2016 Legislative Results

In 2016, WFCO set the following priorities to guide our advocacy work:

  • Address root causes of poverty and promote self-sufficiency
  • Promote pay equity and civil rights
  • Expand access to work supports
  • Expand access to training and education
  • Dedicate resources for WFCO priorities
  • Improve nonprofit sector

Address root causes of poverty and promote self-sufficiency

WFCO is supporting employment practices that provide family-friendly policies, such as paid family leave, flexible hours, and other benefits that make it possible for more women to participate in the workforce and earn family-sustaining wages while also caring for their families.

  • HB 16-1167 CO Family First Employer Award Program. The bill creates the "Colorado Family First Employer Act". The Colorado family first employer program designates Colorado employers that meet certain family-friendly criteria as Colorado family first employers. This bill passed the House, but died in the Senate.
  • HB 16-1294 Contraception Coverage Public & Private Insurance. This bill improves access to the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and applies to all women insured or covered by the Medicaid managed care program in Colorado without cost-sharing, delays or denial of coverage. It builds on current state and federal law to further Colorado’s leadership in preventing unintended pregnancy and expanding access to birth control for all.  This bill passed the House, but died in the Senate.
  • Family Planning Initiative Budget Line Item. WFCO will back a line item in the Governor's budget to support continued access to long-acting reversible contraception through the family planning program. Women who can plan their pregnancies have a better chance for greater career stability an earning potential, thus creating greater economic stability for themselves and their families. This line item was included in HB 16-1045 2016-2017 Long Appropriations Bill and was signed into law on May 3, 2016 by Gov. Hickenlooper. 

Promote pay equity and civil rights

On the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, The Women's Foundation of Colorado announced its support of a package of pay equity bills that would remove barriers to equal pay for women. These bills include:

  • HB16-1438 Employer Accomodations Related to PregnancyThis bill makes it an unfair employment practice if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations for an applicant for employment or an employee for conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. It requires each employer to provide a notice of rights regarding the unfair employment practice to his or her employees. This bill passed the House and Senate and is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper.

Expand access to work supports

WFCO believes in a two-generation approach to create opportunities for women and for their children, too. We know that when women have access to affordable and high-quality child care it allows them to earn for their families, focus on their education, or participate in job training programs.

  • HB 16-1050 Low-income Parents Ed Child Care. The bill creates a task force to address the child care needs of low-income parents of young children as the parents seek to advance their education. WFCO learned from the 2014 Cost of Care report that low-income women have difficulties accessing affordable child care while they are in education or training programs that might strengthen their career prospects. This bill passed the House, but died in the Senate.
  • SB 16-022 Child Care Assistance Cliff Effect Pilot Program. WFCO has been a long-time supporter of any legislation that might ameliorate the Cliff Effect. This bill would expand a successful pilot program to include all counties in Colorado. This bill was signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper on March 18, 2016.
  • HB 16-1227 Child Support Enforcement Mandates and CCCAP. This bill would exempt teen moms and domestic violence survivors from the child support engagement requirement as a condition of receiving CCCAP. This bill passed the House and Senate. It is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper.

Improve nonprofit sector

WFCO supports legislation that will strengthen the nonprofit sector by incentivizing contributions to endowment and institutional funds, which ensure sustainability and longevity of nonprofit organizations.

Expand access to training and education

WFCO will back a line item in the Governor's budget to support continued access to long-acting reversible contraception through the family planning program. Women who can plan their pregnancies have a better chance for greater career stability an earning potential, thus creating greater economic stability for themselves and their families.

  • HB 16-1289 Incentives to Complete Career Development Courses. This bill creates a pilot program where school districts receive a $1,000 bonus funding for each student who (1) earns an industry certification tied to an in-demand job, (2) finishes a rigorous workplace training program tied to key industry needs, or (3) successfully completes a computer science AP course. This bill passed the House and Senate and is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper.

Join Us

WFCO invites you to join us in leading systemic change on behalf of women and girls. Through a unified voice we can influence positive community outcomes. Stay tuned for updates throughout the session, and in the meantime, here's how you can help support issues affecting women and girls!

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OUR MISSION

Catalyzing community to advance and accelerate economic opportunities for Colorado women and their families.

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