Colorado Center on Law and Policy - CCLP
For more than 15 years, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy has forged pathways from poverty by researching, analyzing, developing and advocating for policies that will improve the quality of life for low-income Coloradans.
CCLP is a continuation and expansion of a project that started in 1996 in response to restrictions on the activities of federally funded legal services programs — including prohibitions against class action litigation and legislative advocacy. Colorado’s legal aid community created CCLP so that the poor would continue to have access to justice in Colorado.
We emerged quickly as a leader in increasing access to healthcare, family economic security, job training and other critical family needs and supports. Unique among policy advocacy organizations, CCLP has used use litigation and administrative advocacy to effect systemic change.
Among our most significant achievements was representing the public interest in the conversion and sale of the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado to Anthem Inc. CCLP played a major role in ensuring that the assets of the nonprofit were valued fairly and allocated appropriately to serve the community’s needs. The conversion resulted in the creation of the Caring for Colorado Foundation in 1999. CCLP has continued to monitor and represent the public in health care conversions ever since.
Also in 1999, CCLP led the charge to establish a state Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers. The credit — equal to 10 percent of the federal credit — was paid in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was recently restored for tax year 2015. Widely considered one of the most effective tools for fighting poverty, the EITC will potentially add hundreds of extra dollars in the pockets of low-income Coloradans.
In 2003, CCLP successfully delayed a law that would have terminated Medicaid for lawfully present immigrants in Colorado – ensuring they did not lose access to healthcare services.
In 2004, CCLP brought an action against the state when the new Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS), which manages eligibility determinations and benefits for virtually all public programs. The system’s failure left thousands of people without access to health care, medications and food stamps. CCLP secured a settlement agreement requiring the state to meet benchmarks for timely and accurately processing applications, which to this day continues to hold the state accountable.
In 2009, CCLP was a leader in efforts to reform unemployment insurance, making it easier for the lowest-paid intermittent workers to claim unemployment subsidies.
CCLP has helped to lead health reform implementation in Colorado. In 2011, we helped craft legislation that established Colorado’s health insurance exchange Connect for Health Colorado. We have worked since then to support and increase access to health insurance through the exchange.
In 2013, we played a leading role in Colorado’s decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.More than 250,000 additional Coloradans have access to health care as a result.
Recently, CCLP developed and advocated for legislation that would enable parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to receive the child-support payments made by the non-custodial parent. The bill was signed into law after the 2015 session, allowing the children of TANF recipients to benefit directly from their parents’ hard work.
CCLP works to ensure that every Coloradan has the tools and support they need to achieve economic security. We are widely recognized by policymakers, opinion leaders and advocates for our knowledge, skills and successes.
Our victories have improved the health and financial security of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans.