It’s about time: the Working Families Economic Opportunity Act

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The economy is showing signs of recovery, the unemployment rate is stabilizing and consumer confidence is rising.  But we all know that the past decade has been particularly tough on working families as wages stagnated but prices of necessities like transportation, education and child care have continued to increase.  

It has become tougher and tougher, in the last 10 years, to meet basic needs and provide for a family.

But there is some good news coming from the Colorado Legislature.  On Wednesday, the Colorado Senate introduced the Working Families Economic Opportunity Act, a bill that uses tax credits to make it a little easier for working families to make ends meet.  

Targeted to families that work but are still struggling because they have low-paying jobs, these tax credits will make a real difference in the budgets of Colorado’s working families.

In addition to helping families make ends meet, they provide low-income workers with a needed income boost that can help them pay for the very things that allow them to work, like child care and transportation.  

The working family tax credits are proven to make a difference in people’s lives by increasing employment, school performance and long-term health.  Beyond that, increasing resources in low income families when children are young has a profound effect on the earning potential for those kids later in life.  One study found a 17% increase in lifetime earnings.  

And the tax credits in this bill are smart investments. Because they are state versions of federal credits with a proven track record, we can leverage their effectiveness with little additional work.

This common sense approach utilizes an efficient and proven strategy that doesn’t require complicated eligibility determinations but uses current federal and state tax code provisions to get resources to working families to help with regular household necessities and keep people working.  

The bill is good for businesses too.  It will put money into the local economy as working families use the money to buy groceries, pay rent or childcare, and afford other basic household necessities.  People are raising questions about whether we can afford this investment in our working families.  Considering the economic fallout of the last 10 years, the question we should be asking is whether we can afford our future if we fail to support the our families today.  These dollars recycle in our communities, they help workers stay employed and they complement federal investment to maximize the impact in families.

We all have a commitment to using tax dollars wisely, and these tax investments in working families will pay long term dividends. It’s an economic agenda that is proven to build economic opportunity and stronger communities.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1.  . . . however, the State of Colorado is currently in breach of its public pension contracts.  I’m sure you know that Colorado is a tax haven, and recently breached its public pension contracts in an attempt to further reduce the obligations of Colorado taxpayers.  We are the 15th wealthiest state in the nation, and we do not want to pay for the public services that we have already consumed!  Is that not madness!  Rather than seeking to further cut Colorado’s revenue stream, your organization should be up front about this situation.  You should put measures on the state-wide ballot to provide sufficient revenue for the provision of public services in our state.  You should expect no help in this regard from Governor John Hickenlooper (R-Colorado.)  You should follow Dougie’s example and put measures on the ballot EVERY YEAR until the Colorado electorate places one of these measures in the Colorado Constitution.  This effort will require much more work than persuading Morse to give you a bill title, but the most worthwhile undertakings are typically laborious.

    FYI, last October the Colorado Court of Appeals wrote: “We consider McPhail and Bills dispositive (indisputably bringing to a conclusion a legal controversy) of whether plaintiffs here have a contractual right to a particular COLA.”  In the cases McPhail and Bills, the Colorado Supreme Court “found a contractual right based on members’ provision of services and contributions to the retirement fund.”

    The Colorado Court of Appeals also reversed the Denver District Court’s summary judgment on the plaintiff’s “Takings Clause claim.”  On page 36 of its decision, the Colorado Court of Appeals restores the plaintiff’s Takings Clause claim and cites the case Lynch: “contract rights can constitute property interests protected by the Takings Clause.”


  2. IndyNinjaIndyNinja says:

    But as a tax/revenue measure, isn’t this required to originate in the House?

  3. Republican 36 says:

    What is the real life impact of this bill. I haven’t researched it but based on the news stories it appears (I certainly could be wrong) this legislation is aimed at people who don’t pay any income taxes now or very little. If that is true, isn’t this an income redistribution bill, which doesn’t necessarily make it bad policy, but the public should know that so they can judge the bill from every perspective.

    Also, on a broader policy front, I wonder if this is wise at this time because we have had to drastically cut higher education over the past four years by over $200 million dollars and, because of that, tuition has risen to the point where many children, especially children of low income families, are having a very difficult time affording the cost of in-state public colleges and universities.

    Also, Colorado can’t afford to pay for the maintenance of our highways let alone new construction based on the massive cuts in the CDOT budget.

    All things considered, I’m just not sure this is the tax policy we should pursue at this time.  

  4. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Dems, PLEASE start talking about how this money will be directly injected into the local economy. That is the way to sell this bill. Working families, in addition to needing money, are also better able to spend stimulus money in economically stimulative ways than rich people who hoard it in banks, or even middle class families who pay off the Capital One card with it.

    This bill is highly effective stimulus. Period. That is why I support it. GOPers should have to explain why this should not be funded in place of any of their precious tax breaks for homeowners and businesses.

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