BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1064
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS, & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved a conceptual amend to sunset the Economic Op|
Moved prepared amendment L.001 (contained in Attac
Moved to refer House Bill 09-1064, as amended, to
|Pass Without Objection|
Pass Without Objection
01:32 PM -- House Bill 09-1064
The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Kefalas, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1064, concerning creating a legislative committee to study poverty issues, and, in connection therewith, establishing the economic opportunity poverty reduction task force for the purpose of advancing economic opportunity while reducing child and family poverty. Representative Kefalas discussed the purpose and effect of the bill, and discussed a letter distributed to the committee members authored by the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation (Attachment A). The letter explains the merits of the task force created by the bill and contains a list of organizations endorsing the bill. Representative Kefalas discussed certain efforts already underway to combat poverty, and listed the issues to be addressed by the task force. Discussion ensued regarding the recent growth rate in child poverty in Colorado, and the importance of fiscal education to poverty reduction.
Discussion ensued regarding the element of partisanship in the creation of the poverty reduction task force under the bill, and the appointments to the task force.
The following persons testified regarding House Bill 09-1064:
01:48 PM -- Mr. Herb Covey, representing Adams County Social Services, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Covey discussed the need for more involvement by the counties in poverty reduction efforts such as the poverty reduction task force created by the bill, and expressed concerns over potential unfunded mandates directed toward the counties as a result of the bill. Mr. Covey responded to questions regarding his vision for including county input in the poverty reduction task force, and efforts on the part of the counties to address poverty issues through creation of a task force. Mr. Covey responded to further questions regarding the types of unfunded mandates about which he is concerned.
01:55 PM -- Ms. Chaer Robert, representing the All Families Deserve a Chance Coalition, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1064. Ms. Robert explained the work performed by her coalition. Ms. Robert then discussed the needs of the impoverished and services available to those with needs, and explained how creating a poverty reduction task force will help service providers assist those with needs.
01:59 PM -- Ms. Patricia Ramirez, representing 9 to 5 National Working Women, testified in favor of the bill. Ms. Ramirez discussed her struggles to escape poverty, and the challenges facing those who are attempting self-sufficiency. Ms. Ramirez then discussed the impact of the recent economic downturn on those in poverty, and provided specific examples of ways in which constructive assistance can be provided to those in need. Ms. Ramirez explained the "cliff effect," which describes the impact of being caught between thresholds for qualifying for certain public assistance programs.
02:07 PM -- Ms. Mary Atchison, representing Pathways Past Poverty, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1064. Ms. Atchison discussed certain challenges faced by low-income families in maintaining eligibility for public assistance programs as they strive for self-sufficiency. Ms. Atchison then discussed the need for organizations to work together to reduce poverty, and specific ways in which such organizations can advance poverty reduction. Ms. Atchison responded to questions regarding the term "economic justice," and what her organization feels will constitute sustained self-sufficiency on the part of low-income families.
02:15 PM -- Ms. Megan Ferland, representing the Colorado Children's Campaign, testified in favor of the bill. Ms. Ferland provided examples of situations facing low-income individuals, and discussed the importance of creating a task force to address poverty issues. Ms. Ferland also discussed the child poverty rate in Colorado, and issues associated with child poverty. Ms. Ferland then discussed the educational achievement gap among the children of low-income families, as compared to those with greater financial means, and the burdens faced by parents in trying to place children in daycare.
02:25 PM -- Ms. Patricia Wilson-Pheanious, representing the Denver Department of Human Services, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1064. Ms. Wilson-Pheanious discussed poverty reduction successes experienced by Connecticut as a result of the creation of a poverty reduction task force similar to the task force proposed by the bill. Ms. Wilson-Pheanious addressed the issues of unfunded mandates on the counties, as discussed in previous testimony, and imparted certain lessons learned by the Connecticut poverty reduction task force. Ms. Wilson-Pheanious closed by explaining the benefits of creating a poverty reduction task force. Ms. Wilson-Pheanious responded to questions regarding the rates of poverty reduction realized by Connecticut as a result of the creation of a poverty reduction task force. Ms. Patricia Wilson-Pheanious responded to further questions regarding the potential for county officials to provide input to the task force created by the bill.
02:36 PM -- Mr. Brad Wood, representing Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Colorado, the Colorado Episcopal Public Policy Network, the Colorado Catholic Conference, and Hunger for Justice Interfaith Voices Against Poverty, testified in favor of the bill. Mr. Wood provided clarification regarding testimony he provided at a previous meeting. Mr. Wood then discussed the benefits of bringing together public service organizations to address problems associated with poverty.
02:39 PM -- Ms. Laurie Harvey, representing the Center for Work, Education, and Employment, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1064. Committee members received written copies of Ms. Harvey's testimony (Attachment B). Ms. Harvey discussed the work performed by her organization, and how the poverty reduction task force can facilitate solutions for the low-income individuals served by her organization.
02:41 PM -- Ms. Cathy Alderman, representing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, testified in favor of the bill. Ms. Alderman expressed the desire of her organization to work with the task force in its poverty reduction efforts.
02:42 PM -- Ms. Faith Gross, representing the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1064. Ms. Gross discussed the poverty rate among those with disabilities.
Representative Kefalas discussed the effect of prepared amendment L.001 (contained in Attachment C, along with a memorandum explaining the fiscal impact of the amendment, prepared by Legislative Council Staff). Discussion ensued regarding the duration of the poverty reduction task force, and the fiscal impact of the bill.
Ms. Brita Darling, Office of Legislative Legal Services, provided testimony regarding the potential for amending the bill to sunset the poverty reduction task force created by the bill in five years, reduced from the current ten year sunset.
Discussion ensued regarding the potential for further amending House Bill 09-1064 to change the structure of the poverty reduction task force. Discussion followed regarding the fact that the poverty reduction task force created by the bill will be considered an interim committee subject to the selection process involving legislatively created interim committees. Representative Kefalas provided closing remarks in favor of the bill.
|TIME: || 02:56:30 PM|
|MOTION:||Moved to refer House Bill 09-1064, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations with favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a 9-2 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 9 NO: 2 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS