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Straight talk on health care reform: Misleading TV ads

Now that the Affordable Care Act has exceeded its enrollment goals and reduced the number of uninsured Americans, we can have some peace and quiet. Right?
Not hardly.
Midterm elections are seven months away, but we're already seeing political ads targeting the Affordable Care Act and legislators who supported it. Americans for Prosperity, an organization that opposes the ACA, is running one such ad in a number of states, including Colorado.

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Success from the session: Protecting Colorado seniors

Colorado's senior citizens can breathe a little easier these days.
Gov. John Hickenlooper this week signed a bill that will protect more at-risk elders in our state from abuse. The legislation, Senate Bill 14-098, which was suggested by several district attorneys, clarified language to make last year's landmark legislation more effective.

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Tell lawmakers to back adult education, literacy programs

Colorado is the only state in the nation that invests no state money – none! – in adult education and literacy programs, and we're asking your help to keep us from falling even further behind.
This is important for Colorado workers, employers and our economy.

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Bell's Awuor testifies for accountability for tax preparers

Policy analyst George Awuor testified today in favor of a bill that aims to protect Coloradans from incompetent and unethical tax preparers.
The proposed legislation, House Bill 14-1285, would require professional tax preparers to disclose to taxpayers their qualifications, fees and year-round contact information; it also would require them sign all prepared tax documents and to state their willingness to represent a taxpayer in a government audit.

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It's Equal Pay Day – 98 days of catching up for women

Today is Equal Pay Day.
This is the day – the 98th day of 2014 – that marks the extra time women have to work, on average, to equal the pay men earned in 2013. That's more than three extra months of doing the same work but earning 77 cents for each dollar earned by men.
This gender discrimination in the workplace has been a long-term problem, easing only slightly over more than 50 years. When the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, women working full-time, year-round jobs earned 59 cents for each dollar earned by men.

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Panel includes part-time students after Bell testimony

It's not every day in policy work that you see immediate results from your advocacy efforts. Such was the case, however, for the Bell's Frank Waterous at the March meeting of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
Some of the commissioners cited Frank's testimony on behalf of part-time students in changing their minds on which of four allocation models to approve for merit-based financial aid. Only one of the four models included part-time students in the allocation formula. In the end, the commission unanimously approved that model.

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Small numbers, big impact: Three child-care initiatives

We've been talking about relatively small numbers in the Long Bill that can have a big impact on Coloradans. Here's a good one: $15 million.
That's how much is being proposed – out of a General Fund budget of $9.3 billion – for three child-care initiatives that would benefit children, their families and our entire state.

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Small numbers, big impact: Investing in adult education

This week, we've talked about some numbers in the Long Bill, the state's budget.
Today, we want to focus on a program that's not in the state budget.
We think legislators must find room for a meaningful investment to boost adult education in Colorado. One glaring reason is that Colorado is the only state in the nation that does not provide state funding for adult education, and we are falling behind.
But a better reason is how that investment will help Coloradans, businesses and our economy.

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Small numbers, big impact: $4 million for senior services

We told you previously that it's all about the Benjamins at the state capitol this week and next.
While the legislators are working through the big numbers in the proposed budget, we wanted to let you know about one of the smaller numbers and talk about its impact on the lives of Coloradans.
One is $4 million, small in comparison to a General Fund budget of $9.3 billion. As it stands now, the Joint Budget Committee has added $4 million for senior services provided by the 16 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) across the state.

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Straight talk on health care reform: Politics kills 'doc fix'

It's amazing how quickly political priorities can overrule good governing. Last month, it seemed that a bipartisan and permanent "Medicare doc fix" was finally in the offing. The fix would replace an existing formula that threatens to impose a 24 percent pay cut on all Medicare doctors starting April 1.(1)

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