The shortest special Legislative Session at the Colorado state Capitol
Special legislative sessions have a history in Colorado. In fact, Colorado Governors have historically called for a special session approximately 51 times in our states history.
Why now you might ask? After the Ballot Measure Prop HH didn't pass Governor Polis decided a special session would be underway - to address property tax relief across the state among other things. Governor Polis called for special session in light of inflation, and rising costs of living. During this special session of 3 days - lawmakers allocated 200 million from the general fund to offset impact of property tax cuts on schools, fire districts, and local governments.
Colorado Democrats were set on their top priorities. In just 3 days advocates, and lawmakers successfully passed a handful of bills that support our state's over all achievement and well being. Some wins that Voces Unidas supported that we want to celebrate:
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit was the largest economic relief measure that wasn't made for property owners. This bill doubles of the state's earned income tax credit for this year. Right now, the state gives 25% of the federal benefit amount to those who qualify. Next year, the state amount will be 50% the federal amount. Voces Unidas was proud to endorse the Expansion of the EITC. HB23B-1002 - Increased Earned Income Tax Credit 2023.
Funded the EBT school meals throughout Summer 2024. Many families around our state depend school meals over the Summer. Voces Unidas was also thrilled to support this bill so that we are achieving the best federal match we can and because our students around the state aren't hungry in the Summer. SB23B-002 Summer Electronic BenefitsTransfer Program.
Secured $30 million for rental assistance funding for rental assistance. The $30 million in emergency rental assistance that has been approved by the legislature is intended to households earning up to 80% of the area's median. To qualify for this already existing program renters have to be able to show financial hardship that puts them at risk of eviction. We acknowledge the importance of this bill and are grateful to have more advocates and leaders in the housing space.
This is all good news! Look out for more regular information our Policy/Advocacy blog, and social media to get involved in this great work. We still have a huge-regular-legislative session starting in January and I look forward to updating you all on opportunities for engagement and leadership.
Cheers to the shortest legislative session - definitely successful.
Kayla & The Voce Unidas team