The First Regular Session of Colorado’s 74th General Assembly kicked off January 9, 2023. We will update this page throughout the session to reflect Colorado Center on Law and Policy’s anti-poverty priorities and, as new bills are introduced, our positions on them.
CCLP’s priorities for 2023
HB23-1126: Medical Debt Credit Reporting Protections
One in 8 Coloradans (12.1%) has medical debt in collections. As a whole, Coloradans hold an estimated $1.3 billion in medical debt. We also know that certain groups are disproportionately impacted by medical debt, including people of color, people earning low- and moderate-incomes, people with disabilities, people in poor health, young people, women, and LGBTQ+ people. The impacts of medical debt vary greatly, but can lead to detrimental physical and mental health outcomes, through both avoidance of further medical care and the health effects of stress.
Currently in Colorado, medical debt is reported on consumer reports and credit reports. This compounds the harm for those facing debt, by impacting financial health and reducing economic stability, creating barriers for affected individuals wherever consumer reports are used.
HB23-1126 would improve the credit reporting situation for 700,000 Coloradans by:
- Stopping medical debt from being included on credit reports by adding it to the list of types of information that consumer reporting agencies are not allowed to report.
- Ensuring more Coloradans’ personal information is protected by narrowing the circumstances when otherwise protected information can be shared.
- Informing impacted consumers about their new rights by requiring debt collectors to notify Coloradans with medical debt that medical debt can no longer be included on credit reports, except under narrow circumstances.
CCLP is proud to SUPPORT HB23-1126, tackling the heavy burden of medical debt in Colorado. Read more on our Fact Sheet, here. (PDF, updated 2023-01-31)
HB23-1112: Income tax credits for struggling families
Workers in the lowest paid jobs can’t afford to meet basic needs. Those with young children face the biggest gap between earnings and cost of basic needs. A new bill could increase the State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increase the State Child Tax Credit. These two tax credits have been proven effective in reducing poverty.
HB23-1112 would bolster both of these tax credits by increasing the credits a Coloradan can claim. For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, the bill increases the earned income tax credit that a resident individual can claim on their state income tax return to 40% of the federal credit claimed on the resident individual’s federal income tax return. For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, the bill changes the definition of “eligible child” to match the age of eligibility for the federal credit, increases percentages of the federal credit that a resident individual can claim for the child tax credit on their state income tax return by 20%, 10%, or 5% depending on the resident individual’s income level, and requires the department of revenue to adjust for inflation the income levels set forth to determine eligibility for the credit.
HB23-1124: Funding SNAP E&T
Bill sponsors: Rep. Mandy Lindsay and Sen. Rhonda Fields.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s Employment and Training component (SNAP E&T) provides training and support services for SNAP-eligible individuals. This bill proposes to expand that training and support, and expand funding for new and existing third-party partners to provide these services. This bill will renew the funding for enhanced training, employment and support services for a further 2 years, providing $3 million in additional state funding over that time, and drawing down an additional $3m in federal funding. These are much-needed resources as the pandemic’s Public Health Emergency draws to a close.
HB23-1124 requires the general assembly to annually appropriate $1.5 million from the general fund to the department of human services for continued employment support and job retention services and to continue to support work-based learning opportunities for Colorado employment first participants.
CCLP and the SKills2Compete – Colorado Coalition SUPPORT HB23-1124, funding SNAP E&T for Colorado. Read more on our new HB23-1124 SNAP E&T Fact Sheet. (PDF, updated 2023-02-01)
SB23-007: Adult Education
Sponsors: Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer, Representative Cathy Kipp, Representative Marc Catlin
300,000 Colorado adults lack a high school diploma. Many of the same individuals also have limited or no digital skills. Without these skills, people face limited job options, lower wages and challenges in daily activities. SB23-007 would help Coloradans by:
- Making changes to adult education programs to better serve adults with less than a 9th grade education
- Adding digital literacy as a core function of adult education
- Allowing Community Colleges to grant high school diplomas to their own students.
CCLP SUPPORTS SB23-007, enhancing adult education in Colorado. Read more about SB23-007 here and about Adult Education in Colorado here. (Both fact sheets provided by Spring Institute.)
2023 State Legislation List
Throughout the legislative session, CCLP will compile a list of bills concerning economic opportunity and poverty reduction. This list will include bill sponsors, assigned committees, and the organizations that have expressed their support for or opposition to each bill.
Stay tuned for the first edition coming soon.
Legislative Preview 2023
On January 4, CCLP hosted its 2023 Legislative Preview virtual event. Watch the event on our Youtube channel to learn more. (Spanish language video coming soon.)