Apr 5, 2014 12:11 AM by Alyse Rzemek
Colorado lawmakers working to advance two bills to make child care more affordable made movement today to help increase access to affordable child care for low-income families across Colorado.
HB14-1072, sponsored by Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Tony Exum (D-Colorado Springs), passed the House on initial voice-vote. It will create a state tax credit for families making less than $25,000 a year who do not already qualify for federal tax credits. The bill was recommended by the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force.
"Colorado's child care costs are one of the biggest barriers to parents staying in the workforce," Rep. Pettersen said. "This will increase self-sufficiency by helping parents stay in the workforce while their children are being taken care of and preparing for school."
"Having access to affordable childcare is important to creating a strong economy," Rep. Exum said. "Many middle-class families already qualify for these tax credits and we need to make sure that we are also helping lower-income families."
Earlier in the day the House Appropriations Committee approved HB14-1317 on a vote of 8-5. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), modifies the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) to expand the number of families who qualify for the program and increase the quality of child care across the state.
"Colorado has the fifth most expensive child care costs in the entire country," Rep. Duran said. "This bill will give more families access to affordable child care and reward child care centers that provide high-quality care."