2015 Legislative Results

The most positive outcome from the session was the introduction of the Workforce Development Package, which included 10 bills focused on increasing the pipeline for students to move from high school or college graduation directly into jobs that certain industries have had a hard time filling. Excluding this package, however, the majority of bills that could have helped advance the economic status of women and girls in Colorado did not pass. In fact, The Denver Post named poor women one of the “losers” of the 2015 legislative session.

2015 Legislative Priorities

HB 15-1230 INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

This bipartisan bill, which is part of the Workforce Development Package, passed the House and Senate and is waiting for the Governor’s signature. We believe it will help more women and girls participate in internships and job training in STEM fields, where they have a chance to earn greater incomes.

HB 15-1194 AUTHORIZE GENERAL FUND DOLLARS FOR LARC (LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION) SERVICES

With an investment of $5 million, Colorado can ensure more women have affordable access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), enabling them to plan their pregnancies and increase their chances of greater career stability and earning potential. This bill did not pass through the Senate.

HB15-1122 CONTINUATION OF THE PAY EQUITY COMMISSION

With Colorado’s child poverty rate at 17 percent, the opportunity to ensure equal wages for women – especially for women of color – is more important than ever. The continuation of the Pay Equity Commission would have increased awareness of pay inequities and developed ways to overcome them, but it did not pass through the Senate. It will sunset in June.

Additional Support

We also supported two other successful bills to help advance women’s economic self-sufficiency, including:

SB 15-012 COLORADO WORKS PASS-THROUGH CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT

This bill would require child support paid by the non-custodial parents on behalf of children on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to be passed through to that family without a corresponding reduction in the custodial parent’s monthly TANF grant. This is important in helping low-income single mothers on their path to economic self-sufficiency.

HB15-1170 INCREASING POST-SECONDARY WORKFORCE READINESS

This bill, also part of the Workforce Development Package, creates a post-secondary and workforce-readiness statewide coordinator position within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to work with schools and businesses on improving student pipelines. 

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