Family Economic Security | The Bell Policy Center
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Bell Policy Center promotes public policies that help families get ahead and stay ahead economically. Economic security for families is key to making Colorado a state of opportunity for all. Barriers to family economic security include:

  • Stagnant family incomes. Family incomes have failed to keep pace with economic growth since the late 1970s. 
  • Rising child care costs. Low- and moderate-income families face big challenges including the high cost of child care.
  • Limited education and training. More than 430,000 working-age Coloradans lack high school diplomas, preventing them from moving up and earning higher wages. 
  • Shrinking savings. More than 750,000 working Coloradans have no option to save for retirement at work. 
  • Predatory lending. Bad lending practices continue to slow the accumulation of assets by families and strip wealth from those who can least afford it.

The Bell takes on up to a half-dozen efforts at a time to enhance family economic security, and over the years we’ve helped families win some major victories. These include a higher minimum wage, a huge reduction in the cost of payday loans and a significant expansion of protections against workplace discrimination. 

Current priorities:

  • Enhance retirement savings. Develop a secure option for more workers to save for retirement.
  • Help children and their parents. Develop two-generation strategies that tie education and training opportunities for parents with early childhood education opportunities for their children.
  • Increase the minimum wage. Further increase the state minimum wage to keep pace with basic needs.
  • Stop predatory lending. Protect borrowers from a wide range of predatory lending practices.

LATEST

Feb 3, 2017
Today the Trump Administration announced a plan to ask the Department of Labor either to rescind or revise a rule to protect workers and retirees who seek advice about their retirement savings from financial advisors. Scheduled to take effect in April, the “fiduciary rule” would require that investment advisors act in the best interests of their...
Feb 2, 2017
We’ve all heard stories about debt collectors who have harassed consumers even when they’ve paid their debts or never owed them in the first place. That’s why we need to extend the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Lobbyists for the debt collection industry this week attacked the act, saying Color...
Jan 30, 2017
Colorado consumers should pay close attention when the Senate Judiciary Committee meets later this week. Today, lobbyists for the debt collection industry proposed letting the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Act expire.  If this happens, lawyers in the Colorado Attorney General’s office would lose their ability to license and regulate debt co...
Jan 18, 2017
Nearly half of Colorado’s private-sector workers — or about 754,000 people in their prime working years — have no retirement savings plan at work. Without easy access to retirement plans, many young workers put off saving until it’s too late, then have little to live on in their retirement years. Small improvements could make a big difference. Econ...
Jan 11, 2017
In the wake of the election, pollsters and policy analysts all want to understand what Rust Belt voters are thinking. The Kaiser Family Foundation did focus groups with Rust Belt residents and talked to them about their health care. Among the takea...