give applicants a fair chance at securing employment that could help them support their families and avoid recidivism. Contrary to claims from the bill’s opponents, the measure does not force employers to hire felons nor does it prevent them from conducting background checks or asking about criminal history in job interviews. The bill merely removes a small barrier to self-sufficiency for those whose prospects might be limited due to past mistakes. We hope the committee will see value in this important bill and move it forward.

With less than seven days left in the session, CCLP also anticipates a bill that would draw from millions of dollars from the state’s unclaimed property trust fund to help low-income tenants defray high rental costs and provide financing to developers of low-income housing units. We also are working on a bill that could increase protections for tenants in month-to-month rental arrangements – when a tenant lives at a residence without a written lease.

– Bob Mook

Recent articles

Remarks on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The following remarks are provided by CCLP's executive director Tiffani Lennon. An attack on access to reproductive health is an attack on access to healthcare. Today’s attack on healthcare affects everyone, but particularly those experiencing poverty, with a...