10 Policy Recommendations for a New Year

Golden and white New Year 2022 celebration graphic on a black background.

As 2021 comes to a close, we’re looking ahead to the new year. Throughout the past 12 months, as our state has inched toward recovery, our commitment to ensuring every Coloradan can participate in, and benefit from, a robust economy has only deepened. With that in mind, we’re renewing our call for the following policy recommendations. Rooted in strong research and analysis, we believe these solutions are essential to creating a healthy, equitable, and thriving state:

In order to support the economic security of all workers, and create fairer, more equitable workplaces, we must take steps to strengthen Colorado’s age discrimination laws.

This year we celebrated the creation of the first ever statewide office of financial empowerment. We can continue to grow this work by expanding the availability of affordable, non-predatory credit.

With a clear need to build family and community wealth, the recently passed Secure Savings Program is essential for economic well-being. In the coming year we have an opportunity to ensure this program is set-up for long-term success.

Despite their importance, our direct care workers often have low wages, poor benefits, and inadequate training opportunities. Increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates will contribute to greater support for these workers and the Coloradans they serve.

Women’s labor force participation has dropped significantly as COVID-19 made child care harder to find and afford. Providing student loan forgiveness for child care educators will help ensure we have a more robust care economy.

As credentials become increasingly important for future jobs, Colorado must contend with its chronic underfunding of postsecondary education. One way to create more resilient funding is to develop a postsecondary education “rainy day fund.”

Stackable credential pathways are one of the best ways for students to gain skills that immediately translate to on-the-job gains. To help expand access to these programs, one key strategy must be ensuring the affordability, accessibility, and uniformity of Prior Learning Assessments, which help reduce the cost of postsecondary credentials for students. 

In order to support Colorado families and communities, we must make targeted public investments. Our research shows a $10 per capita increase in  K-12, health, and higher education services can increase homeownership rates and create more opportunities for generational wealth. 

Despite their importance to our communities and economy, undocumented workers are often excluded from established systems of state support and relief. Extending important benefits to undocumented workers is not only morally right, but it will also bolster our state’s economic recovery.

This year, we took an important step forward in creating a smarter tax code by passing an enormous tax reform package. By closing loopholes which benefit the wealthy and big business, and redirecting dollars toward tax credits for working families and small businesses, we demonstrated we can simultaneously create systems which differentiate between taxpayers while also adequately funding important statewide priorities.


We know the new year will continue to bring challenges. Change is rarely easy, and even then, we recognize the above policies only constitute a fraction of what’s truly needed in our state. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to push for progress. We’re grateful to be part of a broader community of individuals and organizations dedicated to creating a Colorado where everyone can thrive, and we look forward to continuing this work in partnership with others in 2022 and beyond.