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?
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.
Among the policy priorities Colorado State Senator Jesse Ulibarri and State Rep. John Salazar have long sought to elevate, especially during the National Week of Action, is the need to expand Coloradans' access to paid leave. These stories from 9to5.org illustrate the need in Colorado.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This year, Equal Pay Day is on April 8. During this week, which coincides with the National Week of Action for Real Prosperity Across America, state legislators are lifting up the strategic policies that promote women's success -- including measures that tackle gender discrimination in pay, modernize workplace standards, and provide the tools women and families need to get ahead.
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.
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.
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.