Check out our below press release for our 9th Annual Legislative Scorecard!
2017 Session Included Bi-Partisan Passage of Important Bills to Help Women and Families; But the Budget Continues to be Colorado’s Conundrum
Statement of Peg Perl, Board Chair, Women’s Lobby of Colorado
Today, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado released its 2017 Annual Legislative Scorecard on how Colorado legislators voted on issues that impact women and families. For the first time in several years, the scorecard included two Republicans with 100% scores, Senators Don Coram and Beth Martinez Humenik. Furthermore, even more bi-partisan agreement resulted in passage of bills to provide sexual assault and domestic violence survivors important rights, the extension of a child care tax credit for low income families, legislation to ensure all Coloradans who rent have fair notice to move, improved access to birth control for women, and the defeat of a bill in the Colorado Senate that would have eliminated access to safe and legal abortion. “We are proud to have Colorado leaders on both sides of aisle who understand what women need, including safe spaces, access to child care, and control over their own bodies. That seems rare today, sadly.”
However, while the Women’s Lobby of Colorado is pleased that the 2017 legislative session included some important bi-partisan wins for women and families, Colorado’s constitutional budget limits continued to impact the ability of the Colorado legislature to meet the needs of Colorado women and families. For example, the bill Women’s Lobby of Colorado prioritized this year, HB17-1195 (sponsored by Representative Faith Winter and Senator Beth Martinez Humenik) failed because it would have reduced Colorado’s budget by $3.6 million. The bill sought to exempt disposable diapers from state sales tax. “HB17-1195 could have helped the third of Colorado families who struggle to afford diapers. With ballooning housing costs and bills, it is vital all Colorado parents can work. But in most cases to put a child in child care, Colorado families must purchase and provide disposable diapers. This bill would have helped those families. But Colorado’s budget conundrum continues to force Colorado’s leaders to choose between vital resources our families need, like schools and health care, and good policies that ensure all Colorado families have a fair shot. We need to be able to do more, and we won’t be able to until we deal with the longer term budget issues our state is facing.”
The Annual Scorecard will be released May 23rd at an Event at The Office of Butler Snow (1801 California Street, Suite 5100) at 5:30 pm. Speakers will include Representative Faith Winter, Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, Karla Garcia Gonzales of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, and Melissa Rivera of the Larimer County diaper bank, The Nappie Project.
The Women’s Lobby of Colorado is a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to provide better opportunities for women in our state by ensuring that public policies reflect gender equity and justice.